Sony Xperia Tipo ST21i Review

Sony Xperia Tipo ST21i Review

Sony Xperia Tipo is the latest entry level android smartphone from sony. Sony Xperia Tipo comes with 3.2 inches screen, single core CPU, android ICS 4.0.4 right out of the box. In this article we’re going to review Sony Xperia Tipo ST21i /ST21a. Is it worth to buy Xperia Tipo? what about the performance? will this budget phone runs HD/3D games?

You might wonder what is the different between the ST21i and the ST21a? the different is on network type other that it’s all the same. There’s also the dual sim card version, the tipo dual ST21i2/ ST21a2. This review apply for all version of tipo.


I must say the design of sony xperia tipo is quite good, i really like the curve shape of this phone. Sony xperia tipo is small and compact phone, it fits well on my pocket. When you hold in your hands, it feels comfortable.

The build quality of sony xperia tipo is quite good even though this phone is made entirely of plastic materials. The small dimension and the use of plastic materials makes this phone feels very light.

Sony Xperia Tipo
Height 103 mm
Width 57 mm
Thickness 13 mm
Weight 99.4 grams

Sony xperia tipo measures 103 mm of height, 57 mm of width, and 13 mm of thickness. If you look at some of the pictures on web, you might think sony xperia tipo is a fat phone, well you’re wrong…this phone is not that fat, trust me.

Sony xperia tipo available in four different colours, classic black, classic white, deep red and navy blue. I personally love the blue one, blue is my favorite colour by the way :mrgreen: .


Sony xperia tipo has a 3.2 inches capacitive display, resolution 320 x 480 pixels. Xperia tipo only has 180 ppi of pixel density which makes the display not so bright (but it’s brighter than samsung galaxy mini).

One good thing about the display, it’s already equipped with anti scratch glass, called mineral glass. So you don’t have to worry that the screen will gets ugly scratch marks. But don’t push it too hard because this display is not strong as gorilla glass.

Sony Xperia Tipo
Screen size 3.2 inches
Screen type TFT LCD capacitive
Screen resolution 320 x 480 pixels
Pixel density 180 ppi
Colour 256K colours
Protection mineral glass anti scratch


Sony xperia tipo comes with 800 mhz single core Qualcomm snapdragon CPU (S1). It’s a cortex A5 chip (ARMv7) with Qualcomm MSM7225AA chipset. The graphics of sony xperia tipo is adreno 200 GPU (the enhanced version). Sony xperia tipo equipped with 512 MB of RAM and 2.15 GB user available internal memory (ROM), there’s also 754 MB of phone memory.

Yes, the hardware of sony xperia tipo are not so powerful, but remember this is a low end, budget android smartphone. But what about the gaming performance of sony xperia tipo? can it play HD games? well surprisingly sony xperia tipo is capable of playing HD games.

HD games like six guns, dead space, shadowgun, brother in arms 2, final fantasy 3, need for speed shift could be play on xperia tipo. Those games may not play 100% smoothly, sometimes i experience lag situation, but it is consider playable on xperia tipo.

For music playback, sony xperia tipo is really good, using built in speaker the sound is amazing. Sony xperia tipo has a xLoud technology which makes the sound louder when plugged to speakers or headphones. The sound quality is trully the key point of sony xperia tipo.

For video playback, don’t expect to play HD video/movie on this phone, remember this is a budget phone. There’s no way you can play HD 720p/1080p movie on xperia tipo, except using software rendering, like MX video player (S/W decoder).


Sony xperia tipo comes with android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) right out of the box. There’s not so many options for budget phone with ICS, other brands are still using gingerbread for low end phones. Even some high/mid-end phones are still using gingerbread these days.

On the ICS, you will get the sony’s Timescape UI, where you can get your facebook account integrated with the phone (facebook inside xperia). You can update facebook status and get notifications from inside the phone.

