Acer Liquid review: Android breed

GSMArena team, 04 February 2010.
Pages: 12345678»

Introduction

The Android meter is ticking. Acer want a piece of the pie. We all add two and two together. Yesterday, Acer didn't know the first thing about phones (if you can say that for a household name in notebooks), today they're betting on two horses in the mobile OS race. After their neoTouch running on Windows Mobile 6.5, Acer decided to dip their toe into another kind of water - the free and open source world of Android. This time attention goes to the Liquid - the company's second Snapdragon powered device.

We have to admit we weren't as impressed as we wished by the neoTouch and its almost naked Windows Mobile OS. It was less the price and more the really strong competition that drew our attention away from it.

Acer Liquid Acer Liquid Acer Liquid
Acer Liquid official photos

We're certain it's not how Acer planned it to be and their answer was immediate - the sexy Liquid powered by Android 1.6. Just like the neoTouch, a Snapdragon core is ticking inside the Liquid and does all it can to run the OS flawlessly despite the slightly lower clock rates.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • 3G with HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 2Mbps
  • Android OS v1.6 with Acer UI 3.0
  • 3.5" capacitive touchscreen of WVGA resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8250 768 MHz CPU, 256 MB RAM
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with video recording
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and GPS receiver
  • Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate and turn-to-mute
  • Digital compass
  • Standard miniUSB port for charging and data
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • microSD card slot with support for up to 16GB cards (2GB one included)
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Direct access to the official Android Market

Main disadvantages

  • Camera lacks flash or lens cover, has outdated features
  • No smart dialing, no voice dialing, no video calling
  • No web Flash support
  • Acer UI 3.0 offers only minor changes to the original interface
  • Somewhat limited 3rd party software availability
  • No DivX or XviD video support or a third-party application to play that
  • Poor MP4 playback performance - any videos over QVGA res are barely watchable
  • No proper file manager out of the box
  • No TV-out port
  • No FM radio

Both lists give us a sense of deja-vu. It was a similar case with the neoTouch, but this time the situation is a bit different. Some of the Liquid's weaknesses are inherent to the Android OS (especially its first iteration, the Donut). It's not that they won't count against, but it's at least fair to note most of those are not Acer's fault.


Acer Liquid live photos

Anyway, the Liquid will be measured against the likes of HTC Magic, HTC Hero, Samsung Galaxy and Samsung Galaxy Spica and it sure has a few things to offer that they won't. WVGA resolution and sky-high processing speeds are enough of an edge against competitors. The excellent capacitive screen and all-round connectivity are perhaps no news for the Android species.

So, Acer are newcomers but they're keen to bring value. Let's see how their Android fits in that plan.

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Reviews > Acer Liquid review: Android breed