Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S review

Reviews Ben Griffin 12:28, 31 Oct 2011

We review the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, a Sony Ericsson Android handset that's just a bit cool

Great camera, Stylish, Fast performance
Feels a bit flimsy, Android 2.3 can frustrate
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is a stylish smartphone that we'd quite happily own

If we're brutally honest with ourselves, it's been a while since a Sony Ericsson has given us phone envy. The Xperia Play was great for gaming but wasn't a great phone. It was a tad sluggish and if you didn't want hardware keys, well, there was little point in buying it.

Other Xperia handsets also felt a little uninspiring, as if Sony Ericsson was playing it too safe or had lost its mojo.

Well, that was the case until now, as the Xperia Arc S has come along to valiantly fight the fight – and she's a beauty. The device comes equipped with a 1.4GHz processor, which makes tasks glide along without any arguments, and the 512MB of RAM compliments its ample processing speed nicely.

The 8-megapixel camera, which boasts smile detection, autofocus and an LED flash, as well as a normal and 3D panoramic shot mode, works as well indoors as out. Colours are natural and detailed and it's easy to use. Sadly, there's no front camera for video calls, if that's something you use.

Video quality is also high: there was little blurring and jumpiness. In short, this is a great phone for anyone who's snappy-happy, so long as you can put up with the less impressive performance in low-light.

Looking at the handset itself, Sony Ericsson has done away with its traditionally bulky styling. The Arc S is 8.5mm thin, which is thinner than a thin thing. It's also very light and the inward curve is surprisingly comfortable to hold and makes it a little harder to drop.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

On the front is the usual three silver hardware buttons - back, home and a menu button - as well as a 4.2-inch display that neatly fills up most of the front. It's capable of 16 million colours and boasts an impressive resolution, making it a pleasure to look at.

Don't expect it to rival iPhone 4S for pixel density but don't think it isn't vivid and balanced. It treads the line between the almost garish colours of the Galaxy S2 and the colder, more colour-accurate tones of the iPhone 4S.


Typical Price £340
UK Launch October, 2011
Network O2, Vodafone
Frequency GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Phone Style Candy bar
Thickness 8.7mm
Length 125mm
Width 63mm
Weight 117g
Built-in Memory 1GB (320MB available)
Additional Memory Includes 8GB microSD, expandable up to 32GB
High-speed Data HSDPA 900 / 2100 - LT18i / HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 / 800 - LT18a
Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Screen Size 4.2-inches
Screen Colours 16m
Camera 8-megapixel with autofocus
Designer Lens No
Camera Resolution 3,264x2,448 pixels
Zoom No
Flash LED
Video Resolution 720p
Ringtones Yes
Music Player Yes
Music Formats MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
Song Storage 8GB, expandable up to 32GB
Radio Stereo FM with RDS
Speaker Yes
Video Calling Yes
Internet Yes
Browser HTML (Android browser)

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