You can also synchronize your google and facebook account with the phone, so that for example the picture on your facebook or google plus will be accessible on the phone gallery, as if it was store locally on the phone (this called cloud computing, i think).

This features could be very useful for some people, but it could also become annoying for others. I personally think this feature is annoying, but remember you can always turn off this features any time.

Some software that already installed on xperia tipo are neoreader, astro file manager, office suite, whatsapp, trackid, live wire manager, appXtra, playnow. You could uninstall those software, if you don’t need them.


The camera on sony xperia tipo is not very good, it’s 3.15 mega pixels with no LED flash and autofocus. The photo quality is okay if you shooting outdoor during the day. But for indoor photo shooting the picture becomes terrible. The camera definitely one of the weakness of this phone.

Sony Xperia Tipo
Rear camera 3.15 mega pixels
LED flash no
Video record VGA resolution at 30 fps
Front camera no

There’s no front facing camera on sony xperia tipo, so you can’t make video calls using this phone. The back camera could record 480p (VGA) resolution video at 30 frame per second. There are four camera modes or scenes, night scene, beach and snow, sports and off(no scene).


Since the hardware of sony xperia tipo is not so powerful, it’s only scores 2670 points on antutu benchmark and 1418 points on quadrant standard benchmark. For GPU test, using Nenamark 1, sony xperia tipo gets 51.9 fps. And using Nenamark 2, tipo gets 15.8 fps, amazingly above SE xperia play and HTC desire.

Sony Xperia Tipo
Antutu Benchmark 2670 points
Quadrant Standard Benchmark 1418 points
Nenamark 1 Benchmark 51.9 fps
Nenamark 2 Benchmark 15.8 fps


Sony Xperia Tipo small and stylish hassle free phone, that’s what they said. I kinda agree with that, it is a hassle free phone. Very convenient to carry because sony xperia tipo is small and compact, fits well on the pocket.

And also sony xperia tipo is a really good music phone, for music quality it’s equal with SE live with walkman. This phone also capable of playing both 2D and 3D games. Some of the game that we test such as six guns, dead space, shadowgun, brother in arms 2, final fantasy 3, and NFS shift.

There’s other review (CNET i think) that saying this phone is really bad, unstable, laggy, etc, well they’re absolutely wrong. It’s because they’re reviewing the prototype version of sony xperia tipo which is totally different from the release or final version.

For those who are looking android phone for the first time, sony xperia tipo is a good choice. It has better hardware and OS compared with other competitors like samsung galaxy young, galaxy pocket, LG optimus L3.

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33 Responses to Sony Xperia Tipo ST21i Review

  1. shridhar kesharwani says:

    i want to about sony xperia tipo file manager & its very hard touch

  2. Shahul says:


    • paresh says:

      sony xperia tipo its a very slow phone. some times it take more time in simple function i.e. call . i will not recommended any one for tipo.

  3. jb says:

    great and fantastic phone in low budget
    sony did a a great job

  4. Jeeshan says:

    There is any touch problem ?

  5. mimicat says:

    Can you install Adobe Air on this phone?

  6. Asad Khan says:

    Can any one tell me where is the file manager in this phone

  7. Sathish says:


  8. VivekRaj A P says:

    Very Good review and true too…….They are many good things like I am now able to view HD videos of Youtube in its large screen, i can play videos online which requires flash players in PC, 2GB internal memory which allows me to install a lot of apps and many more……………………………. but few minor defects that i have noticed are…
    1) There is no “Automatic answering” option in Bluetooth settings or in some connectivity settings.
    2) Can’t play high end videos (HD videos) downloaded through Tubemate.
    3) There is no equalizer changing options. we can only use the default predefined options like “Normal”, “HipHop” etc…,If we want to define a new equalizer, it is not possible.
    4)Gets slow down occasionally.
    5) Calendar is not so good. Setting a remainder iteslf seems to be difficult.
    But for 9500 phone, this is ok. I m enjoying my first smart phone………….

