Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc goes up for pre-order, with you by April

Want to get your hands on Sony Ericsson's new Xperia Arc Android smart phone? Play.com has it for pre-order with a release date of 1 April, but a price tag of £460.

Stuart Dredge

Sony Ericsson's super-slim Xperia Arc floated our boats at CES this year, and now it's available to pre-order in the UK from online retailer Play.com. The news isn't so good though on its SIM-free price and release date.

According to Play's listing (spotted by Xperia Blog), the Android phone is due for release on 1 April -- we assume it's not pulling our leg -- with a SIM-free price tag of £460. Naturally, it'll be cheaper when operators start selling it on contract.

The curvaceous device includes a 4.2-inch screen using Sony's Bravia Engine image-processing technology, which promises to make the most of the screen in terms of colour, contrast and sharpness.

Other boffo selling points are its 8.1-megapixel camera with a back-illuminated sensor, its ability to shoot 720p video, and its inclusion of the latest Gingerbread flavour of Google's Android software, version 2.3. Previously, Sony Ericsson's Android smart phones have been accused of lagging behind when it comes to Android updates, so Gingerbread's inclusion here is most welcome.

Earlier this month, we dribbled over video footage of the Xperia Arc, so its pre-orderable status on Play.com at least indicates a release date is looming on the horizon. Could the handset make its debut before April? Perhaps Sony Ericsson will shed more light on its plans during the Mobile World Congress show next month.