Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware (4.0.1.A.0.283) review

by XB on 24th September 2011

in Android, Applications, Featured Content, Firmware, Imaging, Reviews, Xperia arc, Xperia Neo, Xperia PLAY, Xperia Pro, Xperia ray

Xperia Timer widgetNow that we’ve had some time to fully explore what the latest Android 2.3.4 firmware (4.0.1.A.0.283) brings to the 2011 range of Xperia handsets, we wanted to relay our findings to our readers. What you’ll find below is every new feature that the latest update brings to the table. It’s quite a meaty upgrade all in all and certainly leaves us with respect for the Sony Ericsson developers who are continuing to upgrade our devices with useful additions.

Sony Ericsson is delivering on its promise of speedy updates, after learning some harsh lessons from its first Android adventure with the Xperia X10. If Sony Ericsson continues to deliver, we see no reason why the company’s market share should steadily climb, especially with some positive word-of-mouth. Anyway click through below for all of the new features you’ll find on Android 2.3.4.

4.0.1.A.0.283 Firmware Review (Android 2.3.4)

Android 2.3.4 Xperia ray

Video Google Chat

This is probably the main feature when moving from stock Android 2.3.3 to Android 2.3.4. We cover this first as the rest of the inclusions are all Sony Ericsson rather than Google led. When clicking the ‘Talk’ app, you will now see a video camera (green if they are online) enabling you to conduct a video call with that person.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

3D Panorama Camera

This is Sony Ericsson’s headline feature from the 4.0.1.A.0.283 firmware. Unfortunately it is not one that we could test fully as we don’t have a 3D television to see the results. However, this update not only introduces the 3D Panorama sweep but also a normal Panorama sweep (as first seen with the Xperia X10).

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

You choose a direction that you would like to shoot from (right/left/up/down) and then you pan the camera in that direction. It’s so simplistic that we’re surprised we haven’t seen this sooner. The results are great too with some very quick and easy panorama shots, no more stitching pictures together.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

The 3D Panorama sweep works in the same way, although you can choose image size first (16:9 or standard size). You then pan the camera to create your 3D shot.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Sony Ericsson has also included a couple of 3D camera apps in the app tray. The ‘3D Album’ takes you to a dedicated part of the Gallery which holds all of your 3D camera pictures. The ‘3D Camera’ takes you straight into the 3D Panorama sweep mode. The other two apps below this relate to Facebook inside Xperia, taking us nicely into the next feature.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Facebook inside Xperia 2.0

Sony Ericsson has updated their Facebook inside Xperia (FiX) function to allow the sharing of apps and games. As you can see above, SE has introduced two new Facebook apps in the app tray – ‘Games & apps’ and ‘Music & videos’. There are widget versions of both of these apps too. One is called ‘Friends games & applications’ and the other is called ‘Friends music & videos’.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

These apps show which games, apps, music and videos your friends and family are sharing on Facebook.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

If you want to share a game or app, you just hold down the app and you will see a ‘Share’ button open at the top of the screen.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Once you drag the app over to this it will open a popup that allows you to share it with your friends/family with a brief message.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Sony Ericsson has also introduced a new setting in the menus that allows you to turn FiX on/off. You can find it in Settings > Sony Ericsson > Facebook inside Xperia.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Swipe text input

Another major improvement is the introduction of a swipe text input system, popularised by Swype. This involves tracing over the keyboard with the word you want to type, without letting go of the screen. We’ve been avid Swype users for years now and it’s our keyboard of choice, so it’s nice to see SE launch their own version called Swipe.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

This is enabled by default but you can turn it on/off in the settings (Settings > Language & Keyboard > International Keyboard > Text input settings).

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Screen capture

This is self explanatory, but kudos to Sony Ericsson for finally enabling a simple way of taking a screenshot on your phone. Holding down the power button, brings up the ‘Take screenshot’ option at the bottom. When taken you will find the screenshot in your picture gallery.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Back up

Xperia X10 users will remember that Sony Ericsson had a Backup and Restore application that was removed in the Gingerbread update. The 2011 series of Xperia devices have not had any backup solutions, until now. The new Back up functionality can be found in ‘Settings > Privacy’. When enabled this function allows you to backup application data, Wi-Fi passwords and other settings to the Google servers i.e. in the cloud. Besides this is an ‘Automatic restore’ facility that allows all app data to be automatically restored when reinstalled again.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Music player changes

Enable/disable extensions
The music player now has something called ‘Extensions’ in its settings. This enables you to show more information about your music using Google lyrics search, Wikipedia and YouTube.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Change playlist order
Another improvement is that your able to change the playlist order.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

