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Acer Iconia Smart packs a 4.8-inch display for super-widescreen video

Acer's Iconia Smart handset, revealed at Mobile World Congress, is armed with a massive 4.8-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 21:9, promising a popcorn-tastic mobile video experience.

The Acer Iconia Smart is apparently "100 per cent smart phone. 100 per cent tablet". That's what we call giving it 200 per cent for effort. But how can it be both? A whopping 4.8-inch display with an ultra-widescreen 21:9 aspect ratio, that's how.

The Android device, which has a curved metallic design and a slimline 64.5mm width, has four small buttons at the bottom, leaving the rest of its front face to be dominated by the screen. It uses the same LED edge-lit tech as TVs, although you can also hook it up to your big screen using HDMI or DLNA.

The Iconia Smart runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread -- with Acer's own user interface on top -- and has an 8-megapixel camera to take panoramic shots, which we can imagine filling that cinematic screen very prettily. Indeed, Acer is providing a dedicated Panorama Maker app as a preload. A 2-megapixel front camera is provided for video calling. The rear cam can shoot HD video at 720p resolution.

Acer is also keen to stress how good its new smart phone is for Web surfing, with that extra-wide screen (when in landscape mode, obviously) letting you surf websites without having to scroll left and right.

Connectivity-wise, we're talking HSDPA, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 plus EDR. Inside there lurks a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, plus a gyroscope and accelerometer, which are now standard features for new Android handsets.

Acer says you can expect to see the Iconia Smart on sale in the UK from the start of May, although pricing has not been confirmed, nor have operator deals.

Our first impressions are that it looks stunning and sleek, but we're predicting potential joint ache when using standard Android apps in portrait mode, as you scoot your thumb from the bottom to the top of the screen and back again. We're also not entirely convinced by the smart phone-tablet talk -- we're always wary of a device that falls between two stools.

Still, as cinematic handsets go, the Iconia Smart certainly looks like having the chops to find an audience. Roll on May so we can see how much it'll cost.