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Sony Xperia Tipo - Specs, OS and Verdict

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis



Our Score:


Sony Xperia Tipo Specs

The Sony Xperia Tipo specification is quite modest. It uses a single core 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which is teamed up with 512MB of Ram. It's certainly not the fastest phone we've used, but nor is it dreadfully slow. However, its benchmarks results didn’t exactly knock our socks off. It took 3710.1ms to complete the Sunspider test, while in Browsermark it clawed its way to a score of 50881, and Linpack reported that it reached 30.507Mflops. It's gaming performance actually isn’t that bad by budget standards, something which was reflected in the fact that it managed to deliver 25fps in the Egyptian Classic test in GL Benchmark.

When it comes to storage the phone has just 2.9GB or space built in. However, only around 2.2GB of this is available for storing your own apps and files. That's not an awful lot, as you're likely to burn through it quite quickly once you start taking lots of photos and load up your own music tracks and video files. However, the handset does have a microSD card slot which can take cards of up to 32GB in size.

Sony Xperia Tipo OS

The Sony Xperia Tipo runs on the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, which isn’t the latest version as it's now been superseded by Jelly Bean. Nevertheless, Ice Cream Sandwich is much more recent than the Gingerbread version that many other handsets around the £100 mark tend to use.

Sony has added its own launcher over the top of Android, but it still retains most of the core Ice Cream Sandwich features. For example, when you press and hold the home button a series of thumbnails pop up showing recently used applications and tapping on one of these instantly takes you back to the app. You can also swipe notifications sideway to get rid of them and also set data usage warnings so the phone monitors how much mobile data you're using and notifies you when you're getting close to the limit of your allowance.

Sony's own skin isn’t massively different from the standard Android layout, although the graphics have a distinct Sony flavour. There are some neat effects too. For example, when you put the phone into lock mode the screen folds in on itself and then into a thin line of bright white light like an old analogue TV turning off. The app drawer is also organised as a sideways scrolling list and a button on the bottom lets you reorganise the order of apps alphabetically, by most used or recently installed. Alternatively you can just arrange them in your own particular order.

Sony has added a few useful widgets such as the Top Contacts one which automatically populates itself with the four people that you most often communicate with. You get apps for Sony's own Music Unlimited music store as well the PlayNow store -- which complements Google's own Play Store -- and offers games, apps and wallpapers to buy and download. There's also a neat radio app for controlling the onboard FM tuner. It includes a TrackID button so if you hear a song on the radio and want to know what its called you can just hit this button and the phone use an online database to work out what track it is.

Sony Xperia Tipo ST21i

Call quality was a bit mixed. The earpiece delivers good quality audio, but the mic is a bit overly directional so if you hold the phone in slightly the wrong place callers may struggle to make out what you're saying. Battery life was very good though, no doubt helped by the small screen and modest processor. We found we could easily get more than a full day out of it before it needed a recharge.

Sony Xperia Tipo Verdict

The fact that the Sony Xperia Tipo is so small and moderately priced will attract many. It's also a bonus that it runs the relatively recent Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android. However, the small and low resolution screen makes it fiddly to use for everything bar the basics and the fact remains that the Huawei Ascend G300 offers a much better all round package for a similar price.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


November 8, 2012, 3:07 pm

You need to be bolder in your criticism. This is a big-brand smartphone hiding obsolete technology. It is not a good medium-term investment and seems designed to trap people into being so dissatisfied that they upgrade after a year or two.

A weak, out-of-date idea of what 'budget' means and another symptom of the problem some handset vendors have grasping that Android is moving away from this model.

Adam Mark Steven James

December 30, 2012, 7:24 am

Sony Xperia Tipo are the best all time smartphones, GPS & others

David Griffin

January 2, 2013, 12:41 pm

You didn't mention the possibility of this being a teenager's phone.
It's an affordable way to get your small typing fingered youngster a smart phone without breaking the bank. And not everyone judges everything against the best kit on the market.
So far my daughter is thrilled with her Tipo and I'm not unimpressed myself.


