By April 26, 2011

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc review

Arc-mainWe first saw the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc back in February of this year at an event held in London on the same day as the main announcement at MWC in Barcelona.

Sony Ericsson announced a number of new handsets back them and they are now starting to find their way in to stores here in the UK. Just last week we reviewed the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play and we’re pretty impressed with it’s performance and the Playstation gaming features.

Now it’s over to me to complete my review of the XPERIA Arc. Many of you will know that I’ve had an Arc for some time and have done a number of videos and demos of the Arc in action. However, I’ve only had the final retail version of the Arc for a short time. It’s been our policy for a while now to only write the review once we have the final hardware and ROM build as things can and do change otherwise.

Sony Ericsson have crammed the Arc with some great technology such as the Bravia Mobile Engine and also an Exmor R sensor in the camera. So does this stack up to make a great smartphone or are we looking at just another Android slab?

Read on to see!

 

The 10 Second review:

  • Device: Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc
  • Price: around £412
  • Summary: An incredible thin smartphone with awesome 4.2″ display and superb Exmor R camera
  • Best of: quality TFT screen and Exmor R camera
  • Worst of: small and awkward power and camera buttons
  • Buy it now from: Clove Technology (SIM-Free) or Three.co.uk on contract from
  • Also consider: HTC Sensation

 

What’s in the box?

  • Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc handset
  • Mains charger
  • Battery
  • Warranty Card and Getting Started guide
  • MicroHDMI to HDMI cable
  • Wired Headset
  • MicroUSB sync/charge cable

 

See also XPERIA Arc Demo videoXPERIA Arc feature demo and XPERIA Arc unboxing video

 

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc specification:

  • Operating system: Google Android
  • Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255
  • Size: 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm
  • Weight: 117 grams
  • Available colours: Midnight Blue, Misty Silver
  • Main screen: Colours 16,777,216 colour TFT, Resolution 854 x 480 pixels, Size (diagonal) 4.2 inches, Scratch-resistant Yes – Shatter proof sheet on mineral glass
  • Input mechanisms: Text input On-screen QWERTY keyboard, Touch screen Capacitive (multi-touch), Touch gesture Yes – multi-touch
  • Motion sensor: Acceleromoter
  • Memory: Phone memory Up to 512 MB, Memory card support microSDT, up to 32 GB
  • Camera: Camera resolution 8.1 megapixel, Smart zoom Up to 2.46x
  • Photo flash: LED
  • Video recording: HD 720p
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • eCompass
  • GSM GPRS Up to 86 kbps
  • GSM EDGE Up to 237 kbps
  • UMTS HSPA cat 6 (upload) Up to 5.8 Mbps
  • UMTS HSPA cat 8 (download) Up to 7.2 Mbps
  • Talk time (GSM) 6 hours 55 min
  • Standby time (GSM) 430 hours
  • Talk time (UMTS) 7 hours
  • Standby time (UMTS) 400 hours
  • Music listening time 31 hours
  • Video playback time 7 hours 25 min
  • Battery: 1500 mAh

 

 

General

As with most phones these days the dominating feature of the front is the 4.2″ touch screen display. This is of the slightly larger 480×854 variety so offers a little bit more real estate over the other WVGA models out there.

Above the screen is a loudspeaker for calls and light sensor. To the left there is also an indicator LED. This flashes when you have new emails or missed calls etc.

Under the screen are three buttons; Back, Home and Menu. These are physical rather than touch-sensitive.

Arc-front

 

Looking to the top of the handset you’ll find a small round power button. In practice this proved to be a bit small and awkward for my large hands and its placement, for some reason, required a little bit of getting used to.

Next to that is the micro-HDMI connector which is covered by a neat captive flap to help keep the dust out.

Arc-top

 

Not a great deal to see on the bottom of this handset. A couple of small holes to allow for the attachment of a phone charge or lanyard and also the main microphone are found here.

Arc-bottom

 

The left side simply has a 3.5mm headphone/headset connector placed close to the top of the unit.

From a side-on view you can see just how slim the Arc is and how much of a curve has been added to the back. There is also a nice chrome effect band running around the edge.

Arc-left

 

On the right, at the bottom, is a small (read TINY) dedicated camera button. This is the two stage press kind with a ‘half press’ to focus and full press to take the shot. Holding down the button also launches the camera app.

