Sony Ericsson Xperia arc first came into the market with a storm for its super sleek design plus solid specs to make it the first choice for those who look at their phones as a fashion accessory. Now Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S has kept the brilliant design but upgraded the specs to get everyone talking about it again. Let’s find out if this sexy phone will have the same impact as its predecessor.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S is one of the slimmest phones out there measuring 4.92 x 2.48 x 0.34 inches making it even thinner than the iPhone 4 at its thinnest point. It is really sleek and it’s got this arched profile on the back which makes it easier to be held in the hand. Sporting a 4.2 inch screen of Sony’s Super LCD technology makes it instantly likeable too as it has the Mobile BRAVIA Engine – a technology adapted from Sony’s amazing TVs.  Tipping the scales at 117 grams, it’s also a very light phone that would fit perfectly in your pocket and you wouldn’t even feel it there. The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S has reverted back to the design with thin buttons below the screen instead of the semi-circle button you find on the recent Xperia phones. The three buttons have white LED back lights and doesn’t make noisy click sounds but instead has a rubbery feeling when pressed. The phone is made of plastic, but none of the kind that makes the phone fragile. The camera is located on the back, on the upper edge to be precise as that’s the only place left to put the camera given the size of the phone.  The shutter key meanwhile is located on the lower edge on the right and is rather small so it can be a little hard to press but you can always use the on screen button. On the top of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sits the power key and HDMI port. On the right sits the microUSB port, volume rocker and the dedicated camera button while on the left is the standard audio jack.


The Snapdragon S2 chip on the predecessor was already good to begin with and now we have a faster CPU that clocks in at 1.4GHz. However it is not a dual core processor, but that isn’t a problem as the interface still runs smoothly. The 512MB RAM also chips in to make your Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S experience a good one.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S runs on the Timescape Android overlay. It’s made Android Gingerbread look great too with its perfect color combinations and some brilliant transitional animations along the way. These animations range from simple stuff like unlocking the screen to pretty cool stuff like the subtle white glow that appears when you are approaching the end of a list you are scrolling. On this phone, Mediascape is no longer there but is replaced with what’s called Media now. Much like the helicopter view on the HTC Sense, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S has what’s called the Overview mode which shows all your current widgets in one place when you pinch the screen to zoom in. The Timescape integration is a card-based system that shows all the messaging and social networking updates and it is where the UI gets its name from too. The Facebook inside Xperia is still as good as ever now you can instantly ‘like’ a song from the music player or its widget. The virtual keyboard on the phone is a delight to use thanks to the large screen. Nevertheless, for those who love the Swipe feature you won’t be left out to as it’s still there and its leaves a pretty looking blue trail when you move from one letter to another. On this phone, the music player is kept simple but provides a whole lot for instance ten equalizers and Track ID.


The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S sports a 4.2 inch screen that has a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. It also supports the Mobile BRAVIA Engine which is one of Sony’s best technologies only seen on TVs previously.  This tool improves the contrast and sharpness of the picture. The poor viewing angles are balanced out by the fact that you can view the screen even under sunlight.

This phone comes with an 8MP camera that also sports the Exmor R sensor. This camera is back-illuminated like the iPhone 4S and also has the photo diodes arranged in a way that helps increase sensitivity and reduce noise in pictures taken under low light. So we put that to test and the pictures taken in low-light scenarios were pretty decent although the noise suppression might get a little overboard at times and ruining details in the process. However in brighter situations, the photos came out sharp with some good color reproduction.  There are four flash modes that we think is worth a mention. They are auto, fill flash, red eye reduction or no flash at all which gives you more control. The LED used for flash also does good job lighting up your video in Night Scene mode.  New features with this camera are the Sweep Panorama and 3D Sweep Panorama modes.  At a rate of 30fps and a resolution of 720p, the videos recorded on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S were definitely smooth but could have been sharper.

Internet browsing is done on Android v2.3’s stock browser and with the power the CPU provides, all the navigation work and stuff like zooming can be done with amazing ease. Support for Flash is also great news for the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S. The phone’s got HSDPA connectivity speeds and all the other usual connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and A-GPS. However at this time where 4G is making a name for itself, lacking it makes the phone look a little less appealing.

This phone sports a great earpiece that produces very loud and clear sounds. Nevertheless, our friends on the line noticed some artificial and background noise which was surprising as the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S has the dual-microphone setup. This phone still has the same 1500mAH battery as its predecessor but it is a little bit improved as you can get up to 8 hours of continuous talk time with 3G mode on


Pros and Cons
Super thin and a narrow body makes the phone a delight to use even with its huge screen. The camera on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S performs well under low light scenarios and has the Panorama feature.

The phone still lacks a front-facing camera and the viewing angles of the screen on the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S are poor too.


It’s no doubt a slim phone and super stylish, but the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S isn’t a huge step forward from its predecessor in terms of specs, so if you still own the older version you might just want to hold on to it.

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