Acer – Liquid review

Acer's first Android-based smartphone
Photo of Acer – Liquid
£336 (SIM-free)

Acer’s first handset to run the Android operating system is an interesting smartphone. There is a lot to like about it but, as ever, a few things let the side down.

The Liquid has a large screen at 3.5-inches and it delivers at a high 480 x 800 pixel resolution. It is capacitive and, while it is very responsive to fingersweeps, there is no support for multitouch features. Beneath the screen are four flat buttons for back, search, home and menu features. There are no Call and End buttons, but the main screen has a shortcut to the phone dialler so voice calls are easy to make.

There are volume and camera buttons on the right side of the casing, a power button on the left. These are a little tricky to get to as the chassis is angled and the buttons are on the underside of the angle. But that is the only irritating part of the physical design.

There is a 3.5mm headset slot on the upper edge and also here you will find three indicator lights that illuminate as necessary. One tells you the charge level as you are charging up the battery, one tells you you’ve unread messages, another that you’ve got missed calls. You have to refer to the screen for the details, but the lights are a nice feature.

This is a reasonably large device measuring 115 x 64 x 12.75mm and weighing 135g. Those with smaller hands might find it a stretch to reach all around the screen for one-handed operation. The Snapdragon processor runs at 768MHz, not quite as fast as the 1GHz versions found in a small number of rivals but fast enough.

The Liquid is, of course, an HSDPA device, and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built in. There is A-GPS so you can take full advantage of things like Google Maps and geotagging of photos.

Mentioning photos brings us on to the camera. The 5-megapxiel unit sounds impressive on paper, and the autofocus is a boon. It copes fairly well in bright lighting conditions, but there is no flash so indoor shots can suffer.

There is 512MB of internal memory and the Liquid comes with a 2GB microSD card, which gives it a reasonably sized storage boost. However, one of the annoyances of the Acer Liquid is that you have to take the battery out to get to the microSD card slot. Those who like hotswapping cards will feel rightly disgruntled about this.

The Liquid runs version 1.6 of Android, and we understand that an upgrade to version 2.0 will become available in due course.

Company: Acer

There are no 'wow' factors or must-have features to be found in the Acer Liquid and some people may feel the build quality is a bit lacking. But there are some nice plus points which include a good screen and a solid set of core features.