Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. Apple iPhone 4: Smartphone showdown

Which is the better phone – Sony Ericsson's XPERIA Arc or Apple's iPhone 4?

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Android smartphone

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Android smartphone

Sony Ericsson's XPERIA Arc is the first of many XPERIA-branded Android phones to debut in 2011. Aside from the much publicised Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play, dubbed the 'PlayStation phone', the XPERIA Arc is the company's flagship smartphone for the first half of the year, meaning it will compete with Apple's iPhone 4.

Check out our detailed preview of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc and see our roundup of the best upcoming smartphones in 2011.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc has a big emphasis on design: It is just 8.7mm thick at its thinnest point and utilises a unique curved case. It has a large, LED-backlit 4.2in display, a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM.

With this in mind, how does the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc stack up against the iPhone 4 when it comes to specifications?

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. Apple iPhone 4: Specifications

Feature Apple iPhone 4 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Apple iOS Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread Draw
Display size 3.5in 4.2in XPERIA Arc
Display technology Capacitive retina IPS LED-backlit LCD 'Reality Display' Unknown
Display resolution 640x960 pixels 480x854 pixels iPhone 4
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Camera 5 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging 8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face and smile detection XPERIA Arc
FM radio No Yes XPERIA Arc
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 16GB or 32GB 320MB iPhone 4
Expandable memory No microSD card slot XPERIA Arc
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm 125 x 63 x 8.7mm XPERIA Arc
Weight 137g 117g XPERIA Arc
Application store Apple App Store Google Android Market iPhone 4
Processor Apple A4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 'Scorpion' (1GHz) Unknown
3G networks HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 HSDPA 900/1900/2100 iPhone 4
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n Draw
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP Draw
HDMI-out No Yes XPERIA Arc
Quoted talk time Up to 7 hours Up to 7 hours Draw
Quoted standby time Up to 300 hours Up to 400 hours XPERIA Arc
Adobe Flash support No Yes XPERIA Arc

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. iPhone 4: Design and display

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc is just 8.7mm thick at its thinnest point and is constructed from a combination of gloss and matte plastic. It may be a larger handset than the iPhone 4, but Sony Ericsson deserves credit for making it thinner — albeit a slight 0.6mm — and equipping it with a larger display.

The XPERIA Arc's 4.2in screen is almost a full inch larger than the iPhone 4's 3.5in display. Sony Ericsson has dubbed it a 'Reality display'; this sits alongside other fancy display names including the iPhone 4's 'Retina display', the Samsung Galaxy S II's Super AMOLED Plus' display and the 'Nova display' of the LG Optimus Black. In short, Sony Ericsson claims the Reality display is brighter and clearer than competing displays.

Apple's iPhone 4 uses IPS technology (the same used on the iPad, and thanks to its high 640x960 pixel resolution it has been described as a retina display, due to the human eye being unable to distinguish individual pixels.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Android phone has a 4.2in 'Reality display'.

Tags apple iphoneSony EricssonGoogle Android phonesmobile phonesAndroidGoogle Androidiphone 4smartphonesSony Ericsson XPERIAApple

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide


Tim Tran


I have two questions. Who won and what is the total minimum cost of both the sony ericsson xperia arc and the iphone4.

paul k


Xperia unlock outright is about $670 compared to $859 for the 16gb iPhone 4. You have to factor in an SD card for the Arc though ($80ish). As to who won... I'd say this admirably balanced article is expecting you'll make that decision yourself, based on the factors that are important to you. If you like polish, a sharper screen, or iTunes is important probably the iPhone. If you like the flexibility of android, or a lighter phone with bigger screen, Arc.



sony ericsson rules and its way better than the iphone 4

Sam Vig


The Xperia arc rocks and is much much better than the Apple. Apple slaves..... Sony Rocks ...



Also iPhone has a (lo-res)front facing cam and Facetime vid conf (wifi only) , a popular app among Apple users

Son Do Yong


The Xperia Arc is the best ! Seriously Sony Rules



Sony Ericsson has way many other things to offer than just applications!! Sony is the Best



iPhone 4 is outdated, wait till iPhone 5 comes out and let there be a review

benson russell


Ive not had a i-phone 4 but did have a 3, & while im sure the 4 is updated, u've still gotta get ur apps and music from apple (itunes/apples app store etc). That was a major prob for me, as with my sony-ericsson arc(& evn the x10i had b4 it) i have access to android market which has free apps/music etc. The arc is slim, very attractively designed, has expandable memory memory(via sd-card) and HDMI, plus sony 'BRAVIA' graphics technology. + the media player inyerface is better, & easier to use than the x10i. Its awesome



this comparison is sooooo biased.....they sides with the erricson soo much. they didnt take into account accelrometer, gyroscope, IPS technology, user interface , RAM ( though this one is a very controversial one).
and really dude....retina display is the highest resolution that can be achieved at this state of technology, (anymore improvemnet in resoultion, the human eye wont be able to pick any difference thus retina is the best it will ever be).
BTW the processor is actually a draw not "unknown" as stated above, this is cuz they are both 1GHZ. saying all this its obvios the design of the arc is much more superior . however i believe that the iphone interface is much more.



sup ya'll... i owned both the arc and iphone 4, but up to now i still can't decide on which phone will be my permanent phone on a day to day basis. each phone has its advantage over the other. arc has a better camera but iphone 4 has the prestige, but if you will notice almost many of the android apps/games originated first from iphone, therefore it is the android copying ihpone apps



I do not support apple as most of the apps are ports from other consoles some examples are final fantasy and gta china town wars i prefer arc



oi seraphic..
getting the games off other consoles is good...and why won't u like apple if it copied the games from another console anyway? its so that the ppl who play on other consoles that are not transportable can enjoy the same app on their phone. AND "most" of the apps are copied??? i researched and found that 2.3% of apps are off other epic fail by u. AND always check which company the app is made by. apple has to buy the app of the company to actually sell it on the appstore.



quick question, what does the messaging look like? as in similar to an iphone where it is easy to see past history or like an average phone where past texts are stored as they arrive?



i have one questions:
how i can refresh my music library (phone Sony Ericsson XPERIA)?



Does the sony experia arc hav video calling?



Personally i perfere android phones over iphones b/c in the past iphones havnt really wrked 4 me nd all the experiences ive had with android are way better then the iphones, but no offense 2 ppl who lke the iphone apple phones b/c its ur opinion. Oh nd the arc does have a front camera but no facetime!!:(



Bitch please, iphone has HDMI-out



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