A new smartphone from Sony Ericsson is arriving in the U.S., although only available through the company’s online store. Dubbed the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S, it will be sold for US$500 in its unlocked form, i.e., not restricted to any carrier.

Hopefully, availability of the phone will extend beyond the online store and reach physical retailers as well, despite Sony’s difficulty to sell its unlocked phones. No official statement can explain why the tech giant did not bother reaching an agreement with a cellular carrier to support its device. Without carrier support, smartphones typically flounder and stay behind as a niche product for technophiles.

Those interested in buying the Xperia arc S will want to know that it is not particularly high-end, especially in the light of dual-core smartphones.  The Xperia arc S comes equipped with a 1.4-GHz processor, 4.2-inch display with 854×480 resolution, and up to 1 GB internal storage that can be expanded up to 32 GB using a microSD card. More noteworthy is its 8.1 MP camera that is capable of capturing 3D and 2D photos in panoramic mode.

Another smartphone is tagging along – the Xperia neo V. For US$249, its specs are unsurprisingly much lower than the Xperia arc S.

Both phones are loaded with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread.

Are you a user of an earlier Sony Ericsson Android handset?  Does the Xperia arc S sound like a good upgrade to your existing handset?

Conan Hughes
Contributor at Android Authority covering all things Android.