HTC Sensation XE vs Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

by: JoseDecember 19, 2011

The HTC Sensation XE and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S are two great Android smartphones that are gaining popularity nowadays. The Sensation XE is one of the first to get the new Beats branding while the Xperia Arc S comes from the famous Xperia product line. Will these two meet our expectations? Will they satisfy our cravings for a truly awesome Android smartphone? Read on and find out.

The Looks

The two smartphones are nowhere near similar when it comes to design. The styles and the physical design of these devices are totally different from each other.

Sony made the Xperia Arc S super thin, with some curves around the edges. The back portion of the device is made of shiny plastic, which looks nice but prone to fingerprints. If you hold the device though, it feels fragile. It seems that the build is not that sturdy, although, in truth, it is. And, like its other Xperia siblings, the Xperia Arc S has three physical buttons at the bottom of its screen.

The Sensation XE is thicker compared to the Xperia Arc S. But, despite being thick, this smartphone is still comfortable to hold because of its nicely curved back. The back part of the Sensation XE is made out of metal, which makes it a very sturdy device. The Sensation XE uses capacitive buttons placed at the bottom of the screen and are accentuated with red to complement its Beats branding.

The Sensation XE is a tough-looking gadget, while the Xperia Arc S is more fashionable when it comes to looks.


We will be seeing a big difference between the two when it comes to processor specs. Both devices use Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, but of totally different speeds. The Xperia Arc S settled for a 1.4 GHz single-core Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon with 512 MB of RAM. The Sensation XE carries a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon processor and 768 MB of RAM.

The numbers clearly show it: the smartphone from HTC has an advantage when it comes to processing speed.


The HTC Sensation XE uses an S-LCD 4.3-inch display, while the Xperia Arc S is built with a 4.2-inch LED-backlit LCD display. The colors on both devices are clear and vibrant. Both screens, though are prone to fingerprint marks, which would be one of the downsides. And, the viewing angle on the Xperia Arc S is not that good. You tilt it a little and the images on the screen won’t be that clear anymore.


The internal storage of both devices is not something to be excited about. The Xperia Arc S only has 320 MB and the Sensation XE only has 1 GB. Each has a microSD card slot, though. The two smartphones can handle up to 32 GB of additional storage through microSD cards.


The two smartphones are using Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. Both devices leverage the OS quite well–which means that everything runs smoothly.

Sony uses the Timescape UI on the Xperia Arc S. The custom UI is full of animations and it’s a nice-looking one, too. The Sense UI on the Sensation XE is more user-friendly, though. The Sense UI is easier to navigate and configure.


These devices are equipped with 8 MP digital cameras which are situated at the back. The Sensation XE is capable of capturing 1080p Full HD videos while the Xperia Arc S is capable of capturing 720p HD videos. There are more features on the Xperia Arc S though when it comes to its camera app.


The HTC Sensation XE is using a 1,730 mAh battery while the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is packed with a 1,500 mAh battery. You may say that the Sensation XE may have an advantage over the Xperia Arc S right now, but do remember that the Sensation XE is using a power-hungry dual-core processor.


All in all the HTC Sensation XE has a bigger advantage over the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S. Indeed the Xperia Arc S is more fashionable to look at, but the Sensation XE is sturdier and more durable. The two devices may have nearly similar screen sizes, but then again the viewing angle on the Xperia Arc S is not that good. One of the biggest advantages of the Sensation XE is the processing power. The Xperia Arc S can still get by for now, but in the future, new apps will need more processing power and this device may not be able to cope.

Is any of these two phones something you’re thinking of buying any time soon?

  • Olle Nordlander

    In Sweden the price for Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is nearly half of the Htc Sensation XE. How come you don’t mention this?

    • G_az

      very true when it comes to cost people will be more likely to buy xperia arc s also duel core offer slightly better performence and did you know this if you get a chart (abit like task manager on the pc) of the current speed of both prossesors on a duel core if you open a program the second core will only spike for a split second to open the program quicker then power down as the first core will take over and run it from there on so really duel cores are actually a waiste of money from this point of view i have both atrix and htc sensation XL. atrix is a duel core and my htc is 1.5ghz single core so im not biased in any way

      • Single cores dominate Single-threaded applications whereas dual or + cores dominate Multi-threaded applications.

  • Alumni 1 1 1

    by the way htc sensation xe have 4gb internal storage , its just only that user can use only 1gb of that , of corse if you use custom rom you can change everything :)

  • Chris

    I am not sure which one to buy myself.. I know you just said whats good on both but.. I still don’t know.. If I want my phone to last and such.. And if I like to listen to music.. Both my friends have each of these phones and both say different..

    My stepmom also had Xperia mini which acted like crap after a while.. Reluctant to choose Xperia but I don’t know which is best in. The long run for music, pics and not getting slow and such..

  • MR.ineedtoknowmore

    I am very happy and glad that you guys have posted this article.I really plan to buy these phones but I don’t know which is better.Thanks to you guys,now I know what to choose,that is the HTC Sensation XE.I hope in future you could post more of this kind of articles to inform buyers so that they make a better choice.Again,thanks guys.

  • THErealfaridmax

    I think the htc is bether but itisnt butful