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Acer Liquid Review

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Introduction

The Acer Liquid was just released in Singapore in mid March. I had a chance to have the Acer Liquid for a few days to play with, and my first impression is that it isn’t all that great in terms of software, but it has comparable hardware of any top Android phone out in the market right now (e.g. Nexus One). I keep emphasizing that the wonders of owning an Android phone is that you can depend on the community to improve the software OS for you. In this case, if you are looking to buy the Acer Liquid, I highly recommend you to flash a new custom Android 2.1 rom instead of staying with the vanilla 1.6 rom. With that said, let’s go into the specifications.

Specifications

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As usual, I will only post those specs that are interesting.

Acer Liquid
CPU 768 Mhz (1 Ghz down-clocked) Snapdragon
OS Android 1.6 (Donut)
RAM 256mb
Connections MicroUSB, 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Buttons Physical – Power, Camera, Volume
Touch – Home, Search, Back, Menu
Screen & Camera 3.5″ WVGA (800×480) Capacitive Screen & 5MP Camera
Custom Task Manager Shows Real-time Screenshots of open apps (up to 9)
Custom Apps RoadSync Mail + Calendar (MS Exchange), Acer Sync, etc.

I Like

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The phone is about the same size as the Nexus One, just slightly thicker and bigger, but it does have a nice plastic casing which some people like. The few small customizations like the custom task manager when you press and hold the home button pops up a realtime screenshot of the current running applications. Other “normal” application aesthetics like integrating with your social networks are now becoming the norm for most phones, so this isn’t anything interesting.

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However what is surprising is that for the OpenGL ES 1.1 test I ran (Neocore), beat the Nexus One for FPS as shown above. This is shocking because it is essentially the same CPU, and even down-clocked.

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I like the position of the power button at the side, as opposed to the power button at the top for the Nexus One. It makes it easier to unlock the phone, since the touch-only buttons are deactivated when the phone is locked.

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I think quite a lot of people might wonder how to open the Acer Liquid to get to the battery. There is a small gab at the top left back corner that you need to use your fingers to pull it out.

I Dislike

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Naturally the first thing I do not like about the Acer Liquid is it is running Android 1.6. Currently there is no official statement regarding the eligibility of an upgrade for Acer Liquid, but I have high hopes that it will.

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I do not like the flap covering the MicroUSB, but I guess in order to maintain the aesthetics of the phone, covering the MicroUSB is one option for them to do. But it does not make sense when you have to keep taking it out every time you charge every day, which will make it faster to wear and tear.

My Thoughts

With Nexus One already out there, HTC Desire and Legend coming out soon, Acer has released their phone at a bad time. There isn’t any official word whether Acer will be offering an Android 2.1 upgrade. I think you should wait for the HTC Desire or just get the Nexus One instead of Acer Liquid if you want to be on top of the game. If you still want to get the Acer Liquid, consider looking at a custom Android 2.1 ROM.

Summary

Ultimately, I cannot find many faults with Acer Liquid, yet there isn’t a lot of compelling reasons to get this phone over what might be released in a 2-3 months. However, if you can’t wait and would like to get an Android phone, I would say Acer Liquid is a smooth cell phone, balancing between power and affordability.

Acer Liquid is currently selling in Singapore at a retail price of S$788 (without contract).

+ Solid WVGA Android Phone
+ Good Hardware
- Android 1.6 (unknown if there will be a 2.1 upgrade)
- Down-clocked 1 Ghz Snapdragon to 768 Mhz

Photos

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