Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Smartphone showdown

Which is the better smartphone – Sony Ericsson's XPERIA Arc or Samsung's Galaxy S II?

It's set to be the year of the Android phone and two of the biggest upcoming releases in Australia are the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc, and the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Read our detailed previews of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc and the Samsung Galaxy S II, and check out our roundup of the best upcoming smartphones in 2011.

Both of these Android phones have a huge emphasis on design — the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc is just 8.7mm thick at its thinnest point and utilises a unique curved case. It also has a large, 4.2in 'Reality' display, a 1GHz processor and a hefty 512MB of RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy S II on the other hand possesses a large 4.3in Super AMOLED Plus display, an 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 1080p HD video recorder, and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls. The Samsung Galaxy S II is also just 8.49mm thick, making it thinner than the iPhone 4 and likely the thinnest smartphone in the world.

So how does the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc compare against the Samsung Galaxy S II when it comes to specifications?

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Specifications

Feature Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Samsung Galaxy S II Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Draw
Display size 4.2in 4.3in Galaxy S II
Display technology Capacitive LED-backlit LCD ('Reality display') Capacitive Super AMOLED Plus Unknown
Display resolution 480x854 pixels 480x800 pixels XPERIA Arc
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Camera 8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face and smile detection, Exmor R CMOS sensor 8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face and smile detection XPERIA Arc
FM radio Yes Yes Draw
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 320MB 16GB or 32GB Galaxy S II
Expandable memory microSD card slot microSD card slot Draw
Dimensions 125 x 63 x 8.7mm 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm Galaxy S II
Weight 117g 116g Galaxy S II
Application store Google Android Market Google Android Market Draw
Processor Scorpion (1GHz) ARM Cortex A9 dual-core (1.2GHz) Galaxy S II
3G networks HSDPA 900/1900/2100 HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 Galaxy S II
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n Galaxy S II
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 3.0 with A2DP Galaxy S II
NFC (Near Field Communication) No Yes Galaxy S II
HDMI-out Yes Yes (via MHL) Draw
Quoted talk time Up to 7 hours Unknown Unknown
Quoted standby time Up to 400 hours Unknown Unknown
Adobe Flash support Yes Yes Draw

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Design

One of the most lauded features of the XPERIA Arc is its design, which Sony Ericsson says is more ergonomic than competitors due to its distinctive shape. The handset is thinner in the middle (just 8.7mm thick) and then gradually gets slightly thicker towards the edges. This has been designed to make it easier to hold and slip into a pocket. The XPERIA Arc Android phone is constructed from a combination of gloss and matte plastic.

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Android phone is just 8.7mm thick and gradually gets slightly thicker towards the edges. This distinctive shape makes it more ergonomic than competitors.

Tags gingerbreadandroid phonesSony Ericssonmobile phonesAndroidGoogle AndroidsmartphonesSony Ericsson Xperia arcsamsung galaxy s iisamsung

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide




Galaxy S2 takes 1080p video while Xperia does 720p. According to a number of reviews, the super amoled plus easily beats everything including iPhone's retina display. Various performance tests suggest that Galaxy S2 is far superior. Xperia has no chance basically. Waste of time.



Wife has iphone 4.
Just got this yesterday.
I would agree that the display is better on the Galaxy2 for sure.



Sure the Galaxy S2 has better specs than the arc, but the SE arc screws the S2 over and over and over in design and elegance...and HERE optome the S2 stands no chance! waste of time! Android hasn't even made applications which can make full use of a dual-core processor yet, so it doesn't really matter if the arc only has a signle-core coz I have seen it - its infact on-par with the S2 in responsiveness - Taking 1080p video becomes dust if you want to record in low-light conditions and the arc screws the S2 here again with its EXMOR R CMOS sensor....! You don't even know what the Arc is capable of doing!


A mobile-phone reviewer who holds both S2 and the Arc - need anymore experience than that?



after owning a S/E Experia i will never own a S/E phone agian S/E dont like upgrading the phone to later android platforms. and just ask people about the flashing red light.
worst phone i have ever owned

Jordan Payne


I'm very interested in both but it's a bit of a tough call as I have lost faith in Samsung more recently as I have with Sony (PSN network fail anyone) - I have friends that haven't had great things to say about Sony's recent smart phone offerings... Perhaps I should wait it out until I can get a hands on in store...



I've tested the arc and galexy 2 I can tell you the arc is better screen wise as well as in many other ways arc is a much better looking phone and the screen is amazing the best I've seen as for prosseor the speed of both sitting beside eachother is no different I vote arc all the way



The Galaxy looks like one of the ten commandments from the bible.



I own the Xperia arc and I can tell you right now that its the closest thing to perfect. Having owned an iphone before. Im glad I made the switch. It is so great in every aspects! You wont regret getting it.