New widgets

Analogue clock
You now have an extra analogue clock widget for you to decide between.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

You also get a new calendar widget that highlights your upcoming events.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

This timer widget is very cool. It is a countdown timer (rather than stop clock) but has some fantastic animation. One of our favourites.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

World Clock
Sony Ericsson also introduced a nice new addition in terms of this world clock. You can set up to three world time zones. In a nice touch, the clock is yellow when it is daytime in that region and blue during the night.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Icon changes

The folder and widget icons have a slightly different design.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Also, the new folder icon is more useful as you can see what is included in that folder (up to four apps). Previously the folder was blank and you had to tap into it to see what apps were inside.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

Xperia PLAY only

As well as all of the above (bar the 3D camera panorama), Xperia PLAY owners get the following improvements:

Auto brightness
Sony Ericsson has bowed down to complaints and included an option to disable the auto brightness. This has not appeared on any other Xperia handset, which is a shame as it used to be included in the Xperia X10 when it launched on Android 1.6, but hasn’t been seen since.

Xperia Android 2.3.4 firmware review

HD video recording
Xperia PLAY owners now get 720p HD video recording. See this post for a short video sample.

What is missing?

CRT animation
The much loved CRT animation when locking/unlocking the display is now gone. What you get instead is a slow fade from bottom-up and top-down that is nowhere near as cool. We want our CRT animation back!

Power save mode
The Xperia ray has a new app called the Power save mode. If you want to know more, click here for our review that covered the app in more detail. We were hoping that this new app would make its way to other Xperia handsets, but it’s not happened in this update. Hopefully, it will appear in a future software update.

  • Sonyplay

    Nice new features, but the update is still not available here in germany. Any infos when it will be released up in here?

  • finity!

    Wow! That’s amazing stuff for basic routine. Keep’em coming much love the way SE design these widget.

  • Sparks

    Ohh no! The CRT animation is the biggest wow factor on these phones that people see in passing.. Plus I smile every time I lock my phone because I’m easily amused :)

  • I just had an update (live in Belgium) and it was for the late 2.3.3 (4.0.A.2.368)

  • This update is just for nordic regions…. (and generic world because its the base firmware for all)

    german and other regions won’t get it… they will release the next version fpr all on oktober as mentioned from SE earlier… 

    i’m not allowed to give further details but we will have to wait a few weeks or have to flash generic world….sorry

  • If we(XperiaPLAY owners) don’t get 3d panorama, does that mean we don’t get the normal version?

  • Asad Mulla

    I am on a generic UK ARC which I bought from SE Store but I have still not received the update??????? I am looking forward to this update

  • Asad Mulla

    I am on a generic UK ARC which I bought from SE Store but I have still not received the update??????? I am looking forward to this update

  • Gordon Shumway

    I can’t believe that I’m considering not updating because of the lack of CRT animation.

    SE – please bring it back

  • Manjinyoshimitsu

    Nooo! I loved the CRT animation!! Please bring it back! …Maybe they had to get rid of it cause it was too much like the Samsung nexus s CRT lock animation…? :(

  • Anonymous

    I share you the same exact feeling loool

    I don’t know why the damn developers in SE always like to give us something cool but that comes with a price! Remember when they decided to remove some of the populer ring tones in the earlier update? A lot of people were upset as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I truly admire SE and all the greatness they bring along in the mobile world. But sometimes they just do things that keep me wondering are they really that stupid? You know they probably didn’t even realize how much the customers loved this flashy feature :)

    Nontheless, the update is freaking amazing! SE truly took their updates to a different level. By the way you can also disable the low battery notification in the power saver mode that’s on the Ray, I’m pretty some users are dieing to get such thing hehe/  

  • Hannade

    :( I dont have the timer widget And Auto Brightness

  • Soheil

    i have Xperia Arc ( 2.3.4) , but i haven’t new Clock widget and Timer widget , can anybody share apk ? 
    thank you 

  • Anonymous

    i cant believe some fools are still moaning about sony ericsson, get a grip idiots

  • singhh

    what do you mean, theres going to be another firmware update soon?, would it be the same version or no?

  • Finite

    No timer widget and the analog clock widget is still black on my Xperia arc 2.3.4

  • D32

    try using SE Update Service

  • can you please provide the apk for the analog clock?

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  • no update here in the Philippines =( been waiting for it since forever!

  • this update for nordic was just a intermediate step… the official announcement was October and this is still actual…. so all regions will get a newer update with build number 4.0.2.x.x in october like planned 

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  • Salamander Igneel

    i have xperia play and i just updated i dont get the take screenshot… and some of my games cant playable anymore… (i have star battalion but the game data is missing,the sims 3 wont work anymore its always force close) can anyone help me..?

