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Sony Xperia Tipo is no typo, has dual-SIM Ice Cream Sandwich

The Sony Xperia Tipo sports the latest version of Android and lets you use two SIM cards at once. Better yet, it won't cost the Earth.

No, it's not a typo -- Sony's latest budget Android phone is called the Xperia Tipo. It's a 3.2-inch smart phone that packs the latest Ice Cream Sandwich software and can take two SIM cards at once for all the network switching you could want.

I'm reliably informed by Sony that Tipo actually is pronounced "typo", which makes it the funniest phone name since the Huawei D Quad (don't say that too fast in polite company).

The Typo -- sorry, Tipo -- is available in both single and dual-SIM options, although the dual version is arguably more interesting to shout about.

Having two SIM cards stuffed in your phone means you can be simultaneously using two tariffs and therefore two numbers. If -- like me -- you often find yourself carrying two phones around (one for business, one for pleasure) a dual-SIM phone would allow you to take all calls from the same device and subsequently leave you more space in your pockets for sweets.

The Tipo proffers a 3.2-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 320x480 pixels. That's very small these days -- especially compared to goliaths of the phone world such as the 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S3 -- but it's due to arrive with a particularly low price tag, so you can't expect an enormous HD screen. Hopefully it will be bright and sharp enough to cope with the basics.

It's launching with the latest version of Android on board, known as Ice Cream Sandwich. That's a welcome touch, given there are still new phones coming out running the older Gingerbread software, which I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see on a budget model like this.

Sony has added a few bits of its own software to the mix including Walkman software for music, and Sony Entertainment Network to give you access to games and videos -- whether these are at all helpful remains to be seen when we get one in for review.

It's running on a single-core 800MHz processor, which really doesn't offer much grunt for intense tasks like multi-tab browsing or playing the latest games, but it should be able to cope with the basics -- email, social networking and so on.

The phone itself is a pretty little chap, measuring only 100mm long and 57mm wide. It's light too, at a notch under 100g, so you shouldn't struggle to slide it into your jeans. Around the back is a low-end 3.2-megapixel snapper and inside the phone you'll find a microSD card slot to enable you to boost the meagre 2.5GB of usable storage. If you want some colour in your life then you'll be pleased to know that it's available in red, white, blue and black colour options.

There's sadly no official word on pricing, but it's aimed squarely at the budget end of the market, so expect it to be available for free on contracts around the £15 per month mark. The dual-SIM option is likely to be slightly pricier, but we'll have to wait and see how cheap it's going to be when it launches in the autumn.

What do you make of the Tipo? Do you fancy a budget-minded Xperia or would you rather save up and opt for the high-end Xperia S? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.