• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Touchscreens are not like they used to be. The rather iffy resistive screens have been surpassed by the dearer, and far better, capacitive type that you'll find on the iPhone and its ilk. Acer's new Android handset has the benefit of a capacitive display, plus some stylish good looks. It also features some discreet, touch-sensitive buttons for menu, search and back, as well as a raised homebutton, which you'll find at the bottom of the display. It also features three media buttons - a novelty for Android - which allow you to playback music and video. That's not the only surprise the device has in store... so read on...

Nice touch

Touchscreens need to be precise in use if they're going to be fun to use. You don't want to touch the display in one place and find the phone reacting as if you've touched it somewhere else. This happens occasionally on the Acer Stream, and has the effect of slowing you down if you're typing in text. We found it too easy to launch a menu when we didn't mean to because the 3.7in screen doesn't react as it should. Apart from that, the device is speedy and responsive, due to its 1GHz processor.

Anyone who knows the Android OS and its customisable multiple home screens may take a while to get used to Acer's approach to the system. We found it pretty disorienting to start with. While HTC has managed to create a stunning, imaginative and intuitive overlay on Android, Acer's is something else.

Android OS

Nokia was so successful because its phones all used a consistent, easy-to-use operating system. So it created loyal fans who would only upgrade to another Nokia. With the Acer Stream, things have changed - want to add a widget on the home screen? On other Acer handsets you would press and hold the screen - here you have to press and hold the Home button. It's not that this is a bad way to do it, it's simply that it has made things more complicated for the existing Android user. You can launch your screen saver from the front of the device, once you've woken the handset - which saves having to reach to the top edge, as you do with the HTC Desire and other devices - and you'll be rewarded with a home screen image with its corner flicking and just begging to be flipped up! Do so and you'll see a menu of eight shortcut icons pop up at the base of the screen. We hope you like them, as you won't be able to delete them!

Sound and vision

On the main screen, swipe to the right to find the media area, where you can access your videos, music and photos. By the way, you'll find there's a mini HDMI out socket next to the micro USB connector you use to charge the phone. You can connect to a suitable flatscreen TV and play your video, for example, on the big screen. This is another facility that shows the Stream is taking Acer's phones to another level. And as your video can be recorded at 720p resolution HD video on the handset, it looks pretty good on a big screen.

Social media fans can subscribe to Orange's Life is Better On service, which forms an address book by combining details from your mobile phone, Facebook, Gmail and Twitter contacts. There were some other facilities we really liked: you can set your availability, so that you can decide if your friends can contact you easily or not - and it will also tell you where your contacts are (if they've agreed to this). It's done well, but can take a while to get a handle on. Either way, it's also useful for backing up contacts and so on, should you lose your handset.

The verdict

This is yet another bonus on a phone with a great feature set which also has a good camera and tidy design.

Specifications

Specifications

Type of phone:

N/A

Style:

N/A

Size:

119.5 x 63 x 11.2 mm

Weight:

140g

Display:

N/A colours

Resolution:

480x800

Camera:

Five-megapixels

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

N/A

Video calling:

No

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

MP3, eAAC+, WMA, WAV

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

N/A

Voice Control:

N/A

Voice Dialling:

N/A

Call records:

N/A

Phonebook:

N/A

Ringtones customization:

N/A

Display description:

N/A

Website:

www.acer.co.uk

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

N/A

Launch Status:

N/A

Radio:

N/A

Operating system

N/A

Connectivity:

Wi-Fi

Announced date:

N/A

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

N/A

International launch date:

N/A

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

N/A

FM Radio Description:

N/A

Internal memory:

2GB

Memory Card Slot

microSD

Messaging:

Email

Internet Browser:

HTML

GPS:

A-GPS

Java:

N/A

Games:

N/A

Data speed:

HSDPA

Frequency:

N/A

Talktime:

300 minutes

Standby:

400 hours

Display size:

3.7 inches

Keypad:

N/A

Audio recording:

N/A

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