  • Bajsfjutt

    Friends games & applications and the timer was in my xperia mini when i bought it in aug on the release in sweden 2.3.3

  • CRT, where are you?

    Love the new updates, but… I want CRT animation back :/

  • Rai


  • Reddddd

    no! i don´t update because of the lack of the crt animation!

  • Punjabidevil123

    Will the updates be completely identical or will the future update include new features as well as bug fixes?

  • nsxe9

    what happened to the “Repeat track” option in the music player???

  • i have no further details sorry… but i think SE will bring all xperias on the same feature level again

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  • guest This video shows off the features of the Xperia software upgrade.

  • Anonymous

    Do you know if the CRT animation will be back? I really miss it, I can’t understand why it’s gone….

  • Muhammadizzat Rodzi

    Nice!! good job SE.. When It Blowing in malaysia??

  • Afzal57hhh has not mentioned about the change of theme of gallery which corresponds to the blue colour of your xperia mamraa of that yellow greyish default colour. Also no mention about the comment feature of timescape .

  • Afzal57hhh has not mentioned about the change of theme of gallery which corresponds to the blue colour of your xperia instead of that yellow greyish default colour. Also no mention about the comment feature of timescape .

  • Alwaysstayondisco

    You can get back the crt animation with the app screen off and lock. It contains an animation feature that does exactly the same. What I really miss is an integrate locating service like htcs sense.Com. Further information would like to control the musicplayer via lockscreen

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  • Amit Kh

    i got an update today Build Number 4.0.A.2.368 nothing has change in the software it is still the same 2.3.3 i don’t understand why India has got this one…… no 3d no swipe no change in the keyboard… 
    Does anyone know are we going to get another update on this one?

  • Amit Kh

    i got an update today Build Number 4.0.A.2.368 nothing has change in the software it is still the same 2.3.3 i don’t understand why India has got this one…… no 3d no swipe no change in the keyboard… Does anyone know are we going to get another update on this one?

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  • Trifuerza

    My home button now does nothing but wake up the phone when sleeping, nothing more, no more “main home screen” or nothing… what hapened?

  • Vinay Noah

    Does any one knows when this updated will be available in India ?

    Thanks in Advance
    Vinay Noah

  • lubje

    That´s like really the most important feature of a phone LOL

  • Asrujit

    Last week i was @facebook-614238324:disqus  Thailand and updated my Xperia Arc on air. and now its 2.3.4 with all these new stuff .. its awosome. and battery life has also improved a lot.

  • Manveer singh

    How can i install this update where do i go 

  • Ben

    That’s why among other things, I don’t upgrade to the new firmware. :-D So I’m interested too – please ask Sony!

  • Alex_marine16

    Wow i cant wait for the update i still have

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  • Anonymous

    when are we supposed to get this update? i am currently in china.

  • Anonymous

    got the app but the animations do not seem to work.

  • Anonymous

    is there a way to fake where you are accessing update search from?

    it seems like this update has been released 3+ weeks ago and i still have not gotten it, just moved to china 2 weeks ago.

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  • wheres the 3d sweep multi angle for the camera?

  • James

    The CRT animation is the FIRST thing people notice when they see your fone for the first time. :(

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  • John_franz112

    2.3.4 are now roll out to xperia lines, try to check, i have updated my ray tov

  • rob

    hm. This new update killed a very neat functionality on the agenda. I track multiple agena’s and all agenda’s used to have seperate all they have is the same thin pink ribbon at the left. How am i to supposed to distinguish the different agenda’s now?

  • Gryu-uzb

    I updated my Pro to 2.3.4 two days ago. The phone got slwoer. It seems that android is killing off a little too much. Multitasking has gone to shits. The pages in browsers reload every time you switch apps (i.e. reply to a txt and go back to reading your webpage.) The phone stutters. Even the homescreen takes time to load after you exit , let’s say a gallery or a game. Individual performance of certain apps may have improved a little, but at a price of  the  whole phone being slower.

  • stacey

    Can the xperia play take screen shots at all?

  • Hamopeace

    I hated the CRT animation; Also did’nt the world clock, timer and the revamped analogue clock widget come to the xperia play? i cant find them…

  • Marc

    got the update but i dont have the new calendar widget , the timer , world clock n new analog clock.

  • RayBenn

    I heard that this update doesn’t include xperia x10i. Is that true?

  • abdullah alqari

    i’m a xperia ray user, lost the crt animation, didn’t get the new analog widget, world clock, and the timer, what tha heck?!

