Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc preview (video)

Sony Ericsson's MWC presser today may have been all about its new Play, Pro and Neo members of the Xperia family, but the CES debutant we know and love as the Arc was out in force as well. So, we thought, why not throw together our thoughts on this phone and splice them with a gallery of delicious new images plus some video action to boot? The first thing to note is that the Xperia Arc will be shipping globally in March and Sony Ericsson is aiming for the broadest possible operator coverage. Focusing on the handset itself, we've been wildly impressed by its design since first laying eyes on it, there's something fundamentally attractive about the Arc's look, something less tangible than its ridiculously slim profile. Sony Ericsson has used a similar plasticky material on the back as it does in the Neo, which doesn't overwhelm us with any sensations of reassurance or quality, but seems to do the job. Guess some corners had to inevitably be cut along with the fat on this phone's body.

The 4.2-inch screen is bright and lucid, though we'd warn against expecting too much from the Bravia Reality Display marketing. As we've mentioned before, the display enhancements only kick in when you're consuming multimedia. Still, general performance looks more than satisfactory. Hard buttons around the body are well arranged and designed, a contrast from the fiddly keys we found on the Xperia Pro. What was consistent with the rest of Sony Ericsson's Xperia crew, however, was the Arc's inability to execute its pinch-to-zoom widget summary screen. It's an ambitious function -- gathering all your widgets from each screen into one cohesive overview -- but, basically, it's laggy as hell. Aside from that, general UI responsiveness could also stand some improvement, but we like where Sony Ericsson is going with the whole thing. If it keeps up its promise to repent from last year's sins with relation to Android updates, the company has a very good chance of striking it rich with the Xperia Arc. It's a phone that can truly get by on its looks alone. Video after the break!