REVIEW: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S

Photo Courtesy: Sony Mobile

The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S is the last model of smart phone Sony Ericsson had before the company’s name is changed to Sony Mobile. Its top specs are as equal to its predecessor–the Xperia Arc except the latter has only two color variants and the battery life for the arc S is a little bit longer. The biggest improvement from arc is the inclusion of the card slot into the arc S on top of the latter’s 1GB internal memory. Though, the Xperia arc has internal storage: 16GB, 32GB, and 1GB RAM.

The Display Screen of the arc S at 4.2 inches is larger than the iPhone 4S(3.5 inches) but yet it’s lighter at 117 gms (iPhone 4S-140gms).  It comes in five colors: Gloss Black, Midnight Blue, Misty Silver, Pure White, and Sakura Pink.

Top Specs: (For full specification, click here.)

  • 1.4GHz Snapdragon PROCESSOR
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS
  • 4.2-inch scratch-resistant TFT touchscreen DISPLAY
    • Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine
    • Scratch-resistant, shatter proof sheet on mineral glass
    • Capacitive touchscreen with on-screen QWERTY keyboard
    • Screenshot capturing
  • 8.1 megapixel CAMERA with LED flash and Auto focus
    • Sony’s Exmor™ R for mobile CMOS sensor
    • 16x smart zoom
    • f/2.4 Aperture
    • HD video recording (720p), up to 30 frames per second
    • 3D Sweep Panorama
    • shoots @ 8MP 4:3, 6Mp 16:9, 2Mp 4:3, 2MP 16:9 ratios
    • Internal phone storage: 1GB (up to 320MB free)
    • RAM: 512MB
    • Expansion slot: microSD, up to 32GB
    • TrackID music recognition
    • xLOUD Experience – audio filter technology from Sony
    • 3D and motion gaming
    • Timescape with Twitter integrated
    • Facebook inside Xperia 2.0
    • USB High speed 2.0 and Micro USB support
    • 3G/HSDPA, 14.4Mbps; HSUPA 5.8Mbps
    • WiFi and WiFi Hotspot functionality
    • HDMI Support
    • aGPS
    • Bluetooth technology


AnTuTu Benchmark v2.7.3

Running this Android Benchmarking tool on this Xperia arc S shows the device has scored 3592 and ranked 8th with Asus Transformer Prime at the top of the Bar Chart. However it’s the Samsung Galaxy SIII that topped in the recent AnTuTu Benchmark tests as shown in the List Chart below.

There’s a lot of figures in the first image which indicate the Xperia arc S’  Memory Performance, CPU integer performance, CPU Floating Point Performance, 2D 3D Graphics performance, SD card reading/writing speed, database IO performance. It’s quite a good performance for a single core smart phone. In this test, the higher the number the better.



Quadrant Standard Edition

In the Quadrant test which is a CPU, I/O and 3D graphics benchmark,   the Xperia arc S scored 1398 and comes in third after Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsing Galaxy Nexus phone.

CAMERA PERFORMANCE (all images are raw shots)

Long shot taken at past 5pm with the sun is about to set behind me. Capturing mode: normal; Resolution: 16:9 ratio @ 6MP; Image Stabilizer: On

Shot taken while the background has much light from a setting sun @ past 5pm. Wash-out in the background is not notable. Same camera setting in the first image above.

The shot is taken with the basilica structure serving as the shed of the scene from the setting sun @ past 5pm. Same camera setting in the first two images above. The colors are vividly enough.

Indoor shot with daylight bulbs illuminating the conference hall of the University of the Philippines.

Indoor shot with chandelier lights and other small daylight bulbs illuminating the hall @ Casino Español.

Close-up shots taken indoor without using the Zoom lens. Text are just enough without the blur.                                                                                                   

But got this blurred shot (below) when i used the zoom lens of the camera from about 15 meters off the subject no matter how i set the Focus mode (Single auto focus, macro, Infinity, Multi-auto focus, face detection, and touch focus).

I also took these indoor shots @8MP but in 4:3 ratio as a comparison to the pictures above:

Just like in other Xperia phones with panoramic shot feature, i have a hard time taking very wide shots using this feature. It has a grey area at the right end of the panorama. I’ll have to try my luck next time but my point here is this feature should be improved to make it easy for the users.


In the video below, taken during the second day of opening of SM Consolacion, the shots are all raw and were taken using  the 8MP camera of the Xperia arc S. The various sequences were all uploaded directly from the Xperia arc S to YouTube. The shots are chronologically arranged and inserted with transition effects using YouTube’s built-in online Video Editor.

The raw shots have the following settings:

  • Scene Recognition: Off
  • Video Size: HD 720p
  • Exposure: 0
  • Focus Mode: Infinity
  •  Photo Light: Off
  • White Balance: Auto
  • Image Stabilizer: On

I opted to use the Infinity focus mode rather than the Single Image Auto-focus since most of my shots are long shots. If i had it set at Single Image Auto-focus, i would have had problems in focusing the image afar since a lot of people were came into my sight.

The colors in the video are outstanding and the Exmor R sensor worked perfectly despite i took the shots at about sunset and had the Photo light off while taking the shots inside the mall.

I just only had problems in adjusting the focus lens when i zoomed in closer to my subject since my setting is at infinity. The zoom lens is also erratic and zooming in/out is a little bit faster and uncontrollable once you pressed the “volume” rocker which is also the zoom lens control.

The microphone sensitivity is just enough for a self-narration documentation and the picked-up sound appeared to have been taken by an omni-directional microphone.

Here’s a guide to the use of the Camera features of the Xperia arc S:


No phone is ideal to many but the Sony Ericsson arc S is worth your money. What i’d like most in the arc S:

  • large screen, display is awesome
  • light weight and has a nice grip in your hand
  • design is elegant despite the plastic case
  • the physical camera button makes shooting easier
  • the camera has a bigger resolution–3264×2448 pixels
  • the image/video color is outstanding
  • it’s fast enough for a single core phone
  • 3G/HSDPA connection is consistent with less battery consumption. Tested it for several hours on stationary and mobile positions.
  • Specific Absorption Rate(for radiation) is only at 0.66 watts/kg which is way below the US & Europe Standards


  • no Front Camera
  • close-up shots using the zoom lens are always not in focus
  • panoramic feature is not easy to use
  • RAM @ 512MB is a little bit inadequate compared to other smart phones

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is now selling at P18k+ in some stores at the Cyberzone in SM City. It’s a best alternative to high-end smart phones that are worth ranging P25K-P40K. 🙂


2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S

  1. sonyericsson xperia arc s is a beauty. it has got almost everything. m using it for the last 2 weeks . its worth buying.
    2 things I dislike in xperia arc:
    #missing front cam
    #short battery backup
    previously I was using symbian device which was better in battery backup. I dislike android systemd due to short battery timing.


  2. I’m returning the review unit today to Sony Mobile. I will surely miss the SE Xperia Arc S. It’s very handy phone and full of features. Next to review is the latest SM Xperia S. Watch for it here in a couple of weeks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s