Acer beTouch E200 Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA.


Having seen Acer´s first Windows phones (the DX900, X960, F900 and M900), it´s time we had an all round look at the first Windows Mobile 6.5 devices of the manufacturer. Brace yourself and get ready for a most exciting adventure full of unexpected twists and breathtaking moments. Let´s get started on our journey to Acer´s world by taking a closer look at the Acer beTouch E200, a device aimed at people on the lookout for a Windows phone with numeric keypad. Here is what´s in the box:

•    Acer beTouch E200
•    Wall charger
•    USB cable
•    miniUSB headset
•    Guarantee card
•    User manual


The Acer beTouch E200 sports an austere and appealing overall design. Its slider mechanism works great and doesn’t feel fragile or wobbly. Our positive impression holds true for the fine quality of workmanship of the beTouch E200 as well. The phone feels solid in your hand and this gets emphasized by its hefty weight.

You can compare the Acer beTouch E200 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The 3-inch resistive, touch-sensitive screen loves fingerprints and they ruin the pleasure you get out of using the device. When clean, however, the screen with a native resolution of 240x400 pixels delivers relatively good image quality. It has passable sensitivity and it’s the interface of Windows Mobile 6.5 that causes most of the problems during navigation throughout the menus. 

The send and end keys, along with the D-Pad that surprised us with its slightly sunken OK button are below the screen. We are pleased at the fact that even in the rare occasions when we fell back on it, it didn’t disappoint us.

Both sides of the phone have a gray, metallic color, much in step with the austere overall look of the Acer beTouch E200. The screen lock, volume rocker and miniUSB port are on the left hand side, the camera shutter is on the opposite. The stylus compartment is in the upper left and you better remember its position well, because you will come to rely on the magic wand way too often.

Open the slider and you will face the numeric keypad. What we like most about it is its buttons are extremely pleasing and easy to press. They are large enough and have a clearly discernible “click” feedback. As a whole, all buttons of the Acer beTouch E200 are properly implemented and we didn’t have any troubles using them.

The back panel is rubberized and the manufacturer´s decision is more than welcome. Given the Acer beTouch E200 is quite hefty, it would have been bad to feel it sliding in your hand. Thanks to the rubber coating, however, this is not the case. The back side also hosts a 3.2-megapixel camera and a loudspeaker.

Acer beTouch E200 360 Degrees View:

Interface and Functions:

The long awaited version of Microsoft´s operating system has arrived and the Acer beTouch E200 is one of the first smartphones with it. However, what you will see running over Windows Mobile 6.5 is not Acer Shell that turns your home screen into a virtual office and is available on previous devices of the manufacturer, but rather Acer Home – a personalized home screen that allows quick access to certain functions. It is a grid of up to nice icons (shortcuts) and users are allowed to customize six of them. The uppermost three cannot be changed and these are phone, messages and contacts.

Speaking of phone contacts, we need to point out that Acer has equipped the phone with their own version of the app that doesn’t allow scrolling between contacts as smoothly as the standard one that comes with the operating system. Still, it delivers handy search function by the first letter of the names of your contacts and comes with appealing interface.  We happen to have a major gripe here though. In order to enter digits in the fields that are dedicated to phone numbers and while the active entry mode is XT9, you need to have manually switched to T9/123 (done by pressing “*”), because otherwise you will be putting in text instead. This is weird, since we can hardly imagine anyone would be willing to enter text in fields that are reserved for telephone numbers and therefore, the option should have been disallowed (actually, come to think of that, we think Duffy Duck´s number is 555-5555-Quack, but we don’t suppose that´s what Acer left the option active for).

This input method is actually valid for almost all data fields on the Acer beTouch E200.

Dialing numbers from the home screen is another major source of discomforting sensations. Fortunately, it´s only numbers that you can enter there, although deleting them is rather unhandy. You need to either keep the delete button pressed, which is slow, or use the on-screen backspace button, which is not exactly comfy.

A “Social Networking” button appears on selecting an entry in the personalized phone contacts. If you click it you will find yourself in a submenu of two buttons leading to the Blogger and Flickr accounts of the person (provided you have entered the relevant URLs). What you can do there is browse the posted content and that´s all. You also have a personalized calendar that is much more user-friendly than the standard one and as a whole, looks much better. Finally, you will find an alternative application dedicated to settings that also sports an interface that´s been optimized for fingers.

And… well, that´s all. These are all the changes in the interface. As a whole, the home screen called Acer Home is simpler than Acer Shell, delivers skin-deep personalization, but still, looks decently and we have seen worse customization packs. If anything, it´s not ugly to look at.

