When we got our hands on our Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review model, we raved about the great screen and how impressed we were with the eight-megapixel camera.

But we weren’t so keen on the weird misty-blue paint job on the phone’s backing, and wanted a more understated look. We knew Orange were set to offer an exclusive model in black, and they’ve let us borrow one of their handsets for a brief photo session, and we'd say this is the model for us.

The Xperia Arc is one of Sony Ericsson’s latest additions to their premium Xperia smartphone range. Running Android 2.3, and packing Sony’s Mobile Bravia engine for even crisper colour definition, it's a return to form for Sony Ericsson, and is another phone that's utilising Sony's wide electronics expertise for its phones.

The camera, which can take up to eight-megapixel stills, has an Exmor imaging sensor, paired with an f/2.4 lens. We found  it gave us  great results when we took photos or video in low-light conditions. There's also an LED flash when needed, and the camera can also record HD video at 720p.

Despite the expansive 4.2-inch screen, the phone is still a waif of a handset, with a curved shape that narrows to 8.7mm at its thinnest point.

We’ve brought the similarly thin LG Optimus Black, left, next to the Arc for comparison, and it's a tough one to call- in fact, we'd say it's a draw. This black version is available now from Orange, online and in-store. You can see our full review here.