The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is a phone we’ve been looking forwards to getting our hands on. It’s essentially a faster, speeded up version of the original Xperia Arc – a phone we already rate highly – with a faster processor inside.
The Xperia Arc S includes a pseudo 3D panoramic sweep mode and comes running on 2.3.4 Gingerbread out of the box. All other phones in the 2011 Xperia range ought to start getting updates this month. The Arc S has these features already, meaning its a little ahead of the curve.
Thanks to the HDMI-out connection on the Arc S, you’ll be able to hook the phone up to a compatible HDTV and show off your 3D sweeps of cityscapes and whatnot, as well as play video, games, check Facebook, email and the rest on a big screen.
Despite the faster chip (1.4GHz up from the 1GHz of the original) and the more up to date software there’s not much different here from the original Arc; it’s got the exact same concave back, the same great 8.1-megapixel camera that’s boosted by the Exmor R light sensor.
In the box you get the usual raft of leafleture and a Sony Ericsson GreenHeart charger and USB cable. Some in-ear headphones are included with interchangeable rubber buds and a remote control with a mute function.
While we crack on with the review, please do click through our What’s in the box? pictures to find out what’s in the box.
That same 4.2-inch touchscreen that we know and love. The auto-rotate from portrait to landscape is nice and smooth on the Arc S. Of course you can turn this off in the settings if you don’t want this.
On the right hand side, you’ve got the micro USB port up top, volume rocker underneath and the camera shutter key at the base of the phone.
Over on the left, there’s the 3.5mm headphone jack.
An external speaker sits at the bottom with a mic to the left and a little clip where you can attach a lanyard or keychain.
Externally, the Xperia Arc S is exactly the same as the original Xperia Arc. 8.1-megapixel camera over on the right with a single LED flash.
The Xperia Arc S’s screen gracefully fades to black in the manner of an old style TV screen switching off. It’s not quite as retro-tastic as the stock Gingerbread screen off animation seen on the Nexus S and Nexus One, but it’s still pretty cool.
Up on the top of the Arc S there’s the micro HDMI port protected by a dust cover.
The battery cover peels off easily and snaps securely back into place.
The Arc S’s insides. Sadly, Sony Ericsson didn’t feng shui the microSD slot, meaning that you’ll have to take the battery out to get at it. An 8GB came in the box with our Arc S, though we were told that the size of card you get could vary depending on where you get yours from.
Note the second mic next to the SIM slot; set for noise cancellation action.
The multi-part USB cable plus adapter that’s standard fare these days plus supplied headphones with replaceable rubber earbuds.