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Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S review

A minor phone processor update or an essential Android refresh?

The changes Sony Ericsson has made to the Android 2.3.4 software that arrives on the Xperia Arc S are rather small compared to the 2.3.3 that currently powers the original Xperia Arc, but there are at least quite a lot of new little features to poke around with.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

But first of all, this is an Android phone. So you get a scrolling collection of home screens, in this case limited to five by Sony Ericsson, upon which you can install shortcuts to apps, folders and all sorts of live widgets.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

Long-pressing on an empty part of any home screen enables you to add your own stuff, although Sony Ericsson suggests you dedicate a huge chunk of your main central Home screen to its Timescape social network aggregator.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

This is a nice little toy. It pulls in updates from various social sites, displays missed calls and text messages.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

Plus Sony Ericsson has published a few plug-ins on the Android Market to expand its functionality, adding support for Gmail messages and more.

The enhanced power of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S means Timescape is finally perfectly smooth and a pleasure to use. However, we'd still rather install the standalone Twitter and Facebook apps and use those. Why have phone companies decided we should all treat Twitter and Facebook as parts of the same thing?

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

Another nice new Sony Ericsson widget is its Favourites and Call Log tool, which gives you a nice grid of your favourite phone contacts and a second tab that displays missed and recent calls. Touching a Contact's face opens up their individual Contact page, from where you can message them in their preferred way.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

Folder support has been enhanced a little, with your folders now making it more obvious when they have stuff in. Each folder now has a little 4x4 grid on the front, which displays mini icons of the first four apps you've put in them.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

As you can see, folders can even be placed on the floating dock that sits along the bottom of the screen, so it's possible to absolutely ram the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S with links to apps and games.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

The app drawer is accessed by the central button on the dock, which pops up your big list of apps. You can have them sorted automatically, but there's another very nice interface addition in here - the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S has a button on the bottom-right of the screen that brings up an editing mode.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

You can use this to rearrange your apps, dragging and dropping them into position, or non-critical apps that are removable have a little red cross on them - press this to instantly delete them. This is a much, much easier way of removing apps than the usual Android method of rummaging about through the Applications menus.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

And then the Overview mode explodes all the live widgets on your home screens and presents them in one weird, floating pile. It's in case you get lost on the five home screens. It's not really of much use, but it is cool.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory1 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.66 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXPERIA
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time7.41 Hour
Product Modelarc S
Screen Size10.7 cm (4.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 854
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)117 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density233 ppi
Height125 mm
Width63 mm
Depth8.7 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time460 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA arc S Smartphone
Processor Speed1.40 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXPERIA
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number1254-2342
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

A 1.4GHz processor for super fast... well, everything. Show off sweeping panoramas in 3D.

Start your camera phone. Now shoot and save your pictures in a snap, with the Xperia arc S Android smartphone powered by a lightning fast 1.4GHz turbo processor. Get all the games, apps and videos, without the wait, plus with 3D sweep you can capture stunning panoramas and show them off on a 3D or HD TV. Bright just got more brilliant.

Limited Warranty2 Year