Towards the top is the obligatory volume control rocker and above that the Mirco-USB connector. This is the extended kind, hence being square, and allows for faster-than-normal USB charging with the correct power supply. Just above the MicroUSB is a tiny LED to indicate charge status.

Arc-right

 

On the back you’ll find the 8 megapixel camera and LED flash. The camera has an Exmor R sensor the same as typically found on Sony’s digital compacts.

The back cover itself is plastic and has an interesting colour fade paint scheme, that goes from midnight blue to silver blue at the bottom. The back cover peels off quite easily but feels a bit flimsy when removed. Underneath you’ll find a MicroSDHC memory card socket, SIM card slot and battery cavity.

Arc-angled-back

There is also a small hole on the back for a second microphone. This is used when recording video with the camera and being on the back does mean that it faces the subject being recorded.

Arc-back

 

 

Highlights:

  • Excellent screen powered by Bravia technology
  • Great performance
  • Lightweight whilst retaining robust feel
  • Camera quality and speed

 

Lowlights:

  • Battery life isn’t brilliant
  • No forward-facing camera
  • Tiny power button, awkwardly placed
  • Calendar support, not great for enterprise

 

Arc-angled-left

Review

When I first heard about the upcoming Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc it had been billed by many as the replacement for last years X10. Having not been a huge fan of the X10 and with so many complaints about the X10’s being left behind when it came to updates to later version of Android the Arc did not initially thrill me. Just another slab-phone was the thing that came to mind and on paper at least there wasn’t much to wow me.

Now if you’ve watch some of the videos I recorded of the Arc in action (links can be found above) then you’ll have heard me raving about the screen. It may surprise you to hear that have been speaking so positively about a screen where the display is just a ‘normal’ LCD, not S-LCD or AMOLED. Sony Ericsson have clearly put a lot of work in to the display on the Arc. It’s both bright and colourful and pin-sharp. Just watch a video on the Arc and you’ll be amazed. I was when I first saw it those few months ago.

Much of this is down to the ‘Reality Display’ which makes use of Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine, yep the same kind of technology that Sony uses in its big-screen TV’s. The other thing that makes a huge difference to the display is that there is no gap between the LCD panel and the outer glass and touchscreen. This means there should be less reflection as there are fewer surfaces for the light reflect off. In practice this makes a HUGE difference. Even in direct sunlight, yes we”ve had some recently, you can still read the display quite clearly. It may not be as high-res as the iPhone 4 or as the up coming HTC Sensation but the screen on the Arc is the best I have seen for watching video.

Oh and there’s proper multi-touch support on the Arc too.

direct-sun

The Arc screen in direct sunlight

 

The other stand-out feature of the Arc is the camera. Whilst it may have the same pixel count, at 8 megapixels, as the X10 and a number of other smartphones on the market we all know that the pixel count of the sensor isn’t a good way to measure the camera quality. The XPERIA Arc has an Exmor R sensor, the same as found in Sony’s Cyber-shot cameras. The Exmor R sensor is designed to be more sensitive to light and can therefore work faster and deliver images with far less grain and noise which is particularly noticeable in low-light conditions.

This sounds impressive and the reality is that the Arc delivers some of the best photos I have ever seen from a camera phone. Not only that but the speed with which it is able to take a photo is really impressive. We’ll look at the camera and some sample photos later on in the review.

 

The Arc ships with Android 2.3.2 Gingerbread and Sony Ericsson have also told us that they did learn a lot from the X10 and will ensure that the Arc has frequent updates as new versions of Android become available. The widgets and Timescape theming on the Arc sit over the OS in a way that makes it much easier for the developers to roll out updates.

 

At 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc is not a tiny handset by any means but that’s the price you have to pay for a 4.2″ screen handset. There could have perhaps been some size-savings as the areas above and below the screen are pretty large but there’s very little in the way of bezel on the sides of the display.

The curved back does make the handset feel great in the hand and adds to the visual interest of the handset. However, there’s one thing that does rather annoy me about Sony Ericsson’s claims over the size of the handset; the 8.7mm measurement of the thickness is measured at the thinnest point in the middle of the handset, where the device tapers out top and bottom the thickness is around 10mm. Not the end of the world perhaps but where all other manufacturers measure and quote the thickness at the widest point SE have done the opposite and that feels a bit deliberately misleading.

