Dr Deep reviews the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

Dr Deep reviews the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

When Sony Ericsson bought out the original Xperia X10, I raved about how Sony Ericsson had taken a vanilla Google OS like Android and added their unique spin on it with Timescape and Mediascape.

I thought that these two unique add-ons really added value to their proposition in the marketplace. Little did I know that this was also to be their Achilles heel due to the tight intergration of Mediascape and Timescape with Android. It took Sony Ericsson an age to release updates to the OS. What was once unique now became an annoyance, as all other manufacturers were enjoying Android updates, the X10 looked slightly outdated.

Then last week I got the unique opportunity to test the latest Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. I’d heard many great things about this handset from the Sony Ericsson PR team but remained sceptical as it still had Mediascape and Timescape.

The first things that struck me were the quality of the screen and the thinness of the device.

Measuring only 8mm at it’s thinnest point it really is bewildering how the boffins at Sony Ericsson have managed to squeeze so much technology into such a thin device. The device itself comes with Google’s latest Android OS offering Gingerbread.

 

Brilliant high definition

A 4″ screen using Sony patented Bravia technology brings your picture, movies and anything else you care to watch on it, in brilliant high-definition. It also has an Exmor-R lens enabling you to shoot and record movies and pictures in HD (720p). Mediascape is no longer and Timescape is no longer so tightly integrated in the OS.

So the best road test I could give to one of this year’s hottest releases was to test it in a real life environment and use the device as my sole form of communication for the weekend.

 

Better than an iPhone 4?

Over the course of the weekend, at every dinner table and every pub meet, I would bring out the Arc and my friends would look on in envy. All agreed that it was an impressive bit of kit – fast, fluid and a marvel to behold. One of my closest friends and an iPhone 4 user actually preferred the Arc to his iPhone 4.

And I would have to agree. The latest version of Google’s Android OS really does help this shine. I think Google now has an OS that is nearly on a par with Apple’s iOS, especially with the technological expertise of Sony Ericsson behind them.

If this is the benchmark for the raft of Gingerbread handsets coming out this year, then the likes of LG, Samsung and HTC really do need to raise the bar as this handset has set a very high standard.