Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview

Camera and Multimedia:

The 8MP camera on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is with the new Exmor R sensor we wrote about. It is back-illuminated, like the one on the iPhone 4. This feature, combined with a novel arrangement of the photo diodes, tailored to the fine pixel structure, should bring high sensitivity and less noise in low-light situations. Its 1/3.2" size is a far cry from the 1/1.83” on the Nokia N8, but we have to tell you the pictures are still very good.

The color representation is extremely accurate, detail is plenty, and the only issue we saw is a tad harsh noise suppression, which slightly smeared the details when light was scarce, but there is still time to fine-tune the camera algorithms. Otherwise the low-light snaps came out above average, probably thanks to the back-illuminated sensor, and the yellowish hue that we observed in all indoor photos with the iPhone 4 was present here only in one of four snaps. The LED flash is no Xenon, but does the job up to about ten feet, without casting weird shadows on the objects.

Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview

Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc


Strong - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Medium - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Low light - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview

Indoor samples


It also does a good job illuminating night video scenes, especially in Night Scene mode. Video is smooth at 30 fps, and the same good looking colors and fine detail are observed as in the stills, but the camera skipped a frame here and there, maybe because it was cloudy, or because the software needs some more fine-tuning. The 16MP version of this sensor, present in the Sony Ericsson Cybershot S006, allows for full HD video at 60 fps, so this 8MP shooter might also be able to do 1080p, the way Xperia X10 was hacked to do HD. For now, it is clocked at 720p and 30fps on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, which is the current norm for single-core phones.

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Sample Video:




The camera interface is unobtrusive, but touch-friendly, with big enough buttons for finger operation. There are six focusing modes – single autofocus, multi autofocus, macro, face detection, infinity and touch focus. Center, spot and average metering modes are covered as well, and for manual white balance setup incandescent, fluorescent, daylight and cloudy options are available. There are also an image stabilizer mode and four flash modes – auto, fill flash, no flash, and red eye reduction. The extensive capabilities of the 8MP shooter are rounded up with a bunch of scene modes such as Landscape, Portrait, Night Portrait, Sports, Beach and Snow, Night Scene, Party and Document. The smile detection algorithm can even be set to track a faint or a big smile.

Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview

Camera interface


Obviously a lot of Sony’s Cybershot expertise has gone into the camera interface, but a notable exception is the lack of any effects on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. No Negative or Sepia, nothing, which is puzzling, considering the wide range of other capabilities, but they might very well appear in the final software build. There is a vertical strip with the latest pictures and videos captured on the right, and you can pull it left to reveal the rest in thumbnail view, which resembles the concept in WP7.

The music player is the same as in the other iterations of this UI, with flashy, but minimalistic interface, ten equalizers, the song recognition service Track ID, and the option to show related YouTube videos. There is no Dolby Mobile or SRS surround sound, but we have to tell you the loudspeaker is outstanding. Strong, with deep base sounds and very clean and pure output, even at the highest volume. The last time we heard such a speaker was in the Sony Ericsson Xperia mini, and it is great that Sony has managed to fit a similar experience in the slim body of the Xperia arc.

The music player of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
The music player of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
The music player of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
The music player of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview

The music player of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc


The video player and the gallery are of the stock Android flavor, and the handset doesn’t support DivX/Xvid, so we had to download a free player from Android Market to watch our ripped TV shows with subtitles. The Mobile BRAVIA Engine can be turned on and off manually from the Display settings, but we can’t imagine a reason for it to be off, as it adds color and sharpness to the pictures and videos on the handset.

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Gallery - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Video playback - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Video playback - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
Video playback - Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview

Video playback



Expectations:

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Preview
We had a prototype unit, so we will abstain from final conclusions, but from what we tried, the in-call performance of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc was pretty good. The earpiece is punchy, and produces no audible voice distortion, even at the highest volume. The phone has dual mics for noise suppression, so the other party said they could hear us distinctively with no background noise, despite that we were in the street. The loudspeaker performed great here as well, and thus the phone can be used successfully for impromptu teleconferencing.

The 1500mAh battery is rated for 7 hours of talk time in 3G mode, which is slightly above average for a high-end Android phone with a large screen. We can only vouch that the handset got us through the day with our moderate review usage in its prototype form.

Wrapping up our preview of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc we have to say that the company seems to have nailed it this time. The thin arched profile makes you forget that you are holding a gadget with a huge 4.2” screen. On top of that it is very light thanks to its plastic build, and still the tasteful design with gradient colors and chromed rim remains sleek and classy.

Having the latest version of Android, powered by a powerful second generation 1GHz Snapdragon chipset, vindicates Sony Ericsson’s Xperia line to an extent. We like that the company simplified its Android skinning efforts in the Timescape UI, since this should speed up the eventual OS updates.

When we add the nice 8MP camera with back-illuminated sensor, which produced very good results and the outstanding loudspeaker, we can say that Sony Ericsson is off to a great start in 2011, and we are impatiently waiting to review a final unit. Things that can kill this phone are the “Sony premium” on the price tag, or a delayed release. If it goes out in the first quarter and is competitively priced, it has every chance to sell well.


Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Video Preview:



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26 Comments

1. Rizky unregistered

Too bad the display still less stunning than Super Amoled series, if only Arc use S amoled it might can save more power too since S amoled turn off the pixel when showing black colour (as we can see from comparison)

2. markogin unregistered

I love it but..... all these bells and whisles and no front face camera?? What the........

3. markogin unregistered

I am always looking for unlocked android phones with support of AT&T + Euro 3G network. I hope this phone will have all that....like the Nokia N8. Does anybody know about these specs? It always seems one dfficult thing to find out for sure. Thanks

4. Monkuttan unregistered

no front camera,What is this .its definitely a failure for a high end phone like this.It is even available in X10 mini

5. blke unregistered

to Monkuttan There is no front camera in mini pro eighter. But still I'm glad I have one, as it's cheap and comfortable.

6. 000 unregistered

nice phone..............goin to buy it when it is out..........

7. Wardski unregistered

Nice but no... WTF? only 278Mb ROM? Did I just read that correctly or just have a brain fart? Even the Dell Streak has 2Gb of ROM for apps....

8. Pacebutlercorp unregistered

Excited to see the phone in action and how it performs on whatever network it will be on. Thanks for the review.

9. ggf.2 unregistered

480x854 RULES!

12. ggf.2 unregistered

for the person that made this a 'bad comment', what i meant was the screen resolution. unlike most other phones (including all htc,all lg android and all samsung) with WVGA display is 480x800. All WVGA motorola + SE android phones have FWVGA(480x854) phones, which makes it good to watch videos.

10. portuguese guy unregistered

cool phone, do u guys know, when the xperiax10 mini pro 2, will be available.

11. pepe_le_piu unregistered

Be aware of the following: Sony Ericsson has stated it will not release Android upgrades for the Xperia line. If you purchase a SE Arc, there is no way of knowing if down the line they will do the same to that handset. Citing Markus, the SE rep who moderates the Facebook SE forums: "We have not had pre-decided tactics to wait as long as possible to let our users know that we are not going to give Froyo to our X10 phones or X8. I can assure you that there was no decision taken to not go beyond 2.1 before these phones was released on the market." So, a word of warning if you are considering a SE Arc: You could be hung out to dry if you purchase any new Android Smartphone from SE.

19. Mrp unregistered

Hmm...i have seen this exact same comment on several websites from this user....having checked various facebook forums for the X10 and Xperia range I find this to be, put bluntly, untrue. SE have made a commitment to ensuring all their handsets are using the newest and most up to date Android versions as quickly as possible. I think this chap may have had a bad experience somewhere down the line!

13. PatchyPatch

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 05, 2011

OMG! You people crying about "No Front Facing Cameras"....this is 2011 NOT 1995! Get over it!

17. Bert unregistered

I fully agree, this whole facechat crap is really annoying. I don't want to look at someone's face while talking on the phone.

14. rickrollshah

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 23, 2011

Been thinking about getting this. I have a bunch of phones. Have a Sony Ericsson phone which is good, so maybe will get this. Also got an HTC Phone, Windows Phone, Samsung, LG, Motorola. I got a Bunch of them. Will see. Might not get it.

15. rickrollshah

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 23, 2011

I have a Nokia phone too

18. duhh unregistered

i got a nokia too. u're point exactly? or u're just wanna brag about the "look-at-me-i-have-a-lot-of-phones". seriously. get over it.

16. Pavel unregistered

i think Author did not understand that mobile bravia engine of reality display works just when you watching pictures or video.So Viewing angles of displays is not completely true!)

20. Umair Riaz unregistered

I Love the display and design of this phone which is just fantastic but the only thing i hate is its interface which is ugly and funny looking ,,, Anyways this is a good looking phone ,,, well done SonyEricsson

21. val31910 unregistered

hello guys does anybody have a comment regarding the battery life of SE Experia arc??im planning to buy this phone this week end..anybody pls tell me if the battery is ok or not..i have my windows phone LG optimus 7 and i regret buying it...so im planning to go back to SE maybe..

24. Musthafa unregistered

great phone and great features from sony ericsson again..this phone and Xperia Neo Avaible for Pre-Order at just Rs. 1000http://t.co/kNbSqCu This is the good news for Indians only!

26. Marian unregistered

Guys I am going to buy this telephone, but I found rewiews on antoher sites, which has bad opinion about the hd cam recording. Does anybody have some experience with this please? Thank you.

27. LOL16LOL unregistered

Guys u dont know what are u writing about this phone! Do u know how perfect this phone is ! You maybe haven`t got an idea

28. huh? unregistered

Phonearena is run by Apple fanboys? Still saying iphone's display better than more ADVANCED displays? Is like telling people some manufacture's LCD TV is so much better than everyone else's LED TV! I bet when apple intro a OLED screen, these folks will say apple's OLED screen is the best. How Stupid!

29. vipul aggarwal unregistered

M using xperia arc n its a great phone to have in ur hands,great design great looks n evrything but really desperate for front facing camera...n also of its low ram memory wich causes it to hang wen downloading a bunch of apps...wish it cud have dese problems fixed else its d great n stylish sony phone with much happening features:-)
Xperia arc
  • Display 4.2" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 0.512 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)

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