x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc 8.5

Posted: , by


Interface and Functionality:

With the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, Sony Ericsson has changed the way its custom UI interacts with Android by only including the Timescape element, and mentioned updates will now be swifter because of these changes. The feature that has gone away is Mediascape, although it is present in a stripped down version called simply Media, which according to Sony Ericsson is a “customizable widget based media pane”, but looks more of a glorified shortcut to us now, than anything else.

The UX interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review
The UX interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review
Media - The UX interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review


The UX interface of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Not that Sony Ericsson will need to update its arching handset soon, considering it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but it's nice to hear we might be covered this time. Gingerbread doesn't bring many visible changes to the interface, most of the changelog is under the hood, but still, the ability to copy/paste or move the cursor with the large handles now, as well as the improved multitasking and process management, are welcome additions.

Moreover, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc has the same second generation Snapdragon MSM8255 chipset that is in the HTC Desire HD, and the T-Mobile myTouch 4G and carries the powerful Adreno 205 graphics chip making it one of the fastest handsets this side of dual-core. We did notice some stuttering every now and then, and slow-down with the custom widgets, however nothing drastic.

The Timescape function is the biggest customization left. It is a card-based system for showing your messaging and social networking updates, flippable up and down with ease, though it's little more than eye candy. Social networking is present in the phonebook, but loosely integrated, and you are redirected to the dedicated apps if you want to lookup your contacts' Facebook  or Twitter profiles from the phonebook.

The on-screen keyboard of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review
The on-screen keyboard of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review

The on-screen keyboard of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

One of the fancier functions in the interface is the Overview mode – pinch the homescreen to zoom away, and all your current widgets gather on one homescreen, so you don't even have to swipe left or right between homescreens to find what you need - a nice touch, reminiscing the helicopter view in HTC Sense, with the offer of some original functionality.

The Timescape function is a card-based system - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review
Overview mode - The Timescape function is a card-based system - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review
The Timescape function is a card-based system - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review

Overview mode


The Timescape function is a card-based system

Internet, Connectivity and Software:

The stock Android 2.3 browser is an excellent mobile solution for accessing the Internets, and it makes no exception in the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. Due to the speedy chipset, zooming, scrolling, panning around and multitouch work flawlessly. Flash content, including videos, displays very well, and the whole mobile internet experience is great.

The stock Android 2.3 browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review
The stock Android 2.3 browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review
The stock Android 2.3 browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Review

The stock Android 2.3 browser

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc has all the connectivity options other than 4G – 7.2Mbps HSDPA, Wi-Fi,Bluetooth , A-GPS, FM radio with RDS, and DLNA for media streaming. The DLNA function has its own app called Media Server, or you can also use the microHDMI port to stream movies from the handset to your big screen TV which we tested and works great.

A new twist is the LiveWare app – it allows you to start an application of your choosing when something is connected to the phone, be it a headset, headphones or a charger. Thus you can start the music or video player each time headphones are connected, or automatically go into the desktop clock mode in Android, while the handset is charging.

  • Options

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 09:09

1. O K (unregistered)

this might very well be my next phone......i gotta w8 till 12th april to see what htc has up its sleeve, when will we see the release date htc pyramid(sensation).

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 10:45 5

2. sak96 (unregistered)

Phonearena, where is the video review??/

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 12:29

3. phbelov (Posts: 124; Member since: 25 Mar 2011)

it's coming i think coz they've already uploaded SE xperia arc video samples on phonearena yt channel.. :)

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 13:18

4. aercy18 (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)

I don't like SE's android phones for one reason, it's always plasticy. Feels a bit cheap & pale. But the Cam's arguably the best amongst all the android device makers.

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 13:53

5. phbelov (Posts: 124; Member since: 25 Mar 2011)

i agree. and the price's very high at least in Russia :)

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 16:39 1

6. omacalex (unregistered)

I hope you don't own a Samsung phone...just saying.

posted on 07 Apr 2011, 03:59

9. Shubham1401 (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Apr 2011)

The plastic helps to keep the weight down. 117gm for phone of such size is great. It makes carrying it a whole lot easier.

