The 8MP camera on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is with the  Exmor R sensor we wrote about. It is back-illuminated, like the one on the iPhone 4(S). 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 on paper. However, its 1/3.2" size is a far cry from the 1/1.83” behemoth on the Nokia N8, for example.

The pictures, while with revved contrast and saturation, are nothing exceptional.

The photos came out sharp enough, color representation is accurate, detail is plenty in daylight, but there is overzealous noise suppression, which smears the details when light is scarce. Otherwise the low-light snaps came out above average, probably thanks to the back-illuminated sensor. The LED flash is no Xenon, but does the job fine up to about ten feet, without casting weird shadows on the objects.

The light also does a good job illuminating night video, especially in Night Scene mode. Video is fairly smooth at 30 fps, and the same good looking colors and fine detail are observed as in the stills, but we wish that the 720p videos were sharper.

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Sample Video:

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S Indoor 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.

Obviously a lot of Sony’s Cybershot expertise has gone into the camera interface, but a notable exception is the lack of any effects. No Negative or Sepia, nothing, which is puzzling, considering the wide range of other capabilities. 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 Windows Phones.

And now we come to the new additions to the camera capabilities of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S, compared to the Xperia arc – Sweep Panorama and “3D” Sweep Panorama pictures. In essence, you set the direction in which the phone will be going – left, right, up or down – and slowly rotate it 180 degrees from your starting point until a panoramic image is stitched together.

The 3D Sweep Panorama option applies some preset algorithm shenanigans to the resulting picture, which makes your Panorama appear three-dimensional when shown on a 3D HDTV, which, frankly, sounds like too much hassle. The process is meant for tripods, since you have to hold the phone very steady, and rotate with preset speed from one end to another, and even then some grey areas might appear at the end of the panoramic view. The 3D Camera app takes you directly to the 3D Sweep Panorama option in the camera interface for quick access.

Sweep panorama Demonstration:


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 or lyrics. There is no Dolby Mobile or SRS surround sound in headset mode, but we have to tell you the loudspeaker is outstanding - strong, with real bass 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 the same thing in the slim body of the Xperia arc S.

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 in up to 720p resolution. 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.



1. dacastrator

Posts: 232; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

Best looking phone around.


Posts: 35; Member since: Oct 07, 2011 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....

3. dacastrator

Posts: 232; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

that's why theres root.

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

22. gaumzi unregistered

U have Movetosd app from android market...

4. dhara

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 09, 2011

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

5. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Sony Ericsson is definitely one of my favourite phone manufacturers.

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

7. abcd123

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 03, 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

8. dacastrator

Posts: 232; Member since: Sep 22, 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.

10. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

you're right buddy!!

20. dhara

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 09, 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

15. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 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. . .

9. GeekMovement unregistered

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

11. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

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

12. yougotkilled1

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

IMO, best looking phone out there today! :)

13. winsaki234

Posts: 63; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

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

16. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

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

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.

17. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 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. . .

19. chirole

Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 16, 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.

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

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

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?

25. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011


26. KaloqnYo

Posts: 22; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Xperia Arc of course Black B is awful !

28. Selvaraj

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 07, 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 visit

29. Gianni

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 18, 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.

30. Sangeet

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 21, 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..!!

31. Kalana

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

What is The Best ............. *Sony Ericsson Xperia arc *Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S
Xperia arc S
  • Display 4.2" 480 x 854 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 1 GB + microSDHC

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