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Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S review

A minor phone processor update or an essential Android refresh?

The music player on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is the same as the one included in the original Xperia Arc. This means you get a pleasantly skinned version of the Android player, with clever Facebook integration and a few extra social and internet tweaks.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

The music player is simple. The bottom-left button pulls up a list of your SD card's audio content, with a search bar for locating tracks.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

Playlist support is simple, too. Long-pressing on any track title enables you to add it to an existing playlist or build a new one, with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S also automatically generating three Smart playlists that contain your newly added, most played or never played songs.

Audio quality through the built-in external speaker is good. It's a bit tinny, as we've come to expect from tiny mobile phone speakers, but it's very loud – loud enough to sit on a shelf and fill a room with your musical choices.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

One extra feature that matches other recent Sony Ericsson phones such as its Xperia Mini and Xperia Mini Pro is the Infinite Button that sits on the media player. This pulls up a list of social searches, popping up YouTube links, Wikipedia entries and more. Or you can turn it off completely if you already know everything and have seen everything.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

Also, there's Facebook integration in here, with a "Like" button on the main music player page, so you can broadcast your musical choices on Facebook in the style of some sort of modern mobile phone DJ playing to the world's most disinterested audience.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

You get a decent home screen music player widget with simple controls, although you don't get any lock screen controls. Even the pull-down Android notifications menu doesn't give you the option to play, pause or skip tracks – it's just a link to the music app.

There's an FM radio here that's linked to the TrackID app for identifying tracks off the radio - and can also ping links to tracks straight to Facebook.

Sony ericsson xperia arc s

Movie playback is a bit of a weak spot. As with the original Xperia Arc, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S doesn't support any DivX content, so files will need to be converted to the right kind of MP4. That's a disappointment, especially as the rival Samsung Galaxy S2 is such a star in the video playback area.

Installing Sony Ericsson's PC Companion tool will help, with that offering to convert files into the right format for you when you copy them to an SD card. But it's a bit of a chore.

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