Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Review
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia 10 paved the way for their Android phones, but left a lot to be desired. The Xperia Arc promises to deliver a better product with updated software and more processing power on the inside and a great design on the outside.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a joy to behold. It is sleek, slim and stylish. Measuring 125 x 63mm it is smaller than the HTD Desire HD but with the same gorgeous 4.2 inch screen. At its thinnest point (the design in profile is slightly wider at the top and bottom) it measures a tiny 8.7mm and only weighs 117g making it extremely lightweight to carry in your pocket. Another design feature is the slightly curved bottom edge.
Mimicking this curved form are the three physical buttons – Home, Back, and Menu – beneath the large display. In addition the Xperia Arc has a very small recessed power button, which can prove a little fiddly, and a covered HDMI output along the top edge. On the left spine you will find the 3.5mm headphone jack and the right hand side houses the volume rocker switch, micro-USB port and a dedicated camera button.
The 4.2 inch screen has a resolution of 480 x 854 and benefits from Sony Ericsson’s Reality Display technology which ensures sharp and bright images. It certainly rivals the Super AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S. The Xperia Arc’s screen can be viewed easily in direct sunlight and it is very sensitive to touch.
On the inside the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is powered by a 1GHz single core processor with 512RAM which ensures a fast and fluid operation. There is 320MB internal storage which can be expanded by up to 32GB with a microSD card.
The Xperia Arc runs on Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread OS with Sony Ericsson adding a few of their own extra features. There are 5 Homescreens which can be filled with app icons and widgets and customised to suit the user.
Your contacts list can be easily managed and customised to include nicknames, notes and more. There are also a number of ways you can choose to sort your contacts and if you have linked a contact to a Facebook account their latest update will appear below their details.
Call quality on the Xperia Arc was very good and it retained its signal well.
If you want to send text messages the keyboard of the Xperia Arc is pretty basic. There are no symbols or alternative keys on the letter keys so to use any numbers or other symbols you need to switch to another screen. There is also no SWYPE feature and predictive text was slow and inconsistent.
When it comes to browsing the web the Xperia Arc uses the pure Android browser which is simple to use and supports FLASH, however despite the 1GHz processing power of the Arc web pages rich in video content can be slow to load. Web pages viewed on the Arc’s screen appear crisp and bright. There is a text reflow features but it only works if you double tap the screen to zoom in.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is equipped with an impressive 8 megapixel Exmor R sensor capable of capturing shots at a resolution of 3264 x 2448. Photos are saved in JPEG format. The flash works well and shots taken in low-light are good. There is a macro mode allowing you to get closer to the subject to take the shot and a text mode so you can successfully take pictures of documents. Overall the images captured are good quality. Shots taken outdoors were bright and clear.
The Xperia Arc can also record video at 720p and saves files in MP4 format. There is a continuous autofocus feature whilst recording videos and an image stabilisation feature which minimises wobble. In general the video quality is good but there is the occasional stutter and some blurring can occur when filming moving subjects. It does record sound beautifully, copes well with changes in light levels and refocuses quickly.
The 1500mAh battery of the Xperia Arc can last up to two days with light use, but the large screen requires a lot of juice so if you use your Arc for much gaming, web browsing or watching video stream it is unlikely the battery will last the whole day.
Sony Xperia Arc Price
The Xperia Arc is available from around £399 on a Pay as you Go deal.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a lot of phone. Its excellent screen is clear, vibrant and responsive. The user experience is fluid and easy to use and the camera produced good quality still shots and video.