Tag Archives: Acer

Acer launches the Liquid E Ferrari special edition smartphone in India

15 Sep

Acer has launched the liquidE Ferrari limited edition smartphone in India based on the Android 2.1 aka Eclair. The device looks exactly like its former version – the Acer Liquid, but this time, the phone does not have that old plasticky feel to it. They have used the carbon fibre material in this limited edition phone (yeah, the same material used in cars) to give you that same feeling when you touch a car.

While it sports Ferrari’s prancing horse on its hood, the phone has an underclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 768 MHz. The phone sports a 3.5 inch display, 5.0 MP camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS and comes preloaded with Facebook and Twitter apps. It comes with an inbuilt memory of 512 MB which is expandable up to 8 GB with a microSD card.

Being a special edition device, the phone offers Formula1 theme content like wallpapers, screensavers, ringtones and widgets. Acer is also promising an Android 2.2 upgrade in a couple of months. The smartphone will be available at Chroma outlets for Rs 29,999.

Acer announces two new Android devices, the beTouch E120 and the beTouch E130

22 Jun

Acer has announced two new Android devices, the beTouch E120 and the beTouch E130. Both the smartphones are touchscreen devices and share a couple of common features. The smartphone-duo is 3G-enabled, runs on Android 1.6 aka Donut and sports a 3.2 MP camera, accelerometer, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM Radio and 3.5 mm audio jack. Both the phones share the same processor – ST Ercisson 416Mhz and offer 256MB of RAM. Apps like UrFooz and Acer Spinlets will also be embedded in the devices.

While these were a few common features we could spot, the only different feature in this smartphone-duo is the form factor. The beTouch E120 sports a 2.8 inch QVGA touchscreen display whereas the beTouch E130 has a 2.6 inch touchscreen display with a QWERTY keyboard. Both the phones will ship to select markets in Q3.

Exclusive: Acer to launch its first Android phone, Liquid, in India next week

25 Jan

After launching a series of WinMo smartphones, Acer is all set to launch its first Android phone in India next week. The Liquid runs on Android 1.6 aka Donut. Talking about specs, the Liquid has a 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor underclocked at 768 MHz, a 5.0 MP camera and the works.

Though retaining the default Android UI, the Liquid has an OLED display on the top edge of the phone that indicates the status – missed calles, new mails or messages, battery status… Ubercool, we say!

Apart from the specs, what’s really worth noting is its price tag – we have been told that the Liquid will retail at around Rs 25,000 but not beyond it. Compare this to the Rs 31,000 for which the HTC Hero retails at the moment and we are tempted to switch sides. Wait for our detailed review, which should be up in the coming days…

Acer's Win Mo 6.5 Ace

9 Jan

Acer came to the smartphone party last year but its initial range of devices (under the Tempo brand) were solid, rather than sensational. A few years ago, they would have been very much at home in a rather predictable smartphone market, but in the era of crazy smartphone innovation, they seemed a tad out of place, not to mention, date. Acer, being the smooth and rapid operator that it is, quickly rejigged the plot and brought out a new range of devices under the neoTouch and beTouch banners. And the crown jewel of the former is the S200, also known to many as the neoTouch, because it is the first phone in that series.

Given what we had seen in the Tempo series, it would be incorrect to say that we expected the world from the S200. But you bet we were surprised by what we got.

On first glance the S200 looks like a slightly more rounded version of the HTC Touch HD. Like that device, the S200’s design too seems on the simple and minimalistic side with no rough edges jutting out, but the main reason for the similarity is the massive 3.8 inch touchscreen that dominates the front of the device. Sure, it is resistive, but it was more than adequately responsive for us. At around 12mm, the S200 is about as thick as the iPhone and in spite of that large screen, just as easy to hold in one’s hand. Just below the screen are four soft buttons, for starting and ending calls, going to the home screen and going back. Honestly, we would have preferred proper buttons rather than these touch operators, notwithstanding all the haptic feedback that they serve up. Also, the icons on the buttons are a tad strange – we did not expect the Home button to be denoted by a rectangle – but one does get used to them in time.