January 17, 2013, 9:56 am

htc wildfire s and sony tipo which one better???


February 8, 2013, 5:30 pm

whut's wrong with tipo? the camera is still nice and i don't find anything bad about it, it's just small. it's good as 2nd phone

Adam Lavery

March 8, 2013, 2:52 am

After having my Sony Xperia tipo for only three weeks, I can say that I was thoroughly satisfied with all of the phone's abilities and features until the screen stopped working as it was meant to. I can't use the keyboard in either landscape or portrait mode without having to shift one to the other in order to use all the keys, while some keys (to switch OFF the keyboard, for instance) won't work in either mode. It's even getting to the point where the slide to activate the phone in either phone or camera mode takes seven or eight swipes to have it register. Don't ask me about it starting and quitting apps without me pressing anything, either.
I'd love this phone... if it worked the way it did out of the box... for more than, say, a year, instead of two and a half weeks.


April 1, 2013, 10:38 am

You do have warranty, don't you? If so, why won't you RMA it? It comes with a 24-months warranty (at least in Poland).

Hannah moore

April 14, 2013, 10:34 pm

its good for the price :)


July 3, 2013, 6:55 am

i think according to cost in india tipo is best......

Rhema Rosy Anil

July 21, 2013, 12:37 pm

It's worthless. I bought this phone in december and it worked completely fine for a month. Then it's touch started getting very bad and now texting and what's apping has become such a big headache and it takes forever because of the really slow touch.


August 23, 2013, 4:52 pm

Some days ago my wife was given a new, Sony Xperia Tipo, by a working colleague. she has an iphone 5 and I have Galaxy S III. Before I got the Tipo up and running, I checked out Google and came across the Trusted Reviews, well, review. The TR review didn't have a lot of praise for the Tipo.

I've been using the S III for quite some time. Although it's one of the best smart phones out there and performs very well, I've always found it awkward to hold and didn't care for its flimsy design. I was always in fear of dropping it. To me its size and design made it impractical. Quite frankly I wish I had never bought it.

After getting the Tipo set up, I wasn't expecting much, but since using it for the last few days, I've been surprisingly pleased. The "low" screen resolution is quite adequate and pleasing. The Koi live wallpaper fish are happily swimming around and are quite vivid. I have all of the same aps that I had on the Galaxy and they all respond well. I have made and received phone calls and the sound hasn't been "iffy", but quite good. The sound emanating from the Tipo while watching Live Station or hearing the ring tone, is in my opinion, better than the Galaxy III.

I found the camera to be quite adequate and of far better picture quality than those shown in the TR review. Neither have I noticed any of the "blur" mentioned in the review. Messaging in the first place sucks on any phone and more so on the Tipo, because of the tiny keyboard. So, I use one of those rubber tipped pens used on tablets.

All in all a nifty little phone phone that is responsive and practical, at least for me. Some may call it a teenager's phone, but I'm 66 years old and like it. I don't need to impress others with my phone. As for the Galaxy III, my wife has taken it over, as she's always had her eye on it and is quite a bit younger than I am.

Mike Mu

October 12, 2013, 8:32 pm

For me, the touch screen is too sensitive. It doesn't respond when I touch and does respond when I don't think I touched any bottom. I will probably return this phone.


October 22, 2013, 8:41 am

i am going to buy sony tipo r else nokia lumia 520 which is good


December 25, 2013, 7:23 pm

I am a couple of years older than you. I also have a Galaxy S4 and an Xperia Tipo. I agree on all you say, and I can add that the sound on Tipo is even better that on the S4. Furthermore, the S4 is a battery hog, no matter what the specifications say and very bad in week signal areas; not so with Tipo, the battery lasts and it even works better than most other phones on that week signal areas (same carrier).

Mike Mu

February 27, 2014, 2:56 am

After installing patch to fix the problem, the touch screen got normal! Now I found that it works with google voice input, I am completely satisfied with the small light-weighted phone. it works with bluetooth headphone, too.


April 22, 2014, 6:48 am

sony xpiria tipo water proof or not ?

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