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Sony Ericsson speeds up the Xperia Arc

But the flagship smartphone still lacks a dual-core processor

Sony Ericsson will upgrade its Android-based Xperia Arc smartphone with a faster processor, the company announced at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin on Wednesday.

The Xperia Arc S' souped-up processor is rated at 1.4GHz, compared to 1GHz for its predecessor. The improvement in clock speed will, for example, result in a 25 percent faster camera start-up and 20 percent faster Web page rendering compared to Xperia Arc, according to Sony Ericsson's internal test.

The new iteration is Sony Ericsson's reaction to the processor wars that have been raging in the smartphone market, according to Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight. But without a dual-core processor, the Xperia Arc S is going to have a tough time when compared side-by-side with other smartphones, he said.

The size and much of the rest of the specification has been inherited from the original version, including a 4.2-inch screen and an 8-megapixel camera.

Using the smartphone, consumers will be able to take panorama images in 2D and 3D. The same feature will also be available on other models in the Xperia family via a software update, Sony Ericsson wrote in a blog post last week.

The Xperia Arc S will start shipping during the last three months of the year. Pricing wasn't announced.

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