Even though it was the first carrier to bring Android to Canada, Rogers has always had a bit of a tough time convincing Canadians to ditch their beloved BlackBerrys and iPhones in order to get their Google on. Recently it released the Acer Liquid e, a curious little device that many people know nothing about. We managed to snag one shortly after launch and gave it a spin, so if you are curious to know our thoughts on it click on through to check out our Acer Liquid e hands on!
First and foremost, let’s get one thing out of the way. This isn’t a phone that’s intended to be a flagship or hero device, and that’s immediately evident when you pick it up. Made entirely out of plastic and measuring out at 115mm x 64mm x 12.75mm and weighing 135g, the phones does feel quite cheap in the hands. Not poorly built; just cheap.
On the whole, the device performs very well. This is despite the fact its Snapdragon processor has been underclocked from 1GHz to 768MHz. Acer did this to help preserve battery life, but it appears to have made little difference. It really only took one work day to drain the battery, and even then we only touched the thing a handful of times.
Call quality is above average, with not a whole lot of background noise and minimal hiss whether using the earpiece or speakerphone. The phone has great reception and consistently pulled down data at just over 3Mbps in during our speed tests. Those two things are great, right? Yup. They sure are. Except that it in no time at all the phone gets so hot that you could fry an egg on it.
The Liquid e ruins Android 2.1 aka Eclair with the assistance of a few customizations. Some of them, such as the bookmark and photo album widgets, are useful, but for the most part they’re complete and utter crap. Sorry, but we just don’t see a reason why anyone should have to have a phone with junk like urFooz (look it up) pre-loaded. Thankfully not lost in all of this customization nonsense is the ability to install non-Market applications.
The 3.5″ WVGA display should please most people. Text is very sharp and there is no shortage of vibrancy to images. This isn’t to say it is without its share of issues. During our time with the Liquid e we noticed something that we feel we shouldn’t have: 112 dots which happen to be the sensors responsible for mapping where your fingers are. Granted not everyone will have good enough eyesight to notice the sensors (they’re fairly small), but if you do, it will irritate you to no end. Our device also had a dead pixel straight out of the box.
And then there’s the camera. It has a 5 megapixel sensor with autofocus. In ideal lighting, the camera does a good job with pictures with fairly accurate colors, if not a bit heavy on the red. The autofocus is fairly fast and you won’t need to wait a lot of time between pictures. If you find yourself in a lot of low-light environments, you might as well bring a pencil and sketch book because the photos the Liquid e produces without an abundance of light is quite horriffic. The Liquid e also has video capture capabilities. The resolution of the videos is only VGA, though they’re pretty decent.
Normally we fret over what to say in our conclusion knowing that our word carries a lot of weight. But in this instance, it’s not hard at all. Instead of signing up for a 3-year contract and getting the Acer Liquid e, we strongly recommend that you take that $49.99 and put it into something more exciting like a Government Savings Bond. Yeah.