LAS VEGAS -- While Sony is definitely pushing 3D out from every corner of the company, the latest Xperia smartphone model seems to be left out of the party. Nevertheless, at first glance it's a lovely device, so here's a hands-on look.
The Android 2.3-based Xperia Arc is as super slim as an iPod touch but feels nearly as long as an HTC Evo 4G with a 4.2-inch "reality display." As far as the reality goes, it's not 3D, but the images do come across as ultra crisp and clear.
[Image Gallery: Hands-on with Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Smartphone]
While I didn't get more than five minutes with handheld, the Xperia Arc (and Gingerbread) left a lasting impression. Navigation was quick and fairly intuitive. Browsing was impossible to accurately test given the lack of a strong Wi-Fi signal in the Las Vegas Convention Center, but every other program I got to check out (i.e. photos, video playback, surfing through menus, etc.) was certainly speedy thanks to the Mobile Bravia Engine. (Note that this is the first smartphone ever to sport the technology.)
Sony execs didn't present an entire spec sheet nor did they devote too much time to smartphones at the press conference, but we do know that the Xperia Arc sports HDMI connectivity and Android Market access. More info should definitely be coming soon.
Pricing (nor a U.S. carrier) has been revealed yet, but the Xperia Arc is expected to start shipping during the first quarter of 2011.
Update: Oh hey, a video! Take a look: