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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: Camera

Sony ericsson xperia arc

The Xperia Arc's 8.1megapixel Exmor R sensor captures still images at a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448, with photos saved in JPEG format and emerging between 1MB and 1.5MB.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

The camera software itself is simple and straightforward, missing many of the silly photo effect features found in some cameras. You get a very stylish sliding option menu on the left, plus a miniature gallery of recent photo thumbnails to the right.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

Inside the Menu tab you find smile detection, a collection of eight scene modes for portraits, landscapes, night shots and so on, plus a red-eye reduction option.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

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OUTDOORS: Shots are good, with the system quick to focus and return you back to the viewscreen

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

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WITH FLASH: The flash is excellent, doing a fine job of illuminating scenes

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

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WITHOUT FLASH: Low light shots without flash are just about passable. The phone over-compensates for dingy conditions by boosting the colours, resulting in rather odd images filled with coloured mosaic tiles when viewed at full size. Still, it's decent low-light performance for a mobile phone

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

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MACRO: There's a separate macro mode that lets you get to around four inches or so away from your subject, which results in some superb shots of small things

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

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There's a bit of a physical problem when taking photos, though. The camera button is incredibly stiff, requiring a tough press to call into action. End result – blurry shots.

You can also touch the screen to take photos, but again, you end up shaking the camera a little when doing so. Or pressing the menu area by accident and getting very confused.

However, a digital image stabilisation option is on offer to help wobbles – and does the job without sacrificing any picture resolution.

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

Back on the options side you get a self-timer, although there's little in the way of silly little features to play with. No sepia, no black & white, no novelty colour modes at all. Which doesn't bother us one bit, because whoever actually uses the negative scene mode?

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

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NIGHT MODE: The above photo is taken using the Night mode. It's a dark corner of a dark room. At night. It's come out pretty well without using the flash

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DOCUMENT: There's a Document setting for taking pictures of text. We're happy to report that it does. It's basically the same as Macro mode as far as we can tell

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PARTY: This is the Party mode. We didn't have a party to hand, so stood beside a unit in the kitchen holding a cup of tea and took this photo using the self timer. The flash went off so it looks a mess. Worst party ever

Sony ericsson xperia arc review

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OUTDOORS: A landscape. The power of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc hardly makes any difference to what you see in reality. The Xperia Arc's display is sharp and bright, and the overall effect is stunning

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