Acer Liquid review:

Acer Liquid

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Typical Price: £330.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 1 user review

The Good Attractive touch-sensitive buttons; big screen; powerful Android operating system; great apps pre-installed, with more available in the Android Market; 3.5mm headphone jack means you can use your own cans; 2GB microSD card and adaptor are included; Wi-Fi and HSDPA make for fast Web-surfing; affordable price.

The Bad Slightly plasticky feel; not the sharpest screen ever seen; keyboard is occasionally unresponsive; camera button is hard to press; Acer's apps lack the glamour of HTC's widgets.

The Bottom Line Acer's first attempt at an Android handset, the Liquid is a good smart phone, thanks to its large screen and great connectivity. Its plasticky case keeps it from being truly beautiful, but, with its touch-sensitive buttons and sleek shape, it's no beast either. Acer's additions to Android are useful, if not particularly inspiring, and the operating system has more than enough going for it to make this smart phone craveable

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8.3 Overall

The Acer Liquid isn't the fire-breathing Snapdragon beast we've been waiting for, but it's still got the bite of a good Android-powered smart phone. Sporting a big capacitive touchscreen and flat buttons, its sleek design is a huge improvement on Acer's previous mobile efforts, although it feels plasticky in places. Acer's additions to the standard Android operating system are nothing to write home about, but we're not complaining either, since the Liquid should be more than capable of slaking your smart-phone thirst.

The Liquid is available SIM-free for around £330.

Snapdragon slayer
The Liquid doesn't quite live up to its Snapdragon hype, because its processor doesn't hit the fiery 1GHz speeds we were promised, running at 768MHz instead. That's still nothing to sniff at, though, and, just as more megapixels don't necessarily make for a better camera, more megahertz don't always translate into a faster phone. Nevertheless, we can't help but feel slightly disappointed.

In our tests, multiple applications ran happily in the background as we surfed the Web, browsed photos and listened to music. Web pages loaded quickly too. We found there was occasionally a tiny lag when typing with the on-screen keyboard, but it wasn't enough to be annoying, and the Liquid is better in this respect than the majority of touchscreen phones we've tested.

The keyboard itself doesn't rank among our favourites, but it's not on our most-hated list either. It's somewhere between that of our beloved HTC Hero and the less-popular effort on the Samsung Galaxy i7500. We found it took some time to get used to hitting the keys accurately, and the spelling correction isn't as good as on the iPhone. We also had trouble when typing at top speed. Unless we proceeded slowly and steadily, we found the Liquid didn't register every key we tapped.

Android alone
Acer hasn't done much messing around with the little green robot, and the Android user interface is almost untouched. There are a handful of custom widgets, like a scrolling list of thumbnails that shows your Web bookmarks, and there are only three home screens, rather than the usual five. This could be a problem if you like loading up multiple home screens with widgets and shortcuts, but, unless you're used to having more, we don't think it'll be a problem.

All Android's usual fantastic features are present and correct, including great Gmail support, the handy Google Maps and access to the Android Market, which is stuffed full of mostly free apps that give the Liquid even more powers.

Acer's subtle additions to Android include the ability to merge your Facebook contacts with your address book. This doesn't work as smoothly as the similar feature on the HTC Hero -- you have to log in on a Web page, for example, rather than a form optimised for the phone's screen. It also doesn't make it easy to merge contacts if you end up with a few duplicates.

The Facebook integration is a good example of the Liquid as a whole -- it does what it needs to, doesn't make a fuss, and doesn't have too many bells and whistles. The Liquid doesn't reach the heights of usability and innovation reached by the Hero, but Android is already excellent, so you won't miss any smart-phone goodness.

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