Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Acer: Race to the Top

Acer: Race to the Top - Flashy, fast and powerful. Within the racing circuits, the Ferrari is known as nothing else. Apparently, so it is in the mobile arena.

Like the car, Acer’s Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition can be quite intimidating at first glance. With a flashy-red color, Ferrari logo at the back and a huge 3.5 inches screen size, the phone is no second-rate competitor. Some may find the 115x62.5mm frame too big but the size seems to fit perfectly in the palm, especially when you are holding the phone with two hands when typing. It’s big enough not to slip from your palms and not constrict your fingers while typing.

Despite what critics mentioned as a “slower” processor (768 MHz) than those of its counterparts, there is nothing to show that it is “slow” in any way. Going from one program to the next or viewing the gallery is also a breeze; so is sending a message or rummaging through the hundreds of names in Contacts. Even the Internet is Ferrari-fast, you’ll forget you are holding a phone, not a pc. You can update your Facebook and Twitter accounts with special apps. With a sliding gallery of websites that you can bookmark, getting to your favorite blogs is just a slide-tap away. So unless you are into some serious gaming or on-the-go graphics editing, its speed is more than alright.

Messaging, however, is a different story. The main keyboard can sometimes be frustrating to use. The keyboard vacillates between “over responsiveness” and “under responsiveness,” which results to wrong spellings. It’s a good thing the phone has this unique dictionary feature that lets you choose from a variety of possible letter combinations, taking into account the letters near the one you clicked. It’s like spell check but only better… that is if you use English in your messages and emails. It can be tough to adjust to when you use shortcuts and write in Taglish. If that is the case, opt for the other keyboard in the menu.

Messages are threaded so you don’t have to look for previous threads. You can also attach photos, graphics, music and even video clips to your message and get this, there is a special keyboard shortcut for emoticons! Saving messages is a lot trickier though as you need to lock each message within a thread but what is great about it is, you can store the whole conversation, including your own message!

With just a 5 megapixel camera, Liquid E may not be at par with the others in the market but as tech experts always tell buyers, the megapixels aren’t important unless you are in publishing, graphics or have a really unsteady hand. Photos of the Liquid E are surprisingly clear and crisp especially those taken during the day. Photos in low light condition are also pretty decent. Its video, though only VGA@20fp, is usable. Both are good enough for blog posting and general family viewing. Besides with 800x480 resolution, photos appear clear, almost lifelike. You’ve got to love their live wallpaper selections as the pictures seem to move right before your eyes.

Like the iPhone, Liquid E come with preloaded apps. One worth noting is Documents to Go, which allows you to view word and excel files. Editing can be activated but you need to purchase it. Another great app is the Google maps, which is essential in traveling.

All in all, the Acer Liquid E Ferrari Edition is a mean piece of machine and can give its competitors a run for their money. But on whether it would win the mobile race or not, that depends on what specific features people are looking for.

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