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Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Interface and Functionality:

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sports the Timescape Android overlay, while Mediascape has been stripped down and called simply Media now. According to Sony Ericsson it has become a “customizable widget-based media pane”, but looks more like a glorified shortcut in the bottom dock to us.

Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors, with beautiful transitional animations everywhere – from unlocking the screen to the subtle white glow when reaching the ends of a list while scrolling.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sports the Timescape Android overlay - Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sports the Timescape Android overlay - Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sports the Timescape Android overlay - Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sports the Timescape Android overlay - Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sports the Timescape Android overlay

Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review

Sony Ericsson has dressed up Gingerbread in nice gradient colors


The coolest useless function in the interface is the Overview mode – pinch the screen to zoom in, and all your current widgets start floating together on one homescreen for a peer review - a fun touch, reminiscing the helicopter view in HTC Sense, but only intended to visualize your current widgets in one place.

The Snapdragon S2 system chip with 512MB RAM have proven they can run Gingerbread quite zippy, and the increased CPU clock frequency to 1.4GHz certainly looks good on a spec sheet, before you realize it’s not dual-core. We ran Quadrant a few times, and the test showed about 20% improved scores compared to the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, but the difference in everyday performance wasn’t that  noticeable, as the interface runs quite smooth on both handsets.
 
The Timescape integration is where the UI derives its name from - it is a card-based system for showing your messaging and social networking updates, flippable up and down from the homescreen with ease, but it's little more than eye candy. Social networking is ubiquitous thanks to the “Facebook inside Xperia” integration, which allows you to “like” a song directly from the music player or its widget, for instance.

Social networking is ubiquitous thanks to the “Facebook inside Xperia” integration - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
Social networking is ubiquitous thanks to the “Facebook inside Xperia” integration - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review

Social networking is ubiquitous thanks to the “Facebook inside Xperia” integration


There is Swype preinstalled with artsy light blue trail appearing when you swipe from a letter to a letter, but even without it typing on the big screen with the Timescape virtual keyboard is a joy.

The Timescape virtual keyboard - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
The Timescape virtual keyboard - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review

The Timescape virtual keyboard



Internet and Connectivity:

The stock Android 2.3 browser is an excellent mobile solution for accessing the Internet, and it makes no exception in the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S - zooming, scrolling and panning around work flawlessly. Adobe Flash support is a big selling point of modern Android handsets, and this one doesn’t stray away from the 1GHz+ Android pack with flawless execution.

Web browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
Web browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review
Web browser - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Review

Web browser


As far as connectivity goes, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S has it all but 4G – 14.4Mbps 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 at the top to stream movies from the handset to your big screen TV via cable.

There is another GPS software besides Google Maps, called Wisepilot, which, however, is a trial version. When cold-started, it took the GPS about 4-5 minutes to locate us, which is average, and if we had a data connection it locked us in for seconds, as is already the norm.

The LiveWare app 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 tell it to 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.

31 Comments
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posted on 11 Oct 2011, 09:05 26

1. dacastrator (Posts: 232; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Best looking phone around.

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 09:29

2. THE_GAME5 (Posts: 35; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


yeah....sony and apple are my two favourite cos.

i wanted to buy arc but with only 300 mb to install apps.... i was disappointed as i like to have many of them....

same with arc s .....come on sony stop leaving loop holes.....arghhhhh....

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 09:35 9

3. dacastrator (Posts: 232; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


that's why theres root.

posted on 12 Oct 2011, 00:19 1

18. AFIQ (unregistered)


dude, with rooting, you can change directory for installation to sd card. 300 mb internal memory is not drawback actually. and compared to iphone4, arc s still the best

posted on 15 Oct 2011, 03:51 1

22. gaumzi (unregistered)


U have Movetosd app from android market...

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 09:35 10

4. dhara (Posts: 6; Member since: 09 Oct 2011)


300mb size for apps?
lol no.
settings>applications>manage applications>all>pick one and move to SD card

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 10:56 12

5. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


Sony Ericsson is definitely one of my favourite phone manufacturers.

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 11:26 4

6. dara (unregistered)


actually the arc got replaced on all the carriers that got the arc s. and the price remained the same.

btw I just watched this video straight within the browser of my arc, without any hiccup, even while moving the site with my finger.
anyway, I love the phone, and recommend it to anyone

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 11:31 1

7. abcd123 (Posts: 3; Member since: 03 Oct 2011)


totally disappointed with sony for putting a single core phone at this time of year when there is a race for dualcore processers and soon there will be quad core phones with the start of the next year. And the price for it will also be too high rather than this i will be looking forward nexus prime or htc amaze

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 12:52 7

8. dacastrator (Posts: 232; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Don't worry, we should see a SE dualcore early next year and most definitely, SE will nail it.

About quad-cores, as of now and up until next year im thinking that they are useless as more apps arent even optimized for dual-core. so quad-core makes no sense in that area.

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 13:53 5

10. hunted (Posts: 287; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)


you're right buddy!!

posted on 12 Oct 2011, 14:13 3

20. dhara (Posts: 6; Member since: 09 Oct 2011)


in fact, i doubt there will be ANY quad core phones next year.
yeah, Nvidia announced their Kal-el in phones arriving soon, but when you look at galaxy s3 rumors(1.8ghz dual core), and snapdragon s4 roadmap for phones, as well as TI not even announcing any yet, i doubt it.

bottom line - when you have a 1.5Ghz dual core chip paired with 1Gb+ RAM (snapdragon s3, probably used in SE nozomi), , and then the improved s4 snapdragon 2.0Ghz dual core 28nm chip with adreno 225, or the 1.8Ghz 32nm Exynos 4212; all that paired with heavily optimised ICS - you REALLY dont need a quad core

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 21:49 3

15. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 799; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


The reason why they did not jump in the Dual core band wagon is they don't to jump in an untested waters (software support for the handset). . .
They're the type that doesnt want to gamble anymore, they will only release a Dual Core when the ICS is fully utilize which will be in time for their next flagship phone. . .

