If we're honest, last year's Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 was one of last year's biggest disappointments. Not that the phone was that bad, but it fell vastly short of our, and many of your, expectations.
Sony Ericsson is starting 2011 with a big leap in the right direction. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011, it unveiled the new Xperia Arc, the first in the Xperia family since the X10 to feature top-line specs. From our first hands-on time with the Arc, it's easy to say it is a far superior phone to its predecessor.
The Arc is refined across the board; its design is sleeker, it offers better connectivity and, most importantly, it runs the latest version of Android.
Sony Ericsson is claiming the title of "world's slimmest smartphone", pinching the honour from the iPhone 4. At its slimmest point in the centre of the concave arc design, the phone is just 8.7mm thick.
Fans of Timescape needn't despair, the social-networking and messaging aggregate is still installed, it just doesn't play as central a role as it did on the X10. It also seems to be more lightweight, but we'll have to wait and see how it copes with a few dozen Twitter updates each hour.
The Arc's 8-megapixel camera (hidden under that enormous CES security device) can also shoot 1080p video. Sony Ericsson has created a new smartphone-size Exmor R image sensor, borrowing from the technology used in Sony Cyber-shot cameras.
Another first for the Arc is Sony Ericsson's new Reality display featuring the Mobile Bravia engine. This engine is similar to the upscaling algorithm used in Bravia TVs, which reduces noise from images, supposedly making them cleaner and sharper.