First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. Apple iPhone 4: Smartphone showdown
- — 08 March, 2011 11:10
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Android smartphone
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. iPhone 4: Software
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc runs the latest 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android operating system. Version 2.3 of Android means the XPERIA Arc has a revamped keyboard, better copy and paste, improved power management, and a slicker user interface compared to previous versions of Google's mobile platform.
The XPERIA Arc includes Sony Ericsson's Timescape application, which first appeared on the XPERIA X10 Android phone. Timescape groups social networking and phone communications into a single, graphically intense interface; each communication event on the phone forms a 3D box that you simply flick your finger up and down the "spine" to scroll through. However, Sony Ericsson has included Timescape as a regular app rather than integrate it into the XPERIA Arc's UI, and it has also dumped its Mediascape integration. This means the XPERIA Arc is unlikely to suffer the same Android software update delays as the XPERIA X10 did.
The iPhone 4 runs Apple's iOS4 operating system. It offers a familiar swipeable home screen enhanced by folders, and the consistent Apple UI look and feel extending across all of the standard applications. If you have never used an iPhone before, you can expect a device that is easy to pick up and use, a well-populated App Store, and excellent multimedia capabilities. The iPhone's iPod integration ensures it remains one of the best music smartphones on the market, while mobile Web browsing is fast and efficient.
Though the streamlined iPhone experience has won many fans, Apple's closed platform means the iPhone 4 doesn't offer the same flexibility as smartphones like the Sony XPERIA Arc. The iPhone has an inferior notification system to Android phones, and it doesn't let you customise and display live widgets on your home screen. By the same token, the iPhone interface and overall user experience are far more polished than what is currently on offer from Android phones.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. iPhone 4: Other features
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Android phone comes with an HDMI port, meaning you can connect it directly to a high definition television. Along with DLNA connectivity for wirelessly sharing media content, the XPERIA Arc seems well designed for multimedia sharing.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc's 8-megapixel camera also boasts Sony's 'Exmor R' image sensor, claiming better performance in low-light conditions.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc's 8-megapixel camera also boasts Sony's 'Exmor R' image sensor. The company claims this gives higher sensitivity with less image noise, meaning it should perform better in dim lighting than traditional mobile phone cameras.
The iPhone 4 can't boast HDMI connectivity, but its camera is widely regarded as one of the best on a smartphone, surpassed only by the superb 12-megapixel Nokia N8. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, has 512MB of RAM and comes with a microSD card slot for extra storage. Strangely, Sony Ericsson has only provided a paltry 320MB of internal memory.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Android smartphone will launch in Australia in early April on the Optus and Vodafone networks. Pricing has yet to be announced.
What do you think about the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc and the Apple iPhone 4? Tell us in the comments below!
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters