The official start of IFA is still a couple of days away, but that apparently just can’t stop companies from making sure they’re the first ones to announce new products “in conjunction with IFA”. Today it was Sony Ericsson’s turn, and it unveiled a slightly upgraded version of the Xperia Arc Android-powered superphone.
The new device is called the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, and why every phone maker seems to think that tacking an “S” after an already used brand is a good idea is still beyond us. The Xperia Arc S comes with two main improvements compared to its predecessor: a 1.4 GHz processor (which sadly is still single-core) and a camera that’s capable of shooting 3D images.
That last bit is interesting. Sony Ericsson didn’t fit the Arc S with two cameras, which is the ‘common’ solution for 3D pictures – shooting the same thing from two slightly different angles. Instead, the new smartphone uses Sony’s 3D Sweep Panorama system which can output 3D images shot with just one camera (more information is available here). The pictures won’t be viewable in all three dimensions on the phone, since its display won’t be 3D-enabled, but if you have a 3D HDTV, you’ll be able to connect the Xperia Arc S to the TV via HDMI and view the pictures in 3D.
Whether or not all of the above is worth considering when purchasing a new smartphone is of course entirely up to you. Other than these things, the Arc S is basically the same device as the original Arc.
Sony Ericsson promises 25% faster camera start-up times and 20% faster Web browsing with the new model compared to the old one. The Xperia Arc S will also get access to Sony Ericsson’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services where they are available.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S will be out in the fourth quarter of this year, possibly shipping in select markets as early as October.
Aside from the already mentioned specs, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S has an 8.1 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and 720p HD video recording, a 4.2-inch 854×480 touchscreen, 320 MB of internal storage space, 512 MB of RAM, microSD card support, 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, 5.76 Mbps HSUPA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a 1500 mAh battery. It will run Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread.