Acer beTouch E101 review: Acer beTouch E101

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Unfortunately, the handset's resistive touchscreen is one of the worst we've seen on a Windows Mobile handset in quite some time. Not only has it got a relatively low resolution of 240x400 pixels, but colours look dark and drab, and a grid structure is easily visible between the pixels. Furthermore, it seems to have a very slow response rate, as, when you scroll up and down quickly in the 'start' menu, you can see ghosting around the icons as they move.

No 3G or Wi-Fi
We could just about live with the poor screen if it weren't for the phone's lack of both 3G and Wi-Fi support. This means you have to rely on a slower Edge or GPRS network connection when you want to browse the Web or pick up email. Consequently, Web pages take ages to display. Acer has included a number of social-networking apps, including some for Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, but the YouTube app isn't very useful, as there's simply not enough bandwidth available on Edge networks to play back videos without constant buffering. Not a single video we tried played smoothly.

The camera isn't much to write home about either. It's only a 2-megapixel snapper, so the maximum resolution of the shots it can capture is 1,600x1,200 pixels, and it lacks a flash and autofocus. Also, while the phone has on-board GPS, it was slow to find enough satellites to get an initial lock on our position.

On the plus side, the phone's call quality is pretty good. In fact, it's even better than that of Acer's much more expensive neoTouch S200. Battery life isn't bad either -- we got around 2 days of normal use out of it.

We're not convinced the Acer beTouch E101 represents good value for money, even though it's cheap. In an effort to keep the price as low as possible, Acer has trimmed back the phone's specification too radically. If you're looking for a budget smart phone, our advice would be to look elsewhere.

Edited by Charles Kloet