Jan 07 AT 7:36 PM Nick Gray 37 Comments

Hands-on with the SONY Ericsson XPERIA Arc

Here at CES, we’ve had the chance to play with quite a few new handset which will be hitting the market within the next few months, but the one I’m personally most excited about is the SONY Ericsson XPERIA Arc. No, it does not feature a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, but it was the only new handset we have seen at the show that’s already running Android 2.3.

SONY’s UX interface has gotten quite a few new enhancements, and SONY has even gone out of their way to allow users to control their media apps (gallery, music, and video player) with your SONY TV remote while the Arc is connected via HDMI. But the real reason that I’m so excited about the XPERIA Arc is the overall handset hardware design.

As we’ve posted before, the SONY Ericsson XPERIA Arc an insanely thin 8.7mm body which arches out towards the top and bottom of the handset. While most other Android phone manufacturers have switched, SONY is still sticking to their their 3 hardware button (Back, Home, and Menu) layout. The only thing that we’re not too psyched about is the fact that SONY Ericsson chose to place the 3.5mm headphone jack on the side of the XPERIA Arc rather than the top or bottom.

We could go on and on about the XPERIA Arc, but we though it would be better let you watch a few videos that we shot while at the SONY booth.

DSC_5752 DSC_5753 DSC_5754 DSC_5755 DSC_5756

This last video shows Angry Birds running full-screen via HDMI-out on the SONY Ericsson XPERIA Arc.  Let’s see if any of you can identify which Android and Me writer gets overly excited near the end of the clip. Let us know who you think it is in the comments.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • Dave K

    Side headphone jack means someone didn’t put any thought into it. When people put a phone into their pocket, it typically stands upright, since that’s the way it fits best. So having the jack anywhere except on top is a poor choice.

    • http://Website Tom

      Well, on the bottom is fine too, you just put the phone into your pocket with the top facing down… But yes, I agree, the side is horrible.

    • http://Website Philk

      You can’t be serious?
      Think outside the box….there are different types of earphones available, not just the straight connected that everyone has been conditioned too since the first Ipod.

      Example
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-II-Precision-Isolating-Ear-canal/dp/B001EZYMF4

      This might stop my earphones popping straight out of the jack on top of the phone every time turn my head or try to get my phone out of my pocket.

  • http://Website Kye

    Is ut you taylor?

  • http://Website archboy69

    Sony may make great hardware also but they have shown to be almost if not worst about updating their phones. Thank god this one will be running 2.3 but I’m sure that will be the only update you will ever get with them.

    This is another to avoid like the plague.

    Oh, First!

    • http://Website jose

      I agree that it wont get many updates but I don’t think its Sony’s fault its probably at&t that doesn’t care about updating their android handsets since they pay attention to the phone that saved their company the iPhone. .

      • http://Website Darren

        There’s a world outside the US, and in that world none of the SE phones get timely Android updates, if any at all.

    • IceCrush

      Being an x10 user who is left with 2.1 and won’t be updated officially I would say :
      Never ever buy SE .
      Thank you XDA

      • http://Website 4G or Not To 4G

        SE puts so much energy into their phones to make them a good product which they do, but the problem, they don’t seem to understand that in this new smartphone age, you can’t just make a phone and think that you are through. Especially since Android is so young, but so eager to get better and better, so if SE is going to be a part of the revolution, they need to devote as much time to the upgrades as they do their initial UI. If they are not willing to support the product, then stop making such intensive UIs, make some SE only widgets, then get out of the way!

  • http://Website angie

    No idea who that was! So I’m gonna guess Sean since he’s the only one I have not met. Sounds like something Chris might do though… hmm

  • http://mail.com methodz

    PLEASE have Tmo 3g bands!

    • http://Website Drrew

      I know!!! I want this phone too! Come on Tmo.. pick it up! Although I heard it was headed to ATT, one can dream, right?