The main menu hides a nice surprise for all social networks fans – applications that allow access to Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Blogger. All Facebook lovers will be able to use the Microsoft´s official app and we have to say it´s neither the worst nor the best we have seen. You can browse the profiles of your buddies, leave comments, exchange messages, upload pictures and videos. The other “social” programs deliver only the most basic functionality – say, you can watch videos in the YouTube app, but not upload content, share and browse your own pictures in Flickr, but not those of other people, create posts in Blogger, but without multimedia content. As a whole, we do find the social aspect of the Acer beTouch E200 functionality rather disappointing.

Camera, Multimedia and Internet:

If you manage to find some time for yourself with all the business-related you have to do, you can take some pictures with the 3.2-megapixel camera of the Acer beTouch E200. Its interface looks passable, the settings are conveniently located and the operational speed is good indeed. The camera starts, focuses and saves snapshots really fast.

Still, it´s not really important how long it takes to capture a picture if the final result is not good enough. Unfortunately, images lack details and often come out blurry. Ultimately, the picture quality is low.

You can capture videos at a maximum resolution of 320x240 pixels, but they are rather blurry, lack enough details and frames per second. There is nothing to grip your attention here.

We are pleasantly surprised that the built-in Windows Media Player handles DivX and Xvid videos properly, even those of 800x480 pixels. However, lagging becomes an issue with content coded at such a high video resolution. During our tests, we noticed image artifacts in all DivX videos we played and they ruined the pleasure. That is why we would advise you to stick to using the Xvid and MPEG-4 codecs.

We installed Core Player just to see what else we could get out of the beTouch E200 in terms of multimedia. All artifacts in the DivX videos disappeared right away, but we evidenced skipped frames. We managed to play MP4/H.264 videos in the app, although on the overall, playback failed to impress us and the quality was far from stunning.

A pair of microUSB earphones comes right out of the box. They are rather weak, but still, the overall quality of the sound through them is pleasing. They will certainly fail to wow you with clear bass frequencies, but at least, they are not annoying.

Surprisingly, the Acer beTouch E200 lacks Wi-Fi support, meaning you will have to rely on 3G connectivity (HSDPA 7.2 Mbit/s) to surf the Internet and use various web-based services like Marketplace. The Acer beTouch E200 doesn’t come with any other browser than Internet Explorer and the app handles smaller websites properly. Those of you who need fast, comfortable and reliable browsing, however, would be better off getting the latest version of Opera Mobile, since it´s by far superior to Microsoft´s app. We have to admit we do find the lack of Wi-Fi functionality baffling.

Performance and Conclusion:

The Acer beTouch E200 is one of the slower Windows phones. There is no significant lagging when you navigate throughout the menus, but it´s clear the operating system does not run smoothly on the 528MHz processor. Fortunately, the manufacturer has equipped the device with 256MB RAM, which allows fast application start-up times.

Since we are really cool and people like us, we get calls from various people all the time, from relatives, friends, secret admirers … they all, however, tend to have the same opinion – the Acer beTouch E200 doesn’t sound good. Most of the complaints relate to the overly sharp and surreal sound. We are not pleased at what we get on our side of the line either – even if loud enough, voices of people sound dull and unintelligible. That is just too bad, because we do appreciate phones that deliver good in-call quality.

According to the manufacturer, the battery should be able to provide 5 hours of continuous talk time and 400 hours in standby. During our tests, we had to charge it after two days of moderate usage. 

The Acer beTouch E200 can be a real adventure for all fans of modern smartphones. This is a joke, of course. The truth is, it fails to deliver something that will remain in our memories. Yes, it runs the new operating system of Microsoft, has nice build quality and appearance, which is hard to come by in a WM phone. These qualities alone, however, make the device just a likeable smartphone and not a handset we would get back to and compare to other devices. While not unappealing, the interface personalization is skin-deep, so you will inevitably have to face the unhandy WM6.5 interface. The camera is mediocre and so are the multimedia capabilities to some extent. The Acer beTouch E200 delivers many functions, but there is no single aspect it excels in and that makes it stand out from the competition. Quite the contrary. To top it off, it can´t connect via Wi-Fi and this is a cardinal sin with smartphones.

Ultimately, we think the major advantage of the Acer beTouch E200 is its low price. However, we would advise you not rush for it. Instead, take a look at the HTC Touch2 and Samsung OmniaLITE – these two offerings deliver more and better features, while still keeping the price reasonable. HTC’s and Samsung’s WM 6.1 devices also deserve some attention. They are much more affordable now and it´s not a secret that the upgrade to version 6.5 doesn’t really deliver anything of crucial importance.

Acer beTouch E200 Video Review:


  • Likeable, austere design
  • Windows Media Player supports Xvid


  • Relatively sluggish
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Nothing to make it stand out from the crowd
  • Character entry that´s not been properly thought of

PhoneArena Rating:


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