Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Review
Sony Ericsson is one such company that always delivers more than promised and thus has managed to create a very loyal fan base who would swear by any Sony product. With their huge range of phones, one can always expect something more. Their phones create a stir and remain in the market longer than others. Sony Ericsson has also been quite a player in the smart phone market. A huge segment that it is, numerous new models stream in consistently but this particular one is sure to make you look at it twice and marvel at its sheer beauty.
Xperia Arc is what we call a “sensible fashion-forward phone”.
The first thing that strikes out about Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is that its unbelievably thin but in an aesthetical manner. With a concave back as opposed to the convex predecessors X10, Play, Pro and Neo, It also quite convincingly clears out all the flaws of previous Ericsson models with the latest OS and updated software.
To begin with, it is equipped with Android 2.3 version of the OS, a mega 4.2-inches screen and weighs a mere 117g. Reasonably priced at £430 SIM free or Sony Ericsson Arc deals starting from £14 per month , the real icing on cake can be various value deals which are sure to provide you with more than asked for.
The front consists of the screen and Sony Ericsson’s standard selection of three physical buttons – Back, Home and Menu – in reverse order to how they featured in the X10, and it almost makes more sense with the present arrangement. Also there is light streaming out from in-between the buttons which acts as a guide in the dark. There’s also a proximity sensor, which shuts off the screen when it’s pressed to your ear.
The rest of the Arc’s exterior consists of smooth body, along with a volume rocker and MicroUSB port on its top left shoulder, a 3.5mm headphone jack directly opposite on the right, and an HDMI output and a rather tiny power / lock key at the top. There is a physical shutter button here and it’s positioned at the extreme bottom right of the handset, almost at the corner. Overall build quality feels robust and durable.
In short Xperia Arc is definitely a very stylish phone which is bound to be owner’s pride, neighbors’ envy.
The same 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255processor and Adreno 205 graphics that we find on Xperia Play are present within the Arc, and are backed by 512MB of RAM (320MB available to apps), 8GB of MicroSD storage, an 8 megapixel Exmor R image sensor, an HDMI output, and a 1500mAh battery. All of this is showed off by a 4.2-inch Reality Display capable of accommodating 854 x 480 pixels.
Inside the pretty “white and blue” signature Ericsson box, Arc comes with an 8GB memory card (inside the phone), HDMI cable, Greenheart USB charger & cable, screen protector (including one pre-applied), headphones, 1500mAh battery as well as the usual quick start and warranty guide
The 4.2-inch touch screen supports multi-touch input, and this is illustrated by letting one spin the Home screen out into an overview mode with a two-fingered zoom motion. There are only five Home screens included here and this poses to be an area of concern for many.
The screen is perfect for usage in direct light too and doesn’t even require any specific adjustments. So, you don’t have to struggle anymore to play angry birds on a beach.
The Xperia Arc’s 8.1megapixel Exmor R sensor captures still images at a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448, with photos saved in JPEG format and emerging between 1MB and 1.5MB. The camera software itself is simple and straightforward, missing many of the silly photo effect features found in some cameras. There is a very stylish sliding option menu on the left, plus a miniature gallery of recent photo thumbnails to the right.
The Xperia Arc records its video in a selection of resolutions all the way up to the 720p HD size, with clips emerging from the camera in MP4 format. A 30-second clip recorded at this maximum resolution takes up around 23MB.
The home run is hit here by having a continuous autofocus while recording videos, which is generally rare on a mobile phone camera.
Connectivity and Internet
As with all modern Android phones, Contacts data on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc can be pulled in from one’s Google account and Facebook profile – plus it will import data from a SIM card if you’re updating to a smartphone for the first time, or use Exchange data or Sony Ericsson’s own standalone sync service.
The Arc’s high-res 480 x 854 screen is amazing for web use. The standard Android web browser is what is found here and simple as it is, it poses for a strong plus point.
Sony Ericsson has again included its Timescape social aggregator on the Xperia Arc, with the animating widget letting users pull in their text messages, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates into one common space. This may sound fancy but in reality is not much of a help since clicking on a tweet or Facebook status update takes you to the mobile websites of the services rather than opening any app you may use.
It signifies that if one clicks on a web link posted on twitter or facebook, the page will navigate to twitter or FB page and not to the specific link clicked on. Thus, this proves to be an exercise in futile.
There’s a 1500mAh battery in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, which does an excellent business of keeping the phone going. One can get a comfortable two days’ casual use out of the Arc.
As with all smartphones, battery life depends heavily on what you use the phone for. The phone screen is undoubtedly the highest power grosser and thus to keep the battery’s life, unnecessary staring at the screen or excessive gaming has to be avoided.
Arc can easily be called one of the finest android mobile till date. With the Sony Ericsson inputs it comes across as a piece of art. For the most part, As highlighted in the camera section above, the Arc benefits from a customized camera app, which is certainly an improvement over the default in terms of functionality. The changes in the messaging, contacts and applications subsections are a pure delight to work with and look splendid. But the onscreen keyboard, particularly in portrait mode, would’ve been better left in its stock Gingerbread form. But the phone earns brownie points for the ghosting animations while tapping the unlock or mute sliders on the lock screen.
Browser performance is a little unconvincing, as neither scrolling nor zooming is on the same level as what the finest Android Windows phone 7 or iOS devices can do. Beyond those Sony Ericsson peculiarities, the delight of the android experience is worth it. With the day to day development in various apps and other arenas this definitely is the “IT” phone. Also, since its preloaded with android 2.3, its safe to say that one doesn’t have to worry about upgrades for the next few months. Additionally, if you’re a big Gmail and / or Gtalk user, there’s no better phone OS than Google’s own to make use of those services on the move.
Multimedia goes to another whole new level with the addition of Infinite button to music playback. This helps to do an internet search for the artist currently playing and leads to a selection of Youtube videos. The speakers are not very great though and also the bass is very less. Although there is a software graphic equalizer, its not much help. Apart from the home screen which helps one choose ply, pause and skip the headphones also serve for the same. The modest Track ID app is also present and will help you to identify an unknown track or artist. When it comes to video media from other sources, the default video playback options are a definite weak point of the Xperia Arc. The phone refuses to play DivX content in AVI form, and therefore doesn’t like MKVs or WMVs either. Being based on a modern version of Android means the Arc can function as a 3G modem via both a tethered USB connection and setting it up to create its own wireless hotspot for a laptop to hook into.
When connected via HDMI, the Arc automatically boots to the Gallery and displays that on your TV or monitor. A few TVs will have the ability to page through the gallery using the remote control. Otherwise one can just use their phone to control stuffs.
1. The high-resolution display.
2. Astonishingly thin body.
3. Attractive user interface tweaks.
4. Camera with the autofocus.
5. Decent battery life.
6. Nice customizable floating dock.
1. Large screen but with small fiddly buttons.
2. Only 5 home screens.
3. Timescape widget is unnecessary and out of place.
4. Nothing impressive in the text entry system.
With a length of 4.2inches and a comparatively slimmer body Arc seems to be a word play on Art. The case is only a few millimetres larger than the other large phones available, meaning one enjoys the same benefits without it feeling unusually large.
The hardware is also impressive and defies dual core being superior. It exemplifies that when done properly single core is better and simpler.
The Sony Ericsson Arc is an extraordinarily impressive phone. It comes across as a beauty with brains and some of the customizations are definitely for better. Thus all other small flaws can be over compensated, owing to the good looks of Arc.
So if you are all geared up to get your hands on the Xperia Arc, the smart thing to do would be carefully analyze all the deals to get more in less.