The Arc has to be one of the lightest handsets around at the moment (taking in to account the screen size) at only 117 grams. Now sometimes being really lightweight can have its drawbacks. Take for example the Galaxy S. That was a great handset in terms of spec. but it was so light and plastic we felt it a bit lacking in the build quality department. The Arc doesn’t suffer the same fate, 117 grams may be light but it feels so much better built and far less creaky.

 

The last thing on the hardware front (for now) is the physical buttons below the screen. Many Android devices now have 4 buttons under the display and they are generally capacitive touch-sensitive buttons which can easily be backlit. The Arc’s physical buttons are chrome and not backlit. Instead they have a small gap between buttons where a white LED shines through to help you find the buttons. These LED’s are excessively bright and shine out like a pair of eyes when you have the phone in a really dark environment. Far too distracting for my liking and as the LED’s only come on once you’ve pressed a button they seem a bit pointless. What a shame they cannot be disabled.

Brightlight

Bright LED’s next to the buttons

As with other Android devices, when you power up the XPERIA Arc for the first time it does take a while to start but once up and running you are presented with a wizard to take you through the basics of configuring your new phone. I’m jumping ahead a bit here but I want to mention that the Arc takes quite a long time to power up EVERY time you turn it on. The first few times I switched the phone off and back on there was a moment of holding my breath as I thought it had hard-reset itself. It hadn’t of course, it just takes a few minutes to start up.

Setup1 Setup2 Setup3 Setup4 Setup5

The first screen tells you all about applications and connections with a detailed explanation of each. It then moves on to the keyboard and how that works. The third page gives an explanation of Timescape whist the fourth allows you to import contacts from your SIM, setup a Wi-Fi network and then either sign in to or create a Google account. Finally the fifth screen confirms the setup and tells you how/where you can ‘learn more’.

This setup wizard may not be as detailed as the one you’ll find on HTC phones but does cover most of the basics. I’d say the main thing missing from the wizard is email configuration. This isn’t a big problem but it does seem like a pretty obvious thing to include. I suspect that most will skip the setup and either configure things manually for themselves or else come back to it at a later date.

Settings About

Settings and ‘About’ screens

 

The homescreen on the Arc is made up of a total of 5 pages. The main of ‘home’ one being in the centre with two additional pages on either side. Those users that are partial to adding widgets to their homescreens may find only 5 pages a bit limiting where other handsets have 7 or more avaialable.

Home1 Home2 Home3 Home4 Home5

The default set up, after a hard reset or the first boot, can be seen above. From left to right they are:

  1. WiFi, Bluetooth, Sound and Backlight controls, 4 individual widgets. Then below, a small ‘data traffic’ widget that allows you to turn of data, particularly useful when roaming.
  2. Blank page for you to add your own widgets.
  3. The middle, ‘home’ screen has Google search bar complete with voice search option followed by the Timescape control/refresh bar and then the Timescape feed. More on this later.
  4. Fourth page has media controls for audio playback, gallery widget in the middle which shows all of your photos and video then a shortcut bar at the bottom allowing you to go in to Music, Photos or Video. There is also a shortcut here to the BBC iPlayer app which we’ll also look at later.
  5. Finally, the fifth page has a digital clock with date and then a tips/help widget.

At the bottom of every screen there are 5 on-screen buttons for Media, Messaging, the Launcher button (brings up all the apps), contacts and phone.

Of course this is just the default setup of the homescreen. You can add and remove shortcuts and widgets to your hearts content. Fortunately SE give you an awful lot to choose from, more than your average Android handset. To customise it’s simply a case of pressing and holding a blank portion of the screen to add something new or else pressing and holding an existing item in order to remove.

Not so long ago HTC added the ‘overview’ view to their homescreens. HTC call this Leap. What this allows you to do is see each page of the homescreen to see what widgets are running there. Sony Ericsson have taken this a step further. Rather than have a small thumbnail of each panel of the homescreen the overview on the Arc works a little differently. When you pinch with two fingers on the homescreen all of the widgets move around and get a bit smaller so that they fit on one page. Shortcuts are hidden in this view but you get to see an overview of all the utilised widgets. Tapping on any one of them takes you to the page where that Widget lives.

I’m not sure how useful the overview is but it certainly looks cool!

Overview

Overview

 

The default list of apps is quite extensive with two and a half pages of icons. Most of these are pretty standard, there are apps for email, web browser, google maps etc. There are a couple of not so ordinary apps pre-installed too and there’s the ‘Lets Golf!’ game to look at too.

