Sony Xperia tipo Review

Introduction and Design

Sony isn’t as shy to go downmarket with Android as HTC used to be, and the Xperia tipo is a proud proof of that strategy. Codenamed as the Tapioca (we wish they kept the edible name), this is the first truly entry level Android from the Japanese.

The company is said to launch a boatload of sub-$200 Androids like the Xperia tipo in the first half of next year, so it should keep us occupied reviewing them for the foreseeable future. If we take the tipo as evidence for what the entry level onslaught will be, has Sony managed to cram enough specs and wrap them up well not to count just on the brand to sell? Read on our review to find out…


The Xperia tipo has a waterfall frontal design, with the bottom part of the screen seamlessly cascading into the bezel underneath, where the Xperia logo stays loud and proud. No NXT design with fancy illuminated strips here, but the phone’s chubby physique with tapered edges of the back is very comfortable to hold and operate with one hand.

You can compare the Sony Xperia tipo with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The build quality is good, and the soft touch plastic on the rear adds a bit more premium feeling than the price warrants. The volume rocker on the right is a bit too thin, but with adequate tactile feedback, whereas the power/lock key at the top is thankfully situated on the left, so you just have to stretch your index finger a bit from your usual holding position to reach it.

The three capacitive navigational buttons underneath the display light up in white when you unlock the phone, indicating their place well in the dark. There is also a nice little LED notification dot up right, which glows with different colors depending on whether you have a missed call/message, or the phone is fully charged, for example.


The 3.2” screen comes is sufficiently bright for outside viewing, and shows good color representation. The meager 320x480 pixels of resolution, eking out 180ppi pixel density, are however normal for its category and price, and you are likely not going to be reading articles on the smallish screen for hours on end anyway.

The only apparent flaw with the screen is the upper vertical viewing angle, where colors and contrast deteriorate rapidly with the slightest tilt of the handset. Also, there is no oleophobic coating, so the screen smudges easily.

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