There is a chrome strip running all along the sides of the phone. On the bottom, there’s a mini USB port for syncing and charging purposes, while there’s a 3.5mm jack on the top for those wanting to plug in their headsets. Buttons do not exactly abound on this handset – a power/standby button is on the left side, and the volume rocker and camera buttons on the left. All in all, this is a pretty decent looking handset, although the glossy black rear (wherein reside the 5.0-megapixel camera lens and speaker grill) gives it a slightly cheap look and feel. “Ah, a poor cousin of the Touch HD,” are likely to be the first words that come to your mind when you have given it a visual once-over.

Any notions of poverty will, however, be dispelled once you start using the phone, which is a behemoth in tech spec terms. With a 1 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor under its hood, the S200 performs at a credible rate of knots. So much so that for once we cannot even trot out our usual “oh-it’s-a-great-phone-but-it’s-running-WinMo” line. Microsoft’s latest version of its Windows Mobile (or Windows Phone, if you will) operating system, Windows Mobile 6.5, has been damned with faint praise by most people, Yours Truly included. But after using the Acer S200, we wonder if we might have not been a bit too hasty and harsh in our judgement. In best tech tradition, it takes good hardware to bring out the best out of the software running on it, and we think that the Acer S200 is by far the best Windows Mobile phone we have used.

The larger icons are easy to use on the large screen of the handset. And unlike other manufacturers, Acer has not attempted to paint a glossy skin over the OS. Gone is the room-with-articles-scattered-around skin that was seen in the Tempo range. Instead, what we have is a much more restrained homescreen of nine icons on a grid, which lets you access the apps you use most often. Of the nine, you can choose six as per your requirements. We were initially disappointed at such a Plain Jane interface but as time passed, we actually came to appreciate the fact that one did not have to drag one’s finger across the screen to get things moving or drag and drop widgets. There is something to be said for simplicity after all.

And it is that word actually that describes our Acer S200 experience best – simplicity. There was never a moment when we went “Wow!,” but neither was there a time when we complained long and hard. Yes, there were times when we wished that the touchscreen was more responsive and we were a tad disappointed to see Acer not using Opera Mobile as its default browser (a fault we corrected, incidentally) and we also wished that the onscreen keyboard was larger , but these complaints were more than silenced by the overall performance of the phone. Apart from the Win Mo 6.5 goodies on board (MS Office, Windows Market, My Phone, et al), Acer has also thrown in its own social networking, calendar, photo album, and contacts apps. They won’t rock your world, but there is a fair chance that you won’t uninstall them either. And the same goes for the camera and sound – steady rather than stupendous seems to be the Acer formula. And the S200 delivers.

Top all of this off with a decent battery life that can let you see off the better part of two days with some hours of Internet surfing, push mail and calls, and you can see why we are impressed with the S200.

It has been a while since we have seen a device live up to its tech specs. The S200 does just that. It won’t blow you off your feet. But it will seldom let you down. Some might consider its price tag of Rs 33,000 to be a bit on the high side, when you can get the likes of the HTC Hero, the N97 mini, the Sony Ericsson Satio and even the iPhone 3G, for in and around the same, but if what you are looking for is a performer rather than a show-stopper, you will find it difficult to do better than this handset from Acer.

Acer shows us the Ace(r)s up its sleeves

27 Nov

It might have come to the smartphone party a trifle late, but Acer is definitely
trying its best to make up for lost time. The company started off with
its Tempo series of solid, though hardly spectacular, smartphones, and
less than a year later has switched tracks adroitly and rebranded its
phones as the Touch series.We caught up with Acer’s Richard Tan, Country Head – India, to find out more about about Acer’s plans and we must admit to being more than a little impressed.

Richard made one thing clear to us – the company is in no mood to aim
small. It aims to grab a tenth of the Indian smartphone market and 7-8
per cent of the world smartphone segment in the coming year. And it
aims to do so by sticking to virtues that are as old-fashioned as cold
water baths and meditation – great devices that are easy to operate,
offered across all segments. And Acer is relying its sales and service
infrastructure as well as its manufacturing muscle to help it overhaul
the competition – do not snigger, it was this threesome that got it
leadership in the netbook segment.

In fact, the three devices that Richard showed us reflected this
strategy – the all-touch beTouch e101 being targeted at the mainstream,
the touchscreen-with-slider beTouch e200 focused on the hip and fashion
conscious, and the Acer neoTouch S200 large touchscreen phone aimed
squarely at power users. All three devices run Win Mo 6.5 and all of
them are priced competitively. In fact, at Rs 11,900 (about USD 255),
it is easily the most affordable Win Mo 6.5 device available in the
Indian market and while it does not boast 3G or Wi-Fi, it does come
with 528 MHz Qualcomm processor and a large 3.2 inch screen, making it
a brisk performer.  The S200, of course, is a barnstormer in our book
with its large 3.8 inch screen and 1 GHz processor making it the best
Win Mo 6.5 device we have handled to date. Period.

