• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Acer's history with Windows Mobile phones is not good, and the neoTouch P400 fails to break the pattern. It's a nice looking handset, but the feature set is average at best and the unresponsive touch-screen makes slow work of navigating and browsing.

Style and handling on the Acer NeoTouch P400

The Acer neoTouch P400 is a good-looking handset. It has a rubber back and a tempered glass front, and four touch-sensitive areas instead of keys on the front, for call, call end, home and Windows. But once we had removed the back cover to insert our SIM, we could not put it on properly again, so were left with a crack down the side where it didn't quite fit, ruining the smooth lines of the design.

It runs on the Windows 6.4.3 OS, but the home screen looks like the forthcoming Windows Phone 7: instead of icons for apps, there is text in a crisp modern font, and it's the best looking part of the whole user interface. Missed calls and messages are displayed next to the relevant app. Touch the Windows logo to be taken to the all programs menu, which is arranged in an apparently random order so you need to scroll down to find what you want.

The resistive touch-screen is pressure sensitive and fairly responsive to scrolling, and the unlock screen displays events notification so you can swipe your finger down to the event you want to view.

User friendliness on the Acer neoTouch P400

While the home screen looks sharp and modern, the rest of the user interface is pretty clunky. So instead of simply hitting a text field to display the virtual keyboard, you have to select an icon at the bottom of the screen. To send a text you have to hit a different icon - and none of them is easy to decipher - then choose the new message option and finally whether you wish to call, send a voice message or text. The latter should be the default option but isn't.

The keyboard is also frustratingly unresponsive, and slow to boot, so fast typing isn't an option. Using the keyboard in landscape view helps with accuracy at least.

Email and business on the Acer neoTouch P400

You can set up Microsoft Exchange and webmail accounts on the P400 but there is no support for push emails, although you can set it to automatically send and receive mail every five minutes. Exchange users can also sync their calendars.

Acer Sync, which syncs up to Google services, is preloaded on the P400, so you can access your Google calendar. It's a handy option that seems designed to attract Android users.

For all its flaws as an operating system, Windows Mobile does provide you with a full set of business-friendly apps. You can view your calendar by day, week, month or year, and the Microsoft office suite gives you everything you need including Word and Excel. Of course, this is only useful if you can work the keyboard - a stylus would have come in handy here.

Internet on the Acer neoTouch P400

HSDPA internet speed and Internet Explorer Mobile 6 make for a speedy internet experience. An on-screen touch bar takes car of zooming, and the URL bar automatically fills in www and .com, and will auto-complete web addresses you have already visited. You can also cut and paste - just hit menu for the option then drag your finger over what you want to copy. It's not as slick as something like the HTC Desire, limited as it is by the slow action of the touch-screen.

You can access Windows Marketplace, which isn't as well-stocked as Android Market or Apples App Store, but you can pick up the most popular applications such as Facebook easily enough.

There is a 3.2-megapixel camera on board, but with no flash or auto-focus, it's a token effort really. Night shots are out of the question, and even daylight photos look pixelated, with dull colours.

The verdict on the Acer neoTouch P400

It's hard to see who the Acer P400 is aimed at. It's made of lightweight, almost cheap-looking parts, but it runs on the business centric Windows Mobile 6.5.3. It could be a good internet phone but most other features suffer thanks to a sluggish, inaccurate touch-screen. Acer has done little to improve an outdated OS, and the P400 is neither fun nor easy to use.

Specifications

Specifications

 

Type of phone:

Smartphone

Style:

candy bar

Size:

115 x 59.3 x 12

Weight:

125

Display:

262,000 colours

Resolution:

352x416

Camera:

N/A

Special Camera features:

auto focus

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

No

Video streaming

Yes

Music formats played:

MP3, eAAC+, WMA, WAV

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

Yes

Voice Control:

No

Voice Dialling:

No

Call records:

Practically unlimited

Phonebook:

Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall

Ringtones customization:

Yes

Display description:

TFT resistive touchscreen

Website:

www.acer.co.uk

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

Black

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

MP3

Radio:

Yes

Operating system:

Windows Mobile

Connectivity:

WLAN, USB, Wi-Fi, A2DP, Bluetooth

Announced date:

February 2010

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

256 MB

International launch date:

N/A

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

Qualcomm 7227 600 MHz processor

FM Radio Description:

Stereo FM radio

Internal memory

N/A

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

SMS, MMS, IM, Email

Internet Browser:

WAP 2.0, XHTML, HTML

E-mail client:

N/A

GPS:

A-GPS

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes

Data speed:

GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, 3G

Frequency:

Quad-band

Talktime:

300

Standby:

400

Display size:

3.2

Keypad:

QWERTY

Audio recording:

Yes

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