Sony Ericsson is one of those mobile phone manufacturers that has completely reinvented itself by using Android as a software platform. It has had a few decent hits like the Xperia X10 and the Xperia X10 Mini, and of course the long awaited Xperia Play, the PlayStation phone.
In this review, I will check out the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, the successor to the popular Xperia X10. It is a very stylish and capable phone which runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and comes with an 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. It is powered by a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and comes with 512 MB RAM. It has everything you might need in a smartphone, including a gorgeous display.
- Dimensions: 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm
- Weight: 117 gms
- Display: 4.2 inch capacitive touchscreen display, 480 x 854 pixels
- OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255
- RAM: 512 MB RAM
- Graphics: Adreno 205 GPU
- Camera: 8 MP camera, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 720p video recording
- Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- GPS: GPS transceiver with A-GPS
- Radio: FM radio with RDS
- Battery: 1500 mAh Li-Po battery
Design and Display (5 out of 5)
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is one of the most stylish Android devices I have seen. It is extremely slim at just 8.7 mm at the center and has a curved design. The dimensions are 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm and it weighs just 117 gms. To put that in perspective it is slimmer and lighter than an iPhone 4.
It has an LED backlit LCD display which is huge at 4.2 inches. It has a display resolution of 480 x 854 pixels and has superb display quality. The brightness of the display is just perfect, but the contrast isn’t as good as Super AMOLED displays, like the one in the Samsung Galaxy S.
Below the display, there are the three standard keys - Back, Home and Menu. On the left side of the Xperia Arc, there is the audio jack, and on the top, there is the power key and the microHDMI out. On the right, there is the microUSB port, a volume rocker and a camera key. On the back, there is the 8 MP camera, the LED flash and the battery compartment.
The build quality is quite good, and the phone is very pocketable.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc comes with the latest version of the Android OS - Android 2.3 Gingerbread. So far, it is officially available only on the Google Nexus S, but in a month, all the new devices launched will be running Android 2.3. It is much better than the previous versions and comes with a custom UI shell by Sony Ericsson, which is an upgraded version of the one that comes bundled with the Xperia X10.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc comes with a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 512 MB RAM. It also has an Adreno 205 GPU. Combine the three and you get flawless, super fast performance. A large part of the performance increase can also be attributed to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It also performs very well on most benchmarks.
Multimedia (5 out of 5)
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc comes with an 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. It can capture images at 3264 x 2448 pixels and can also record videos at 720p. The image capture quality is excellent, probably the best in the current breed of Android phones. It has an excellent user interface which offers access to every setting you might have heard of. The camera capture quality comes quite close to the Nokia N8. The video quality is also very good, at 720p resolution and 30 FPS. It also has a stereo FM radio with RDS.
Connectivity (5 out of 5)
The Xperia Arc comes with all the standard connectivity options - it has GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n as well as Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP.
It has a GPS transceiver with A-GPS and Google Maps. It also has a standard 1500 mAh Li-Po battery. It comes with the Webkit based browser which is one of the best mobile browsers around.
The Verdict (5 out of 5)
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is one of the best Android phones on the market. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and comes with powerful hardware and an excellent camera. Compared to the other Android heavyweights like the LG Optimus 2X, it doesn’t have a dual core processor, but it still offers great performance.
I would definitely recommend it. Check out the list of the best new Android phones in 2011 for some other ideas.