The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc comes as one of the latest additions to an increasingly crowded Android space, but with a fairly unique preposition: A huge 4.2-inch Reality Display touchscreen with Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine technology. Is the arc as good as it promises to be?
The first thing that strikes you about Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is how thin it is, at just 8.7 mm thick it is almost half the thickness of most phones available today. If you look carefully at the back of the phone, you will also notice that the arc stands out from the others because of its curved profile.
While we were fans of the simple and clean design, we felt that more work could have been done to improve the tiny power button, which took a bit of effort to press. On the other hand, the camera shutter button was a welcome addition in an age where most smartphone makers somehow decided to stop including dedicated camera buttons on their devices. This at least makes snapping pictures so much easier than having to tap on the screen.
Overall, the handling experience was positive, as the arc balances beautifully in the hand. If anything, the arc feels a little too light, and depending on how you hold it, can feel flimsy and fragile.
At a Glance
Camera: 8.1 megapixels / LED flash / Autofocus
Talk time: 6 hours 55 min (GSM) / 7 hours (HSDPA)
The arc comes powered by Android, specifically version 2.3 (a.k.a. Gingerbread). Timescape reappears on the arc and can be easily added on the home screen as a widget. Combine Timescape together with a photo/video widget, and you get easy access to social networking updates and multimedia files.
The main draw of Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is its 4.2-inch TFT-LCD screen with Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine image processing technology, which aims to enhance video playback. The result is beautiful visuals when playing videos and games on the device as well as while navigating through the smartphone’s stylish interface. The multimedia showmanship doesn’t stop there as its snappy 8.1- megapixel camera produces clear and sharp photos with accurate blacks and colors. Because of its f/2.4 lens, visible details in night shots are also easier to capture without having to flush them out with the available LED flash.
Sony Ericsson’s arc is good-looking, functional and primed for success. If the 4.2- inch awesome display doesn’t bowl you over for some reason, its impossibly slim build will. Of course, this smartphone isn’t perfect – minor flaws like impractical buttons and average battery performance take the overall score down a few notches, but the gorgeous widescreen display and capable camera are two of its biggest advantages. While it comes with a relatively standard 1GHz processor, you do get an extremely responsive device with more than enough horsepower for fluid multi¬tasking. All in all, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is a highly functional phone that balances both productivity and multimedia prowess.