Samsung Galaxy S vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

by Jerry D on January 17, 2011

How good is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc? The only way to know for sure is to throw it into the ring with a popular Android phone like the Samsung Galaxy S. Two phones enter, only one may leave. Time for a big phone fight…

Samsung Galaxy S versus graphic Samsung Galaxy S vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc


Let’s consider the wireless options first. The well-specced Galaxy S boasts 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. The Xperia Arc features 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. There’s nothing between them, bar a better Bluetooth. And nobody makes a buying decision based on Bluetooth… (1-1)

Size & Weight:

According to the spec sheets, the Galaxy S and the powerful Xperia Arc measure 122.4 x 64.2 x 9.9mm and 125.0 x 63.0 x 8.7mm respectively. Overall the Arc is the bigger phone. Weighing 117g, the SE handset is 2g lighter than the Galaxy S, which weighs 119g. (1-2)



The Galaxy S’s camera boasts a decent 5.0 Megapixel resolution. Frills include autofocus, geo-tagging, touch to focus functionality, face and smile detection and HD video recording. The highest resolution it supports is 2592 x 1944 pixels. It also features a second, front-facing camera, but no LED flash.

The Xperia Arc boasts better raw technology – a 8.0 Megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, image stabilization, geo-tagging, face and smile detection and 720p video capture. Note the maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels here. (1-3)


Headlining the Samsung Galaxy S is a 4.0-inch touch-sensitive Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It has 384000 pixels onscreen overall, which works out at 233.25 pixels per inch.

At 4.2 inches, Xperia Arc’s touch-sensitive LED-backlit ‘Reality Display’ has more room, but it’s basically a TFT LCD panel. The pixel density of 233.33 here is almost identical to the 233.25 rating given to the Galaxy S. (1-4)

Creative Commons License photo credit: TAKA@P.P.R.S


As for speed, the Galaxy S’s engine is a zippy 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 chip; the Xperia Arc relies on a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon with an Adreno 205 GPU, also rated at 1GHz. (1-4)


The Galaxy S launched with Android 2.1 (Eclair) and should have had an upgrade to 2.2 (Froyo). This adds USB tethering and hotspot functionality, not to mention support for Adobe Flash 10.1. The Xperia Arc uses Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which rolls in support for higher screen resolutions, SIP VOIP support, Near Field Communication (NFC), support for gyroscopes and barometers, plus improved power management. (1-5)


In terms of storage capacity, the Galaxy S features 16GB of internal storage, while the Xperia Arc features 8GB. The Galaxy S also includes a microSD card slot to ramp up the memory to 48GB. You can expand the memory of the Xperia Arc via the microSD slot. The maximum is 32GB. (2-5)

Battery life:

Calculating battery life is tricky. But Samsung claims 6.5 hours of talktime for the Galaxy S, compared to 7.0 hours for the Xperia Arc. Standby times are 576 hours and 400 hours respectively. The Arc finishes last here. Note the lengthy standby time on the Samsung phone. (3-5)

Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.



The Galaxy S also includes a stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS/A-GPS and a digital compass. The Xperia Arc, meanwhile, piles on the features. There’s GPS/A-GPS, DLNA content sharing, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine pixel processing, a stereo FM radio with RDS, HDMI port, noise cancellation and a digital compass. (3-6)

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc wins!

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc Samsung Galaxy S vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Unsurprisingly the newer Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc walks away from this fight as the winner. But where was this confrontation decided?

Look back over the 9 rounds and you’ll see that the Xperia Arc has the most versatile OS in Android 2.3, the highest-spec camera, and the bigger of the two screens. It’s also the thinnest and lightest of the two phones. The Galaxy S is starting to look dated and it hasn’t been around for very long…

See if these two phones make our Top 10 Best Smartphones list…

    Other Posts You Might Like...

  1. Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc – Review
  2. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc – Review
  3. Samsung Wave II vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc – Review
  4. Samsung Galaxy S2 (32GB) vs. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc – Review
  5. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc vs. Sony Ericsson X10 – Fight!

Previous post:

Next post: