This year we encountered some great smartphones on the market. Companies have been doing their best to come up with as much innovations as possible in order to reach supremacy. This means good news for us, the consumers. It’s hard to pick the best smartphone of the year, considering the big number of great handsets that are available. We’re not trying to find the best smartphone, it’s a suicide mission. Instead we’re gonna help you choose, by making comparisons between the top handsets. Today’s battle will take place between Samsung’s flagship, the Galaxy S II and a worthy opponent from Sony Ericsson, namely the Xperia Arc.
Starting off with the form of the devices, you should know that both of them are rather similar in size and weight, as far as the design is concerned, they’re totally different. Both phones are remarkably thin and lightweight which is a definite plus. However, if you take a close look, you will probably agree that the Xperia Arc has some unusual lines and angular corners, making its design look stunning. You know that they’ve been concentrating on the design, since even its name (ARC) comes from the curved shape of the handset. The S II is simple and does not leave a big impression when you first look at it. Ergo, this first round goes to the Sony Ericsson device.
The second element used to differentiate these high-end smartphones is the display. Sony equipped its Xperia Arc with a 4.2-inch LED-backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen at 480 x 854 pixels, which includes nice features such as scratch-resistant surface, multi-touch and accelerometer. Samsung remains faithful to its own technology with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen at 480 x 800 pixels. The screen on the Galaxy S II features a Gorilla Glass display which is more resistant to cracks and scratches. Also, gyro sensor and multi-touch as well as an accelerometer and the TouchWiz 4.0 UI are great elements which give the S II a slight advantage. In terms of brightness, color depth and power efficiency we simply weren’t capable of choosing a winner since both screens responded great. We would like to say that this round is a draw, but the S II wins by a nose, thanks to its Gorilla Glass feature.
The processing power is the where the Galaxy S II feels much more comfortable. Its 1.2GHz Dual Core Exynos CPU with graphics power coming from a Mali-400MP GPU proves much better than the processor on the Xperia. And it’s only normal, since Sony Ericsson’s handset is stuck with a 1 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor on the MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset backed up by an Adreno 205 GPU. The single core processor offers the Xperia Arc a pretty good amount of power but it’s nowhere close to the performance of the S II. This round clearly goes to the Samsung device.
Storage is the next chapter of this battle and again, things do not look good for the Xperia Arc. With only 320MB of on-board space, it’s no match for the 16GB which the Galaxy S II has. The good news is that Sony Ericsson offers an 8GB card included to try and compensate but it’s too little too late. The Galaxy S II also has twice the RAM than the Xperia Arc, reaching a nice 1GB. Obviously the round goes to the Galaxy S II.
Operating System: things are pretty simple in this department, since both Android based smartphones use the latest 2.3 Gingerbread OS and are viable candidates for receiving Android Ice Cream Sandwich which is yet to roll out. This round ends in a draw with not much to talk about.
Finally the last important aspect we looked up is the camera capabilities. There are excellent camera setups on these two handsets, with plenty of great features for both of them. The Xperia Arc has an 8MP camera capable of vide capturing at 720p and features autofocus and a video light. Other nice features include geo-tagging, image stabilization, LED flash, touch focus, autofocus and face and smile detection. The S II’s camera is fairly similar; 8MP at 3264×2448 pixels with autofocus, touch focus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face and smile detection and image stabilization. The video quality is a bit higher but there’s no video-specific features as in the case of the Xperia Arc’s camera. The balance is only seriously interrupted by the presence of a 2MP front-facing camera on the Galaxy S II while the Xperia Arc remains totally blank. The winner is the S II again.
It was a real pleasure reviewing these Android smartphones and making a comparison between them. However, it’s really hard to make a decision. Overall, Xperia Arc isn’t quite at the same standard as the S II but it simply depends on each person’s taste. We really loved the design on the Xperia Arc, its great screen and nice camera. However, the Galaxy S II is superior in most areas which is why it seems like the normal choice between them.