While all you Americans slept, Acer took the wraps off its latest Android handset, the Liquid Metal, over here in Europe. Sporting Acer's custom Breeze UI, the Liquid Metal runs Android 2.2 atop an 800 MHz processor. The MSM7230 CPU is a whopping 32 MHz higher than the 768 MHz of the original Liquid's QSD8250 Snapdragon, but this 800 MHz core is the same Scorpion processor that powers the rather lovely T-Mobile G2. If the G2's performance is any indication, this processor is no slouch (particularly when overclocked), so things are looking quite nice indeed for the Liquid Metal in terms of smoothness of operation.
There will also be support for a few new devices- Acer Liquid, HTC Wildfire and Samsung Vibrant. My eye is also on the new HTC phones that are about to get released like the G2.
It looks like their doors are still open to new devs and currently unsupported devices, as well - to quote Cyanogen once more:
- 1 GHz Snapdragon 8250 (45nm process - check out this article for details on why that's a good thing)
- 5 MP Camera
- 3.5" screen
- Android 2.1
The only real customizations are that it's apparently been custom designed by Ferrari to be light weight, and checks in at 135g. Other than that, it's Ferrari red with an accompanying logo around back, and has a few custom Ferrari wallpapers.
For one of the first phones out with a Snapdragon, this sure has been some time coming. Over at the MoDaCo Android forum, poster LIQUID_USER managed to obtain what he has described as a “very early build” for Acer’s 3.5”, Éclair-running slate. Despite this somewhat unofficial status, the build Acer_LiquidF_0.007.00_EMEA-GEN1_05.01.01) is said to be quite stable, with most device functions working as normal, including wireless tethering and Adobe Flash.
As expected, performance benchmarks have increased but the CPU still can’t quite catch the Nexus One at its current clocking (on the other hand, the Acer Liquid’s GPU drivers have always produced better results than the N1, which has sparked a porting project over on XDA-Developers).
If you can’t wait any longer for a quality Android tablet, this may come as a bit of bad news. Both Acer and Motorola are planning to delay the release of their respective Android tablets until the release of Android 3.0, which is expected to feature support for higher-resolution screens.
Acer’s tablet may be pushed back until the first quarter of 2011, which could put a damper on previous rumors that Gingerbread would be released some time before the end of the year. Motorola’s tablet, on the other hand, may see Gingerbread much earlier, as Google is working directly with Motorola to get Android 3.0 working on their 10.1” device (which could be the rumored “Stingray” tablet headed to Verizon).
The Acer Stream is coming to the UK, and it’s coming soon. Acer’s newest and most powerful Android device to date will initially be available exclusively through eXpansys.com in the UK starting on August 2nd. £400 will get you the device, unlocked. This is your only purchase option, as no carrier subsidies have yet been announced. I will say it’s pretty robust on the spec-sheet. The Stream features:
- A 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor
- 3.7” WVGA AMOLED Display
- 512MB ROM / 512MB RAM
- 2GB Internal (Flash) Memory
- MicroSD Card Slot
- WiFi (presumably B/G/N), Bluetooth, and GPS
- Mini HDMI-out
- 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- 720P (24FPS) Video Recording
- 5MP Camera
- Android 2.1 with Acer Touch 3D UI 4.0
And here is the Stream, in all its glory:
The first thing I notice about the Stream is its lack of a trackball, d-pad, or optical trackpad.
Acer’s new beTouch E130 has passed the FCC. Check this thing out – it looks like they just slapped together some hardware they had left over in the 2005 parts bin, and the specs aren’t much better:
- QWERTY keypad
- 2.6” 320 x 240 screen
- 416 Mhz CPU
- 256 MB RAM
- 512 MB Memory
- 3.2 MP Camera
- WiFi (likely topping out at 802.11g)
- Android 1.6
I have no idea what Acer is shooting for with this phone. We’ve seen budget Android phones before - such as Sprint’s Intercept and Verizon’s WX445 – and this thing looks be crap even compared to those.
While the name leaves a little to be desired, the Acer Stream was recently approved by the FCC and will soon be on its way into the hands of consumers.
With specs that closely resemble the likes of the Nexus One and the Droid Incredible, the Acer Stream (a.k.a Liquid Stream) boasts some pretty decent hardware and even better, comes with Android 2.1, although hopefully we’ll see Android 2.2 shortly after the release.
While pricing and a specific release date has yet to be announced, some specs are known and one person already has managed to release a video with a hands-on look at Acer’s new phone.