We compare the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S with a rumoured Windows Phone 7 Mango known as the Acer W4

As we near the release of Windows Phone 7’s Mango update, interest in the platform is rightfully increasing. Many people are keen to see exactly what the operating system has matured into and one device which looks set to show-off the update’s capabilities is Acer’s Mango powered Acer W4.
In the interest of impartiality we’ve chosen to pitch the Acer W4 against a little Android competition in the shape of Sony Ericsson’s up and coming Xperia Arc S – a device that is looking to build on the solid reputation of its predecessor.
We’re operating within the confines of speculation again this week, folks, so do remember that what we’re discussing isn’t the finished, or even confirmed, article.

If the rumours circulating can be trusted we can expect the Acer W4 to launch with a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU and at least 512MB RAM which, although sufficient for most tasks, isn’t going to set the world alight in a market that is anxiously awaiting its first quad-core powered smartphones.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S has a little bit more muscle though, with a 1.4GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU and 512MB RAM, giving it victory in this opening round.
Winner – Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

Acer’s W4 looks set to include a 3.6-inch WVGA  touchscreen, which will operate at a resolution of 480 x 800 and offer a fairly impressive pixel density of 259ppi.
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc S features a 4.2-inch LED-backlit LCD screen that operates at a resolution of 480 x 854 and offers a pixel density of 233ppi, making it a decent choice for those that enjoy watching movies or TV shows on their device.
There’s plenty to be said for high quality, smaller screens though and we think people will appreciate the Acer W4 irrespective of it lacking a few millimetres in the screen department.

Winner – Draw

The Xperia Arc S offers an 8-megapixel primary camera with auto-focus, LED flash, face & smile detection, 3D sweep panorama and Geo-tagging, making it a pretty well rounded package for those that snap a lot of photos on the go.
The device will also feature a secondary, front-facing camera, though we aren’t sure what size yet.
The Acer W4 looks set to be outfitted with the bare minimum required of Windows Phone 7 devices, which, of course, is a 5-megapixel sensor with autofocus and LED flash.
There’s no word yet on what other camera functionality the device will have, or whether it will feature a secondary video-call camera.
Winner – Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

Operating System
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc S will ship with version 2.3.4 of Google’s Android OS, otherwise known as Gingerbread – a pretty well rounded, stable and secure release of the software.
Users can also expect to find Sony Ericsson’s own TimeScape UI included too, which brings custom widgets, apps and social networking integration along with a neat timeline driven user interface.

Acer’s W4 will launch with the newest iteration of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform, which brings a lot of new features to the platform, such as a new unified inbox for all communications, new and improved multi-tasking and Internet Explorer 9.
Naturally both platforms offer tons of apps and games for download, but Windows Phone 7 has a way to go before it catches up with Android in this respect, giving the Xperia Arc S the edge.
Winner – Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

Form & Build
There’s no word on dimensions for the Acer W4 yet, but we’re expecting a device that doesn’t deviate terribly from the path set by previous Windows Phone 7 devices.
In terms of materials we’re expecting lightweight plastics and a decent build quality, but again it doesn’t look anything special.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S measures up at 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm and weighs a modest 117g, making it a fairly pocket-friendly smartphone.
We hope Sony Ericsson has put a little bit more effort into the build quality of the Arc S though, as its predecessor exuded a pound-shop feel which belied the device’s underlying quality.
Winner – Draw
And there you have it. A pretty resounding victory for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.
The device looks to be a solid addition to the Xperia stable, and a decent upgrade on the previous device. The improved power on offer will make the lag that afflicted the original Arc a thing of the past.
Thankfully the specs for the Acer W4 aren’t written in stone. We might see a device that has been nipped, tweaked and updated by the time it reaches market, and we hope that this is the case.
As it stands though, the Acer W4 is a device that looks dated by today’s standards and has little of note under the bonnet.
Unless Acer is planning to price the device very aggressively we can’t see it making much of a splash.


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