Sony Xperia tipo review: Mini just got bigger

GSMArena team, 21 September 2012.
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Unboxing the Xperia tipo

The retail box of the Sony Xperia tipo is quite small and covers just the basics - a USB connection cable and a charger. There isn't even a headset supplied, and no memory card either.

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The Sony Xperia tipo retail package

Sony Xperia tipo 360-degree view

Sony Xperia tipo measures 103x57x13 mm. That's a good centimeter and a half taller than the Sony Ericsson mini, but not as thick, and the slimness is further enhanced optically by the height of the phone. The compact smartphone weighs the perfectly comfortable 99 grams.

Design and build quality

The Xperia tipo is among the few in the new generation of Sony smartphones to bet on a soft, rounded design and beveled sides.

A very subtle chin is still visible (and tangible) on the front but the styling of the rear is somewhat surprisingly more like Samsung than the recent NXT line by Sony.

One important difference is that the tipo keeps the gloss to a healthy minimum - mostly around the chin - and opts for a matte finish at the rear.

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Sony Xperia tipo

It's probably the same plastic used on the Xperia go. It's fingerprint-resistant but maybe just a bit too coarse for comfort. It will feel strange to many people, but we can assure them they'll get used to it in a week or two. If nothing else, the peculiar finish allows an extra solid grip on the phone.

Now let's take a closer look at the Xperia tipo, shall we?

Above the screen is the earpiece, along with the proximity sensor. There's no front-facing camera or an ambient-light sensor here.

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The proximity sensor is next to the earpiece

Below the screen, there are three capacitive keys (Back, Home and Menu). You can enable haptics for them. The screen is slightly projecting over the phone's body, providing a tactile reference point. The resulting chin is made of glossy plastic that easily gets smudged.

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The trio of capacitive keys below the screen

The left side features the microUSB port near the bottom. It serves both data connections and charging.

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microUSB port on the left

On the right is the volume rocker and the lanyard eyelet. There's no camera shutter key, which isn't badly missed considering the Xperia tipo's fixed focus camera.

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The volume rocker is on the right

The top holds the power/lock key and the 3.5mm audio jack, while the bottom only has the microphone pinhole.

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The power key and the audio jack on top • the microphone on the bottom

On the back of the Sony Xperia go we find the 3MP camera lens at the top and the loudspeaker grille at the bottom.

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The camera lens and the speaker grille

Removing the back cover reveals the 1500 mAh battery, which is rated at up to 470 h of 2G stand-by or up to 545 h of 3G idling. Talk time stands at 5h (2G) and 4.5h (3G) - quite unimpressive but still it should be enough for a day or two usage.

The microSD slot and the SIM compartment are beneath the battery, so not hot swapping for the Xperia tipo.

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A peek under the back panel

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