The Acer Liquid E does not offer anything new to the Android market. While it has a great design and noteworthy hardware, the company failed to give the handset something unique that could have set it apart from the competition.
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The handset is wide and thick, measuring 115 x 64 x 12.75mm. It is made out of hard plastic but feels more solid than of its competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S. The unit has a 3.5-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack that allow users to plug in their favourite headphone. The Liquid E even has a notification icons on top of the phone that shows when the unit is charging, when a text message is received, or when a call is missed.
Unlike other handsets that we have reviewed in the past couple of months, Acer has opted to keep the look and feel of the Android OS. It runs on Android 2.1 but the company said that it will be upgradeable to 2.2 ‘soon’.
Various Google services such as Gmail, Maps, Market, and Youtube are onboard along with some Acer programs. The Liquid E also comes pre-loaded with Documents To Go, Facebook, nemoPlayer, Twitdroid, urFooz and RoadSync.
Programs and applications loaded fairly quickly, thanks to its 768Mhz Qualcomm processor and 512MB of RAM. We rarely encountered lags and slowdowns during our test but it could have been better if the capacitive touchscreen was more responsive. The four touch buttons below the display allowed us to go to the home screen, search for an application or online content and view the sub menu.
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The default virtual QWERTY keyboard was cramped and failed to catch up with what we were typing. The globe key which changes the language is located next to the keyboard, which for us is very distracting. If you accidentally press it, you would have to press it a couple of time just to get back to English. The dictionary is not as accurate as expected, with us having to press the correct word a couple of time in a sentence.
Users can find an Internet bookmark and media widget at the end of the home screens that allows you to flick between them instantly. Other features include a 5-megapixel camera that doesn’t have a flash, HSDPA (7.2 Mbps) and HSUPA (2 Mbps), Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) and GPS. Memory can be expanded using a microSD card.
Overall, the Acer Liquid E is not a terrible phone. It provided us with a great user experience throughout our test. The only problem is that there is nothing special about it and there are other affordable Android phones out there that have more features.
It is available now for $699.