Interestingly, all these devices come with a new skin from Acer,
replacing the room-like ambience that was present in the Tempo models.
Richard says that Acer decided to change tack and rather than focus on
something complex (read Touch Wiz and Touch Flo), decided to keep
things simple. The idea, says Richard, is to make users want to use the
device rather than get intimidated by them. The approach certainly
works with a simple homescreen that has nine icons on it, six of which
are customisable – no fancy hold-them-down-and-scroll routines but
heck, no learning curve either.  Shades of Android, eh?

Speaking of the big A, Richard told us to expect an Android device from
Acer in December. Of course, he would not tell us if it was the
much-heard of Liquid, restricting himself to stating that it would be
“revolutionary and different.”  But the real surprise came when we
asked Richard if Acer would be working on a value for money Android
device. Speaking Hindi with an accent that would have been the envy of
Old Delhi shopkeepers, Acer’s Country Head- India, said: “Boss, thoda
rukna padega
.” (Boss, you will have to wait for a while.)

We are waiting, we are waiting.

First impressions: Acer neoTouch S200

13 Nov

Microsoft’s latest version of its mobile OS, Windows Mobile 6.5, might not have received raving reviews but we were made to rethink about it after using Acer’s latest smartphone – the neoTouch S200.

Initially unveiled as the Acer F1 earlier this year, the S200 brings back fond memories of the HTC Touch HD with its massive 3.8 inch WVGA display and the absence of any physical buttons on its face. Even with its massive dimensions, the designers have done a good job at restricting it to a thickness of just 12 mm. Considering that it is armed to its teeth with all possible connectivity options and a 5.0 MP snapper, it is quite a pretty looking device. Our only criticism would be its glossy plastic exterior that’s addicted to retaining fingerprints.

Keeping the ‘for-best-results-skin-Windows-Mobile’ tradition alive, the S200 comes with a custom UI that resembles a desktop homescreen, where you can plonk 12 shortcuts. The UI is barely skin deep and beyond the homescreen, it is the default Windows Mobile 6.5 interface that you’d end up dealing with. That’d have been a bad thing if it were the older version of the OS but contrary to our expectations, we actually started liking what we saw.

Here’s the deal: The experience of using Windows Mobile 6.5 on a tiny 3.2 inch display is vastly different from using it on a massive 3.8 inch high resolution display. Top it with the S200’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 1 GHz processor and we were zipping in fifth gear. The S200 comes with a stylus but we are yet to use it! A word of advice: Allign the display first from the settings menu and the onscreen QWERTY keyboard becomes extremely finger friendly.

Well, this is just the first part of our review. Watch out for the complete review in CellPassion magazine which will hit stands soon. And stay tuned in for more impressions of the Acer neoTouch S200.

Leaked: Acer Liquid pics and specifications

14 Oct

It didn’t really take that long to find out the juicy bits of the just announced Acer Liquid after all! As always, the all-knowing folks at Expansys couldn’t really wait for the handset vendor to release the crucial deets… So here’s the deal:

If the picture on the left is really the Liquid, then it won’t win Acer any beauty pageants. But what’s more important is what lies under the hood and we can tell ya that it really sounds impressive. Check this out:

• Processor:
Qualcomm 8250 768 MHz
• Operating System:
Androïd 2.0 (Donut)
• Memory:
ROM: 512 MB / RAM: 256 MB
• Display:
3.5-inch touch-sensitive screen with WVGA resolution
• Network:
HSPA/WCDMA: 850, 1900, 2100 MHz – Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
(Band frequency and data speed are operator dependent)
• GPS:
Internal GPS antenna
• Connectivity:
Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
3.5 mm audio jack
• Camera:
5.0 megapixel color camera with auto focus
• Battery:
Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
Capacity: 1350 mAh
Talk time: Up to 300 minutes
Standby time: Up to 400 hours
(The above are subject to network and phone usage)
• Expansion Slot:
microSDâ„¢ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
• Dimensions (LxWxT):
115 x 62.5 x 12.5 mm
• Weight:
135 grams with battery