Acer isn’t the first gadget giant you’d associate with Android. But the computer cobbler has been part of Google’s Open Handset Alliance for well over a year and the Liquid is the first fruit of its open source labours.

Specced up

On the face of it, the Acer Liquid is a phone which should be able to kick it with the likes of the HTC Hero and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. We’re talking a hefty 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and HSDPA skills and geo-tagging, all harnessing the power of the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. But once you’ve got the Liquid up and running, it reveals some truly disappointing kinks. The Snapdragon inside isn’t cranked up to its full 1Ghz, so tapping into apps or even just using the accelerometer become noticeably sluggish affairs.

Ye olde Android

The real issue though, is Android 1.6. This ageing version of the mobile OS has been superseded on the likes of the Motorola Milestone, HTC Legend and even Acer’s own Liquid e, unveiled at Mobile World Congres in February.

It means there’s no multiple Gmail account support, Goggles is missing and it isn’t nearly as sleek and stable as the very latest version. Acer has said it has no plans for an upgrade as yet either.

Plenty of juice

While the Liquid does feel somewhat outdated, it does have plenty to recommend it. The battery life is stonking, easily affording us 36 hours of lengthy calls, obsessive web grazing, text banter and email browsing.The browser itself is a snappy affair, although navigation around Android’s web portal remains a poor second to that on the iPhone. Occasionally we were presented with blank screens when trying to access the weekend’s footie scores, but this was more of a problem with our network, Three, than the phone itself.


Review continues after the break…


Bad build

Sadly, though, that decent battery and zippy browser is not enough to recommend the Acer Liquid. The build has all the hallmarks of being a product of the Fisher Price school of design. The phone is chunky, too wide considering it rocks a 3.5in screen and is hamstrung by the older version of Google’s excellent operating system.The fact, also, that networks appear reluctant to pick up the Acer Liquid means it’s a pain to track down and try for yourself. With a newer version already on its way, this is a mobile that we suggest you give a wide berth.


Stuff says... 

Acer Liquid review

An impressive battery life and fast browser can’t stop the Liquid from being drowned out by its Android rivals