Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Not only is it Sony Ericsson's slimmest and sexiest handset yet, it offers a stunning wide-screen display and an excellent camera.

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Editor's Review of the Xperia arc

Reviewed by on 19th March 2011

Its title as the world's thinnest smartphone may have been short-lived, but the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc still delivers the latest version of Google's OS within its super-sleek chassis. It's definitely one of Sony Ericsson's sexiest handsets to date, but can it compete with the incoming wave of dual-core and 3D display smartphones?

Design & Build

The sleek design of the Xperia arc is one of the handset's selling points, its sculpted curved back and glossy metal bezel offering a high-end improvement on last year's Xperia X10. At just 8.7mm thick at its skinniest point the handset sits nicely in the hand, and its plastic casing keeps it light at just 117g.

The biggest treat is the arc's 4.2-inch Reality Display, boasting a sharp resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. It may not be quite on par with the iPhone 4's Retina Display, but with Sony's Bravia Engine image-processing tech onboard, the handset delivers optimal colour and brightness on the cinematic screen. For the clumsy ones amongst you, Sony Ericsson has also protected its impressive display with a shatter proof cover and scratch-resistant glass.

When it comes to its build, the only downfall of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is its single-core 1GHz CPU, failing to match up with the incoming wave of dual-core smartphones. Still, it feels quick while flicking through homescreens, and the arc gave no signs of slowing down while running multiple apps.

OS & Interface

Sony Ericsson may have fallen behind the pack with the Eclair-toting Xperia X10, but the Xperia arc comes with Google's Gingerbread goodness baked-in.

The Android 2.3 handset arrives dressed in Sony Ericsson's custom TimeScape UI, which just as promised, isn't as intrusive as previous efforts. The scaled back interface is much more easy to navigate, and we're happy to see that the UI's social-networking has been refreshed as a widget, enabling you to swipe through your recent Facebook and Twitter widgets. There's also a host of new customization options, enabling you to stack up your most used widgets for ease of access.

Multimedia & Storage

The arc boasts an 8.1-megapxiel rear-facing camera with LED flash, alongside a host of advanced settings including face detection and image contrast. However, the real headline-grabbed is the snapper's Emor R technology, which offers a better quality of shows in low light conditions. The back-illuminated sensor does just what is promises, and should be ideal for those late night Facebook shots in dingy pub surroundings.

The camera is also capable of recording 720p footage, which proved just as impressive as capturing stills. With Android onboard, video can be zipped off straight to YouTube, or viewed on your HDTV using the handsets mini-HDMI port.

If gaming is more your thing, this HDMI port can also be used to mirror everything you do on the phone, so get yourself ready for some wide-screen Angry Birds action. Although not available at present, Sony's PlayStation Suite will also be heading to the Xperia arc, offering a catalogue of enhanced PSOne titles for your mobile gaming pleasure.

Everything Else

The web browser on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is a massive step-up from the manufacturer's previous efforts. The Android browser keeps up with the handset's speedy HSDPA and WiFi connections, and its multi-touch gestures worked effortlessly on the 4.2-inch screen. There's Adobe Flash support built-in too, which doesn't seem to slow things down.

With all these features onboard, it's nice to see a hefty battery to go with it. The Xperia arc packs a 1500mAh effort under the hood, promising up to 7 hours of talk time and 430 hours on standby.

Conclusion

While the term has been used before, it seems the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc really is the ultimate mix of fashion and functionality. The handset combines its super-sleek curves with Android brains, making the handset almost difficult to criticise. It's a mammoth improvement on last year's Xperia X10 so if you're after a big-screened Android with a host of media smarts, you'll struggle to find one as good as good as this.

Review model provided by Clove

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Find out more about the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc at sonymobile.com



Sony Ericsson Xperia arc News

Xperia Play supplies could run out, confirms Sony Ericsson

By on March 18th, 2011
Xperia Play supplies could run out, confirms Sony Ericsson

Damage caused by the Japanese earthquake could affect supplies of the Xperia Play and Xperia arc, Sony Ericsson has confirmed. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Xperia arc are tipped to hit the UK on March 21st and March 31st respectively, although the London-based manufacturer has revealed that supplies of its Android flagships is likely […]

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Vodafone releases Android 2.3.3 to Xperia Arc and Play customers

By on June 3rd, 2011
Vodafone releases Android 2.3.3 to Xperia Arc and Play customers

Vodafone has released Android 2.3.3 to its Xperia Arc and Xperia Play customers, equipping the handset’s with Facebook Inside Xperia integration. Just one week after Sony Ericsson made the update available, Vodafone UK has confirmed that it’s now available for Arc and Play users. Once installed, users can look forward to getting to grips with Sony […]

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Video: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc gets previewed

By on January 24th, 2011
Video: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc gets previewed

Thanks to the Android bloggers over at HDBlog.it, we’ve been treated to our first full preview of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. The 10 minute long preview features both Black and Silver models of the Gingerbread-equipped handset, which the bloggers tear apart in its first thorough preview. They demonstrate the “very different” Android 2.3 OS, […]

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Video: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc camera improvements

By on January 18th, 2011
Video: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc camera improvements

It seems Sony Ericsson has made a real effort to boost the camera on its upcoming Xperia arc handset, so much so, they’ve captured it on video. Following its CES unveiling, Sony Ericsson are keen to prolong the hype surrounding it’s upcoming Android 2.3 smartphone. A post on the company’s official blog details some of the […]

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Three UK to stock the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

By on February 2nd, 2011
Three UK to stock the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Three UK has confirmed it will be stocking the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, just hours after Vodafone announced its support. Speaking on its official blog, Three revealed that the Xperia Arc is “coming soon”, and will be available on the network’s all-you- can-eat One Plan. As the only network to offer truly unlimited data, this offer […]

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Sony Ericsson: “Entire 2011 Xperia portfolio getting Ice Cream Sandwich”

By on November 15th, 2011
Sony Ericsson: “Entire 2011 Xperia portfolio getting Ice Cream Sandwich”

Sony Ericsson has officially confirmed that Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will be coming its 2011 Xperia portfolio. Back in September, SoMobile exclusively revealed – having spoken to a Sony Ericsson representative at a London event – that all of the firm’s 2011 Xperia smartphones came with support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Sony Ericsson has now […]

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Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Specifications

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Size

125mm x 63mm x 8.7mm

Weight

117 grams

Display

Full capacitive touch screen

Type: TFT LCD

Scratch resistant

Size: 4.2 inches

Resolution: 480 x 854

Input

Keyboard: On-screen

Operating System

Android 2.3

Interface: Timescape UI


Storage

Storage

Internal: 512MB

External: microSD up to 32GB

Included: 8GB microSD card

Miscellaneous

CPU: 1GHz

A-GPS with maps

Internet

Internet

Data Protocols

3G, HSDPA

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

Connectivity

Connectivity

Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack

Data: Standard microUSB

Quad Band

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 2.1

A2DP for wireless stereo headsets

Camera

Camera

8.1 megapixel camera

Auto Focus and LED Flash

720p Video Recording

At 30 fps

Face Detection

Front facing camera with video calling

Social

Social

Social Networking Features

Twitter and Facebook Widgets

Email Access

Power

Power

Battery Capacity: 1500 mAh

Talk Time: 420 minutes

Standby Time: 430 hours

Multimedia

Multimedia

Radio: FM with RDS

Audio supported formats

Playback: MP3, eAAC+, WMA, WAV

Recording: Supported

Video supported formats

Playback: MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV

Recording: Supported



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