Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Right on the Mark

Launch SRP: S$888


Much Ado About Froyo and Bravia Mobile Engine

Thankfully, Sony Ericsson learned its lesson with the Xperia X10 - a flagship phone that only had the Android 1.6 OS when it was released while other manufacturers already had their phones featuring the Android 2.1 OS - and has kept the Xperia arc relevant with an Android 2.3 Gingerbread build. The makes the arc one of the earliest adopters of the new Android OS update. Both Timescape and Mediascape features make their appearances as well on the arc, and are apps that are primed for easy access to your social networking updates and multimedia files. 

 So far, we have not really spotted any incremental differences on the arc's user interface compared to the older Xperia X10 or X8 phones, but the good news is that the social-network friendly Timescape UI makes a reappearance here. The Timescape gives you a bird's eye view of all communications on the phone from Facebook, Twitter updates to emails and SMSes in tabs.

As mentioned, while the Android 2.3 OS hasn't featured any dramatic changes from the current Android 2.2 OS, there are some subtle differences that streamline the user experience.  For one, the Application settings now has a more comprehensive overview of how the battery is being used, with details of usage by each app or component.

Of course, the main draw for the Xperia arc is plain to see: a huge 4.2-inch 854 x 480 pixels screen with Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA Engine image processing technology that enhances video playback quality. We realized that the LED-backlit LCD lives up to its Reality Display moniker, boasting richer and brighter color display than its predecessors with good viewing angles under bright light. The sharp and beautiful results shine through while playing videos and games on the device as well as while navigating through the smartphone’s stylish interface. 

Looking impressive. The smartphone comes with a big 4.2-inch, 854 x 480 pixels multi-touch Reality Display with the Mobile BRAVIA engine enhancing its display.

The Good
Thin and light build
Unique 'arc' design
4.2-inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine
Snappy and capable 8.1-megapixel camera with f/2.4 lens
The Bad
Small and impractical physical buttons
Needs to be handled with care