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Acer Stream Review

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Interface and Functionality:

Acer seemed into the idea of personalizing the Android experience from the very beginning, although it has kept it to a minimum with its previous devices, usually tweaking the appearance a bit, or adding a custom widget or a two. However, now, with the Acer Stream, the manufacturer has fallen over backwards to deliver an entirely new interface, which we actually feel may have some future for it.

The keyword when describing this interface is “different”. Acer is introducing some pretty interesting concepts here like placing the status bar (that has always been at the top of the screen) at the bottom. And just before cell phone veterans have cried out “That's wrong! That's outrageous!”, let us start from the beginning...

There are three homescreen pages. The main one simply presents you with a clock, date and the scheduled alarm time. To the left of this screen you have your task history, which is a clever way to utilize the platform's multitasking capabilities and comes in handy. To the right you have a kind of a multimedia screen, which let's you quickly switch between previews of your photos, songs and videos.

Home screen and applications menu of the Acer Stream - Acer Stream Review
Task history - Home screen and applications menu of the Acer Stream - Acer Stream Review
Multimedia screen - Home screen and applications menu of the Acer Stream - Acer Stream Review
Home screen and applications menu of the Acer Stream - Acer Stream Review
 

Task history

Multimedia screen

 

Home screen and applications menu of the Acer Stream


Widgets screen - Acer Stream Review

Widgets screen


At the lower portion of the screen you always have the status bar, along with twelve shortcuts to your most used applications. Pulling this whole thing up reveals the rest of the apps, which are arranged into pages. Meanwhile, tapping on the status bar (usually found at the bottom of the screen) will bring up some more stuff for you to manage, like quick alarm setup, notifications and handy on/off switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Airplane mode.


You might be wondering where all the widgets have gone? Well, in the dedicated widgets screen, of course! In addition to starting this one as a dedicated app, you also see it as a lock screen. It is actually divided into five pages, on which you can arrange the widgets you want (there are some nicely-designed custom widgets). It's a fine additional feature we can definitely live without, but it's still not bad to know it's there.


And that's about all there is to the Acer Stream's custom Android interface. We are pretty fond of it and believe it presents a much-needed breath of fresh air as far as Android smartphones go. Our only gripe with it is related to the uninspired and boring design of the icons. They are not bad, but look a bit outdated. Except for that one thing, it is a well thought out interface that is very easy to use. We definitely hope that Acer will continue to develop it, but also hope that it won't cause the company too much trouble when it comes down to issuing a software update to the next version of the operating system.

Basic apps like the Phonebook, Messaging and Calendar are pretty much the standard ones for Android 2.1. There is no other contact integration in the phonebook beyond your SIM and Google account contacts, which is not necessarily a bad thing, you know. The Messaging app is nicely executed as always, providing you with a threaded view for your conversations. While we are on the topic of messaging, we would like to note that the Acer Stream sports the standard on-screen QWERTY keyboard for Android, which is comfortable to use on the 3.7-inch panel, especially the landscape one. The calendar is also as advanced as always. Setting an appointment is a joy, thanks to the step-by-step nature of the task. First you simply select a date from month view, then you're switched to day view, where you pick the desired hour, and finally you can simply type your appointment title and you're set!

Adding a contact - Acer Stream Review
Messaging - Acer Stream Review

Adding a contact

Messaging


The on screen QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode - Acer Stream Review

The on screen QWERTY keyboard
in landscape mode

Calendar - Acer Stream Review
Calendar - Acer Stream Review

Calendar




Internet and Connectivity:
Acer Stream Review
Acer Stream Review

The standard browser for the operating system is at hand here on the Acer Stream. It is a pretty good one, which loads pages quickly and lets you enjoy goodies like pinch-to-zoom and double-tap, although the latter is executed quite poorly. Scrolling is generally smooth, but you might experience some lag here and there, while viewing more complex pages in zoomed out view. We also tried Dolphin Browser HD to see if it won't perform better, but got similar results (plus, it loads pages more slowly). All in all, web browsing on the Acer Stream is not iPhone-like, but is pretty good to say the least. What bothers us is the overwhelming pixelation of the AMOLED screen, which gets in your way every time when you try to read smaller text.

Browsing the web on the Acer Stream - Acer Stream Review
Browsing the web on the Acer Stream - Acer Stream Review

Browsing the web on the Acer Stream



Global trotters will be just fine with Acer's finest, because the Stream is a quad-band GSM phone with global tri-band 3G capabilities on the 900/1900/2100 MHz frequencies. In addition, you get Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n for fast local connection to the web, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS.


1 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 1

1. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3040; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Acer is finally getting the right idea.

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Acer Stream

Acer Stream

OS: Android 2.1
view full specs
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 QSD8250, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
512 MB RAM
Size4.70 x 2.48 x 0.44 inches
(119.5 x 63 x 11.2 mm)
4.44 oz  (126 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 5 hours talk time

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