Mobile Phones Guide

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc - Right on the Mark

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Overall rating 9/10
Thin and light build
Unique 'arc' design
4.2-inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine
Snappy and capable 8.1-megapixel camera with f/2.4 lens
Small and impractical physical buttons
Needs to be handled with care

Performance - Part I

Benchmarking the Arc

For those who have been regularly reading our phone reviews, this additional section will come as no surprise. We mentioned earlier in previous reviews that we have adopted a few benchmark tests specific to the Android platform for a few reasons. With the Google Android platform maturing so quickly, choosing a suitable phone in a growing sea of Android devices with close to identical specs is extremely difficult; to add on, with manufacturers jumping on the dual-core processing bandwagon, these results will give a gauge of how they will fare against their lesser endowed counterparts. Hopefully, these benchmarks will allow for a clearer picture on which smartphone is worth your while.

Within this page, we'll be looking at two specific benchmarks, both of which are downloadable via the Android Market.

  • The first benchmark is Quadrant - it measures the device's performance based on its CPU, I/O and GPU. Simply put, Quadrant is a benchmark that gives you a general idea of how your device performs against other Android devices.
  • The second benchmark is NeoCore - it is targeted towards the device's GPU performance. This is especially important given how smartphones of today have evolved into an alternative, high-powered device that dabbles in heavy graphical interfaces and gaming.

Do note that the above two benchmarks are not absolute in measuring performance, but they give you a good rough estimate of how the device performs. Our tests were conducted on devices from a fresh reboot on a stock firmware. To showcase how the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc performed against similar smartphones, we compared its results against the following Android devices - HTC Incredible S, Samsung Nexus S, and Samsung Galaxy S.

Device Sony Ericsson Xperia arc HTC Incredible S Samsung Nexus S Samsung Galaxy S
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 1Ghz Hummingbird Cortex-A8 1Ghz Hummingbird Cortex-A8 1Ghz
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 205 Qualcomm Adreno 205 PowerVR SGX540 PowerVR SGX540
RAM 512MB 768MB 512MB 512MB
OS Google Android 2.3 Google Android 2.2 Google Android 2.3 Google Android 2.2

As discerned from the results above, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc clearly leads the pack with the highest score, followed by the HTC Incredible S. Both phones are almost identical in terms of the hardware specs listed above, save for the difference in their Android operating systems. The key to the arc's victory might possibly lie in the fact that it runs on the more optimal Android 2.3 OS as well as the fact the the Incredible S might be bogged down by an "intensive" HTC Sense UI. As we test more mobile phones in the coming weeks, we'll be able to pinpoint the exact attributes that make up for the differences.

While the arc comes with a relatively standard 1GHz processor, you do get an extremely responsive device with more than enough horsepower for fluid multi-tasking. Web browsing was generally speedy, with pages loading in a breeze. Like on most high-end smartphones, the general navigational experience was generally smooth with no lags and crashes, aided by a receptive touchscreen.