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 13:32 5

9. GeekMovement (Posts: 1497; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


One of the best looking devices out there I agree wow!

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 17:02 4

11. henrickrw (Posts: 402; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


My GS2 is still in full Command & Conquer...!!!!

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 19:50 4

12. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)


IMO, best looking phone out there today! :)

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 20:18 2

13. winsaki234 (Posts: 63; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


No Flash? 512MB of RAM? no no no! It's look nice but spec bad!

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 21:52 3

16. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 799; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


Flash? Review the phone review dude. . . If you're a heavy user consider the dual core heavy weights instead of this one. .

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 21:23 1

14. DroidSales (unregistered)


Sony makes gorgeous hardware lately. After their update schedule with the original Xperia phones, I was uninterested in any Sony product. However, they are now keeping phones up to date on Android releases much better, and with them giving phones, codes, and support to the CyanogenMod team, I have to say I am impressed. I run an indirect VZW agent store, and would buy a Sony on VZW if it had dual-core and LTE.

posted on 11 Oct 2011, 21:55

17. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 799; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


I myself gambled when I bought the Arc last June, considering SE's reputation with its 2010 handsets (x10). . But this time around they've already released 3 software updates. . . So the software side of SE is now about solved next up for them is to upgrade their next years smartphones hardware. . .

posted on 12 Oct 2011, 11:52

19. chirole (Posts: 18; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


I doubt that they're gonna be any Dual core phones next year. Considering that Sony just bought Ericsson's share in the partnership, an organizational revamping should follow next. But we can really expect greater phones from Sony from now on that they'll probably be integrating with their other products, HDTVs, PS3 etc.

posted on 13 Oct 2011, 09:12

21. Sankar Mohan (unregistered)


Ahh.. these guys again forget to fix a front cam !!! Dont u guys want to survive in market.. You guys have to realize how much cheap video calling in India on BSNL network .40 paisa

posted on 16 Oct 2011, 14:49

23. shak (unregistered)


This is design is ok. SE, please consider my design tips to make SE more attractive.
1. Max height should be 4inch
2. Width should be 70mm
3. Get rid of 3 hard key buttons and replace these with soft keys. Hard keys looks absurd in present days.
4. Launch models in off-white color also

posted on 16 Oct 2011, 16:59

24. mzana (unregistered)


I'm looking for a new phone and my two last chooices are- SE arc or blakberry. which is better and which should I buy?

posted on 19 Oct 2011, 07:43

25. kshell1 (Posts: 1141; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


neither

posted on 10 Nov 2011, 02:06 2

26. KaloqnYo (Posts: 22; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


Xperia Arc of course Black B is awful !

posted on 12 Jan 2012, 08:31

28. Selvaraj (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Jan 2012)


How regarding the repairing your software commencing from side to side the Update Service, you determine to lose the entire your apps unless you install Backup & Restore it was completed for the X10 additional than runs on the Arc it might work on the Xperia Play. For more information you can visithttp://www.futurehardware.com/mobile-smartphones/91.htm

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 13:50

29. Gianni (Posts: 3; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)


l telefonino SonyEricsson Arc S, ricevuto per rinnovo abbonamento a fine ottobre 2011, presenta a mio avviso dei difetti congeniti tali da non poter essere da me utilizzato. I tre tasti frontali fuoriescono troppo dal profilo e quello centrale attiva perennemente il display quando é in tasca. Pur avendo disabilitato Internet, Bluetooth, Wlan e regolato il ”Timeout” del display al minimo, senza ricevere o trasmettere nessuna telefonata, la batteria non supera le 24 ore invece dei 430 pubblicizzati in “Standby”. Pertanto l’autonomia è più che insufficiente se si considera il nessun utilizzo. Ho cercato inutilmente un astuccio rigido che attenua il problema nei vari Market anche perché la Sony non ne produce. Ho parlato con il “support” della SonyEricsson e mi è stato confermato che ciò é un problema congenito del telefonino. Questo SonyEricsson Arc S, pur avendo rispetto alla concorrenza una batteria di più piccola capacità, può essere accettato da qualcuno che lo tiene in borsetta ma non da chi è abituato a tenerlo in tasca.

posted on 29 May 2012, 03:21

30. Sangeet (Posts: 225; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I don't care that this phone has a single core processor, it can still do 90% of the things that the dual core phones can do even with intense gaming and you can definitely play GTA 3 with the lowest / medium settings easily so no matter how is it's processor, it you wan't a phone that looks good then this will be anyone's first choice..!!

posted on 07 Nov 2012, 21:22

31. Kalana (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


What is The Best .............
*Sony Ericsson Xperia arc
*Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 03:39

32. dussan (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


For all those who had problems after updating Arc S to ICS, here are the solutions for the two most common problems:

xperia-arcs-auto-reboot.blogspot.com

xperia-arcs-media-refresh.blogspot.com

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Display4.2 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (233 ppi) TFT
Camera8.1 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM8255, Single core, 1400 MHz, Scorpion processor
512 MB RAM
Size4.92 x 2.48 x 0.34 inches
(125 x 63 x 8.7 mm)
4.13 oz  (117 g)

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