I finally get to see and hold and use the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc during the Sony Summer Hotspot in SM Megamall. When it was first introduced during the Mobile World Congress, I find the Arc to be very sleek and stylish on the outside yet powerful on the inside.
Of course, I have to see it to believe it so when I was able to go to SM Megamall, I quickly went to the Sony Ericsson booth at the Sony Summer Hotspot in Megatrade Hall 1. It wasn’t crowded at all and the people at the booth were kind enough to let me play with it to my heart’s content.
First thing I noticed with the Xperia Arc is its weight. I could compare it to the Samsung Galaxy S which is 2 grams heavier but the Xperia Arc is much bigger with a 4.2-inch screen. It’s also super-thin at 8.7mm, a teeny bit thinner than the iPhone 4. Actually, the silver-one looks thinner because you can’t quite distinguish the arch on the back of the black model.
Its thin form doesn’t come without any drawback. Notice the tiny buttons? They’re quite tricky to press especially the dedicated camera shutter button which is located way near the edge. I also wonder why SE decided to expose the microUSB port instead of covering it to preserve the classiness of the phone.
The display on the Xperia Arc’s 4.2-inch scratch-resistant screen was simply gorgeous. Just like the Xperia Neo, the Xperia Arc also uses the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Too bad I don’t have a Super AMOLED screen with me but the display on this phone is quite comparable to it, very sharp and the colors are brilliant. iPhone 4 is still sharper due to its pixel density though. The Xperia Arc has a 480 x 854 resolution which is the same as that of the 3.7-inch display of the Xperia Neo.
The Xperia Arc is powered by a 1 GHz Scorpion Processor with an Adreno 205 GPU and comes with Android 2.3 OS. It’s supposed to have the SE’s Timescape UI as well but I barely notice it. It has some Timescape icons but everything else looks vanilla Android. Anwyay, no big deal. The navigation is really smooth with every transition responding quickly to my every swipe. Very fast and snappy this Xperia Arc is.
You know what’s a 4.2-inch display with BRAVIA engine good for? Videos and games. HD video played without stuttering which is excellent if you wish to use it as a portable video player that you can hook up to your HD TV via its HDMI port.
I also tried a handful of HD games on the Xperia Arc to test its power and it’s like playing on the iPhone. Fast and responsive. Using the included HDMI cable we connected it to one of those BRAVIA TVs and boy, it looked like the game is being played from a console rather than a mobile phone.
The Xperia Arc also boasts of an 8-megapixel camera with an Exmor R sensor which is the same technology on their CyberShots but probably on a smaller scale. This is supposed to help the camera get better results even under low-light but using it inside the MegaTrade Hall, the photos appeared grainy and washed out. Maybe auto mode got confused with the weird lighting. Anyway, I couldn’t really say if the camera’s good or bad unless I try it in different lighting conditions. All I can say is that because of the placement of the dedicated camera button, pressing it will cause the phone to shake. You’re better off using the onscreen shutter button.
So that’s it for first impressions. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc managed to squeeze in some serious hardware and Sony tech on its small, lithe form which is an impressive feat for the company. Love the large display, speed and the HDMI out on this one but the small side buttons can pose problems for users with big fingers. If you like your phone to be huge, thin and light”¦ the Xperia Arc is a no-brainer choice but beware of its 320 MB internal storage.
The initial price of Php32,750 for the Xperia Arc seems to be just right for flagship Android phones. The HTC Desire HD, Samsung Galaxy S, iPhone 4″¦ they all started around that price. Sony Ericsson reps told me that the Xperia Arc will be available this April and will come in silver and black.
|Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Specs:|
|Qualcomm MSM8250 Snapdragon 1 GHz CPU; Adreno 205 GPU|
|4.2″³ capacitive display @ 480Ã—854 pixels|
|Sony Mobile Bravia Engine|
|320MB internal memory; 8GB microSD included|
|WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA|
|Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP|
|8MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash; Exmor R sensor|
|720p@30fps HD video recording|
|GPS w/ aGPS support|
|Li-Po 1500mAh battery|
|Android 2.3 Gingerbread|