Just bought one today <- Review + Answering Q's
I browse these forums quite often but I've yet to make any real contribution, and since the various other threads and posts helped me make the decision to buy this particular phone in the first place, I figured I would put a little bit back into the community
Anywho, the phone was released in Japan today and I just got my preordered handset.
If anyone has any specific comparisons/benchmark requests/questions, just leave them here! I'll be checking this thread over the next few days.
Hopefully this will help some of you who are considering this phone but aren't decided.
*Update 1: I can confirm that at least the Japanese model seems to have only 320mb RAM, and 512mb ROM. This contradicts pretty much all the specs released over here and the information on Docomo's website.
**Update 2: Correction, it would seem it has 512mb ram, but a chunk is permanently reserved for the GPU. Unconfirmed. (thanks to Ambroos) Also, the ROM -may- infact be 1GB but, around 700mb is reserved for system files.
***Update 3: Battery life (see below) **Latest testing suggests if you don't have the screen on for hours and hours, you'll get over 2 days of battery life.
****Update 4: This thread is getting kinda long so I've started appending summaries of the answers to questions asked in this thread.
*****Update 5: The phone has rebooted itself twice since I got it, presumably from overheating. I was running graphics intensive apps while charging the battery both times it happened. **Update: It's rebooted itself several more times, charger and heat unrelated. Possible fixes (unconfirmed): Updating to 2.3.3.
******Update 6: Regarding the stock situation in Japan: Blue is out and Silver is running low in most places. Pink is... not popular at all
*******Update 7: International model confirmed to be different from the Japanese domestic model. CDMA-2000 model for Japan will also be slightly thicker and have more features such as NFC.
: Very lightweight and thin, feels good in the hand. I had doubts about the 3.5mm headphone jack being positioned on the side of the device but I can already see the benefits, seeing as the phone is usually on it's side when in your coat pocket or bag. The L shaped jack on the supplied headset makes it work quite well vertically too, if you use want to carry it in your jeans etc.
I wish the USB port had a flap or sliding cover of some sort, but it's no big deal. LED light is on the side of the device which was an odd decision, because this makes it harder to see, especially if you use a case.
**Update: I'm generally happy with the build, but the battery cover is quite flimsy. It's probably a result of them making it so thin, but it feels like I could snap it in half with just my fingers. As you might expect, such a thin plastic cover with a slight wraparound design doesn't have a perfectly snug fit either, although it's not loose enough to bother most people. Mine does creak when you press on the back, but if I recall correctly so did the X10.
This is also yet another phone with a MicroSD card slot which can only be accessed after removing the battery cover AND the battery.
: I tend to prefer the punchy and exaggerated AMOLED colours when it comes to phones, but this screen is easily one of the best I've used.
Very good performance in sunlight even on medium brightness. The colours are quite natural looking, and the screen size feel just right. My hands are average sized and the big screen is balanced off by the thinness of the device. I like the aspect ratio of HTC phones more, but the width of the Arc when held horizontally makes it better for games that use onscreen joysticks.
: After several days of use on the stock rom, it'd say it's... not great. It'll last a full day on medium usage (I define that as browsing the web on 3G for an hour or two, some light gaming, several calls and 10-20 emails, screen at 50% brightness with medium-good reception with syncing on but no other polling apps running) but not much more than that. Still need more testing to be sure but I'm getting about 11hrs on average. Not bad for a large screen device but not spectacular. Motorola wins in this department with their huge batteries. That said, I'm sure we can get a few more hours out of it with custom roms and some tweaking.
**Update: Up to 14hrs in an area with good reception with the same usage. Quite impressed. Wi-Fi-only nets slightly more battery too.
**Update: Well over 24hrs usage if you don't have the screen on for hours on end. This is with the usual background data and light-normal usage.
: I was planning to switch to Zeam as soon as I bought the phone but I'm having second thoughts.
Blue isn't really my thing but the UI is very nice and refreshingly responsive. I love some of the effects like how the icons have a bit of elasticity when you drag them around. No lag or slowdown in the menus so far except for with the Timescape widget. The widget looks nice but the novelty wears off pretty fast, and it's not as practical as some other marketplace widgets with the same function. The media gallery on the other hand is one of the best I've seen on an android device. Or any device.
: No real benchmarks yet but it performs very well on games like Dungeon Defenders. Need more time to test, but for now it certainly seems to have an edge compared to any other stock single core phone I've used. **Update: Dungeon Defenders lags a bit when you have a lot on screen. Had to turn down the settings. I guess the Adreno 205 can only do so much. No complaints outside of the latest 3D games though. Browsing and other activities is very fast and responsive.
