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Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc – an initial thoughts review

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is the very latest Android Smartphone that brings together a beautifully slim design, Sony’s Bravia engine technology – along with a stripped down custom user interface. Measuring just 9mm at its widest point, the Arc is officially the thinnest Smartphone around and is easy to handle thanks to its shapely outer casing. The phone would certainly benefit from a metal back cover as we have seen on the HTC Desire S, as so much thought has gone into to the design that it seems a shame to feel a flimsy plastic cover in your hand.

Perhaps the two most exciting aspects of the phone are the fantastic wide-screen display and the 8.1megapixel camera with Exmor R sensor, both of which contribute towards producing an outstanding media device. With a micro HDMI cable included, you will also be able to connect the Arc to your TV and even use the remote to access any media; including those forgotten photos that may be buried deep inside the machine.

A reassuringly expensive price tag is sure to accompany the Xperia Arc’s release, but it is widely perceived to be Sony Ericsson’s best Smartphone yet by quite some distance. The executive look and feel of this device could also add to its exclusivity, but a lack of advances in terms of processing power may deter the potential business client on the basis of their power-sapping multi-tasking needs. The manufacturer has managed to supply a bigger, longer lasting battery than the of the one found in HTC Desire HD. This means that it will last longer than a day on heavy use, which is no mean feat. The power deficiency could be its real downfall with phones like the LG Optimus 2X that will soon to reveal a far more powerful chipset for handsets to be compared up against.

Fans of the Xperia series will realise that the screen is not of the AMOLED kind, which is found on the Samsung Galaxy S. The image-processing technology arguably delivers truer, more accurate colour on its brilliant 4.2-inch touch screen. The picture is clear, crisp and vivacious on viewing pictures and videos, which is fairly typical of the Xperia family.

The user interface and operating system have been separated this time around. This will allow for quicker updates, in a response that many people believe confirms Sony Ericsson ‘falling behind the pack’ in terms of software at the time of the Xperia X10’s release. Amidst the fusion of blues and blacks, you will experience fluid animations and smooth transition effects as you orbit the Arc’s custom menus. It would appear a perfect combination of brains, brawn and beauty, until you plough further into the hidden depths.

The Timescape app arrives in the thankfully less annoying form of a widget. This integrates well with Facebook and Twitter, whilst continuing to churn out meaningless updates, and relentless empty sentiments as long as you install the correct apps for both social networking sites. Mediascape has also received similar treatment for the Arc, yielding a simple but attractive media player that offers a much better experience than the default Android player.

Possibly the biggest problem for the Arc is its rivals, as it has an adequate amount of power at this moment in time. One Mobile Ring is certain that there are bigger and better phones in the pipeline, where by the end of the year the Arc may have had its thunder well and truly stolen. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a wonderful party piece, but perhaps a little too delicate for the demands of everyday life and the omnipotent threat of redundancy.

- B

Originally published at