The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is the latest addition to Sony Ericsson's smartphone portfolio. It doesn't seem that long since the Xperia Arc first launched, but things move quickly in the mobile phone world, leading to the overhauled version. Read on to find out if it's worth upgrading.
First off, the design of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is near identical to it's ancestor, with just a change of colours to differentiate it. For us, this is a great thing, as the Arc remains at the pinnacle of mobile phone design.
The display is the main party piece here, with a razor sharp resolution and vivid colours that help to make it one of the most pleasurable screens on the market.
Despite featuring a huge 4.2-inch display, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S feels great in the hand, aided by it's incredibly skinny and tapered profile. Getting thinner towards the centre of the handset, and with complementing chrome inserts, it looks impossibly slimline, and it has a real 'wow factor' that few other phones can compete with.
The Android software on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S has been updated to version 2.3.4, and although it offers a few changes over the previous iteration, the updates will be available to current owners of the older Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc as well later this month.
One of the biggest new features for the Arc S is the inclusion of a fast 1.4GHz processor. It's only a single core chip, but to be honest we never found speed to be an issue with the old Xperia Arc. It feels similar here, with performance proving blisteringly fast in most daily situations.
The camera also remains the same as the older Xperia Arc – with a fantastic 8-megapixel snapper in place. Again, it's a case of not fixing the things that aren't broken.
If you were expecting the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S to move the game on significantly over the Xperia Arc, you'll be disappointed. Then again, in most areas, it didn't have to. Some minor issues still remain, however, such as the incredibly small hardware buttons around the side of the handset, and the limitation of five (rather than seven) home screens.
The Arc is also a single-core handset, although at present this doesn't really cause any issues.
The bottom line
The changes to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S really are minimal – and we didn't really notice the hike in processing speeds. As such, we'd be tempted to opt for the older Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc instead, as it's beginning to represent serious value for money.