  • Ngxiankai286

    personally i think the new animation is as cool, what’s so cool about the crt animation? but since people are so upset about it, i think they should give us an option in the settings, or do they already include it? gonna check now

  • Hamopeace

    Yep :) hold the power button till the menus pop up and press take screenshot :)

  • I’m having some trouble installing an update at all! I follow the instructions, but I can’t get past the step where you “hold down volume and insert the usb cable into the phone”.

    When I do that, my phone just shows the “Charging”-logo and I cannot drag down the notification bar as the next step prescribes.

    What am I missing?

  • Kmotionman

    Dude I feel u you remind me of the “other OS removal” disaster my sympathy to you man.

  • Amitabh Pandey

    how to update x10 with android  2.3.4

  • Ronish95

    how to start the timer widget

  • Jigar007

    Hey dude. I got another update in xperia play which doesn’t include some the the features u mentioned above… The update is 2.3.4, but the build no is 4.0.2.a.0.42…. Why is it so…???

  • nev

    crap! if i only knew they were removing the crt animation, i wouldn’t have updated. is there any way to revert back to the old version? why don’t they just give us a selection in settings which sleep animation we want. uber crap!

  • Obitumx

    I second the motion!

  • Sol

    You can get whatever you want in the Android Market. Just make the search. Most of them are free  

  • Rajesh Sanghani

    After the update from Android 2.3.3 to Android 2.3.4 even I have lost the CRT animation, I certainly want it back on my Sony Ericsson SK17i viz., SE Xperia Mini Pro

  • Jithinjustus

    please bring back the CRT animation…i always used to showoff ma mob by locking and unlocking

  • Krzysztof Tr?bi?ski

    Could someone put the apk calendar, from thesoftware versions of 4.0.1.A.0.283, generally I would like to have the widget as the screen.

  • polpan

    i just noticed my new text messages stays on top on the conversation…. before the update new message appears “BELOW” the whole conversation…. now after the update is way above… on “TOP” of the whole conversation….
    this should now how the a chat/conversation should like… new message should be below the last message on a “CONVERSATION MODE” text messaging… he he he
    is there any tweak on it?

  • Edwardfloressebastian

    Updated my arc, but can’t seem to find the “world clock” widget. help anyone?

  • Musikamaru

    same here!!! waaah!!!! T.T

  • Naira

    Hi, I am not sure if this is proper place to place my comment, sorry if not.
    I have updated by mistake my Xperia Arc 10 with 4.0.2.A.0.68 or 69 something like that. Because I unlocked myself the phone to can use it in London, even when the terminal was spanish. 
    The problem was that i touched the screen and the updating starting, not being conected to usb or anything, and suddenly the phone turned black and stwiched off. Since then I couldnt turn on again, the screen is always black.

    I have updated the sofwtare with Pc companion,and sony ericsson update service, i have had a look and all the blogs and foros i found, etc. and nothing.

    The ligth on the side is green when i coneect the cable usb between the phone and the pc. If I disconnect it and press the button POWER ON it s green and off, green and off, but anything else happens.

    Any suggestion to can turn on again the phone? i am desperated.. 

    Thanks a lot, and sorry for my bad english 

  • Markstk

    not sure if i am able to give my email address in case some of you guys nicely want to help me :) either sorry if not, but i wont be able to check a lot this website, i ll try though.

  •  still no update????? i want to update mine to 2.3.4 x10 pls teach me how :)

  • when I upgraded my Xperia Ray, it shows a blank screen whenever i tried waking it up using the power button or the home button, have I done something wrong.

  • just wanted to ask why my phone shows a blank screen whenever I tried waking it up using the home and power button when I upgraded it.

  • Sf

    i will throw it to the rubbish,your update destroyed my rooting,all the idi@ts want to update blah blah blaaa even me,and the phone is destroyed by you.ill buy an iphone.

  • you have flash your mobile !

    uh need flash tool !
    and download the firmware 2.3.4 !
    copy and go to flash tool folder then uh can find a folder that name is firware then paste it in that folder !
    and other option will instruct you !
    SPCL !
    both pc companion 
    and update service installed !

  • Ashish_grg99

    I have a xperia play and the lock/switch on button broke. I m afraid if my phone runs out of battery I will not be able to turn it on.
    There are other buttons like ;back, home, menu and search will any of those button turn it on I m 2 afraid 2 try please help!!

  • Patrickpayoyo

    Is there already an update for XPERIA x10 with this new firmware?

  • In 2.3.4 firmware I am not able to find rfo-basic widget in widgets list, although the program installs and works fine. Any tip? Widget is visible in my 4.0 Android tablet instead.

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