Compared to some of the other large-screened smartphones on the market, the Xperia TX's 1700mAh battery is positively tiny. But that can almost be forgiven considering that it is replaceable.

The fact that the handset only has a dual-core processor means less of a drain on the battery during use, but it's still tough to get through a full day's usage without ramming in that Micro-USB cable.

Sony Xperia TX review

From the moment we unplugged at 6:30 in the morning, we were sweating about being able to call home by about 3pm. That's with some fairly heavy use for email, watching videos, and some social networking.

There's a dedicated power saving app pre-loaded, which lets you dictate what functions can work on the phone. There are three settings, including a general power saver, a low-battery option for when things are looking dire, and a timed saver for those times you forget to pack a charger on an overnight trip.

It's not enough to win the Xperia TX an award for power management, but it certainly does help if you don't happen to have a spare battery lying around.

Connectivity

Given Australia's growing love affair with LTE, it's somewhat of a surprise that the Xperia TX doesn't feature 4G connectivity. Although given it's a Vodafone exclusive, that isn't a real loss until Voda launches its 4G network in 2013.

Even though it doesn't feature LTE, the phone offers the next best option in the form of DC-HSPA+, which can deliver theoretical speeds of up to 42Mbps.

In the real world, it's much closer to 16Mbps, but that's still better than many homes can get over copper.

Vodafone has been spending up big trying to get its network up to scratch, and rolling out DC-HSPA+ support was one of the key components of that. Vodafone has been referring to this as 3G+, just to keep you on top of your acronyms.

Mobile networks aside, the other main feature of the Xperia TX from a connectivity point of view is its integrated NFC chip. With Vodafone's recent announcement to create an NFC mobile wallet with Visa, this means that some time next year you will be able to feel like Bond yourself by paying for things using your smartphone.

Unlike previous Xperia handsets, Sony isn't bundling its NFC tags in with the TX for easy adjustment of the phone's settings, although you can pick them up for a small fee if you like the sound of that idea.

Sony Xperia TX review

NFC is a technology that's about to take off in a big way, although it's not quite there yet. Expect companies like Sony to embed NFC chips in a wide variety of electronics, allowing for simple connectivity just by tapping your smartphone to the other device.

Until then though, you can use the Android Beam feature to share files with other NFC-enabled Android devices.

There's the standard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, but unlike previous Xperia handsets, Sony has opted to leave out an HDMI port, leaving only an exposed Micro-USB slot for connecting to both computers and power.