Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S Review and Specifications

Sunday, December 25, 2011

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Raise your hand everybody who at any point these past few months wanted an Xperia arc. Whoa, not bad. Hardly a surprise though. Who wouldn't want it? The Xperia arc is pure class, a daring display of skill and style.
Now, you might just want to keep those hands up. Cause the Xperia arc keeps on coming. Nothing wrong with Sony Ericsson wanting you to continue to want their top droid. They had more than one way to go about it. Obviously, a price drop wasn't one of them. A facelift? Maybe, if it were any other phone. It's the Xperia arc though and we need to show some respect.

So, seven months later, Sony Ericsson proceed with the upgrade. An overclocked processor, the latest Android release and some new paint jobs - this is not an upgrade that makes the original obsolete. It's an upgrade nonetheless and we'll treat it as one until proven otherwise.
Let’s take a look at an already familiar feature set, shall we?
Key features:
*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 v2.3.4 Gingerbread
*1.4 GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 chipset
*512 MB RAM
*8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and geotagging, 3D Sweep Panorama
*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 11 support
*Deep Facebook integration
*microHDMI port
*Ultra slim (8.7mm at its thinnest point)

Main disadvantages:
*The competition has dual-core CPUs and better GPUs
*Display has poor viewing angles
*No front-facing camera
*No smart dialing
*Non hot-swappable microSD card slot
*Shutter key isn’t particularly comfortable

Looking at the specs, the question forces itself on us. Was this necessary? If you already own the Xperia arc, the answer is clearly no. But the Xperia arc S is not for people like you anyway. It isn't its goal to send the company's flagship into retirement. Nor was it forced upon the company by the circumstances. Like the Xperia neo V had to fill in for the original Xperia neo, because of the 8 megapixel sensor shortage after the devastating Japan earthquake.

The Xperia arc S has more to do with publicity rather than adding value. Sony Ericsson are right to want their flagship back into the spotlight. That's what the new version does. Never mind that the familiar deal-breakers are still here.

To be fair though, the Xperia arc S comes with Android 2.3.4 out of the box, which the previous Xperia phones released in 2011, will be getting later on. The 2.3.4 update brings some good new stuff:

*Sony 3D sweep panos: panorama shots that can be rendered on compatible 3D TVs
*Screen capture - grab a screenshot anywhere on your Xperia
*Enhanced Facebook integration
*Swipe text input - works just like the popular Swype, but it's T9 Trace
*USB on-the-go functionality (requires Sony Ericsson LiveDock)

Google Talk with Video Chat is part of the package too but you won't be able to enjoy it on the Xperia arc S, which doesn't have a front-mounted camera.

Anyway, comparison is not the point. The Xperia arc S is not supposed to better the original Xperia arc. It's not improvement that Sony Ericsson were after, it's repetition. It's been a while since they last had a winner like the Xperia arc. When you do, you want people to know about it.

Well, there'll be plenty of repetition in our review but we can't help it. But still, we guess you're as eager as we are to know how much faster and better the Xperia arc S actually is. Follow us on the next page where the action starts.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S Specifications:
GENERAL2G NetworkGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G NetworkHSDPA 900 / 2100 - LT18i
HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 / 800 - LT18a
Announced2011, August
StatusAvailable. Released 2011, September
BODYDimensions125 x 63 x 8.7 mm
Weight117 g
DISPLAYTypeLED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size480 x 854 pixels, 4.2 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)
ProtectionScratch-resistant glass
- Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine
- Timescape UI
SOUNDAlert typesVibration; MP3 ringtones
3.5mm jackYes
MEMORYCard slotmicroSD, up to 32GB, 8 GB included
Internal1 GB (320 MB user-available), 512 MB RAM
DATAGPRSUp to 86 kbps
EDGEUp to 237 kbps
SpeedHSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
BluetoothYes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USBYes, microUSB v2.0, USB On-the-go support
CAMERAPrimary8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
FeaturesVideo calling, touch focus, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, 3D sweep panorama, image stabilization
VideoYes, 720p@30fps, continuous autofocus, video light, video stabilizer
FEATURESOSAndroid OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread), planned upgrade to v4.0
ChipsetQualcomm MSM8255T Snapdragon
CPU1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPUAdreno 205
SensorsAccelerometer, proximity, compass
MessagingSMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email
BrowserHTML, Adobe Flash
RadioStereo FM radio with RDS
GPSYes, with A-GPS support
JavaYes, via Java MIDP emulator
ColorsPure White, Midnight Blue, Misty Silver, Gloss Black, Sakura Pink
- HDMI port
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
- TrackID music recognition
- NeoReader barcode scanner
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk
- Facebook and Twitter integration
- Document viewer
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input
BATTERYStandard battery, Li-Po 1500 mAh
Stand-byUp to 460 h (2G) / Up to 460 h (3G)
Talk timeUp to 7 h 25 min (2G) / Up to 7 h 35 min (3G)
Music playUp to 37 h

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