Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc vs. Apple iPhone 4: Smartphone showdown
- 08 March, 2011 11:10
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.
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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Bluetooth||2.1 with A2DP||2.1 with A2DP||Draw|
|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'.
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!
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