Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review – hands on images and video

• 28/06/2011

Xperia_arc

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a great looking device, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. I got a chance to spend some time with the Xperia Arc, courtesy of Rogers and Sony, and quite enjoyed the company. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc was first introduced to us officially back in February 2011 at MWC where Sony also introduced the Xperia Pro and PLAY (review coming soon as well). So, without further hashing, let’s jump right in.

Design and Feel

The Xperia Arc is an awesome looking device, even more so than it’s Xperia PLAY brother. It’s thin and light wieght only being 8.7mm thick and 117 grams. I can’t help but love the color and shine as well, along with the chrome plating along the sides. Sure it’s plastic, but it looks super slick! Fits in your hand nicely whether you have large or small hands due to the curve on the backside. My only bug is for the size of buttons on the outside, mainly the physical camera button and the power button. They are small! Would have been nice to have them a little larger for easier pressing.


Software

Android 2.3 out of the box is a nice feature, but Sony had to go and put their own UI over it, which looks to slow it down a fair bit and make the screen movement to the touch a little choppy. Other UI’s are much smoother, so I really wish they had left that alone and just ran with stock Gingerbread. The perk about the Sony UI however is the nice integration with their social timeline widget with Twitter and Facebook. That’s a great feature, where you can change the intervals of syncing and updates. The camera features on their custom UI is nice as well, adding a little more than the stock version. Other than that, it runs pretty good.

Hardware

The hardware built in is pretty good, with any Sony, you can expect industry leading technology built in. It’s got all the Wi-Fi goodies you’d expect, plus an 8.1 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash, 854×480 resolution display with Mobile Bravia Engine support, 720p video recording, 4.2 inch screensize and 1 GB onboard storage. Case seemed a bit flimsy, especially the back battery cover, but hey, it’s super lightweight.

What Sony did wrong here is not include more storage or a frontside camera. Those two little additions would have made this the camera to beat this Spring before the Galaxy S II started rolling. It does include 32GB MicroSD support and an HDMI port to make up for it though.

Camera

The camera was pretty nice in several lighted areas, and the video was pretty fluent as well. The image and video stabiliser helped for my shaky caffeine withdrawled hands, which I appreciate. (Needed a Starbucks). The CMOS sensor picked up the lighting and adjusted quickly. The camera button is awesome, but needs to be bigger, and the zoom is very precise (almost too precise if you’re trying to get a multi-zoned focus shot). The downside is the placement of the lens on the back, it’s so close to the edge of the topside of the phone that you’ll need to make sure you don’t put your fingers in the pic as you try to hold it, so, be careful of that.

Here’s some shots taken with the Xperia Arc.

Overall

This is an awesome device, and is worth the upgrade, or even for a first time Android owner. In my humble opinion, after getting time with this and the Xperia PLAY, I’d choose this any day. I like the bigger screen, the slim design and the 8 megapixel camera. What I thought they should have done though, is added a front camera (like the Xperia PLAY has) and made the physical buttons just a bit bigger. The software isn’t a biggie, cause I would just flash a custom ROM anyway and take care of the choppiness. The hardware though, can’t really be modified. Regardless, I’d buy it.

Here’s some official hands on images along with a video review of the Xperia Arc below!

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For more information about the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, click here.

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Tags: 720p, 8 megapixel, Android, Android 2.3, arc, camera button, ericsson, ericsson xperia arc, Gingerbread, hands on, handson, HD, review, Rogers, rogers wireless, Sony, video, xperia, xperia arc, youtube

Category: Android, Carriers, Manufacturers, Phones


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