I have an Xperia Arc that I barely use right now. It's extremely laggy. Opening the camera application by itself takes anywhere from 10-20s. I barely have any applications installed, and I do not play games.

Battery life is atrocious. I can leave it in my bag for a day without touching it (I primarily use a Blackberry) and when I take it out at night, it's down to 30-40% battery. No idea what this phone is doing when it's idle.

Every application including the default Android ones always pop up the message that it is "not responding" and asks me to Wait or Kill the program.

In addition, I find the screen sensitivity quite poor - typing on the keyboard is a horrible affair, every 3 words will have a typo on it. I can type perfectly normal on an iPhone 4 as a reference.

Stay away from this phone!



Regarding the battery, all the smartphones have their widgets that would ofcourse kill the battery time (except iPhones) but thats because you can't customize the iPhone the way you can with others. First three days I had the same problem, but I found ways to make my battery last.

Others don't seem to have issue with camera application opening by itself so it might just be yours.

Also the applications don't seem to pop up on mine.

The screen sensitivity might not be as good as iPhone but it is not bad, I find it better than my friends's nokia and samsung. Sony is known for this type of keyboard, it doesn't take one day to get used to, especially when you have been typing on the iphone.



hey guys ,,,,,arc doent provides vid the video calling featr vich may b a grestest draw back of the phone .



If you people don't like the arc it's your own fault, do your research before you buy the thing, sounds to me like you have more money than sense



Having own an Arc I proud to say it's the best phone on the market. It has crystal clear graphics unlike the galaxy 2 where where graphics is quite poor that you can even see the pixels. Dual core is a gimmick when it comes to phones, you are not going to need it and no requirements for it at the moment. I vote the Xperia Arc all the way. The back lid on the Galaxy S2 is also very flimpsy and poor quality.



Dear all,

If both are being compared, is it not rather unfair, 'cause both phones (arc vs galaxy SII) are in different price classes. Here, you pay 350 euro for the arc, while for the samsung you pay 500 euro. Seems to me that it's then logic the specs of the galaxy are better, not?



For those who do claim to be geeks in the smart phones-sure the 1.2 GHz processor makes a huge difference. The download speed and navigating on the internet are faster than on the Iphone. Do your homework before bashing others over here. Geez, there's less and less common sense in the world these days!

Ish faque


xperia suckzz..



hi this is logu. I would like to say now world number one mobile is samsung galaxy s ii. So last night i saw the comparison so the galaxy should win the comparison. In this mobile like a one laptop. So many person like to buy this one. Thanking you. Have a great da to all. Bye...........

Lance Lee


I honestly am planning to buy 1 of the 2 phones this December.. and Its so hard for me to choose.

Lance Lee


I was hoping I could get more clear ideas from you guys which is really better...




Ive had an x10 xperia and in the first year its f'd up on me three times and ive had to send it back, im looking at the Arc and the Galaxy 2 i dont know which one to go for, i dont want to go through it all with the xperia again.



I've had an Xperia X10 for two years, its ben fault free (even with a cracked screen where i dropped it, twice!), never let me down, battary life is fine, camera is good, video is brilliant, and it makes phone calls !!
May be some folk are expecting too much, my wife has a Galaxy and to be honest, there isn't much difference, they both work ok, have the same operating system etc etc.
Relax folks, they're just phones that will be out of date in 12 months anyway!!



xperia is the best....!!!!



Samsung S2 is the best , dont ever try sony.



I owned sony x10 for abt 5 months now and up until now, I havent actually looking at other phones as I'm very satisfied with it. I usually changed phones every 3 months, so its a recoed for me to be still using my beloved x10



Sure the specs may be better on the s2 but that doesn't matter. It would be like comparing a 4 cylinder mustang to a 6 cylinder accord. Quality and making use of the power they have should eh taken into account and Samsung doesn't have a leg to stand on. I am an arc owner and proud of it. It's xperia and iPhone at the toop and everybody else at the bottom as far as I am concerned. Video and picture QUALITY are the best. Plus I have beaten the heck out of my arc, it doesn't even have a case on, and it still works perfectly even with the small spider crack and numerous gouges. I dare any Samsung phone to last even through have of the torture I have put my phone thru already. And Patrick his laggy phone, it is probably your phone company and not the phone. Probably loaded with preinstalled apps. Some phone companies are brutal.

Rao Arsal


Xperia is the best....!!!!



hey guYs i have an arc and its agreat phone i have alot of games and apps and my battery lasts up2 2days da only prob. i have is da fact that my gallery dont open if i dont have airtime can anybody tell me why this is....from proud xperian

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sony experia arc s i think!

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