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The Real Reviews team chanced upon Digambar at Megha Sales in the G 65 Link Square Mall off Linking Road in Bandra late Friday night. He was about to make a major life decision that we all have to make every two years or so – which phone to buy based on our perceived needs.

Previously a Samsung Ace user, Digambar had to give up the phone because of its poor internal memory and slow performance. So he was pretty clear about what he was looking for – a budget phone that would be upgradable so that it wouldn’t become redundant anytime soon. A phone that has great internal memory and can provide a great multimedia experience. And a phone that fulfills his work requirements and enables him to be active on social networks.

Digambar chose the Sony Experia Tipo at a cost of Rs. 9,500 because it comes preloaded with the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has a strong internal memory of 2.5 GB. This entry-level Experia smart phone has a single core 800 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and a 3.2-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels.

One of the biggest drawbacks of mobile phone shopping is that there is no way to try out the phone that you’re about to purchase. This is especially infuriating as phones get more expensive and choice grows almost daily. It’s funny that mobile phone companies try so hard to steal customers from their competitors but nobody’s yet thought of addressing this ridiculous issue that can enable consumers to brand-hop more confidently instead of sticking with the tried and tested.

Video Review: A buyer's hands-on review of the Sony Experia tipo

So what do we do? We rely on the experiences of our friends, coworkers and family to decide which phone is suitable for us. It’s ironic that in a field where technology is growing at such a fast pace, the purchase decision-making process is still dependent on the most traditional of means – word-of-mouth.

Not surprisingly, Digambar’s pre-purchase research mostly consisted of checking out online reviews. He was comfortable making a switch from Samsung to Sony because he had recently tried out his friend’s Sony phone.

As Real Reviews grows, we hope to provide our readers with a repository of videos where consumers narrate their personal user experiences with mobile phones. To help us build this database and feature in a Real Reviews video/blog post, please email