We’ve already done an extensive hardware overview, but the meat of any smartphone lies in the software. And Sony Ericsson has wisely decided to leave Android for the most part undisturbed. They have bundled a few of their own apps — some welcome, some not — but there is a distinct lack of excess on these devices, and that’s a very good thing.
They run Android 2.3.2, also known as Gingerbread, and after the Nexus S, the only to launch with Google’s newest OS. Sony Ericsson have decided to replace some stock apps, such as the music player, and have not disturbed many others, such as the Gallery app. Overall performance is quite good, although the system bogs down at times, especially when typing on the custom keyboard. Playing Flash in the browser is a hit-and-miss affair, but that’s true of even the latest dual-core devices.
Stay tuned for a few review of the Sony Ericsson arc and Play in the coming days… in the meantime check out our in-depth video overview.