Sony Arc LT15 official ICS (Android 4.0.4) impressions

Sony had started rolling out the updates for the Sony Arc and the rest of the range that came during that period.  The good news is that the version uses the new build of Google ICS (4.0.4) which will be also be rolled out for the Arc S in due course.  So while the official update for the Arc is later than the Arc S, seems like it’s the better of the two updates!

Initially I updated my LT15 Arc with the official release for the Arc S (see impression blog at  While there were many good points, I felt that it had slowed down my phone though the scrolling and swipes were smoother.  Forums and reviews had loads of people complaining on the performance issues with 4.0.3 which Sony seems to have pushed quickly without sufficient tweaking and testing.  Several customers had even stepped down back to Gingerbread because of this laggy performance when using many apps.

So when I saw the new update I jumped and updated using Flashtool since the update for the Sony Arc is still not available for my region.

WOW, what a difference the 4.0.4 makes.  The interface is back to its nippy behavior with Gingerbread, with the smoother scrolling of ICS, cool J

  1. Interface is smooth, but can get laggy – SORTED, now the lag has all but gone, definitely much more optimized than before
  2. I sometime get the error saying the desktop (explorer) has stopped, or some app as stop, but if you select the wait option usually things get back into control.  I feel that the memory getting low also maybe a cause for this. – Not seen this issue with 4.04., good news J
  3. Fluffy (angry) birds (what i just tested was Rio) game does not work, though it gets launched i can’t touch and select any options, not sure how many other games and apps will have this problem.  – Angry Birds Rio, and Space both still have this problem, but World of Goo works fine.
  4. The camera takes ages to load compared to how it was with Gingerbread.  I have resorted to using CameraFX due to this, which works fine – The camera app now loads in around 2 secs (fast!) and works well.
  5. Overall app launch is a tad slower than what it was on gingerbread – No more, apps are launched as fast as the gingerbread version.
  6. Benchmarks – A bit better than the 4.0.3 here, so some tweaking has been done.
  7. The standard Music app crashes – Not seen this with the new update
  8. The time to make the initial connection and page load up times are slow , and this is also noticed when navigating within Google Play Store – Sorted, things are quick and nippy, nice

Kudos to the Sony team to making the new 4.0.4 version better optimized and stable, though why Angry Birds games does not work is a worry, and if the same will apply for any other games is a concern.

Here is a quick comparison of some tests.  The overall usability improved is noticed on the tests, but the impact on the graphical side is also noticed !

  4.0.3 (from Arc S) 4.0.4 (official for Arc)
Quadrant 1130 1257
Antutu 2.7.3 2834 (v 2.7.3) 2953 (v 2.8.2)
Nenamark 2 25.6 (v 2.2) 24.1 (v 2.2)

In case you want to do the manual update for your arc, here is a very good write-up that provides the process and the links to download the firmware and tools.  Be warned the process has to be done properly if not you will brick your phone, and by the likes of the forum several have, so it’s your decisions to take the risk!

UPDATE: Sorry missed providing the link, here is the link where you can find the download (links to the rest of the Xperia range is also available) –

There is a nice thread going which seems to have started off for the ARC S (LT18i) but seems relevant for other Xperia 2011 phones. Read the articles from the end as the initial ones are for the very buggy 4.0.3 update.


2 thoughts on “Sony Arc LT15 official ICS (Android 4.0.4) impressions”

  1. very interesting and thorough review, i completely agree on the issues with 4.03 since i have exactly the same issues, although no links are provided, i’d be more than grateful if you could post the links for the new firmware download because i’m about to downgrade to gingerbread…

    1. Thank for the positive comment, and glad to hear the observations are just faced by myself 🙂 I have updated the post at the end with the link where the direct download for the firmware and how to update is provided.

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