Sony Xperia Tipo: Do good things really come in small packages?

The new Sony Xperia Tipo is teeny weeny, coming in at just 103mm x 57 x 13. But it also has a budget to match. So just what do you get for just over £100?

Well, a pretty decent package actually. For around £130, Sony is offering its customers a 800MHZ single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 2.5GB of internal storage, a 3.2-inch display, Android 4.0 and a camera with 3.2 megapixels.

The Tipo is aimed at the same market as Samsung’s Galaxy Y and the LG Optimus L3.

Although it is at the budget end of the market, the Tipo looks pricier than it is. Design-wise, its inwardly curving edges give the Tipo a refreshingly different feel to chunkier models.

While white phones can get grubby quickly, Sony says it has coated its Tipo in what it calls “premium rubber”, which means it should wipe clean with a damp cloth, even if you’ve stained it with ink.

Aimed at those who like their technology on the small side, the Tipo would be difficult to use for those with chunky fingers. Everything comes in miniature. Weighing just under 100g, it definitely won’t weigh you down too much.

Designed in a minimalist style, the Tipo has just three touch keys underneath its 3.2inch display. The speaker grill is the only addition to the front of the handset but the simplicity is one of its charms.

Its 800MHz processor gives a pleasingly smooth user experience, which means you can easily sweep through Sony’s five home screens along with its app lists and menus.

The Tipo’s use of Android 4.0 is also impressive at this size and this price range. Sony has also included a couple of nifty additions including a battery life extender called Power Save and an app called LiveWare which lets you configure chosen apps to start immediately when you plug in your headphones, charger or headset.

With Power Save, you can set your handset to close down certain functions like Wi-Fi or vibrate to help get more battery life from your phone.

The Xperia Tipo also sports Sony’s popular xLoud technology, which increases the volume of the music by up to a third when you play it out of the rear speaker, so this handset could prove popular with the teen market whose parents don’t want to fork out too much on a phone that could be stolen or damaged while youngsters get to share their music with their friends.

There are, however, some downsides to owning such a small phone. A mini handset inevitably means a small screen, which makes reading web pages and watching video somewhat problematic.

Getting to grips with the keyboard can also be difficult, with it being all too easy to hit the wrong keys. But, turning the Tipo to landscape offers you a better spaced board, making it easier to type.

All in all, the Tipo offers a good value deal for those with tiny hands, and pockets to match. Sony’s branding of the handset with the already popular Xperia name is also a clever marketing tool and should attract customers loyal to the tech giant’s other offerings on the smartphone market.

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