Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
A sample of my review for Wired of Sony Ericsson’s latest flagship smartphone…
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S review
Wired: Slim, stylish, powerful and affordable
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade just around the corner
Tired: Build materials could be better
No dual core processor
The “S” smartphone naming convention has a lot to answer for. Having twice been used by Apple to indicate “Speed” and performance upgrades to its iPhone 3G and 4 handsets it has come to symbolise technical evolution, not revolution. As such these releases have been met with apathy, but the enhanced user experience has seen both break sales records.
By contrast, Sony Ericsson would just like to stop haemorrhaging money, so perhaps it hopes adopting a similar approach with its flagship Xperia Arc can help drag the company back into the black. It may just be the smartest thing the company has done in years…
The Xperia Arc S’s developers appear to have had a simple mission statement: more performance at a reduced price. This is a nice deviation on Apple’s usual stance of putting out each new handset at the same price as the model it replaces. Consequently the Arc S retails for just £299 (sim-free) and can be had for free on most £25/month long term contracts. There is a third pleasant surprise too, but we’ll get to that later.
Taking the Arc S out of the box provokes two emotions. The first is that this is a lot of phone for the money, the second it doesn’t feel like a lot of phone. To explain, the Arc S is equipped with a substantial 4.2-inch, 854 x 480 pixel display which gives it a hefty 125 x 63 mm footprint, but at just 8.7mm thick and weighing a mere 117g, it feels more like a mock-up than a real smartphone. The size/portability benefits are obvious (the Arc S weighs 23g less than an iPhone 4S), but the downside is that Sony Ericsson has used cheap construction materials to do it. Continue Reading