Apps1 Apps2 Apps3

 

One thing that’s billed as unique to the Arc, is that you can re-order the apps and even create folders. You have the choice to see your apps in alphabetical order, which is the default, or sort by most used or recently added. But on top of this ordering you can also move the apps to where you want them simply by pressing the four squares button in the bottom right corner of the screen and then dragging the icon for the app where ever you want it.

I believe that the Samsung Galaxy S2 will have a similar mechanism to arrange icons but as yet I’m not aware of any other Android phone that allows this?

AppsArrange AppsMove

 

The phone dialler is pretty straightforward if a little bland. Large numeric keys on the screen coupled with a sensitive touchscreen mean dialling a number is a synch. Along the bottom you’ll find access to the call log, contacts and a list of favourite numbers. Nothing spectacular but simple enough.

Dialler

 

Email

Email may seems like a pretty boring or ordinary subject, the email app on most Android phones is virtually the same. To a degree that’s also true of the email client on the Arc. It starts of pretty basic, you add your email accounts be it POP, IMAP or Exchange and you can add multiples of each.

Accounts can then be viewed either individually or, my preference, you can see them in a consolidated fashion. In the consolidated view each message has a small coloured bar on the left of it to denote which account it belongs to. Only thing I wish here is that I could change the colours used, I don’t know that you can?

The biggest difference where email is concerned and a HUGE plus feature for me is the preview pane that SE have added to the inbox view. Just as with your regular desktop email client you can scroll through a list of emails on the left side of the display and the tap on one to see the message on the right. Of course you can still view the message full screen too but this preview pane makes email triage a lot easier.

The preview pane can be added in either landscape mode or BOTH landscape and portrait mode but not just portrait. In portrait mode the preview appears above the messages.

I think this is a fab feature and really does make good use of the larger display. This is also unique to the XPERIA Arc.

Email-combined Email_pane

 

Calendar

The Calendar on the XPERIA Arc is quite a disappointment. The implementation is quite basic with a month, week and day view. By default it wont synchronise with your Exchange server when you configure your email accounts and instead wants to be set up separately. You can have multiple calendars though.

There is a simple Calendar widget but this is small and only shows the first up coming appointment rather then an agenda or weekly view that some may find more useful.

If you are the sort of person that utilises calendars at work for lots of meetings etc. you may well find yourself heading to Android Market to find a better solution. Perhaps I am being overly critical but with other handsets that we have reviewed recently having really excellent calendar integration the Arc seems a bit lacking in that department.

Calendar1

Keyboard

Text entry on the XPERIA Arc is entirely via an on-screen QWERTY keyboard. It’s not quite the standard Android keyboard but very close to it which is a good thing as the Android QWERTY keyboards work really well.

However if you want something other than a regular QWERTY then it is again going to be a case of heading off to find some third-party app. as there’s no compact or 20-key QWERTY and no phonepad style keyboard available. I know that both of these entry methods remain popular so find it a little odd that SE isn’t include them.

keyboard-port keyboard-land

You may also notice from the screenshots above that the small microphone icon isn’t present on the keyboard as voice to text isn’t supported here either.

All that said the QWERTY works just fine and I would Imagine that 90% of users will be happy with that.

 

Internet

With its 4.2″ display, and the extra width that the 854 pixels gives you in landscape orientation the XPERIA Arc is a great handset for web browsing. There aren’t many handsets out there with larger screens, a few 4.3″ exist, but there are fewer still that offer the 480 x 854 pixel resolution seen here on the Arc.  As I’ve said a few times in the past, for me 3.7″ seems to be about right for me personally , I don’t want to carry a larger handset. That said, the Arc manages to cram the 4.2″ display in a footprint that isn’t a great deal larger than the iPhone 4. It’s a matter of personal preference but if you want an Android phones that offers a good screen for web browsing then at the moment it would be hard to beat the XPERIA Arc and the only handset I can think of right now that would be a challenger is the HTC Sensation.

The ‘standard’ Webkit browser on the Arc does a decent job. There is little to separate the browsers seen on most Androids these days, it mostly comes down to the screen and then RAM and CPU speed for the overall browsing experience. The Arc certainly seems snappy enough, loads and renders pages pretty quickly and efficiently.  When you first visit a site the page will initially scale to fit in the width of the screen so you can see the layout as it’s meant to be and it looks virtually the same as you would see on a desktop browser. You can then scroll around the screen looking for the content you want and, because the Arc supports multitouch where its X10 brothers did not, you can use two fingers to pinch-to-zoom wherever you want or double tap to zoom to a specific portion of the page.

