Sony Xperia TX review

Has the sky fallen for Sony's latest handset?

Sony Xperia TX
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One of Sony's strengths as a company is its versatility, with a long history of expertise in a wide range of products. It's been a few years since the company started offering Walkman and Cybershot badged phones, but the implementation has improved somewhat in that time.

The Xperia TX comes with Walkman, Playstation, Cybershot and Bravia components, making it as Sony as a Sony smartphone can be.

There's only 16GB of storage on board, which doesn't offer a great amount of space for your videos and games. Fortunately, the MicroSD card slot lets you add an extra 32GB at a time.


Sony Xperia TX review

The Walkman brand may not have the same level of recognition as it did in the 1980s, but it still offers Sony some level of credibility when it comes to music playback.

The Xperia TX comes pre-loaded with a dedicated Walkman app for music playback. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, with album art from the Gracenote database taking over the screen while music is playing.

One tab along is a link to your music collection, with boxes to select different browsing methods, including albums, artists and tracks.

More interesting are the Sony specific browsing options. Sony has enhanced its SensMe offering, allowing you to create automatic playlists based on your particular mood. Among the options are Energetic, Relax, Upbeat and Mellow.

Also included in the My Music tab is an automatic link to Sony's Music Unlimited service. The phone doesn't come with a subscription unfortunately, but its presence might help Sony sell some customers on the idea of unlimited streamed music.

Sony has also introduced a social element to its Walkman app, with a list of tracks shared by Facebook friends. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work in with apps shared through rival streaming services like Spotify or RDIO, which limits the amount of music actually available to view.

Sony Xperia TX review

Also disappointing is the inability to add third party music apps to the Walkman hub, like Pandora radio or Spotify. Instead, they operate as individual apps downloaded form the Play Store, which takes away the notion that the Walkman app is indeed a hub for music.

That said, some clever features like the ability to automatically open the Walkman app whenever you plug in the headphones, or the integrated equaliser, which lets you adjust the audio settings for your favourite music on the fly.


Watching video on the Xperia TX is actually a rather enjoyable experience. The 4.6-inch 16:9 screen is an almost ideal size for portable watching.

The 1280 x 720 resolution also makes it perfect for viewing HD content. The limited bezel on the sides of the phone give you a great amount of real estate for everything from YouTube clips to movies downloaded via the Play Store.

Sony Xperia TX review

The curved Arc shape also helps the viewing experience by offering a more comfortable grip on both ends of the device.

The Movies app is simple to use, offering a vertical thumbnail from each movie to select from, as well as the movie's name and length.

On screen controls during playback are clear and easy to navigate through. Scrubbing through a clip places large timer numbers on screen so you can see exactly where you're scrubbing to during the video.

Sony also offers the ability to access the Gracenote database to try and get more information about each video, from movie posters to actor information.

The phone also takes advantage of DLNA, with the ability to "throw" a video to another DLNA device with just a couple of button presses.

Alternatively, you can share a video via social networks, email or Bluetooth.

Sony Xperia TX review

The Movies app has a pretty good file support, including .avi and .xvid files, as well as the more traditional .mp4. If you do find a format that isn't supported, at least you have the Play Store to find a compatible app to play it on.

Somewhat surprisingly given the inclusion of Music Unlimited on the device, Sony hasn't included its Video Unlimited Store pre-loaded on the Xperia TX.

It's not a massive loss given the availability of movies on the Play Store, and the app is still available as a free download, but it is still interesting that Sony didn't pre-load it on the phone.

FM Radio

The inclusion of an FM radio is sure to keep some fans of analogue technology happy. Plugging in the headphones is required to act as an antenna for the radio, but it generally works.

With Australia's pretty decent mobile coverage (on certain networks, anyway) and the likes of TuneIn radio offering thousands of radio stations from around the world, most people probably won't use this.


Playstation certification makes this an attractive option for gaming fans. Although saying that, Sony really needs to work on spreading the message of what that actually means.

Sony Xperia TX review

The Xperia TX we tested didn't come with the Playstation Mobile application pre-installed. The app wasn't even available on the Play Store. Instead, it required a workaround that we only discovered after searching on Google.

Once installed, taking advantage of the Playstation gaming brand was great, with classics like Lemmings easily downloaded and played on the device.

Sony Xperia TX review

The phone's touchscreen and curved design are great for mobile gaming, but the truth is that the current implementation of Playstation Mobile (or lack thereof) is terribly lacking, especially for a company with a pedigree in the games space.

Still, while navigating to the official Playstation collection of games is a bit of nightmare, there are still the thousands of games on the Play Store, which are easier to install and often just as enjoyable to play.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.