Acer Liquid Metal Review
Now off from the outer appearances of the Acer Liquid Metal, to the inner beauty. First off, it is powered by the same Snapdragon chipset found in the T-Mobile G2 and the HTC Desire Z, clocked at 800MHz. Made with the 45nm technology, it has been already overclocked to 1.9GHz by a few enthusiasts. Together with a new Adreno 205 GPU, the processor provides performance that is comparable to the best-in-class Samsung Hummingbird, so don’t let the 800MHz clock frequency fool you. Couple the MSM7230 chipset with 512MB RAM/ROM, and you will rarely feel the interface lagging, or apps slowing the phone down, although it happens. The Quadrant benchmark test consistently scored 1300+, which is a very good result. On the flip side, the Acer Liquid Metal heats up at the bottom significantly with graphics-intensive tasks, such as running the said Quadrant test.
The interface is Acer’s own brainchild, called Breeze, and you can turn it off any time you want, which leaves you with the stock Android 2.2 interface. We examined the layered Breeze UI thoroughly on its first incarnation in the Acer Stream, so we won’t go into details here, since it is basically the same on the Acer Liquid Metal as well. Suffice it to say it is unlike any other Android overlay, and once you get a hold on it, it is pretty functional.
For example, the notification bar is often found at the bottom instead of the top, and you sometimes press on it by accident, but the connectivity switches are even more and handier than those in Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0, for instance. Let’s just say it takes one less step to switch from 3G to 2G mode in Breeze UI. In terms of appearance and functionality we would rate Breeze UI somewhere above TouchWiz 3.0 and below the new HTC Sense user interface. Our only complaint is that we couldn’t find a way to place shortcuts or folders on the five homescreens, which appear when the phone is locked, just widgets.
The dialpad layout is comfy, the call log is easily accessible and detailed, and there is smart dial to predict who you are trying to call, without typing the whole name. If the number on the screen is not in your contacts list, Breeze UI shows the country you are being called from, which is a nice touch.
The Contacts app has the obligatory social networking integration, but if you want to lookup your friends’ profiles in Facebook from there, for example, you will be directed to the Facebook app. The Twitter contacts sync option didn't work at the time we tried. Speaking of social networking, the Social Jogger application is a new thing to Breeze UI, with a cool jog wheel on the right to flip between Facebook and Twitter posts, feeds, photos and updates.
Internet and Connectivity:
Being a Google device, the obligatory Gmail app is here, but there is also Acer’s own email client for easy setup of popular online services, with a combined inbox. For your corporate email needs, Acer has included RoadSync, which to us is one of the best solutions to sync and carry your work Outlook account on an Android device.
The text messaging app, on the other hand, is stock Android 2.2, and so is the virtual keyboard. The screen registers touch quickly, while the slight haptic feedback makes typing a breeze (pun not intended).
The browser is stock Froyo, with all the added benefits of Adobe Flash 10.1 it brings. Interestingly, we had to download the Flash component separately from Android Market, otherwise the phone won’t display websites with Adobe’s plugin properly.
One of the notable features of the Acer Liquid Metal is its 3G chip, capable of 14.4Mbps downloads, provided that your network offers such speeds, since most 3G handsets support a maximum of 7.2Mbps. Qualcomm is the undisputed leader in baseband integration, so support for such speeds is embedded courtesy of the Snapdragon system-on-a-chip inside the Acer Liquid Metal – the same one humming inside the “4G” T-Mobile G2. For now only versions with the Europe and Asia 900/2100MHz 3G bands are sold, so don’t get any ideas that you can buy the Acer Liquid Metal, and use it as a “4G” phone on T-Mobile or AT&T, although these two carriers have been in talks with Acer about the handset. Besides, if US carriers get the phone, it is likely to sport a more affordable price tag than your premium smartphone.
Other than the 14.4Mbps 3G, the phone supports the usual suspects, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and A-GPS. The GPS software is Google Maps (of course), and it took 4-5 minutes for the phone to lock our whereabouts on cold start, but afterwards it takes seconds, as usual. An added bonus is the DLNA support to stream multimedia from the phone via Wi-Fi to enabled devices.
1. Silver (unregistered) posted on 03 Jan 2011, 09:42 0 0
Have been waiting for this review since se hands-on came out, and have to say im very pleased with it. I was only wondering if any video review is going to be added latter on.
2. MarcMaiden posted on 03 Jan 2011, 12:18 0 0
anyone know where I can get one or if its even released yet? I know it works with AT&T 3g but is this sold internationally? or will it be available for purchase here?
3. calamazoo (unregistered) posted on 04 Jan 2011, 02:37 0 0
It is $399 at Expansys, but still with the EU frequencies, meaning that you can't use 3G speeds on AT&T...
4. Junior in Jamaica (unregistered) posted on 04 Jan 2011, 23:01 1 0
Those two cons are really annoying.
It would've been nice to see an evolution in the camera...the screen I might've been able to see past but I require a more than decent camera in a phone these days.
If I wanted sub par I'd go Blackberry.
@MarMaiden...it is now $409.99 at Expansys-USA.
5. bard (unregistered) posted on 07 Jan 2011, 05:40 0 0
How does this phone compare to the Motorola Defy? Anyone willing to share?
7. pipo (unregistered) posted on 13 Feb 2011, 13:09 0 0
The camera on the reviewed phone is broken. I had the same on a SE K550i once. Blurry photos and the cam-module didn't seem to autofocus at all. I noticed the same kind of blur on these pictures.
So please ask a replacement with a working camera and please redo the photos.
8. rr (unregistered) posted on 16 Feb 2011, 01:12 0 0
bard by the way here is feature by feature comparison of defy and acer liquid metalhttp://www.mobilescat.com/comp
acer is better in 3 aspects video and camera quality and flash support and xvid and hd video player.also acer has android 2.2 and defy 2.1 .also the acer one supports Face Detection and Smile Detection which the defy doesn't
10. jone (unregistered) posted on 14 Sep 2011, 20:12 0 0
im getting this phone and hopfley its good
11. Brittanyleigh095 (unregistered) posted on 24 Sep 2011, 08:47 0 0
Can you access Tumblr?
12. Branners (unregistered) posted on 04 Oct 2011, 01:43 0 0
Holy ker-app, it's A$128 at JB Hi Fi! That's US$135!
13. ryan (unregistered) posted on 09 Oct 2011, 00:37 0 0
got mine for 19.99. love it but now its not letting access net or download pics sent threw text...........