Nowadays, mobile phone has been one of the basic elements that symbolized an individual’s living standard. As far as communication has to offer, it is an icon for integrated web based interaction and multimedia entertainment. Mobile phone manufacturers have never slow down but instead moving aggressively and persistently, developing advanced technologies and sophisticated operation systems that suit their products well enough to impress vast group of consumer targets. While mobile phone users’ are still fascinated with Windows MobileTM, Google with breathtaking gives a second shoot by launching Android, a complete yet open mobile softwares that can be incorporated into all newly emerged technologies. Reviewing the trend of this rapid mobile phone evolution, clearly mobile phone industry is no longer conquered by manufacturers but instead abided by networkers and IT companies to offer upgraded operation system with higher social communication power and integrated content access.
Ranged as one of the world’s top 3 companies for total PC shipments, Acer has commenced its very first invasion into the smartphone territory by launching Acer Liquid A1, Acer’s first Android-based smartphone. Before turning on the handset, the reflection of the 3.5 inch screen creates black pond illusion and this might explain why the handset is so-called Acer Liquid. Given with such mysterious and cool appearance, the chassis with dimension of 115 x 62.5 x 12.5 mm is also another credit. Both sides of the handset (left and right) are in straight-cut design, creating an elongation effect. The top and bottom are slightly curvy. Assembled in one, the overall design is very much impressive and less “rectangular” that i-phone (if comparison is meant to be made). Apart from all the creative design, there is one major imperfection on its coating. The handset is constructed entirely of plastic. Although it comes with a range of colors, white (Dream white), red (Danger red) and black (Velvet black), the plastic surface (particularly on the back) are less glamorous and shiny than other handsets with metal coating, cruel enough to say it looks rather cheap.
Beyond critics on its appearance, the Acer Liquid still impresses us with its huge, 3.5 inch WVGA capacitive touch screen display, supporting up to 256,000 color and 800 x 480 pixel resolution. Once the screen is turned on, the display is pretty much impressive as it looks bright and sharp. Below the screen, there are four typical Android controls, i.e. home, search, back and menu. All the controls are touch-sensitive and will only be visible when the backlit is on. In order to use the controls, we have to press the power button first to activate them, considerably a redundant and clumsy operation. In terms of hardware buttons, the designers are creative enough to position them neatly along sides of the handset. On the bottom of the handset, there is a micro-USB slot for charging and syncing purposes. The top is where the 3.5mm headphone jack is positioned along with a line of LED light indicators for missed call, unread message and battery status. The left-hand side is where the power button is located while the right-hand side features the camera button and volume button.
Connectivities, Memory and CPU
Reviewing its internet connectivity, Acer Liquid offers quad band GSM and 3G with HSDPA up to 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA up to 2.0 Mbps for speedy internet surfing. Apart from GRPS and EDGE, this handset also comes with WiFi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth that allows users to synchronize their handset with other compatible mobile devices or laptops. In addition, the Acer Liquid also features 256 MB ROM and 512 MB. MicroSD provided is expandable up to 32GB. Apart from ordinary features that a smart phone has to offer, Acer Liquid has boasted its capability with a built-in Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. Even though the QSD 8250 supports 768 Mhz processor rather than the originally reported 1 GHz, surprisingly it does not affect the overall performance of Acer Liquid in handling multitasking situations and loading applications.
Android OS and UI
Operated by AndroidTM version 1.6 interfaces, the Acer Liquid presents a 3-pages platform that allow users to swipe left and right from the centre responsively. The handset also display widgets in such a way that allow users to scroll down and gain access immediately to media files or internet browsing tools. Provided with one-button toggle to Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi, Acer Liquid has once again proved its feasibility in the overall operation.