Sony recently announced the Tipo and Tipo Dual to join its burgeoning range of Xperia Android phones. Unlike the Xperia S and Xperia Sola, these are not high end devices, and unlike the Xperia Miro do not come with extensive Facebook support. Instead, the two Tipo devices will carve out a niche for themselves in the budget smartphone market as two of the cheapest Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices available.
As you would expect for phones of this price, their hardware power is fairly limited. They have fairly small 3.2 inch touchscreens with 320 x 480 resolutions, which may sound small and lacking in detail, but this is the same resolution featured on the 4 inch screened LG Optimus L5 – a phone which will set you back a lot more money.
In terms of hardware the Tipo and Tipo Dual are almost identical, with one notable difference. As the name might suggest, the Tipo Dual comes with support for dual SIM cards. Dual SIM phones are ideal for people who need a separate number for their work and personal life, and are also great for people who spend a lot of time in another country.
Both phones run on an 800MHz processor with 512MB RAM, which is surprisingly not bad for running ICS. Users are supplied with 2.9GB of internal storage space to use, with 32GB available through microSD and plenty of entertainment features to enjoy. Along with good video and music support, the Tipo phones come with Stereo FM radio with RDS and lots of fun on offer from Google Play. Like Sony’s other recent Xperia phones, the Tipo and Tipo dual come with Sony Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited too.
The camera is perhaps where the Tipo and Tipo Dual are a little disappointing, as 3 megapixels and VGA video are probably lower quality than most people will be satisfied with. 5 megapixel cameras with 720p video are becomingly increasingly common in the smartphone mid-range, but it seems have not filtered their way down to the more affordable end of the market.
On a plus side, the Tipo handsets come with good 3G and Wi-Fi support, so connecting online is not a problem in most situations – provided that there is either a wireless network or 3G network available to you. Alternatively, they both come with GPRS and EDGE support, and can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices.
GPS is available, along with a decent amount of battery life. While the Tipo may not seem as impressive as the higher end Xperia S it should be remembered that it was not so long ago that many of the features present on the Tipo and Tipo Dual were restricted to the most expensive of smartphone devices. The phones are available in black, white, red and blue and for people who want a pocket friendly smartphone running the very latest version of Android, the Xperia Tipo phones offer the best value for money available.