Smooth, fast performance • Impressive sound quality; • good-quality HD display; • Great for video;
• Contacts menu is fiddly; • Cloud service redundant; • Unstylish design;
The Acer S500 CloudMobile is a reasonable handset aimed at business users. It has reliable dual-core power, a crisp colourful HD display and impressive sound quality. The Acer Cloud services are not really necessary though.
Phones these days need a standout feature, so Acer has gone for offering a built-in cloud feature on its latest offering, the Acer CloudMobile S500. AcerCloud is designed to store photos, music, documents and videos wirelessly and simultaneously on both other Android devices and your PC. While we like the phone, the cloud services are not easy to use and there are better offerings out there.
Sensible not sexy
A first glance at the S500 shows you that this device has been designed to look plain and sensible, rather than sexy, even though it does boast curved edges. It has a silver and black finish, which looks rather corporate, although the textured finish on the reverse does make it easy to grip. It’s pretty masculine in design so will probably appeal to businessmen in particular, It fits nicely in the hand too.
Turn over the phone and as well as that textured reverse you’ll see there’s an eight-megapixel snapper lens, along with a hands-free speaker, which features Dolby Mobile 3 audio. This offers loud and clear audio when you’re streaming HD music videos. We were impressed with the crisp, clear sound quality we enjoyed.
Fit your thumb in the small indent on the back and you’ll be able to pull off the back cover to reveal a 1460mAh battery (which means you’ll have to charge your phone every day). This is also where the microSD memory card and micro SIM slots sit.
There are no buttons on the front of the handset – you’ll just see a slim speaker band and the front-facing snapper at the top of the handset. There are only two buttons sitting on the edges as well – the volume rocker on the side and the power button on the top – there are fewer buttons than even the minimalistic iPhone.
The lack of buttons means the front of the phone is all display – there’s not even a home button, which can seem a bit strange at first. But you get used to it, and it is likely that more phones will be like this as Android devices don’t need them.
The handset measures 127 x 65.8 x 9.9mm, so is a good size if you want to play one-handed – and even more impressive when you consider that 4.3-inch display. There are thinner phones around – it’s more than 2 inches fatter than the iPhone 5 – but still manages to not feel chunky.
Share and store
The S500 runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which has plenty of features and runs well, but we would have liked to have seen Android 4.1 Jellybean on board. However, hopefully an upgrade will on the cards in the near future.
The standout feature is Acer Cloud, which is an online storage offering, which lets you share files with a PC. It is rather fiddly to set up and seems somewhat unnecessary in a world already populated by the likes of DropBox, Google and more. We suspect if you’re interested in cloud storage you’ve already got your own account set up.
As well as the Cloud storage there’s 8GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded using the MicroSD card slot, unlike smartphones of a similar price, such as the Sony Xperia S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC One S.
Apart from the cloud facilities, there are some neat specs, including the 1280x720 screen, which measures 4.3 inches and is impressively crisp and bright – perfect for movies and photos. The S500 is also powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core chip coupled with 1GB RAM. Performance was smooth and speedy, whether we were playing with apps, running games or surfing the net.
The eight-megapixel snapper produces sharp photos and can also grab Full HD video.
The Acer S500 CloudMobile is a good handset, aimed at business users; It has great dual-core power, a bright and colourful HD display and impressive sound quality. But the Acer Cloud offering falls short of the mark.
|Type of device||Smartphone|
|Operating System||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich|
|Dimensions||127 x 65.8 x 9.9 mm|
|Processor speed||1.5GHz dual-core|
|CPU||1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm|
|Screen size||4.3 inches|
|Resolution||1280 x 720|
|Display type||16 million colours|
|Memory card slot|
|Secondary camera||1.3 megapixels|
|Special camera features||Flash|
|FM Radio description|
|Handsfree speaker phone|
|What's in the box||Charger|
|Battery life multimedia||N/A|
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