Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Coming Q1 2011

Sony Ericsson announced the new Xperia Arc last night at CES. This is the phone previously referred to as the ANZU. For the most part it is similar to the Xperia X10, but the differences bring the Arc above and beyond the X10. Here are the specs:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 4.2″ capacitive touch screen with multitouch
  • 1 GHz Qualcomm Processor
  • Reality Display with Bravia Engine
  • 16,777,216 color TFT
  • Sony Exmor R for mobile for low-light video and pictures
  • 8.1MP camera with LED Flash
  • HDMI connection for display on TV
  • aGPS
  • Bluetooth A2DP
  • DLNA
  • USB mass storage
  • Up to 512 MB internal memory
  • MicroSD support up to 32 GB, 8GB card included
  • Microsoft Exchange Activesync
  • 3D and Motion Gaming

The top of the spec list shows that Sony Ericsson has been listening to its customers. The phone starts with Gingerbread, making it a competitor for the other big players in the market. It has multi-touch and a 16 million color display, which rounds out the list of common Xperia X10 complaints. I have been pretty satisfied with the X10’s display, but it is usually a good idea to improve from one model to the next.

I would have liked to see more internal memory. X10 users can’t download apps to the SD card, which easily taxes the internal memory. With Gingerbread this shouldn’t be a problem though, which is likely the reason the internal memory wasn’t ramped up.

The Bravia engine is interesting to me. It is the first use of Bravia tech in a smart phone, according to the press conference. It is designed to bring an extra clear image to the phone, making the most of the 16 million color display. It enhances brightness, sharpness, and contrast as well as improving noise reduction. The result is pretty impressive.

The camera’s low-light sensor has been upgraded. Sony has been a leader in low-light chips, so it is good to see an improvement on the Arc’s camera. The LED flash is also a welcome improvement. The solid LED light on the X10 was useful, but definitely needed improvement. Sony Ericsson chose not to bump the camera above 8.1MP, which was a little disappointing to me. I was hoping for at least 10MP for an upgraded model.

The headphone jack was moved to the side of the phone, which also improves on the X10’s design. It looks like the USB connector is still on top though. The USB connector works a lot better on the bottom or side of the phone in my experience. I was hoping to see some movement there.

Check out the video below to see the Arc from various angles. It is a pretty sharp looking phone, which is what Sony Ericsson is well-known for producing.

At the press conference it was announced that this is the first of a new line of smart phones. The fabled PSP phone should be announced next month, based on the internet buzz. I think the Xperia Arc is a good follow-up to the X10. It made some much-needed improvements, and should really enhance the user’s experience. I’ll post a full review when I get a test unit. You can check out the full press release here.

The Xperia Arc will be released in select markets in Q1 of this year. Other markets should get it by Q2. Hopefully AT&T is on the Q1 list, though I doubt it will be. AT&T is content to lag behind the competition.

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