  • http://Website Mark

    Wow. That presenter in that video must have his head up his ass. How is holding down on an app for a second and dragging it on top of another app and dragging it on top of yet another app shorter than holding down on an empty part of the screen for a second and tapping folder??

    • http://Website Chokkan

      I think he said all you have to do is drag one icon onto another. No?

      • http://Website Tom

        Yeah, he said all you have to do is drag one icon onto another, and it creates a folder and lets you name it. You’re the one with your head up your ass, fella.

  • http://Website Chokkan

    That was a good demo. 2.3 confirmed for those people who keep on with the hilarious joke that the phone will be released with 2.1 and updated to 2.3 in 2012. Multitouch confirmed for those same people. The UI looks fine if a little heavy on the blue.

    I like the look of the device, except for the top section near the speaker which looks a bit messy on the silver version.

    The original Xperia was a massive hit here in Japan, and I think I’ll be getting this when it comes out. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of choice that you do in Europe or America.

  • http://Website Farid Al-Samiri

    the ugliest phone ever! bah

  • http://Website Davos

    Is it just me, or does the screen look really washed out and hardly visible on an angle? Seemed like such a bit contradiction when he was talking about how good the screen is!

    • http://Website 4G or Not To 4G

      @ Davos, wasn’t just you…it looked like crap…they should have re-shot it

  • MC

    More, “same ‘ol, same ‘ol!” Where’re all the goodies we were supposed to see at CES? Enough with the wannabe iPads, fer chrissakes! Let’s see some dual-cores with NFC!
    BTW, Google, thanks EVER so much for the underwhelming and nearly-instantly obsolete Nexus2! In one fell swoop you lowered the bar SO much, the entire handset industry breathed a sigh of relief and decided users like me could just … abide.

  • Dtown

    It’s the phone Sony Ericsson should have came out with 6 months ago without Gingerbread. Don’t get me wrong it is a great looking phone but with no front facing camera, NFC or dual-core processor, what is the point?

    • http://Website Chokkan

      Yeah, because there are so many exciting and useful ways to use the NFC chip in the Nexus S right now.

      • Dtown

        While other soon to be released phones will have the chip, SE has already fallen behind and left out any future capability. Also are you not worried about processor requirements of future Android versions?

  • http://Website SGB101

    having used the x10, I will not buy a Sony phone for some time.

    The auto folder create – I this causing more problems than solutions, especially when you try to drag an icon from screen to screen. The OS may see the slight delay as wanting to merge the icon with one your already touring?

    Thanks some for giving us alphabetical apps, its only been in android since day 1. But why side scrolling, my home screen side scrolls so I like apps to vertacly scroll!

    Il stick with my desire for a bit longer I think

    • http://Website Chokkan

      Surely it only creates the folder when your finger leaves the screen.

      He was showing how you could sort the apps differently.
      Free sort
      Alphabetical
      Most used
      Recently installed

      Scrolling method in the app drawer is a matter of personal preference, so I’ll give you that one. I don’t mind either way, but the ability to sort apps the way I like is great.

  • http://Website billbob

    Oh thats an Android phone? My bad, I couldn’t tell by all the UI from Sony.

  • http://Website Joshua

    Some of you are getting way too giddy about NFC way too prematurely. I think they make a pill for that. It is very far away from being instituted and not everyone is choosing to go that route, including Apple. Because we are surrounded by mindless masses they are going to do whatever Apple does. This NFC is gonna turn into a Blu-ray Vs HD-DVD so we will see what happens. As of now it’s a useless waste of space.

    • http://Website Darren

      Not sure about the US but NFC is already everywhere in a lot of countries – smartcards for public transport, Mastercard PayPass, Visa PayWave, etc. It’s only a software/licensing issue to make NFC phones compatible with existing NFC systems.

  • JamTheMan

    Interesting… If they had only been better at updating my X10, this would probably be my replacement, since I love their UI…

    But why, oh, why did they switch the position of the buttons. “Back” is to the right on the X10 and “Menu” on the left. This will be SO irritating for previous X10 users upgrading to this one.

