Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Overview

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Review

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a slimmed down handset that seeks to bring the technology of the Sony Bravia TV Engine to the warm confines of your pocket. Featuring Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Xperia Arc is the crown jewel of Sony Ericsson handsets, with a price to reflect that station.

The Arc will run about £430 when purchased SIM-free, and close to £30 to £40 per month on a contract.

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A Guide to The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

The Xperia Arc may not be the most powerful smartphone on the market, but its brilliant display makes it one of the best. The 4.2 inch screen is an LED backlit TFT LCD display. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S and Google Nexus which employ a blinding AMOLED tech, the Xperia Arc offers softer, clearer, more accurate colours. Extremely sharp for its size, the 480 x 854 pixel resolution comes just short of matching the iPhone 4's retina display.

The display is made possible using the image-processing technology utilised by the Sony Bravia Engine. According to Sony Ericsson, the technology optimises colour, contrast, and sharpness while reducing interference and noise. On the Arc's stunning display screen, the engine helps smooth streaming video using the phone's YouTube app, although results weren't as impressive when viewing YouTube videos through the browser.

From an aesthetic perspective, the wide screen and thin bezel eliminate the sight of pesky black bars and truly make the videos float in your hand. This contrasts a bit with the chrome buttons underneath, but even those are slim enough not to be noticeable. Overall, the chassis of the Xperia Arc is extremely sleek, measuring 4.9 × 2.5 × 0.34 inches and weighing only 4.1 ounces. This is in large part to its plastic casing, which provides lightness at the expense of durability. To compensate for this, the Arc's screen has been forged with a scratch-resistant mineral glass and a shatter-preventive cover.

One of the Arc's other striking features is the 8.1-megapixel camera with face detection and image stabilising features. The LED flash helps illuminate photos in dark rooms, and the touchscreen photo button makes it easy to snap great pictures with a single tap. As for video recording, the Arc can capture life in 720p HD. The camera features a built in feature that attempts to smooth out videos, but at the cost of detail and sharpness. Videos can be viewed on a big screen TV through its mini-HDMI port.

The Xperia Arc comes complete with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the latest version of the operating system. In order to keep up with Android updates, Sony Ericsson took a minimalistic approach to its proprietary TimeScape overlay. The social networking app, for instance, has been reintroduced as a widget, allowing users to swipe through animated piles of social media updates. Tapping a status update will forward you to their respective website, and much of the interplay between apps and TimeScape is faster and more streamlined in the new software.

If there is a downside to the Xperia Arc, it's that its hardware may quickly go from high end to dated given the rush of dual-core handsets ready for the market this year. The single core 1 GHz Scorpion processor may not be ideal for those looking to multi-task or play graphically intense games. Furthermore, the battery life of the Xperia Arc is fairly modest, requiring multiple charges per day for consumers who use the more energy intensive features like watching videos, browsing Google Maps, or web surfing.

Features and Specifications

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM 8255 Scorpion processor
  • Adreno 205 GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • Up to 32GB on microSD memory card
  • 1500 mAh Li-Po battery
  • Dimensions: 4.9 × 2.5 × 0.34 inches
  • Weight: 4.1 oz
  • 8.1 megapixel camera with back illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Auto-focus, smile detection and facial recognition
  • 4.2-inch FWVGA "Reality Display" TFT LCD at 233 PPI with Mobile BRAVIA Engine
  • 480 x 854 pixel resolution
  • 3G support, HDMI, Bluetooth, microUSB 2.0
  • Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, Accelerometer sensor

After years lost in the doldrums of under performing handsets, Sony Ericsson has finally delivered with its Xperia series. The Xperia Arc, with its streamlined casing and Gingerbread operating system, matches up well with other top tier smartphones.

Where the Xperia specifically excels is its innovative display and high quality camera, powered respectively by the the Mobile Bravia Engine and the Exmor R CMOS camera sensor, making it more than just a handset, but rather a complete media device.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Deals

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc User Reviews

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