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HTC Desire S vs Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

This time the HTC Desire S takes on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

We compare the HTC Desire S to Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc.


HTC Desire S - 115 x 59.8 x 11.6 mm, 130 g

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc - 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm, 117 g

The HTC Desire S doesn’t really stand out that much in the current smartphone market. Nor does it look very different from the majority of other HTC handsets, but in each case this is not necessarily a bad thing.

There’s something to be said for the elegant simplicity of the Desire S, something HTC seem to consistently get right, with smartphones at least.

The Desire S is thin, sleek and professional-looking with that HTC minimalist style and slightly rounded (though not overdone) corners bucking the trend for the angular.

Sony’s device is a completely different ball game, like the rest of the Xperia range, each is different and distinguished from each other and they’re very much attention seekers in the wider world of mobile tech too.

The clue is in the name for the Arc, with the whole handset curving along its back panel in the palm of your hand.

At the front it’s very straight and angular and very clean looking, while the back is a peculiar but effective mix of curves and angles, there’s some chrome trim but it’s tastefully done and actually suits the overall bombastic visuals of the device quite well.

We think the silhouette of the Xperia Arc from any angle looks fantastic, it looks like it shouldn’t work but it simply does.

The Desire S looks average and ‘okay’, but the Xperia Arc really is something exceptional and very special indeed when it comes to design, if only all smartphones were so interesting to look at.

Winner – Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc


HTC has, funnily enough, opted for Sony technology for the Desire S’ display with a 3.7-inch S-LCD capacitive touchscreen which is reinforced with toughened Gorilla Glass.

The display comes in at a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and 252 dots-per-inch (dpi). The Desire S has multi-touch input as well as an accelerometer and comes preloaded with the HTC Sense user interface (UI).

The Xperia Arc boasts a larger screen than the Desire S at 4.2-inches, it’s an LED-backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen at 480 x 854 pixels and 233 dpi.

The Arc’s display has a scratch-resistant surface and features multi-touch input and an accelerometer. This curved handset also has the Sony Mobile Bravia engine and Timescape UI pre-installed.

Quite a tricky one to call, we prefer the larger screen size of the Arc and it also has a slightly higher resolution. However, the Desire S has the upper hand with a higher dpi rating for a sharper picture and the S-LCD screen technology offering better power economy as well as enhanced brightness and colours.

We think the Desire S will offer the most satisfying display quality overall.

Winner – HTC Desire S


Storage on the Desire S is not what we would describe as fantastic, it’s got 1.1 GB of ROM for internal capacity which is acceptable but nothing to write home about, meanwhile on the RAM side of things it has 768 MB, which is rather good. Micro SD is supported for cards up to 32 GB.

The Arc isn’t great in this area either with a mere 320 MB of onboard storage space, RAM is decent enough at 512 MB though it comes in behind the Desire S. Card support is the same as the HTC and the Arc includes an 8GB Micro SD card as part of the package.

Neither handset provides as much storage as we would like but of the two the Desire comes out better with more RAM and more internal memory for your contacts, apps and multimedia.

Winner – HTC Desire S

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