  • http://Website Pedro

    Aka new psp!

  • http://Website sgb101

    It’s going to be along time before I buy a Sony phone, the x10 was a disgrace, it wad meant to ne sons answer to the n1 and the desire LOL, total per of crap.

    My brother in law bought one,(against my advice) within a month bought a 3gs, and said he wouldn’t touch another Android again. Cheers Sony for making me look a fool.

    My 2 year old girl now has the x10, its her personal YouTube player.

    She hasn’t got the hang of rooting yet, but themes time ;-)

  • http://Website Speechless

    I’d rather have the audio jack on the top or the bottom of the phone… But on the side, wtf???
    It will definitely get in the way, even with an angled jack, no doubt about it.
    Moreover, most pro headphones (for those who enjoy their music through quality gear) happen to have a straight jack… how’s that gonna work out in your pocket ?
    Thanx to the designer team, you guys out-did yourselves!

  • http://taniachemia.com.pl/categories.php Sklep z chemiÄ… gospodarczÄ…

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  1. Side headphone jack means someone didn’t put any thought into it. When people put a phone into their pocket, it typically stands upright, since that’s the way it fits best. So having the jack anywhere except on top is a poor choice.

  2. KyeGuest 4 years ago

    Is ut you taylor?

  3. archboy69Guest 4 years ago

    Sony may make great hardware also but they have shown to be almost if not worst about updating their phones. Thank god this one will be running 2.3 but I’m sure that will be the only update you will ever get with them.

    This is another to avoid like the plague.

    Oh, First!

    • joseGuest 4 years ago

      I agree that it wont get many updates but I don’t think its Sony’s fault its probably at&t that doesn’t care about updating their android handsets since they pay attention to the phone that saved their company the iPhone. .

      • DarrenGuest 4 years ago

        There’s a world outside the US, and in that world none of the SE phones get timely Android updates, if any at all.

    • Being an x10 user who is left with 2.1 and won’t be updated officially I would say :
      Never ever buy SE .
      Thank you XDA

      • 4G or Not To 4GGuest 4 years ago

        SE puts so much energy into their phones to make them a good product which they do, but the problem, they don’t seem to understand that in this new smartphone age, you can’t just make a phone and think that you are through. Especially since Android is so young, but so eager to get better and better, so if SE is going to be a part of the revolution, they need to devote as much time to the upgrades as they do their initial UI. If they are not willing to support the product, then stop making such intensive UIs, make some SE only widgets, then get out of the way!

  4. angieGuest 4 years ago

    No idea who that was! So I’m gonna guess Sean since he’s the only one I have not met. Sounds like something Chris might do though… hmm

  5. methodzGuest 4 years ago

    PLEASE have Tmo 3g bands!

    • DrrewGuest 4 years ago

      I know!!! I want this phone too! Come on Tmo.. pick it up! Although I heard it was headed to ATT, one can dream, right?

  6. MarkGuest 4 years ago

    Wow. That presenter in that video must have his head up his ass. How is holding down on an app for a second and dragging it on top of another app and dragging it on top of yet another app shorter than holding down on an empty part of the screen for a second and tapping folder??

    • ChokkanGuest 4 years ago

      I think he said all you have to do is drag one icon onto another. No?

      • TomGuest 4 years ago

        Yeah, he said all you have to do is drag one icon onto another, and it creates a folder and lets you name it. You’re the one with your head up your ass, fella.

  7. ChokkanGuest 4 years ago

    That was a good demo. 2.3 confirmed for those people who keep on with the hilarious joke that the phone will be released with 2.1 and updated to 2.3 in 2012. Multitouch confirmed for those same people. The UI looks fine if a little heavy on the blue.

    I like the look of the device, except for the top section near the speaker which looks a bit messy on the silver version.

    The original Xperia was a massive hit here in Japan, and I think I’ll be getting this when it comes out. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of choice that you do in Europe or America.

