Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc review: Android de Triumph
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc is back for a second round and this time it will stay a while longer. The company’s new flagship did great in our preview and we’d gladly have more of it.
The statement just couldn’t have been stronger and clearer. The new BRAVIA screen and the impressively slim and fit body are exactly the way to treat a flagship. Android Gingerbread too is as good as it gets in the smartphone world these days.
Just months ago that combination would’ve equaled a license to kill – which the Arc would’ve used without second thoughts. But the competition is insanely intense today and no one is given a second to think.
It takes more than a few outstanding features these days, and they’d better be backed by solid performance across the board. Omissions are not easily forgiven so the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc better stay focused.
- Quad-band GSM /GPRS/EDGE support
- 3G with 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
- 4.2" 16M-color capacitive LED-backlit LCD touchscreen of FWVGA resolution (480 x 854 pixels) with Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine
- Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread
- 1 GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 chipset
- 512 MB RAM
- 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and geotagging
- 720p video recording @ 30fps with continuous autofocus and stereo sound
- Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
- GPS with A-GPS
- microSD slot up to 32GB (8GB card included)
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
- Voice dialing
- Adobe Flash 10.2 support
- microHDMI port
- Ultra slim (8.7mm at its thinnest point)
- Display has poor viewing angles
- No front-facing camera
- Main competitors have dual-core CPUs and better GPUs
- No smart dialing
- microSD card slot is not hot-swappable
- Camera key isn’t particularly comfortable
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc is a sweeping update of the X10. A new generation chipset, more screen estate and a microHDMI port in a well done facelift make the Arc an easy pick even over a Gingerbread-powered XPERIA X10.
However, in-house competition is by far not the XPERIA Arc’s biggest problem. Competitors have moved so much forward over the past year or so that the question really is whether Sony Ericsson have managed to keep the pace.
LG and Samsung have already gone dual-core and got Full HD video recording, while Sony Ericsson – and HTC – are so far choosing to focus their efforts elsewhere. This review should help us answer – among other things – the question of who made the right call and who will have to play catch up.
We start with the unboxing right after the break.
Update 20 July: Following the introduction of the new deeper Facebook integration on the Xperia Arc, we revisited this review and we've added all the details. We've dedicated a new page to it, so if you're interested, you can jump straight ahead.