  9. THIRU says:

    My first android Phone. I like features which present in it. But Camera clarity, video recording not as much as good. And also there is no front camera for making video call. But model of the phone and colour i like it and the sony xperia i can’t forget because i got mobile as a gift from my loved one………..

  10. Kaustubh says:

    Can any1 plz tel me he 2 download & save music & videos on tipo???

  11. Kaustubh says:

    Cn u plz tel me hw 2 download & save music & videos on tipo???

  12. Tejas says:

    i have xperia tipo …no problem in touch or any thing

  13. Aditya says:

    Does xperia tipo dual is capable of playing HD games? if yes from where i can install them.

  14. Manikandan says:

    Sony tipo ST2i single sim

    I bought it on dec 25,2012 in poorvika.
    First 2 weeks no problem everything was fine.

    Sony tipo have one main problem.
    After, Touch respond very very slow. sometime not working, sometime mismatch gestures.
    I tried with TouchFWTool.apk installation also. prblem fine few days and again creates old problem, not completly solved.

    My suggestion please dont buy this model.


    All the most it is a very good phone but suddenly the android system stops and signal goes off for a while. and camera was clear to some extend for 4 months but now it became worse and i don’t know how to gain back the initial clarity back atleast.

  16. pavainandhan says:

    some times downloading gets failed.n its nt working properly…i dunno y it is??????????

  17. satya says:

    I’m using ST21I. It’s good and worth enough. No touch issues. The only drawback I noticed is the camera clarity. Samsung galaxy’s camera is far better than this. Surprisingly that’s for 5500/- and this is for 8500/-.

    • saswata chakraborty says:

      every smart phone has some drawbacks..even iPhone5,Samsung galaxy s3 and even Nokia lumia 920 u can’t expect everything better..but anyway the camera is not so bad comparing to some phone in this price range..and overall this phone is the best in this price range..I bet u won’t get any better phone at this price..I specialy luv the audio sound quality..its just awesome..I am proud to be an xperian.Sony is the best.

  18. meeee says:

    i canant send any sms from my ST21i pls explain………

  19. paresh says:

    My sony tipo phone is too slow in most of the time. i already clear unused all app from my internal memory balance space is 470 MB. please give me some solution how to increase my tipo phone speed.

  20. Daniel Lima says:

    Just bought one Sony Experia Duos ST21i2 brand new out of box at an authorised retailer here in Angola (called AOC)
    VERY, VERY Slow: specially the touch… very hard to type…
    Then I installed the automatic update and new OS version (from 4.04 to 4.04.2 or something…)
    Still same problem… VERY VERY Slow touch.
    Tried the factory reset…
    Same problem….
    After reading some forums I believe I may have been sold a “prototype” inside a final version box…
    Donno… this is Africa… anything can happen…but is weird. AOC are the biggest retailer here for mobile phones and they give 1year guarantee…
    Gonna try tomorrow to exchange the phone at the store for a different model….

  21. Raffi says:

    My Sony tipo dual sim is very satisfactory, but I don’t know why it can’t run “Viber” application for making calls & sending IM. can anyone help?

  22. saswata chakraborty says:

    I have been using xperia tipo for 1month..and I have never faced any kind of problems..itz the best smart phone in the market.obviously in itz price range..I have a suggestion for those who keep on blaming about xperia tipo..if u really think u will get a better smart phone in this price,u can try once..then u will understand the difference..& itz very easy to blame..but first u need to learn how to use smartphone properly.then only u can use it without any problem..& if u want 100% result in this price range then stop using smartphone & get a landphone..LOL!!! I am proud to be an xperian.

  23. sohan says:

    I am still using this phone for 4month,,
    I am not facing any problem with my tipo dual,
    now I am still play hd game like mc4 zero hour,mc3 fallen nation,sixguns,nfs mw,iron man3,dead trigger,contract killer2,,,,

  24. NightScar says:

    Hey dude,nice review. But tipo doesnt lag. I am using tipo

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