Sony Xperia Tipo – Initial Impressions

The Xperia range is rather large, covering every possible budget range some of the latest Xperia phones have been in the budget range. Including the Xperia Tipo.

The Sony anti naming convention Xperia Tipo. It is a tiny little thing with an almost identical spec to the Motorola Motosmart that we’re currently reviewing. One drastic difference though is that the Tipo is running Ice Cream Sandwich.


What we’re going to do today is a quick look at the spec and the rest of the device and then we’ll be back in a few weeks with the full review.

Hardware

The Tipo has a fairly basic spec, which is as follows:

  • Dimensions – 103 x 57 x 13 mm
  • Weight – 99.4 g
  • Display – 320 x 480 pixels, 3.2 inches (180 ppi pixel density) – Scratch-resistant glass
  • Memory – micro SD, up to 32 GB
  • Internal – 2.9 GB storage (2.5 GB user available), 512 MB RAM
  • WLAN – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth – Yes, v2.1 with A2DP
  • Camera – 3.15 MP
  • Video Recording – VGA
  • OS – Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Qualcomm MSM7225AA
  • CPU – 800 MHz Cortex-A5
  • GPU – Adreno 200
  • Colors – Classic Black, Classic White, Deep Red, Navy Blue
  • Battery – Li-Ion 1500 mAh

A few standout features here for me though are the internal memory size and the micro sd slot. Normally with budget devices like they are crippled by ludicrously small internal memory, out of the box this had about 600mb available for app storage and the rest allocated for document and music storage. Then you can add a memory card and your good to go.

Design

The Tipo is a bit chunkier than other budget devices we have seen recently and there isn’t really any reason for it to be. The spec is almost identical to the Motorola Motosmart yet it is 1.8 MM thicker. The rest of the Tipo is quite nice, the front has a nice black bezel that is tapered slightly beneath the screen the back panel is removable and has a nice soft touch to it, almost non slip.

The power button is on the top left edge of the device which makes it a little awkward for left handers like me to turn it on.

The Tipo has a nice row of capacitive buttons beneath the screen, back, home and menu. They work better than hardware buttons on the similarly sized Xperia X8 I had tried before.

Here are some shots of the Tipo and a few comparison shots of similar devices I’ve got lying around.

Software

The main highlight of the Tipo is Ice Cream Sandwich. Do not let any manufacturer tell you they can’t get Ice Cream Sandwich to run on their device because of the spec. This is proof that they just can’t be bothered.

I was rather reluctant to try the Tipo as I had an Xperia X8 running Gingerbread which was awful, the Tipo has a slightly better spec yet it feels miles ahead in performance stakes.

The usual selection of Sony apps and widgets are all present, so outbof the box you can get to grips with your social media and multi media.

Initial Conclusion

I’ve only used the Tipo for a few days and I am very surprised at how well it performs. My past experience with budget devices really made me wary of this. The only thing I don’t think I could get used to is the onscreen keyboard. On a screen this size a qwerty is almost unusable, you need a t9 style keyboard. I guess I’ll try a few other software keyboards.

The Tipo is a great device offering adequate storage and Ice Cream Sandwich for under £100 it would make a great first Android phone or as a small phone to take out running or on holiday.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be trying everything possible with the Tipo. Possibly even trying to write a few articles on this site. So if you can think of anything you want trying out let us know in the comments below.

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