My sister asked me to get her a new phone her requirements being a big screen, easy to use and a budget of 7-8K. She has never used a smartphone before and not a fan of full touchscreen phone, but I was able to convince her a big screen comes only with a touchscreen phone. I initially thought of getting her Karbonn or Micromax something not very costly but a small step into smartphones. Fortunately or Unfortunately the retail stores I went to didn’t paint a good picture of these two brands and the phones that were available were either too low end or somewhat over the budget. The next in line were HTC explorer (which was already owned by her son) and Sony Xperia Tipo ST21i (supposed to be at 9K).
So when I went into Sony Center and enquired the price, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the price as 8500 INR. Even though they didn’t have a live demo unit, I hesitantly agreed to get it. My sister’s son insisted Navy blue, so we went ahead and bought it. The box contained the phone, battery, a travel charger,standard earphones. and a screen protector and manuals.
The phone was made of plastic with a slightly matte like finish and it was pleasant and light to hold. The finish was quite good and easy to hold. The 3.2″ screen with a resolution of 320 x 480 was good to look at and quite sharp. The custom sony interface on Android 4.0 (ICS)was nice and intuitive to use. The 800 Mhz processor with 512 MB RAM kept the phone running without any lag. I wasn’t able to try any heavy games or browsing otherwise the phone ran smoothly with messaging, music etc. The sound was quite good and loud.
The 3.1 MP camera was ok for day time photography and there is no front facing camera. The connectivity options were covered by 3G, Wifi, USB, bluetooth. The phone came with 500 MB 3G data free per month for 3 months for Vodafone subscribers. The call quality was good but the onscreen QWERTY keyboard was cramped mainly due to the screen size and resolution but at this price point one couldn’t expect more than that. The battery was quite impressive as I was able to get almost 2 days but the data connectivity was off for most of the time.
So like my sister its a good phone from a reputed brand for first time smartphone buyers. The phone didn’t come with a micro SD card out of the box but it had 4 GB internal memory. And there is no Jellybean official update available.