Mobile Phones Guide

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Right on the Mark

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Launch SRP S$888

Overall rating 9/10
Design:
8.5
Features:
9
User-Friendliness:
8.5
Performance:
9
Value:
8.5
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


Performance - Part II

Multimedia & Battery Life Performance

To kick start, the Xperia arc's 4.2-inch LCD screen is huge and primed for excellent multimedia viewing. We tried watching videos with and without the Mobile Bravia Engine on, and were impressed with both results. The Super AMOLED screens still triumph over the arc's screen, but it is only a marginal victory. That aside, an acceptable 480 x 854 pixels resolution is sufficient for comfortable video playback. Audio is good and reasonably loud when pumped up to the maximum, boasting of clear vocals and solid bass, at least as far as phones are concerned.

Next up is the camera's imaging performance and thankfully, Sony Ericsson lives up to its name and the Sony branding that is synonymous with imaging products.

 

On the resolution chart, both the horizontal and vertical LPH showed readings of 1500 and 1100, results that are extremely positive for a camera on a mobile phone. As mentioned, color reproduction is positive here, showcasing accurate colors that are well-contrasted. All in all, the snappy 8.1-megapixel camera produces clear and sharp photos with accurate blacks and colors. Because of its f/2.4 lens, visible details in night shots are also easier to capture without having to flush them out with the available LED flash.

As usual, we compare the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc's battery performance with a selected group of devices chosen based on their similarities across battery capacities, display sizes, resolution and processing power. This standard battery test consists of looping a 240 x 320 pixels resolution video clip at 100% volume and screen brightness, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth active with push email or data being pulled at regular intervals. For the Xperia arc, we compared it against other similar recent Android devices such as HTC Incredible S, Samsung Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy S.

Specifications/Device Sony Ericsson Xperia arc  HTC Incredible S Samsung Nexus S Samsung Galaxy S
Processor
  • 1GHz
  • 1GHz
  • 1GHz
  • 1GHz
Display Size
  • 4.2-inches
  • 4.0-inches
  • 4.0-inches
  • 4.0-inches
Display Type
  • TFT-LCD
  • S-LCD
  • S-LCD
  • Super AMOLED
Display Resolution
  • 480 x 854 pixels
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 480 x 800 pixels
Dimensions
  • 125.0 x 63.0 x 8.7 mm
  • 120 x 64 x 11.7mm
  • 124.74 x 64 x 11.5mm
  • 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9mm
Weight
  • 117g
  • 135.3g
  • 140g
  • 118g
Battery
  • 1500 mAh
  • 1450 mAh
  • 1500 mAh
  • 1500 mAh

 

The Xperia arc fared pretty well, coming in at second place, but with more than an hour of battery life lesser than the top scorer here, the Samsung Galaxy S. Nonetheless, judging by the results, the arc lasted for a reasonable amount of time (340 mins), which isn't bad or extremely good either. However, once you consider that the Xperia arc is actually driving a larger screen at a slightly higher resolution, it becomes clearer that Sony Ericsson has actually managed to create a phone that has a screen almost as large as the bulky HTC Desire HD but with much better talk time in a slim build. We say that's commendable. Take note that we ran these tests with the Mobile Bravia Technology switched off, so we would expect that in the reverse situation, the battery life results could take small dive, though we doubt that it will affect it much.

Given that the dimensions and weight of both the Samsung Galaxy S and Xperia arc are the most similar, it's not surprising that they managed a pretty similar ration in the Portability Index above where we consider the battery uptime divided by the product of the device's weight and volume. We can attribute the slight advantage of the Galaxy S' battery life to its Super AMOLED screen, which is well-known for being more power efficient than its LCD counterparts, as well as the Xperia arc's larger screen. Despite the Samsung Galaxy S holding pole position in battery life, power efficiency and portability index, we have say the Xperia arc still stands in good light given its characteristics.

Notably, while rationing the phone for normal day-to-day operations, the phone could last for at least a full day. If you are a light user, you can possibly stretch it out to about 1.5 to 2 days' worth of usage, especially if you only turn on your 3G periodically.