  8. Farid Al-SamiriGuest 4 years ago

    the ugliest phone ever! bah

  9. DavosGuest 4 years ago

    Is it just me, or does the screen look really washed out and hardly visible on an angle? Seemed like such a bit contradiction when he was talking about how good the screen is!

  10. More, “same ‘ol, same ‘ol!” Where’re all the goodies we were supposed to see at CES? Enough with the wannabe iPads, fer chrissakes! Let’s see some dual-cores with NFC!
    BTW, Google, thanks EVER so much for the underwhelming and nearly-instantly obsolete Nexus2! In one fell swoop you lowered the bar SO much, the entire handset industry breathed a sigh of relief and decided users like me could just … abide.

  11. It’s the phone Sony Ericsson should have came out with 6 months ago without Gingerbread. Don’t get me wrong it is a great looking phone but with no front facing camera, NFC or dual-core processor, what is the point?

    • ChokkanGuest 4 years ago

      Yeah, because there are so many exciting and useful ways to use the NFC chip in the Nexus S right now.

      • While other soon to be released phones will have the chip, SE has already fallen behind and left out any future capability. Also are you not worried about processor requirements of future Android versions?

  12. SGB101Guest 4 years ago

    having used the x10, I will not buy a Sony phone for some time.

    The auto folder create – I this causing more problems than solutions, especially when you try to drag an icon from screen to screen. The OS may see the slight delay as wanting to merge the icon with one your already touring?

    Thanks some for giving us alphabetical apps, its only been in android since day 1. But why side scrolling, my home screen side scrolls so I like apps to vertacly scroll!

    Il stick with my desire for a bit longer I think

    • ChokkanGuest 4 years ago

      Surely it only creates the folder when your finger leaves the screen.

      He was showing how you could sort the apps differently.
      Free sort
      Alphabetical
      Most used
      Recently installed

      Scrolling method in the app drawer is a matter of personal preference, so I’ll give you that one. I don’t mind either way, but the ability to sort apps the way I like is great.

  13. billbobGuest 4 years ago

    Oh thats an Android phone? My bad, I couldn’t tell by all the UI from Sony.

  14. JoshuaGuest 4 years ago

    Some of you are getting way too giddy about NFC way too prematurely. I think they make a pill for that. It is very far away from being instituted and not everyone is choosing to go that route, including Apple. Because we are surrounded by mindless masses they are going to do whatever Apple does. This NFC is gonna turn into a Blu-ray Vs HD-DVD so we will see what happens. As of now it’s a useless waste of space.

    • DarrenGuest 4 years ago

      Not sure about the US but NFC is already everywhere in a lot of countries – smartcards for public transport, Mastercard PayPass, Visa PayWave, etc. It’s only a software/licensing issue to make NFC phones compatible with existing NFC systems.

  15. Interesting… If they had only been better at updating my X10, this would probably be my replacement, since I love their UI…

    But why, oh, why did they switch the position of the buttons. “Back” is to the right on the X10 and “Menu” on the left. This will be SO irritating for previous X10 users upgrading to this one.

  16. PedroGuest 4 years ago

    Aka new psp!

  17. sgb101Guest 4 years ago

    It’s going to be along time before I buy a Sony phone, the x10 was a disgrace, it wad meant to ne sons answer to the n1 and the desire LOL, total per of crap.

    My brother in law bought one,(against my advice) within a month bought a 3gs, and said he wouldn’t touch another Android again. Cheers Sony for making me look a fool.

    My 2 year old girl now has the x10, its her personal YouTube player.

    She hasn’t got the hang of rooting yet, but themes time ;-)

  18. SpeechlessGuest 4 years ago

    I’d rather have the audio jack on the top or the bottom of the phone… But on the side, wtf???
    It will definitely get in the way, even with an angled jack, no doubt about it.
    Moreover, most pro headphones (for those who enjoy their music through quality gear) happen to have a straight jack… how’s that gonna work out in your pocket ?
    Thanx to the designer team, you guys out-did yourselves!

  19. Sklep z chemiÄ… gospodarczÄ…Guest 3 years ago

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