Interface and Software:

The long wait for Windows Mobile 6.5 is over and there are quite a few handsets on the market running the new operating system, including the Acer neoTouch S200. Unlike previous models of the manufacturer (X960, M900 and X900), what you get with the phone is not the Acer Shell interface, but skin-deep personalization of the standard WM face and despite the customization, you will clearly feel you are using Windows Mobile, unlike, for example, with the Samsung Omnia II I8000.

The home screen personalization Acer Home and this is a grid of 9 icons that allow quick access to applications and functions with 6 of them being customizable to your liking. You´ve got several pre-installed, nicely looking themes that lend color to the simple face of the OS.

Aside from the standard phone contacts, Acer provides own version of the app with a row of letters on the left that allows faster filtering. You can choose between fast-dialing a contact, sending SMS or MMS by either sliding your finger over the contact entry or pressing the icon on the left. There are positive novelties about creating contact entries as well. The info tabs are ordered in a logical sequence and they are large enough, so you can use your finger without any problem. Moreover, a “social networking” button pops up when you select a contact and it gets you to the Blogger and Flickr accounts of the person. The odd thing is that you don’t have the option to browse the Facebook profile of your phone contacts, despite the Facebook application that comes preinstalled on the phone. Moreover, we need to point out that the Social Networking application crashed on several occasions, which comes to show it has not been properly integrated.

Aside from the standard search in your phone contacts, you can place an extra tab at the top (using the Index button) that makes a keyboard with letter alignment much like navigational systems (A, B, C, D, E, F…) appear on screen. It, however, filters by first letter only and not like the app on Symbian S60 5th edition devices. Despite that, Acer has done a good job with the phone contacts and we like their version better than the standard that comes with the operating system.

Acer´s creativity is also evident in the Calendar that sports an alternative version called Agenda. The overall visual style is pretty similar to the phone contacts – pleasing and optimized for bare fingers. You have a month view and a tab at the bottom of the screen, indicating all entered events for the particular day. Selecting the latter will show them in full screen, so you can see all of them if there are many. Everything has been designed in such a way that even people who have never used Windows Mobile will not have troubles. This is good indeed, but we believe prosumers would rather go for the standard Calendar, because it offers more options and is better suited for complex schedules.

The last personalization is an alternative application dedicated to settings that also comes with finger-friendly interface. This is, however, where Acer´s creative impulse has ended, at least in terms of Windows Mobile interface. All the changes will certainly make a lot of people happier, although they are just a few and lack polish. Alongside of the versions that HTC and Samsung provide, the personalization looks insignificant. We believe Acer has made a step in the right direction, but obviously, a lot more efforts are needed before their personalization pack catches up with the competition.


1 Comment

1. pgirish

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 20, 2009

It looks like you are putting all the blame on Acer for not optimizing the software, while drooling head over heals for Qualcomm's Snapdragon. It is Qualcomm's job to optimize their chip for WinMo OS. Being the Chip manufacturer, it is Qualcomm's responsibility to optimize the OS and the drivers. Acer being the OEM has to do a good job at making the hardware, skin and additional apps like what HTC does. If the phone is sluggish, it is only because Qualcomm did a lousy job at providing drivers.
  • Display 3.8" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Battery 1350 mAh(5.00h talk time)

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