Naturally the browser also makes use of the built in accelerometer so will rotate the display to suit whenever you rotate the device allowing you to easily switch between portrait and landscape browsing. There is very little lag when rotating.

The Arc’s browser also supports Flash and you can install the latest version 10.2 so you’ll be able to use your favourite Flash based sites or even play Flash based games.

 BrowserPort BrowserLand

 

Social Networking

Timescape was first introduced on the X10 and X10 minis last year and I think it’s fair to say it had some mixed reviews. Timescape comes in two parts. First of all there is a homescreen widget that displays activity in a kind of rolodex fashion. Both Twitter and Facebook accounts are supported and you can use either or both. Timescape will also show text messages in its timeline.

Initially you have to sign in to Twitter or Facebook to have them appear in the stream, after that they automatically update. One thing to be cautious of once again is how much data this could be using. While these are just status updates if you have them running day and night you could start eating through data rather quickly so this might be something you want to monitor.

The second aspect of Timescape is the app. This has a similar look to the widget in that the timeline appears as a series of cards. However in the app view it’s also possible to filter the timeline to show just Twitter, just Facebook or just SMS messages. Tapping on an individual item once will make it larger so that you can see the full message/update and tapping again will open up either Twitter or Facebook in the browser. It’s a shame that it doesn’t integrate with a Twitter or Facebook client to do this though.

timescape-widg timescape1 timescape2 Timescape3 timescape4

Timescape isn’t really my cup of tea, I don’t need to see status updates and tweets in real time on the homescreen of my phone, they are something of a distraction but I know that many people do like this feature. Timescape would be better if you could add multiple Twitter accounts too as at the moment you are limited to just one.

If you don’t want to use Timescape then you can remove the widget from the homescreen with no bother but there’s no other Twitter client pre-installed so off to the Android Market again!

 

GPS & Navigation

As with every Android handset you’ll find Google maps here on the Arc and there’s nothing special about it’s implementation here. Two finger zooming is supported and now you can use two fingers to rotate the display as well.

There’s street view and satellite views too or you can layer them together. 

map1 map2 nav nav1

Google Maps does provide for directions and this maybe enough for some people as it plots routes from point A to point B for either car, public transport or walking routes. I often use Google Maps when in London to find my way to various meetings. It’s nice and easy to use.

GPS technology has been improving steadily over the past few years. I remember a time when finding a GPS signal was a hit or miss affair and you had to stand still in one place and be quite patient for a GPS fix and you could forget about getting a fix indoors!

This was particularly frustrating when you got in to a built up city, such as London, where the GPS was often lost having been blocked out by the ‘urban canyons’.

If you want turn-by-turn navigation there is a creatively named app: Navigation. It’s actually a Google thing that works really well. You can chose between walking and driving routes, avoid tolls etc. It also allows you to set you destination from your contact list or speak the destination. It provides voice-guidance and a 3D map view of where you are going. It may not quite rival the paid-for applications that one can buy but for an inclusive application or for anyone that only needs to use navigation occasionally it is very capable.

 

Android Market

Android Market is pretty much the same on every Android device, there’s very little if indeed and variation and the same is true of the Arc. You’ll need to set up a Google account in order to access the Market, you need an account whether or not you want to buy anything through the store.

market1 market2

 

BBC iPlayer app.

The BBC iPlayer app came pre-installed on our review model and although this is freely available through Android Market it’s the first time that I’d had the opportunity to try it on Android.

The app itself works extremely well and offers the same sort of features as you would find on the iPhone or desktop equivalent with

Over WiFi the video streams and begins playing really quickly, certainly within seconds. I was able to watch a whole 30 minute show without any stutters in playback. Over a 3G network it’s a different matter but will obviously be very much dependent upon the coverage you get from your particular carrier. However if you want to start streaming video over 3G you’re either going to want to make sure you have an unlimited data plan or else expect some seriously high bills!

The actual quality of the video is great and certainly very watchable on the 4.2" screen and I suspect that the main reason that Sony Ericsson have chosen to preinstall is to help showcase the video aspect.

 iPlayer1 iplayer2

 

Camera

As I have mentioned already, the XPERIA Arc utilises one of Sony’s Exmor R sensors, the same kind that they use in their Cyber-shot cameras so it’s perhaps not a big surprise to learn that it performs really well.

