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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?

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review: Internet

The Arc's high-res 480 x 854 screen is superb for web use. The standard Android web browser is what you get here, with nothing in the way of Sony Ericsson customisations. That's a good thing, because the Android web browser is the very model of simplicity.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

Multi-touch zooming around pages is usually good, although it can get a little rough if you try to move around pages before they've fully loaded. You're limited to having eight browser windows open at once, which seems like a silly and arbitrary rule – but better than the four available on the HTC Incredible S.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

Text is extremely readable on the high-res screen. Sony's Ericsson's Reality Display is very easy on the eyes, with the brightness and clarity of the display making it one of the smartphone world's finest screens.

Large text documents are handled well, although the text reflow system is a little odd. Zoom into a page using multi-touch and it doesn't reflow – but double-tap on the screen and you get a full zoom with text shuffled about to fit the window size.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

The combination of Android 2.3 and Adobe Flash Player means Flash sites are supported, while the phone's 1GHz processor does a good job of handling complex, content-rich sites. It's not perfect, though – pages with embedded videos can grind to a near halt at times.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

Android's bookmark and history handling is clever, with an icon beside the URL bar bringing you straight into the bookmarks section when touched. This pops up a tabbed page that also includes your most visited pages and browsing history.

And yes, you can remove anything from this listing by long-pressing on the item in the list. Just in case you accidentally do something bad.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

URLs can be shared via the Menu button, while long-pressing on a chunk of text brings up a simple start and end arrow – arrange these to your liking, then tap the selection to copy the highlighted text to the clipboard.

The Xperia Arc, coupled with Android 2.3, is a great phone for web browsing, as long as you're not seriously into Flash content and heavy, dynamic web sites. You can forgive the odd web page crunch in return for having such a large, readable screen.

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
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
Height125 mm
Width63 mm
Depth8.7 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time430 Hour
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