Home Icon

First review of 2012: Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

By Leigh D. Stark | 8:53 am 02/01/2012

An upgrade to the Arc model released last year, Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc S features a faster processor, a bit more storage, and a 3D camera mode borrowed from Sony’s Cybershot cameras.


Smartphone makers experimented with all sorts of screen sizes in 2011, and Sony Ericsson was no different. With the Arc S, the screen hits 4.2 inches and offers the advantage of a better-than-average 480 x 854 resolution.

The screen is, of course, a capacitive touchscreen LCD, backlit by LED and powered by Sony Ericsson’s Bravia video engine for strong colour reproduction.

Under the hood, it’s a familiar scene. A slightly faster version of the chip found in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo lives here, with 1.4GHz provided. It’s still the same Adreno 205 graphics underneath – as seen in the Neo – underpinned by Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread and running Sony’s Timescape overlay.

The similarities continue with the camera. Sony Ericsson has opted for an 8 megapixel rear camera for stills, plus there are features commonly found in Sony’s Cybershot line of digicams, including face detection and image stabilisation. Video capture is set at 720p HD. There is no front camera, so video calls are not an option.

Connectivity is on spec with most other Android handsets: GPS, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. Charging the phone is handled through the same port used to move data to and from the handset – microUSB – and unlike the Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Neo, there is no rubber door flap covering the port. Like that model, though, Sony has included a mini HDMI port on the top, this one covered by a door.

While many touchscreen phones are ditching buttons altogether, Sony Ericsson’s Arc S bucks the trend by keeping a few on board. On the front, you’ll find three thin silver buttons for Back, Home, and Menu, as well as a single Home button on the top of the phone, a volume button on the right side and a camera shutter several centimetres below this.

Pages: 1 2

Price (RRP)


Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Camera is very fast; HDMI port can be useful;

Product Cons

Battery needs to be a lot better; No front-facing camera; Physical buttons require determined finger presses; Performance can lag;





Ease of Use


Latest reviews

  • A battery to beat: Motorola’s X Play reviewed

    Fancy screens and amazing cameras don’t make up the needs of all smartphone buyers, and if battery is the biggest concern, Motorola’s X Play has your name all over…
  • AppMonday: ReColor

    There’s a new craze sweeping bookstores, and it's colouring books. Not the sort you give to your kids, though, because these are colouring books made to help you relax…
  • Incipio’s wirelessly charged battery case for the iPhone 6/6s reviewed

    A long day can be gruelling on an iPhone battery. Fortunately, there are battery cases, and one of these even supports wireless charging. Neat.
  • Review: Rugby League Live 3 (PS3, PS4, X360, XB1, PC)

    With the 2015 NRL season about to conclude with the Grand Final, the tragic Rugby League fan may need something to cope with the impending end of the season.…
  • Review: Acer Aspire V 15 (2015)

    Ultrabooks aren't for everyone, and if you feel you still need a big screen and an optical drive, Acer hopes it has something in the form of the Aspire…
  • A grand phone: Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus reviewed

    If you’re in the market for a big phone, Apple is ready with a new phone, and if you want it to come with all the features everyone else…
  • AppMonday: Snake ’97

    Remember when games consisted of a few dots on a screen and two colours? Snake ’97 lets you relive the good ol’ days.
  • Apple iPhone 6s - full Australian review

    We’ve had the opportunity to spend some time getting to know the new iPhone 6s (and our iPhone 6s Plus review will appear on GadgetGuy.com.au over the next couple…
  • AppMonday: Rebuild 3

    Zombies are big for movies and games, but if you’re anything like us, you tire the old “let’s kill zombie” hack and slash and shoot formula. Fortunately, “Rebuild” is…
  • AppMonday: Weather Timeline

    iOS has its share of neat weather apps, but what if you’re after something clean and useful on Android? For that, you turn to a timeline. A "Weather Timeline".…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More