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.


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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Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Specifications

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc


125mm x 63mm x 8.7mm


117 grams


Full capacitive touch screen


Scratch resistant

Size: 4.2 inches

Resolution: 480 x 854


Keyboard: On-screen

Operating System

Android 2.3

Interface: Timescape UI



Internal: 512MB

External: microSD up to 32GB

Included: 8GB microSD card



A-GPS with maps



Data Protocols



Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n



Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack

Data: Standard microUSB

Quad Band

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900



Bluetooth 2.1

A2DP for wireless stereo headsets



8.1 megapixel camera

Auto Focus and LED Flash

720p Video Recording

At 30 fps

Face Detection

Front facing camera with video calling



Social Networking Features

Twitter and Facebook Widgets

Email Access



Battery Capacity: 1500 mAh

Talk Time: 420 minutes

Standby Time: 430 hours



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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