Review of Xperia arc SE: Arc de Triomphe

    When I got acquainted with the new model range of Sony Ericsson smartphones, I came to the conclusion that the company finally got out of the black bar in which it had been for the last couple of years and headed straight for the white - the Japanese-Swedish alliance introduced such sane gadgets in 2011! The face of the new generation of Xperia has become a smartphone with the talking name arc.

    What is what?

    "Sonerik" in the past few years has somehow been unlucky with communicators. At first, the company could not keep up with iPhone and the company, continuing to produce devices according to the prescription of the good old P9xx. The transition to Android and the abandonment of Symbian were difficult for the developers, and the first "robots" were not the most successful, although original: the tubes slowed down, and the software was updated quite rarely. But by 2011, apparently, the problems had been resolved, and even the earliest test samples of the new models of the Xperia line (besides arc now SE also has Play and Neo) pleased with the design and speed. But most importantly, when it’s almost reached the beginning of sales, Sony Ericsson has set fairly affordable prices for their devices!


    The name arc got an ulterior motive - its back cover really looks like a wide arch. Firstly, it made it possible for the manufacturer to declare that the gadget is super-mega-thin (8.7 mm in the center). Secondly, this bend makes the smartphone extremely beautiful. And it’s not feminine, but somehow universal ... so that the handset will look appropriate in a handbag and in the pocket of a man’s jacket.
    Well, thirdly, and, probably, mainly, it’s convenient. Really comfortable! The phone, in spite of its dimensions, lies well in the hand, and does not seem to be a shovel at all.
    The photograph is not very noticeable, but the back cover is not entirely dark blue, but the gradient cover is from almost black to gray-blue.


    It's nice that Sony Ericsson does not abandon the hardware buttons, ignoring the latest trends in the use of soft keys. On the front panel there is an elegant shiny strip with which you can go to the previous page, return to the main screen and open the context menu. On the right side there is a short (I would do more authentic) rocker for adjusting the volume and zooming, as well as a miniature camera button. On top there was a place for the power key and lock the device. The button is quite tight and plus everything is recessed into the case, so by chance (read in your pocket) it just won’t press. But the index finger to the touch of her identifies perfectly.


    There are only three connectors on the case: on the upper edge under the plug is microHDMI (by the way, a normal human meter cable is a beauty!), MicroUSB on the right, and a 3.5 mm jack on the left. There are no questions to the first one at all - the thing can be very useful at times, especially considering the possibility of playing high-resolution video. The second one also seems to be in its place, and the only negative is the lack of a plug, which is why a pocket pile is gradually stuffed into the connector, and it looks against the background of the rest of the gloss, to put it mildly, not very. On the other hand, when connecting, you won’t have to make extra gestures ... In general, I still haven’t decided whether this is good or not. But the audio jack is very inconvenient! If suddenly the complete headset fails (and it fails - the wiring is flimsy), she will have to look for a replacement with the L-shaped plug, which, of course, greatly reduces the choice. And it’s better not to try to listen to music on the arc through the “ears” with a straight plug - the wire will suddenly die.


    The 4.2-inch arc screen is so cool that it feels like holding a small copy of Sony's telly. And the comparison is not far from the truth. In this model, SE used a new type of display - Reality Display, the production of which used Mobile Bravia Engine and Live color technologies, which were already tested on “adult” LCD panels. At first I did not believe that they somehow influenced the picture, but picking up two devices at once (one with the MBE function turned off and the other with it turned on), I realized that I was wrong - photos and videos thanks to this software chip become significantly brighter and sharper. We tried to shoot this, but the difference is only visible live, so I have to take my word for it :) In addition, the production uses another interesting technique called No air gap, which removes the air gap between the matrix and the protective glass, therefore, when turned off, the display is almost as black as the plastic frame around it. And according to the manufacturer, such displays can save up to 40% energy compared to the previous generation screens, and this can be believed, because during the tests I charged the phone not so often.

    Work speed

    Sony Ericsson, as it were, says to everyone who already worships mobile dual-core processors: break off! Our flagship will not have super power - one core is enough. And they, in my opinion, are right: the gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 and the Adreno 205 graphics chip are installed in the arc, and this is enough to prevent the Timescape proprietary interface (previous models sinned this, but now the problem seems to be solved), and even “heavy” sites were quickly tossed in the browser. Well, in the Quadrant Standart synthetic tests, this bunch, of course, does not gain as many points as, for example, the same NVIDIA Tegra 2 - 1381 points. (LG Optimus 2x - 2467, HTC Desire HD - 1581).


    The camera shoots pretty well and, which is typical, “shoots” quickly - it takes 3-4 seconds from the moment you press the button (to launch the corresponding application) to save the image.
    Open the image in original resolution

    Open the image in original resolution

    Open the image in original resolution

    Open the image in original resolution

    As for the video, the camera allows you to record clips in 720p format. I will not say that I am amazed at the quality, but in general it is not the worst option.

    Download original video


    On top of Android 2.3.2, which runs Xperia arc, SE installs its own shell, the heart of which is the application Timescape. All messages from social networks (Twitter and Facebook), as well as notifications about SMS, email and missed calls, flock to this carousel. In general, a convenient thing, but I was not used to it - I used specialized applications. Using a similar carousel, you can also view photos and videos. And for listening to music there is a simple and intuitive widget.
    Among other things, it is worth noting the branded Track ID application - an analogue of the well-known Shazam. With it, you can find out what kind of music is playing now, for example in an institution. To do this, it records a fragment of a song and compares it with the database. I must note that the SE program hits the target much more often than Shazam.

    Working hours

    To say that I was surprised by the operating time of this gadget is to say nothing. Xperia arc, given its rather powerful hardware and huge screen, works for an amazingly long time - more than 10 hours with a constant Internet connection via Wi-Fi or 3G, background updating of mail, twitter and other tinsel, plus watch a movie on the subway or listen to music. For a 1500 mAh battery, that's cool, I think!


    As the main competitor to the SE Xperia arc, I would choose the HTC Incredible S, which just went on sale.
    This is not a flagship, but it has a screen comparable in size, about the same performance and also has a shell that hides Android. Only the version of the system, unfortunately, has 2.2. But the price is significantly lower - 23990 against 25990 for arc.


    I'm impressed! Sony Ericsson managed to do what failed in 2010 - to produce a perfectly balanced device: design, screen, functionality, uptime - everything is there. And most importantly, the price of it remained at a sane level. For 26 kilo rubles arc many will want to buy! In general, I predict a great future for the device :)


    GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
    WCDMA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100
    OS: Android 2.3.2
    Processor: Qualcomm QDS8255, 1 GHz
    RAM: 512 MB
    Display: TFT (Reality display), 4,2 ", 854x480 , 16 million.
    Main memory: 512 MB, + 8 GB microSDHC included
    Communications: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, HDMI
    Connectors: micro-USB, HDMI (type A), 3.5 mm
    Camera: 8.1 Mpix. + 720p at 30 fps
    Navigation: GPS, A-GPS
    Battery: 1500 mAh
    Dimensions: 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm
    Weight: 117 g
    Price: 25990 rub.

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