This is a rather belated review of Sony Ericsson’s top-of-the-line android, the Xperia Arc which I had written about when it was launched end of March together with the smaller Xperia Neo.
The first thing to rave about the Xperia Arc is its metallic concave body ( that’s why it’s called the Arc). I give it lots of pogi points for its form factor. I’d easily call this the Porsche of androids at the moment. It’s been almost three months since it was launched. I wonder if the introductory price of P29,990 in the Philippines has gone down.
The pitfall of this phone is its battery life which seems to get drained very easily. But I compared notes with users of other smartphones and they said it is already a way of life with such feature-packed devices. However (and the big HOWEVER) is that this is not the same case with the Samsung Galaxy S II which I am using at the moment. I am not encountering the same problem with the Galaxy S II which has a better battery power.
It helps if you’ve had experience with an Android phone when you’re using the Arc, although it’s also no problem if you’re a first-time user of the OS. The Xperia Arc runs the Android 2.3 Gingerbread version with 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8250 Snapdragon computing power. Default applications that go with this smartphone include Youtube, Google Maps, Office Suite (for viewing office documents), Google Talk, Media Server, Track ID and countless more in the Android market.
I tried playing the built-in games Let’s Golf and Asphalt 5 which looked larger-than-life in the 480 x 854 pixel screen with multi-touch. I just have to say that the big 4.2 inch screen in this phone is one of its assets and it makes me feel that am carrying a high-def TV in my pocket. I believe the SE folks call this Reality Display. They’ve also put in the phone features that used to be found only in their highly-acclaimed Sony TVs like the Mobile Bravia Engine for superior image quality whether you’re viewing Youtube or engaged in Angry Birds.
Photo below shows the Xperia Arc back-to-back with the Sony Bravia TV just so you have an idea about their respective image qualities 😀
The browser interface in this phone is also a breeze since I can just pinch, zoom and swish like I do with my iPod Touch or current entry-level Android. Timescape is worth mentioning since it aggregates feeds from my social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and they appear like a deck of cards on the main screen. However, this can also be quite discomforting since there are some unnecessary feeds from friends I don’t like to get updates on.
The next best thing about this phone is its 8.1 megapixel camera which is capable of shooting great photos even under low-light conditions, thanks to Sony’s Exmor R CMOS camera sensor. I found this out for myself while covering this year’s Bb. Pilipinas grand coronation night. The cam in the phone is already as good as having a separate entry-level digital camera with features like crop, rotate, and share to social networking sites like Facebook. My only complaint really is the camera button which is hard to press. It is also a pity that such a great cam phone cannot zoom in or out because it is auto focus.
Here are the other specifications of the Xperia Arc: weight of 117 grams, dimensions of 2.5 x 4.9x 0.34 inches, screen with shatter proof sheet on scratch-resistant mineral glass, quadband GSM, 8GB microSD expandable to 32GB, ports for microUSB, microHDMI and 3.5 mm headphone jack, as well as the usual Bluetooth, wifi and aGPS.