Exmor technology utilises more of the light that falls on to the sensor and as a result works better than a normal CMOS sensor in low-light conditions. This also means that it can react far more quickly in normal lighting conditions. This difference here is quite noticeable, as there is just the slightest pause between pressing the camera button and the photo actually being taken. This also allows you to take many shots in very quick succession.

One thing good about the Arc is that is has a dedicated camera button on the side of the handset which is one thing sadly lacking from so many phones these days, I find it so awkward to press the screen to take a photo where a button would be far more intuitive. However if you like touching the screen to use the camera you can still do so. The dedicated camera button is pretty tiny though and I found it quite fiddly.

 

The camera interface itself is decent, has controls to change all of the settings you could hope for such as flash, self-timer, scene selection and resolution. Here you can also switch between still and video recording modes.

CameraInterface

CameraInterface2

Photos can be taken in four resolution settings. 8MP 4:3 aspect, 6MP 16:9, 2MP 4:3 and 2MP 16:9.  You can see the difference in the two highest 8MP and 6MP modes below but there’s nothing between them in terms of quality.

These sample photos were taken on a sunny day and as you can see the colours are really vivid. The quality is excellent and the detail, especially on the grass and trees is fabulous.

DSC_0001 DSC_0005

Here below you can see a sample photo taken of a rose bush, I choose this subject as greens can be tricky for some digital cameras to get right. However the Arc does a great job once again.

DSC_0007

Here we have a couple of macro shots again doing a great job with both focusing and colour rendering.

DSC_0009 DSC_0010

And finally we have a shot of the Arc box taken in really low light. Whilst there is some grain and noise in the image it’s not by any means excessive and the fact that the camera was able to focus and capture in such low-light is impressive and demonstrates what the Exmor R sensor is capable of.

DSC_0013

  

LiveWare

LiveWare is a useful feature and not one that I’d seen before. It allows you to set a specific action to perform when you plug in the charger, wired headset or headphones. So, for example you could set it to open the media player when you plug you headphones in or maybe you want it to launch Skype when you plug in your headset.  

Liveware

 

HDMI out

The XPERIA Arc has a micro-HDMI connector right on top next to the headphone socket. Micro-HDMI cables can be hard to find so it’s certainly a good thing that SE have included one in the box with the Arc.

Once you plug the HDMI cable in the Arc automatically turns the HDMI-out mode on, there’s no need to enter in to settings.

HDMI-out is full display mirroring so literally everything you see on the Arc screen can be seen on the TV or projector you are connected to. This is great for doing presentations or for showing off your photos/videos. The good thing is that it even works with the BBC iPlayer so you can watch TV on the, er, TV!

DSC_0044

DSC_0039 DSC_0040

DSC_0042 DSC_0043

 

Benchmark

The Arc may not be a fully paid-up member of the dual-core CPU club and 512MB of RAM sounds a little limited now that there are so many shipping with 768MB but the 1GHz Snapdragon CPU is no slouch. Benchmarking isn’t something we’ve done much in the past but having used the Arc for the past few weeks I was that impressed with the performance in day-to-day tasks I decided to run it through a couple of cycles on Quadrant. The average scores are impressive and can be found below. We’ll continue to benchmark in future too.

Benchmark

 

 Down

 

 

 

Conclusion

Overall the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc is a good smartphone for those wanting a device with a larger screen and needing good all round video and camera performance. Video playback and taking photos is what this phone does best, and frankly better than almost every other smartphone out there. SE have done well to cram the 4.2″ display in to a reasonably compact body and to keep the weight down. Until the Arc I though that anything over 4″ was too big for a mobile but the Arc has proven to me that the right design can make all the difference.

I don’t think this would be a good phone for business/enterprise users the limited calendar support is a frustration, especially when you consider the effort put in to the changes to the email client. 

If you prefer a more naked Android experience then chances are the Arc isn’t for you and perhaps the Nexus S would be a better bet.

On paper the Arc CPU and RAM may not seem spectacular but in reality the performance is really very good and just goes to show that sometimes the numbers themselves can be deceiving.

It’s a thumbs up from me for the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc!

 

Review by: Matt

Post Tags: [Sony Ericsson, XPERIA Arc, demo video, MWC, tracyandmatt.co.uk, android]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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