Since throwing off the shackles of the Ericcsson partnership, Sony has forged ahead with its Xperia brand – producing some good looking handsets equipped with enough features to rival the best smartphones.

The Sony Xperia T takes over from the Sony Xperia S as the Japanese company's new flagship device. It runs now runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is a big update, and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, backed by 1GB of RAM.

The 4.6-inch display uses Sony's Bravia TV technology and on the back of the handset you'll find the 13MP camera – one of this phone's best features.

Sony Xperia T review

There's also NFC, something noticeably missing from Apple's iPhone 5, and Sony incorporates it better than most other smartphone manufacturers.

You can pick up the Sony Xperia Tags (more on them later) or the Sony NFC speaker and use this developing technology to do a range of neat things.

Sony Xperia T review

The Sony Xperia T wasn't cheap when it launched thanks to be a flagship device ,but the asking price was still relatively modest compared to the likes of the iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S3.

But the good news is that price is coming right down now: you can pick it up for around £299 on PAYG on some networks, which makes it a much more palatable offer for a phone that's just only over half a year old. And James Bond had it - which you may have worked out.

Sony Xperia T review

Judging the appearance of a phone is ultimately a subjective matter, but we feel you'd be a cynic to call the Xperia T unattractive.

The black glossy front is reminiscent of other Sony gadgets such as the PS Vita, and the silver, brushed metal back offers grip as well.

Sony Xperia T review

You can also pick the Xperia T up with a black or white back panel – with the black easily topping our list in terms of looks.

The Xperia T sheds the bulk of the earlier Xperia S and reverts to the sculpted, concave chassis we previously saw on the likes of the Sony Ericsson Arc S.

Sony Xperia T review

The handset is a slim 9.4mm thick and weighs only 139g, enough to slip into a slim pair of jeans or the inner-jacket pocket without worrying about an unsightly bulge.

Obviously Sony is keen to flaunt the looks of the Xperia T and the Japanese company has been shouting from the proverbial rooftops that the phone will be 007's choice in the upcoming movie Skyfall.

Sony Xperia T review

Yeah, OK, we know it's a cheap marketing ploy, but c'mon – it's pretty cool to be rocking James Bond's phone.

The build quality is very accomplished – unlike the Sony Xperia S the Xperia T has a non-removable back, keeping it slimmer and svelter but meaning you can't replace the battery. This is something that might irritate some of the power users out there.

Sony Xperia T review

The SIM and microSD card are both loaded into the phone via a slot-loading system hidden behind a dust cover on the right hand side of the handset.

There's a tiny groove to flick the cover out and it feels reasonably solid, which is good to know if you're frequently swapping between microSDs. Sony has given you 16GB of native storage but with the microSD card functionality you can add up to an additional 32GB.

Sony Xperia T review

Next to the SIM and microSD slot are the only physical buttons on the handset: The power button, camera shutter button and the volume rocker, which can also be used to zoom the camera in and out.

The Micro USB charging port meanwhile is on the left hand side of the phone (unlike the Xperia S, it doesn't feature a dust cover) and the top of the phone is reserved for the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Sony Xperia T review

Certainly on paper, the Xperia T has plenty of power, features and value to make it a worthwhile choice. It also looks the part with a sleek, well-built chassis and is both light and thin in the hand.

If you're looking for your first smartphone then this would no doubt be an excellent choice. But if you've already got a top-tier smartphone from either this or last year, there might not be enough here to warrant a change.

Sony Xperia T review