Acer beTouch E200 Review

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.


1 Comment

1. DroidDoesVZW

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 19, 2009

I like the touch screen+vertical slider form factor! I was so upset when the LG Glimmer got discontinued, though I wish it had a better numeric keypad.
beTouch E200
  • Display 3.0" 240 x 400 pixels
  • Camera 3.2 MP
  • Battery 1140 mAh(5.00h talk time)

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