Remember the Xperia Arc from Sony? Well, it’s back in a new avatar: with a faster processor, upgraded software, and differentiated from the earlier Arc by an S tag. The Arc S is faster to boot, faster to work with, and still as good looking—well, it looks the same actually, and remains one of the better-looking phones available. The camera is now 25 per cent faster, and the web browser, 20 per cent—all thanks to the new 1.4 GHz Scorpion processor from Qualcomm. Even with all this, it costs a little less than the first Arc.
There is no change in the material and build quality, which means that the back cover is still a bit flimsy. I would have loved to see an improvement here. Both phones have the same three buttons on the front, a 3.5 mm jack on the left, and a micro USB charging port/sync port on the right. Even the volume rocker and camera buttons are typically Xperia. But when you use the two phones side-by-side, you see the difference.
Arc S runs the 2.3 Gingerbread Android, and a Timescape user interface (UI) from Sony Ericsson on top of it. In the old Arc I wanted to remove the Sony UI. It was a drag. In the Arc S, I actually love the UI.
The other feature that interests me is the 3D Sweep Panorama. You can see 3D images on your 3D TV, but you can’t preview them in 3D on the phone. Another irritant is that it is not as seamless as it should be. That said, the camera is really nice in the normal mode, and I love its results.
The phone may put off a few people because it still runs on a single core processor, unlike many other phones in this price range that run on dual core processors.