Tag: Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S (Retro Views)

Posted by – November 30, 2016

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, and Arc before it, were both considered “ultra-slim” smartphones when introduced in 2011. A short 5 years later and look how far we’ve come… It looks particularly thin when photographed at an angle like this:

Xperia ArcPhoto: ePHOTOzine

The Arc S was considered a premium smartphone at the time, and was described as having a “huge” 4.2inch screen, as well as being described as “Very thin and lightweight” – at 8.7mm thick it was considered one of the slimmest. Yet even budget smartphones these days are this thin. The Arc S features a curved rear

Check out it’s specifications, and compare them to a new ultra-slim smartphone, the Moto Z:

Sony Xperia Arc S (LT18i) Moto Z
4.2inch screen (scratch resistant) 5.5inch screen (Gorilla Glass 4)
480×854 resolution QuadHD (1440×2560) resolution
8.7mm thin 5.2mm thin
1.4GHz (1-core) 2.15GHz (Quad-core, 2@2.15GHz, 2@1.6GHz)
512MB ram 4GB ram
320MB storage 32GB storage
1500mAh (removable) 2600mAh (non-removable)
8mp camera, f/2.4 13mp camera, f/1.8, with OIS
720p (30fps) video 4K (30fps) video
Android 2.3.4 (v4 available) Android 6 (v7 due soon)
£299 (RRP) £499 (RRP)

Does anyone else wonder if the “ultra-slim” Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S would survive a modern day toughness / bend test by JerryRigEverything? He tests a phones strength by checking how scratch resistant the screen is, how scratch resistant the back, camera lens, LEDs, and other buttons are. He also tests how resistant to burning the screen is – when did people start setting their screens on fire?

Inspired by JerryRigEverything:

The problem with cameras on mobile phones… (Phones)

Posted by – March 26, 2010

The problem with cameras on mobile phones is that they’re all crap – do you want to know why?.

In the olden days (you know when people used film cameras) no matter what camera you had, whether it was a cheap piece of plastic crap or the best SLR in the world, it all had one thing in common: 35mm film*. And the one thing 35mm film did well, was take photos no matter what the lighting conditions. Even in dark situations, without flash, you’d still be able to get some kind of photo from it. * assuming you weren’t using a 110 or APS camera. An example on flickr, and another example above with flash (I assume the flickr link is using 35mm film which measures 24x36mm).

Night shot Casio Z120

With a digital camera – nearly all of them have flash (I’d estimate 99%) – so in dark conditions you can use the flash and get a half decent photo (generally speaking). Some of the time you can switch the flash off, setup the self-timer, put it on a wall or a tripod and take a half-decent night shot. Which is fairly impressive considering how small the sensor is in relation to 35mm film. (The average compact digital camera sensor size is 7.2mm x 5.3mm (1/1.8 sensor), this is roughly 5x smaller than 35mm film, with an average Pixel area(µm2) of 2.6 – 3.8µm2) (Using a 12mp example: Canon Powershot G9 with a 1/1.7″ sensor, the pixel area is 3.8µm2). Example above taken with the Casio Exilim Z120.

On a side note: Do you remember when Digital Cameras were still new? Like in 2002 or 2003 when digital cameras were still so new that they had to write “Digital Camera” on the front of it somewhere so that you knew it was a digital camera? Simply being a digital camera in 2001 was so exciting and new that they simply used those two words together as a marketing tool / selling point for the camera. Now you’re lucky if you even have the model number written on it, and rarely do you find the manufacturer name on the back these days. (They used to always put the manufacturers name underneath the screen – like this). Now it’s more likely the be the huge number of megapixels or optical zoom or screen size that’s plastered all over the camera.

Night shot - Nokia N86

With a camera phone – most of them don’t have a real flash (maybe 1% has a real xenon flash (the Sony Satio is the only recent one) that is equivalent to the flash you find in a Digital Camera) – and the rest – if you’re lucky (or unlucky depending how you feel about it) – has an LED or a “twin” LED flash. The problem is that even with (or without) the LED flash, the camera’s just don’t cope with low-light situations. You can put the phone on night mode (if you’re lucky), put it somewhere steady^ and switch on the self-timer, and hope it takes a successful shot. The problem is that the sensors in camera phones are even smaller than compact digital cameras. They just can’t get enough light into the sensor, and that means in low light situations they produce crap noisy images that are over-processed so much that you’re lucky there’s any image left to view. Further problems are caused due to the small sensors lacking the ability to capture dynamic range, so dark areas are underexposed, and bright areas are overexposed, further reducing detail in images (the example above taken with the Nokia N86 – where’s the detail in the steps?). The latest 12 megapixel camera phone sensors made by Sony have a 1.4µm pixel size – which is again 2.7x smaller than compact digital camera sensors. (2.6mm x 1.96mm estimation). This is roughly 13.8x smaller than 35mm film.

In a nutshell – it’s all about the light – 35mm film cameras can absorb lots of light, and therefore take photos in dark conditions and get as much colour and detail as possible. Digital Cameras, more so compact cameras, have much smaller sensors and struggle in low light, but don’t do too bad a job of it thanks to having a flash, however, they are very much on the limit of acceptable image quality (that’s why Digital SLRs get better image quality – they have larger sensors). Camera phones on the other hand have had to miniaturize to the point where image quality is badly affected, and the only way to get good photos from them is to use them in ideal light, or have a real xenon flash for times when lighting is poor.

^ Options are limited as I don’t know of any camera phones with tripod mount, and you’re generally lucky if the phone will stand on it’s side without falling over. Even on the “Photo-centric” Nokia N86 8mp you can’t stand the camera on it’s side without it falling over!

Review: The Sony Satio 12mp Camera Phone – Re-visited (Phones)

Posted by – January 27, 2010

As a phone – it’s okay. It has a great screen (the built in videos are quite impressive) although it’s not as colourful as the Nokia’s OLED screen. Acceptable touch screen – although I’m not a big fan – so never really got completely used to (or happy) using this phone. The stylus seems quite loose – which has resulted in me loosing it once, and nearly loosing it a second time. The phone feels a little cheap – very plastic – although the sliding lens cover is quite nice and the shutter button feels decent. It’s interesting (and a little surprising) to see Sony ditch Sony M2 memory cards and instead include an 8gb Micro SD cards. (It looks like Sony are doing the same with all their cameras and giving the option of Sony MS or standard SD cards). What else does it do… find out below…

More…

Sony Ericsson Satio 12.1 Megapixel Camera Phone (Phones)

Posted by – October 28, 2009

Ah Sony… you take Nokia’s Symbian operating system and make is so much better… yet you still fail at providing advertised features! Your advert shows Facebook, Twitter, all integrated into the phone… yet they’re not, and Sony’s own blog recommends using snaptu, or symabook (in ALPHA!) to get this functionality…

THE SONY BOX features a mystery facebook app – but is this on the phone, pre-loaded, or available anywhere? Not to my knowledge…

Someone, somewhere*** says you can upload images STRAIGHT to Facebook – this is simply not possible without MANUALLY adding your own personalised email address to the phone! And where’s the direct uploading to Twitter? Nowhere, it doesn’t exist. The phone comes with built in setup to send photos to message (MMS, email), bluetooth, To web – which features Blogger*, PicasaWeb, Webalbum**, Flickr, Youtube, and Other…

“Other” lets you add stuff, for example, you can add your personalized facebook email address to and this will work quite well to upload photos (you can also send MMS to facebook’s email address, and add them as a contact to speed up the process), without you having to spend money sending MMS messages.

* Blogger is most annoying of all, this will upload your photos to a brand new blog on blogger.com – how about letting us upload to our own already existing blog?

** Webalbum takes you to Sony’s “PlayNow” website, and simply says “There are no items available” so basically doesn’t work.

*** will confirm source.

I’ll update this further on the phone… but for now, I’m slightly unimpressed. And what happened to the Cybershot branding?

Links: Flickr Satio Photos

And on the subject of Symbian – it seems like Sony and Nokia are using Symbian for some unknown reason, like these projects started years ago before they realised that they should be developing for Android. Motorola “decided to axe the entire Symbian product line as well as phones using several other operating systems.” (NYTimes) and have just released one of the most impressive new phones: The Motorola Droid based on Android 2.0. Even Nokia seem to be hedging their bets by developing new phones with Linux based operating systems: The Nokia N900 / based on Maemo.

If web connectivity and the ability to upload to social networking sites isn’t built into the core of a mobile phone operating system these days, then it just isn’t good enough, and releasing apps (Sony), patches (Nokia), and updates for features that should have come with the phone, isn’t the right way to go about it. By the time your updates are available, people will have already jumped ships, and will simply be “putting up” with the phone until they can get out of their contract, or get rid of their phone, to switch to an iPhone, or an Android phone.