We’ve always had a place in our heart for Xperia’s curvy big-screened Android offering. Now we’ve distilled Recombu’s collective know-how to bring you best tips and tricks on Sony Ericsson’s premiere smartphone. We’d expect to find all these features in the fresh-from-the-press-release Xperia Arc S – but we’ll certainly be checking when it comes in for review.
Simple widescreen panorama photos
It’s not officially out just yet, but you can download the Panorama beta, a photo app that’s set to arrive alongside the Android 2.3.4 update on this year’s Xperia Smartphones. Download the .apk file here – courtesy of those guys at XDA Developers. Be warned, it’s still a beta. You’ll need to enable “Unknown sources” under Applications in Settings.
It’s already pretty functional; once you’ve launched the app choose the direction you’re looking to pan across, press the camera icon and it’ll continuously snap photos then stitch them together – like our effort above.
Three buttons with the power of four
Like the rest of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia range, the Arc arrives in your hand with only three buttons beneath that sumptuous 4.2-inch screen, not the typical Android-issue four.
Fear not; the Xperia Arc uses the menu button to ensure you’ll still have almost instant access to a search function – press down for a few seconds. The nice thing about is it’s contextual – if you’re in Gmail, it’ll search your emails. It does the same for music players, Facebook and the like.
You can also press the Home button for a few seconds to jump immediately to the task manager – a very quick way to jump between recently accessed apps.
Get an all-over view of your phone
Sony Ericsson have added some extra, generally unobtrusive features to the Xperia Arc atop of the Android Gingerbread goodness.
Like several other Android Gingerbread phones, there’s pinch-to-zoom features on Google Maps and the web browser, but doing so on the homescreen plucks all your widgets and app shortcuts and floats them around on a single “page”.
It’s a slick touch, and makes searching for the app you need easier than all-page homescreen view offered on its rivals.
Xperia Arc: System tests and the secret code.
If you’re into the technical meat and bones you can access extra phone details and hidden secrets by dialling *#*#7378423#*#*, including all sorts of tests for the touchscreen and LCD display – perfect for hunting out dead pixels. The sound test is pretty intense too.
Connect your Xperia Arc to your TV
Check the top of the Arc, and you’ll find a port labelled HDMI. You will have to buy a microHDMI – HDMI converter cable, but with this you’ll be able to show off your photos and videos on the big screen. This is even better, given that the Xperia is an able camera-phone capable of recording high definition video (at 720p), and snapping 8-megapixel photos.
Interestingly, the screen will also mimic anything else you do on your phone, for big-screen gaming and even sharing emails and websites. Simply plug-in and go.
Any Xperia Arc features you’ve fallen in love with? Let us know in the comments.