Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

Sony Ericsso's latest Android 2.3 mobile device.

Shawn Loefflerby Shawn Loeffler

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

CES 2011 was nearly a month ago, and while tablets stole the show this year, there were plenty of stellar smartphones on display. One of the highlights was the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, which is a 4.2-inch beauty running on the new Android 2.3 (aka, Gingerbread). Also, it can be inferred from CES that 3G is out and 4G, along with Android, is the way to go in 2011.

So, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is one hell of a sexy phone. Sure it’s reminiscent of the iPhone in physical design, but, really, few smartphones today aren’t. At any rate, the arc, fittingly, does have a slight arc, or curve if you prefer, in order to have a more comfortable fit in your hand. Also, the arc is super thing, measuring just 0.3 inches at its thinnest point. The new Xperia arc will be available in two colors: Midnight Blue and Misty Silver (and I have to say that I’m in love with the Cylon effect the Misty Silver gives).

The 4.2-inch Reality display is meant for entertainment purposes and sports a new technology called Mobile BRAVIA Engine, which, obviously shares a name with the brand’s popular line of televisions. The arc’s 854 x 480 pixel TFT display has 16,777,216 colors and is an LED backlit LCD. Needless to say, it’s bright and looks crisp.

Also looking great on this phone is the 8.1-megapixel camera featuring Exmor R technology (back-illuminated CMOS technology). Exmor R is also combined with an f/2.4 lens, all of which allows users to capture high-quality images and 720p HD video in low-light situations. Results appear excellent. Among a plethora of features, highlights include touch focus, image stabilization, geo-tagging, and face and smile detection.

While the display is stellar, it’s still nice to be able to get images and videos up onto a bigger screen. An HDMI port on the Xperia arc provides DLNA support, allowing you to share your great content with friends and family on a larger screen.

Naturally, as an Android phone users will have access to the many Google Mobile Services and the all the apps in the Android Market.

Some of the other features on the arc include stereo FM radio with RDS; SMS (with threaded view) and MMS, e-mail, push e-mail, and IM; full HTML with bookmarks, Google search, NeoReader barcode scanner, Pan and zoom, and WebKit browser; lots of entertainment options that include 3-D games, media browser, motion gaming, video streaming and viewing, and YouTube; and the music player has album art, Bluetooth stereo (A2DP), a media player, music tones, PlayNow service, and TrackID. The Networks available on the Xperia arc include: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS/HSPA 800/850/1900/2100, and UMTS/HSPA 900/2100.

Undressing the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

You might have hoped Sony would have put a more advanced processor in the Xperia arc, but the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdraggon is still pretty zippy. They’ve also toed the line with memory, offering 8GB (expandable to 32GB with microSD) and 512MB.

As I mentioned earlier, the arc is slim at 0.3 inches, but it also has some girth to it at 2.5 inches wide (and it’s 4.9 inches tall). It’s still a featherweight though, at 4.1 ounces.

Battery life is rated at 430 hours of 2G standby and 400 hours of 3G standby. Talk time is 7 hours for both 2G and 3G, and music playback is up to 31 hours.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is expected to hit the market in Q1 of this year. There’s no word on pricing yet.