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 16:54

7. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

the video sample was so smooth my computer lagged a bit x)

posted on 06 Apr 2011, 19:56

8. protozeloz (Posts: 5395; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

who wants a sexy android phone with a great camera! any hands?

posted on 10 Apr 2011, 14:18

10. HB (unregistered)

I do NOT understand this. The incredible s has a front facing camera, more ram and the htc sense ui(which almost everybody agrees is leaps ahead of any android skin out there). And it gets a 7.5 because it has a dual core processor. And this phone gets a 8.5? Why? Ok it has better looks(big deal..) and android 2.3, but htc incredible will get 2.3 pretty soon. And with sense on 2.2 it probably blows this phones UI out of the water anyways( I watched a few videos, so much of lag..). Seriously sometimes I just cant understand how review sites work

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 08:44

17. megamrambo (Posts: 37; Member since: 19 Jul 2010)

Dude the HTC Incredible S does nit have a dual core CPU. HTC Incredible S is not a bad phone it is just not a compelling phone. It had poor camera performance and overall wasn't to great a difference between the original HTC Incredible.I mean, really? You don't understand how review site work, huh? They reviewed this phone based of of what Sony Ericsson could pack into a 8.5 millimeter body. With the Incredible S, it was mean't to be a replacement for another HTC phone with nearly equivocal specs. And At the time, it was even supposed to replace the Desire HD which phonearena could not see happening. So I hope you understand now... :)

posted on 13 Apr 2011, 05:02

11. John (unregistered)

Hello phonearena!

I have a question. When you will make a review of the new Samsung Galaxy S2?


posted on 18 Apr 2011, 19:32

12. protozeloz (Posts: 5395; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I have traveled from the future just to give information

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 01:07

13. Matte33 (unregistered)

How can you not review the call app, it´s still a mobile "phone", it´s important to me anyway how the call app is.

posted on 15 Jun 2011, 21:09 1

14. Luffy (unregistered)

Xperia looks + Galaxy S2 specs = perferct phone

posted on 15 Jun 2011, 21:10 1

15. Luffy (unregistered)

Xperia looks + Galaxy S2 specs = perfect phone!

posted on 06 Jul 2011, 04:05 3

16. tushar jaiswal (unregistered)

i've purchased dis fone few days ago and it is d most sexiest one dat I have even seen. . . .its simply awsome, must buy :D :)

posted on 07 Aug 2011, 03:20

18. abanglek (unregistered)

live in ifreak surrounding, using arc for a week. iphone is great but not for tinkerer like me. arc just ok, can be good but can't be great, only after tweaking. i have done sound department (using volume+ to crank tiny ls sound & eq for earphone, using my trusty old cheap sm pl10). i can say my sound now is great, better than iphone, compsrable to my rockbox clip. ui department using go launcher (& go contact to fix t9 absent & more info i can see on contact, eg: note with contact) go launcher not the best, just the fact i can create folder in app drawer & uninstall directly. sound like ios, but yes, it's easy to manage & i don't have to put 10 redundant shortcut for single app on my phone.

now for screen department, i have good news & very bad news. the screen i can say good & you will appreciate when watching movie. the screen also can dimmed enought to be use in almost total dark room (not every phone can do this). but all the goods are only when you look straigh forward to the lcd. the bad news is, even with slight tilt, the screen going up side down, white become brown, black become gray, color become wash & amazingly brown become white. is that important? the situation is, even when you put the phone on table & you need to read something, you're forced to take your phone on hand. when i say bad, it's really bad, just test the phone in your nearest shop & remember what i said. even my old omnia doing good job, this arc is worst. watch sharing & wallpaper show off is big no no to this phone (it's really shame on me).

so it's up to you, the biggest part is if you can live with the lcd. for me, i don't know how to live with this phone for next 1-2 years. when i hate to say samoled is good & ips is great, this reality display is real junk.

posted on 16 Aug 2011, 07:41

19. kitar01 (unregistered)

i have it up to some days...it's awesome.
very good display and camera: the photos are quite near to that of my Sx200 is Canon camera, and also hd video are good.
the display: there is a video on the phone. If you see it on the phone than you compare it seeing it on the pc (i have a Hp w2007v that is really a good monitor) you see no great difference...ok some difference obviously is but not so great.
the battery is good and now for example i have 1 day 1 hour 48' and have 29% of battery power.
i know there are dual core phones but i think what better is for me if this takes to a lower battery life? so i think this is the best compromise up to now.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 04:59

20. rocky005 (unregistered)

It is good, But no front cam, very delicate back side is not metal its plastic i wont prefer this one...........

posted on 02 Sep 2011, 06:10

21. amas (unregistered)

do u experience any lag while using this phone ( cause i have the x10 and im experiencing alot of lag )

posted on 26 Sep 2011, 04:15 1

22. User27 (unregistered)

"Single core processor isn't as future-proof". Future is increasingly shorter this time. New phones are coming in day in and day out.If it is enough for today, that's it.

posted on 12 Oct 2011, 07:32

23. chaud (unregistered)

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc or HTC Incredible S?

posted on 15 Dec 2011, 10:32

24. white04004 (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)

Hah! This will me next phone!

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

OS: Android 4.0.4 2.3.3 2.3
view full specs
Display4.2 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (233 ppi) TFT
Camera8.1 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM8255, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
Size4.92 x 2.48 x 0.34 inches
(125 x 63 x 8.7 mm)
4.13 oz  (117 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 6.91 hours talk time

Latest stories