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Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review

Can Android 2.3 and a super-slim new body salvage Sony Ericsson's Android ambitions?

Our Verdict

The best phone of 2011 so far, and it's not even dual core. Sony Ericsson has finally created the standout smartphone it's been after for so many years.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 1 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8.1 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 6.90 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 854

View full specification

For

  • Astonishingly thin body
  • Attractive user interface tweaks
  • Nice customisable floating dock
  • Single-core processor handles most tasks well
  • Decent battery life
  • Stunning screen

Against

  • Small, fiddly power and volume buttons
  • Timescape widget is rather ugly
  • Text entry system is a bit last generation
  • Only five home screens

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review: Contacts and calling

As with all modern Android phones, Contacts data on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc can be pulled in from your Google account and Facebook profile – plus it will import data from a SIM card if you're updating to a smartphone for the first time, or use Exchange data or Sony Ericsson's own standalone sync service.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

The individual Contact page is extremely customisable, with users able to add notes, nicknames, instant messaging accounts and much more to each listing – plus it's possible to automatically direct individuals to voice mail, if there's someone you're avoiding.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

You're able to sort Contacts in a few useful ways, like choosing to only show those that have phone number data – very helpful when your phone has just pulled the details of 300 people from Facebook.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

If you've linked a Facebook account with a Contact, the person's latest status update is also listed beneath their Contact details. It makes paying attention to other people's lives so much easier.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

It's also possible to place a shortcut to a person's contact details in an icon spot on the Home screen. It's a very user-friendly system, and Sony Ericsson has done a nice job of making Android's slightly dull text-based presentation look good.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

Call quality is very good indeed. Volume through the phone's speaker is loud and quite clear, plus there's a second microphone in the back of the phone to add an element of noise cancellation. Although it was hard to notice any significant difference.

The mobile signal was strong, actually giving us a better connection than our now-aged HTC Desire.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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
Rear Camera Resolution8.1 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourMidnight Blue
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time6.90 Hour
Product ModelArc
Screen Size10.7 cm (4.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 854
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)117 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, REACH, RoHS, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Forwarding, Call Divert, Conference Call, Fixed Dialing
RecycledYes
Recycled Content25%
Height125 mm
Width63 mm
Depth8.7 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXPERIA Arc Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineXPERIA
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number1246-9197
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Your life in vivid colours. Videos and stills. Show it all off on the sharp, crisp and clear 4,2' multi-touch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Share, like and comment with Facebook inside Xperia. The Xperia arc Android touch phone - designed to be daring.

Android touch phone with super-screen

View pics and video in vivid colours with your Android touch phone. Crisp and clear on the 4.2" Reality display with Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine.

The sleek, super-slim Xperia arc

Start with premium materials. Stir in a beautiful curve. Squeeze down to 8.7 mm. And there it is, a perfect palm fit: the slim, lightweight and strong Xperia arc.

Limited Warranty2 Year