Acer has produced several phones, but with the Acer Liquid it’s finally starting to find its feet. Its first Android smartphone is a good looking device with high-spec credentials. This is largely thanks to the Android operating system, which includes all the features you would expect such as an easy-to-use interface, bucketloads of free applications and full syncing to Google service.
Appearance for the Acer Liquid
The Acer Liquid is a slick-looking handset, with straight edges, sharp corners and a curve to the top and bottom. The glossy black frontage is dominated by a tempered glass, 3.5-inch capacitive touch-screen (think iPhone), with four touch-sensitive controls below. But while it’s stylish compared with other Acer phones, the Liquid just doesn’t have that wow-factor that makes it sexy. It could be the protruding camera lens, or the three large vents of the (rather tinny) speaker; there are also visible seams between the back cover and the rest of the handset. And the back cover, which should slide off smoothly, needs prising off with your thumb – watch your fingernails.
Performance for the Acer Liquid
When it comes to smartphones, the Acer Liquid is certainly one of the fastest, boasting a 768MHz Snapdragon processor. This means apps load quickly, and you can run several at once without compromising speed and performance.
As expected from Android phones, high-res touch-screen is smooth, taking just light swipes and taps to activate. But the on-screen keyboard is not as good: it’s unresponsive and slow, often missing out typed letters entirely. This wouldn’t be so bad if there was an auto-correct function, but there’s just auto-suggestion, which means you need to click on a suggestion to select it. The comma and full stop are on the main screen, but inputting any other symbols involves going onto a new screen. If you send lots of texts and emails, this keyboard will just end up frustrating you.
The user interface is instantly recognisable to Android users, with three customisable home screens and a handful of preloaded widgets. Acer hasn’t thrown much into the mix, but we like the ‘media’ home screens, one of which displays your last played song, video and photo in a nice fan shape, the other displaying bookmarked web pages.
Syncing on the Acer Liquid
If you use Microsoft Exchange or Gmail, it’s a breeze to sync the phone with your email, contacts and calendars – simply input your email address (and start the preloaded RoadSync App for Exchange) to activate over-the-air syncing.
Syncing Outlook is more complicated if you’re not on Exchange. You need a third-party application to manually sync your phone and PC via USB. This wouldn’t be a problem if Acer made one available which it doesn’t – and odd omission at the best of times and even stranger when you consider the company’s long association with Microsoft.
Internet and camera on the Acer Liquid
Internet is wired into Android phones and the Liquid is no different. Over a Wi-Fi connection, you can load full internet pages in under 10 seconds, with well-rendered pictures. Screen space is maximised thanks to an auto-fit button with zoom keys, and you can switch between multiple windows that are displayed in a grid.
The official Android Facebook app is nothing special, but Acer has integrated both Facebook and Picasa, and you can sync contact info from both into your phonebook.
The verdict on the Acer Liquid
Android phones have already made a mark on the phone market, and set pretty high standards to boot. The Acer Liquid just about meets those standards, but only just. Applications and web pages load quickly and multitasking works well thanks to that high-speed processor, but the keyboard will put many users off.