Review: Sony Ericsson Experia Arc

The Xperia Arc is Sony Ericsson’s centrepiece in their smartphone line-up. The 4.2” display is encased in a sexy thin and light body and is one impressive piece of...

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

The Xperia Arc is Sony Ericsson’s centrepiece in their smartphone line-up. The 4.2” display is encased in a sexy thin and light body and is one impressive piece of engineering. Powered by Android 2.3.2 (Gingerbread), the Xperia Arc is valid competitor in today’s smartphone market.

The Arc feels good in your hand and while photos show off how thin it is, the weight can’t be under-rated. While I’ve never found an iPhone4 to be heavy (137 grams), the weight difference is noticeable. Connectivity is another strong point of the Xperia arc, with HDMI out and Micro USB, as well as all your standard wireless tech. Having a standard USB cable that plugs into a wall charger is also appreciated.

The camera may well be 8.1 Megapixels and record 720p video, I wasn’t blown away by the end result. While it may not be the best on the market, its solid and owners of the Arc can share online sans embarrassment. The physical camera button is positioned in an awkward position and didn’t feel as natural as it could have. Still smart phones are about device convergence, and the Xperia Arc will save you carrying a dedicated camera for day-to-day use.

The on-screen keyboard of the Arc is solid and with the large display, it is pretty easy to type on. When mistakes inevitably happen, placing the cursor between the characters and modifying text is a simple task.

The Arc integrates accounts solidly. Naturally Google is supported well, but Facebook is equally well catered for. Just enter your account details and your contact list and photo library grow to support Facebook. Your Facebook friend updates are surfaced on the front page with Timescape. A sliding tile UI that encompasses Facebook, Twitter, text messages and emails, surfacing the latest info. During my time with the Arc, I found this a very useful widget, my only wish was that it supported more sizes.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Timescape

Specifications

Dimensions: 125.0 × 63.0 × 8.7 mm
Weight: 117.0 grams
Display: 4.2” TFT, 854×480 pixels
Storage: 1GB internal, microSD card slot supports up to 32GB
Camera: 8.1 Megapixel (720p video recording, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus)
Connectivity: HDMI, Micro USB, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS

iPhone4 vs Xperia Arc vs Xperia Play

Google Android OS

The Xperia Arc is powered by Android 2.3.2, this is .2 releases away from the most recent version of Android. No word on whether the Xperia Arc will receive either 2.3.4 or Ice cream sandwich, as with all Android updates, its very much wait and see. Installing apps via https://market.android.com/ and having them pushed wirelessly to the phone was a great experience and frankly should be available for all smartphones OS’s. If only we could arrange our home screen icons on the desktop as well, think I’d rather touch my eyeball with a hot needle.

Gallery

Overall
The Xperia Arc is a very, very solid entrant to the hotly contested smart phone war. The market leader is the iPhone4 and as yet there is still no screen or camera on the market that beats it. That said I enjoyed my time with the Xperia Arc and would be happy using it as my personal phone, if only I wasn’t hundreds of dollars invested in iOS apps.

When you think of smart phones, Sony Ericsson probably doesn’t immediately jump to mind, but now with the Xperia Arc on the market, I suggest it should. A solid job Sony, my only suggestion now is to drop the Ericsson name, it continues to remind me of the traditional 1-line displays from Ericsson in the 90’s.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.