Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc


Staff member
It's hard not to be impressed when you first look at Sony Ericsson's newest smartphone — the Xperia Arc. It has a slim and sleek profile with a gorgeous 4.2-inch screen on the front; it's about 9 millimetres at its thickest end and surprisingly light at just 117 grams. The back looks great too until you pop out the cover, which is all plastic and feels rather brittle. It is probably stronger than it looks, though, as it showed no signs of weakness with regular popping out/snapping in due to multiple SIM changes.

The Arc's screen is one of its strongest suites as it features the Bravia engine technology — featured on Sony TVs — which is said to improve image quality of any video being played. Placed next to another Android phone, the difference is noticeable and watching any video content on the screen is a pleasure. In fact, just about everything is easier on a bigger screen as you're not cramped for room.

As all good phones should, the Xperia Arc features a dedicated button for the camera. However, it's a little smaller than it should be. The camera shoots pictures at 8.1 megapixel and video at 720p. The quality on the photos and videos is stunning on this camera and part of that reason is that the sensor it uses is of a much higher quality. Even in low-lit conditions, the results are great; this, of course, assisted by image stabilisation feature.

One of the coolest features of the Arc is the ability to hook it up to your TV with HDMI. The phone has a mini HDMI port with which you can showcase the videos and photos you've taken with that camera, and there's also an HDMI mirroring function — which means everything you see on the phone is also visible on the screen. So it doesn't matter what you're doing — playing a game or editing a spreadsheet — you can show it off on the bigger screen.

One of my biggest peeves with many Android phones is that the manufacturers add on a layer of their customisation which not only takes away from the Android experience but also brings in unnecessary sluggishness to the phone. It may also mean that Android software upgrades may take longer to come to your phone while the manufacturer makes sure it works fine with their customisations.

The Arc also has a pretty strong layer of customisation by Sony Ericsson; however, it does not come at the cost of speed. Everything works in a smooth and fluid manner. Of course, this may be due to the 1GHz processor on the phone which is a power horse. The phone does feature the latest Android version (2.3), which is fantastic. Whether there may be issues with upgrades, we'll have to wait and see.

With the Arc, Sony Ericsson has finally managed to put up a solid, well-rounded device. With a fantastic camera, light and thin body, speedy processor and the latest version of Android, the Xperia Arc, at Dh2,399, is Sony Ericsson's finest smartphone to date and a strong contender for anyone in the market looking for a high-end smartphone.