Monday, February 25, 2013

Sony Xperia T Files – The Misterious Croaking

Sony Xperia T

I can't afford buying last generation premium phones anymore. Prices are higher at every release, dangerously approaching the 700 EUR mark for unlocked handsets. I've been looking for a new phone lately, considering different options with a budget of 400 EUR. As I couldn't afford the latest phones, I started looking to high-end phones from the previous generation.

Among my top requirements is to have a decent camera, so I focused my search on Sony handsets, until I stopped in its previous flagship: the Sony Xperia T.

I have read many articles, compared benchmarks, watched video reviews and sample videos including photo snaps and HD footage from the phone's camera. Its 13mp Exmor RS sensor does a very good job indeed, and the phone takes pretty good stills and decent video (a little bit jelly sometimes, but more than enough for a phone).

But to my surprise, when watching at user videos recorded on the Xperia T, I noticed a strange, subtle croaking noise repeating. Watch the following video, for instance:

First I thought that the noise came from an animal in the surroundings (a frog, a toad or the likes), or that it was just background noise. But after reviewing several other youtube video samples -from other users- I realized that the noise was usually there, and frogs are numerous.. but not a plague.

I did some research and discovered that this noise has already been noticed by a few owners of Sony Xperia T and the manufacturer seems to be aware of the situation. One user commented in a forum:

I called Sony directly and they confirmed that it is a known hardware fault and that I should replace the handset again as the problem cannot be fixed with a software update.

You might recall that Sony already had similar problems with its popular line of compact 4/3 NEX cameras, where owners suffered the infamous "clicking noise" issue.

Apparently, the noise is produced by the autofocus mechanism of the camera sensor getting recorded on the video footage. If you got this problem in your unit, there's nothing you can do (besides ignoring the noise) but ask for a replacement.

I hope that Sony has taken note and fixed the issue in the new batches and also in the upcoming Xperia Z flagship, since this new smartphone uses a similar sensor to the Xperia T.

Do you own an Xperia T? Have you experienced the croaking issue? Did you contact Sony Customer Support about it? Please have your say in the comments section below.