If it's good enough for James Bond, then it's good enough for everybody else. That's the rule; and it seems Sony was only too aware of it when the Japanese company handed its latest smartphone, the Xperia TX, to Daniel Craig in the latest Bond flick, Skyfall.
Befitting a 00 agent, the phone is slim, sleek and shiny with a soft-touch plastic back to enable better grip - useful when you're running about trying to save the world. The 4.6-inch screen with a 1280 x 720 resolution is made from durable, scratch-resistant glass. It would have to be, if Mr Bond is to carry it, but after a couple of weeks in my bag there were visible scratches on the surface.
Nonetheless, the full HD display provides crisp video playback and a clear photo and Web browsing experience. With the HDMI slot, you can also stream movies and videos directly on to a TV.
The phone sports a hefty 13-megapixel camera, one of the highest on the market, and takes great pictures in low-light settings. It has 16GB of in-built memory that can be expanded to 32GB with the microSD slot. The touchpad is quick and responsive and typing is a breeze, even for those with fat fingers.
The TX runs the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, but Sony has promised an upgrade to Jelly Bean soon. Multitasking is great on this phone, with a dedicated button at the bottom that enables you to scroll through all the apps you have running or recently used. The TX supports near-field communication (NFC), which is the current obsession with smartphone manufacturers. Wirelessly transferring data, streaming content and paying for goods by just waving the phone at an NFC touchpoint has become the latest craze.
It has become somewhat confusing differentiating one Android phone from another. The leader so far has been Samsung, which has been steaming ahead of the competition with its Galaxy S3 model. While the TX provides many improved features on the S3, including a better camera, it lacks the "wow factor" associated with the Samsung model. It is still, however, an impressive offering from Sony.