: Better than average, not amazing compared to other Japanese phones. Beats the Desire HD and SGS on detail/resolution, but the heavy-handed processing (sharpening and colour correction) leaves a lot to be desired. Lowlight isn't as impressive as I had hoped; it falls short when compared to the Exmor-R sensors found in Sony's compact cameras, but this is a sensor size problem rather than a lack of trying on SE's part. It still holds it's own compared to the competition. **Update: I still think low light photos are a little on the noisy side, but it looks like it can take photos in places so dark that other phones just give up and show a black screen. (Samples
) Not bad at all.
: Again, nothing special. Better than average I suppose. Not much of a video person so I can't really comment more than that. Low light sample here
: Excellent considering the size of the device. I was surprised at the loudness and lack of distortion. As you would expect from such a small driver unit there's no bass to be found, but the sound quality otherwise is clear and vibrant.** Update: The positioning was pretty well thought out too, because it's away from where most people will be gripping the device in any circumstance. Unfortunately putting it down on a flat surface still muffles it because it's on the back of the device.
, Music sample
: SuperOneClick and Z4root don't seem to work, I'll try other methods later.
: There is no automatic display brightness function. A strange omission, perhaps they couldn't get it working well enough? I've never had a handset which could change the brightness at the right time or frequency without annoying me so I never use it, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Also SE's power widget doesn't let you control the brightness either, so for now I've gone back to using the default Android widget. Something tells me they don't want you fiddling with the brightness.
**Update: Automatic brightness adjustment WORKS. It's just very subtle and non-intrusive, and I must say probably the best implementation I've ever seen. Thanks again to Ambroos for pointing this out. It's on by default, and as you move around it gradually adjusts itself to maintain the perceived brightness of the screen which you set with the slider in the settings.
Answers to Q's so far:
-If you're worried about fingerprints on the glossy back, go for Misty Silver. Blue looks a little cheap because of the plastic they've chosen.
-GPS performance isn't particularly outstanding, but nor is it terrible. Lock times seem to be inline with the Galaxy S or faster.
-No root yet.
-The evidence so far suggests that the Japanese model does -not- have different hardware. 512mb RAM and 512 ROM.
-No USB OTG support.
-Headset is better than average, but not outstanding. It's of the single flange in-ear variety, with several flange sizes included. Decent mic.
-The LED notification light can show a variety of colours. Not all apps can configure it yet.
-Position of the LED notification is on the side so it can be a little hard to see.
-No preinstalled screen protector (for Japanese handsets at least).
-In-call volume is average, a little on the quiet side but not a problem for most situations.
-Stuttery 720P playback for most codecs that the default player can't handle eg. x264 (no support with the default player, so no GPU decoding). MP4 is fine.
-Capacity of the supplied MicroSD appears to be 16gb in most regions. Max is 32gb @ class 6 for compatibility. Class 10 may be compatible, unconfirmed.
-Some regions may not get a HDMI cable supplied with the phone eg. Japan.
-The Arc is capable of 14Mbit/s down over HSDPA, not limited to 7.2Mbit/s as has been reported on many sites.
-Ambient light sensor IS present on the device, but cannot be used to dim the screen automatically with the stock software. Updates coming hopefully. **Found to be incorrect. See observations above.
-Viewing angles let down the otherwise excellent (best sLCD I've seen) screen.
-Shutter delay is fairly fast, the camera is capable of about 1fps max. Shutter lag is typical for a phone, so no sports or action photography unless you're good at guessing.
-It would appear there's some improvement over the X10 with lowlight video recording, but still a little stuttery at times.
-Arabic and Farsi language support is present. Infact the language list is impressively huge, with 9 variations of English. Can't really beat that.
-Internal memory available for apps and data will be around 320mb, depending on the carrier configuration.
-Retail price in Japan is 48,720 JPY on Docomo. 30,240 JPY for existing customers and 19,320 JPY for customers switching from another carrier. Locked with a 2 year contract only. It looks like KDDI au will also be getting the phone at a later date (IS11S). **Update: The KDDI au model will be slightly thicker with Japanese features like NFC and one-seg TV.
-Still no confirmed fix for the rebooting issue.
-Probably no official docking station (no metal contacts). No other Arc-specific accessories announced yet either.
-JP model will support SP Mode just fine.