Sony Xperia Tipo dual
A trendy budget ICS handset with dual-SIM functionality.
Great Design; Smooth UI; Dual SIM functionality; Good battery performance.
Mediocre camera; Lacklustre video playback.
Sony Xperia tipo dual
MRP: Rs 10,500
Street Price (As On 29 Oct 2012): Rs 9600 (Indiaplaza.com); Rs 10,200 (Saholic.com; Flipkart.com)
The market is full of dual-SIM smartphones by domestic brands; not many big players have entered this space except for Samsung. Now Sony has released its entry-level Xperia phone, which is expected to give the GALAXY Ace DUOS some tough time. So does this dual-SIM Android from Sony live up to expectations? Let's find out.
Design And Build Quality
The one complaint I've always had with budget Androids is their sloppy build. The Xpera tipo dual, however, is a pleasant exception. Even though it's an entry-level smartphone, it features scratch-resistant mineral glass protection. Weighing in at 99 grams, the tipo dual is lighter than most handsets. The chin at the bottom is a nice touch. The tipo dual is compact and comfortable to hold, but many people will find it too small.
The 3.2" LCD screen has pixel dimensions of 320x480. The display is reasonably bright, and the sharpness is good too. On the flip side, the panel's viewing angles and sunlight legibility don't quite make the mark. The phone is powered by a modest 800 MHz CPU, and it has 512 MB of RAM. Here are the full specs:
- 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset (ARMv7 CPU, Adreno 200 GPU); 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" (86 mm) (l) x 2.2" (56 mm) (w) x 0.4" (10 mm) (d), 100 grams.
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
- Supported Audio: MP3, MP4, SMF, WAV, 3GP, OGG, OTA.
- 1500 mAh battery.
- Package Contents: Charger, Micro-USB cable, Earphone, Micro-SIM adapter, User manual.
UI And Applications
Like HTC's Desire C, this budget handset features Android 4.0 (ICS) out of the box. The Desire C had a tough time handling the new OS, but Sony's thoughtful customisation means the tipo dual offers a pleasant user experience. The interface is exactly similar to what we've seen on Sony's recent Xperia line-up. Despite the feeble 800 MHz CPU, the handset doesn't feel sluggish. It does, however, slow down a bit when multitasking, which you'd expect from any entry-level smartphone.
Moving on to the default browser: The page rendering speed is good, but clicking a link is painful because of the relatively small screen. In the gaming department, the tipo dual easily handles popular games such as Temple Run and Fruit Ninja. Overall, performance is quite good considering the price. If you care about synthetic benchmarks, the handset scored 2904 in AnTuTu.
Sony's recent handsets have offered great sound quality, and the tipo dual does, too. Moreover, you get plenty of equaliser settings to play with. The onboard speaker supports xLOUD tech — which is indeed loud! The video player supports MP4 and 3GP files out of the box, while DivX, XviD, and MKV can be taken care of by a third-party app. You can play videos up to 480p video without any issues, but anything above that turns into a slideshow. (The 3.2" screen isn't ideal for watching videos anyway.)
The handset sports a 3.2 mp fixed-focus camera without flash; you get average-quality pictures in brightly lit conditions. Under low light, pictures contain too much noise. The tipo dual records 480p videos at 16 fps. Clips are saved in MP4 format; here's a sample video.
Telephony, Messaging, Battery Life, And Verdict
Since this is a dual-SIM dual standby device, the tipo dual offers extensive SIM management settings. You can assign a particular SIM for voice, data, or messaging, or choose a default SIM. If you travel a lot and use two operators to avoid roaming, you'll find the physical SIM switch button (near the volume rocker) quite handy. Coming to messaging, typing on such a small screen is quite painful. When you're replying to an SMS or email, landscape mode keyboard works best.
The tipo dual's 1500 mAh battery lasts for three back-to-back Hollywood flicks, which is very good. Under normal use, it can get you through a regular working day.
The tipo dual is priced at around Rs 10,000. It comes with a great design, sturdy build, dual-SIM functionality, and impressive sound quality. The camera and video playback could have been better, though. Overall, the tipo dual is a good dual-SIM Android phone for the price. Those who need at least a 3.5" screen have plenty of cheaper options, including the Intex Aqua 4.0.
Design And Build Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
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