04th Oct 2012
Budget Android handsets have always been popular in India. Not one to be left behind in this lucrative segment, Sony recently launched two phones in this category: the Xperia tipo and tipo dual. As the name suggests, the only difference between the phones is the number of SIMs they support. At the launch event, I got to play around with the tipo dual for a few minutes, and jotted down my impressions of that brief encounter. But first, here are the specifications of the device:
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS.
- 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, 512 MB of RAM.
- Quad-band GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), Dual-band 3G (900, 2100 MHz); Dual-SIM (GSM + GSM).
- 3.2 mp camera with 4x digital zoom and VGA (480p) video recording.
- 3.2" scratch-resistant, shatter-proof, 2-point multi-touch screen with 320x480 pixels and 262k colours.
- Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi with hotspot, Assisted GPS, Micro-USB 2.0.
- FM radio with RDS, 3.5 mm jack.
- 3 GB of internal storage (2.2 GB user-accessible), 32 GB microSD card slot.
- Accelerometer, Proximity sensor.
- 5 hours of talk time, 15 days standby, 36 hours of music playback, 3 hours of video playback.
- 3.4" (l) x 2.2" (w) x 0.4" (13 mm) (d), 100 grammes.
- Audio Formats: MP3, MP4, SMF, WAV, 3GP, OGG, OTA.
- Video Formats: 3GP, MP4.
- Package Contents: Charger, Battery, Headphones, Screen guard, Micro-USB cable, Micro-SIM adapter, User manual.
The first thing I noticed about the Xperia tipo dual is that it's extremely lightweight. It has a plastic body that does look slightly tacky; nevertheless, it's definitely well-built. The handset features a decently lit 3.2" capacitive LCD display with pixel dimensions of 320x480. Below the screen are three fairly standard capacitive touch buttons for navigating through the interface. Overall, the phone's design is certainly fresh, and in line with other handsets in Sony's portfolio.
At the core of the device lies a measly 800 MHz CPU. One might wonder if this is enough to power ICS, but surprisingly, it does the job well. In the brief time spent with the UI, the menu transitions were quick and apps opened up as quickly as you'd expect for a budget phone. I managed to take a few snaps during the event, and noticed that the 3.2 mp camera performed fairly average, although the low-light performance could have been better. The gadget doesn't have a dedicated camera button, but you can use the volume control keys to zoom in and out. Unfortunately, since it lacks a front camera, using the nifty face unlock feature of ICS is out of the question.
Among the connectivity options on the device are the usual 3.5 mm jack, micro-USB port, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with a a dedicated button to switch between the GSM SIMs. A complete review of this phone is on its way. Until then, check out the video below of the interface and camera app.
Preview: Sony Xperia tipo dual
A quick look at Sony's entry into the budget dual-SIM smartphone market.