Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc vs. Samsung Galaxy S II

Vs Paul Briden 17:26, 15 Apr 2011

Which is better? Sony Ericsson's glitzy Xperia Arc or Samsung's stalwart Galaxy S II. We take a look and find out

We examine the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc to see if it can stand up to Samsung’s Galaxy S II.


Samsung Galaxy S II – 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, 116 g

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc - 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm, 117 g

Both these handsets have virtually the same physical proportions, however, while the size may be more or less the same, stylistically they are quite different.

The Samsung Galaxy S II is the more understated of the two phones with its continuous solid black colouration, sharp lines and angular design.

The Xperia Arc, meanwhile, has the characteristic flashiness of the Xperia line and shares much in its visual design with the Xperia Play.

Silver accents on the Xperia Arc are a prominent feature, often silver bodywork on smartphones comes off as tacky and cheap but that’s not the case here and it complements the unusual lines of the phone’s design.

The Arc has quite sharply angular corners but this is offset by the overall curved shape from which it gets its name.

Both phones are incredibly thin and very lightweight which is always a plus.

These phones represent a stylistic change in mobile handsets in general from smaller, more rounded and inconspicuous devices towards sleeker, sharper and more dynamic design.

Each handset here shows a different way of interpreting the same ethos, on the one hand you have the Xperia Arc which is flashier, louder and showier with its chrome trim and curved shape.

On the other there's the Samsung, completely jet black and with an emphasis on subtle understatement.

Which you prefer is a matter of personal preference but in either case it is nice to see this progressive visual trend. In our case we prefer the Samsung’s subtlety but that’s not to say the Xperia Arc’s loudness doesn’t have its place.

Winner - Draw


Sony has equipped the Xperia Arc with a 4.2-inch LED-backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen at 480 x 854 pixels. Screen features include a scratch-resistant surface, multi-touch and accelerometer.

The handset uses the Timescape user interface (UI) under the Sony Mobile Bravia engine.

Samsung has also stuck to its own screen technology with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen at 480 x 800 pixels. The Super Amoled Plus screen features a Gorilla Glass display which is more resistant to cracks and scratches.

Accelerometer, gyro sensor and multi-touch are standard features and there’s also the TouchWiz 4.0 UI and Swype text input.

Both S-LCD and Super Amoled Plus screens have similar advantages in terms of brightness, colour depth and power efficiency and the differences in physical screen size and resolution are minimal.

Overall we feel both these handsets have excellent screen setups and would be quite happy to have either.

Winner – Draw


The processing power is where things really start to differentiate between these two handsets.

Sony previously said that the Xperia Arc didn’t need a dual core processor and has instead given it a
For sticking with single core the Qualcomm Scorpion with Snapdragon was certainly a sensible choice as this combo provides the phone with a pretty good amount of power and it should perform well in all areas.

Samsung, though, has been a bit more forward-thinking and progressive by opting for a dual-core unit with a 1.2GHz Dual Core Exynos CPU, while graphics power comes from a Mali-400MP GPU.

This will outperform the Arc, the Exynos CPU is an excellent piece of hardware and will continue to be competitive for some time.

Opting for dual core should mean the Galaxy S II will be much more efficient.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II

Sponsored Links