updated 12:20 pm EDT, Wed August 31, 2011
Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S speeds up key model
Sony Ericsson used the start of IFA to bring out a rare mid-cycle revamp of a key smartphone. The Xperia arc S upgrades to a faster 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor. Although still single-core, the chip is estimated to give the slim Android 2.3 phone a 25 percent overall speed boost, including the camera start up and web rendering.
The arc S is also the first phone to support Sony's Qriocity-linked services. Music Unlimited brings it the same streaming options as on the PS3 and computers. Video Unlimited, however, is new: the subscription video service gives access to a mix of new and old movies as well as TV episodes from "all major studios," according to Sony. The arc S is currently the only device in Sony's entire roster to support it, although it's active in North America, key European countries, Australia, and New Zealand.
The 8.1-megapixel Exmor R-based camera remains the same, but it can now shoot sweep panoramas in either 2D or pseudo-3D. The 4.2-inch, 480x854 display and a bundled 8GB microSDHC card carry over from the original.
Some countries will get the Xperia arc S starting in the fall. The US, Canada, or both are known to be included, since the phone supports HSPA 3G on bands friendly to AT&T as well as the biggest three Canadian networks.