Acer CloudMobile S500 review

Will this cloud-connected phone do enough to win us over?

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With the CloudMobile S500, Acer seems to be making a genuine push to compete with the major smartphone players.

It's got an absolutely gorgeous screen, a formidably fast processor and a premium build. Not only that, but in an effort to stand out from the crowd, Acer has heavily integrated its AcerCloud service into the handset, making it more connected out of the box than most other phones.

All that and a price tag well below the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5.

But it's not a flawless effort. The battery stops it in its tracks, while AcerCloud isn't quite all we hoped it would be. Add to that a fairly insubstantial 8GB of internal storage and a contacts screen that stinks of laziness, and there are suddenly quite a few caveats to any recommendation we could make for it.

We liked

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The Acer CloudMobile S500 has one of the best screens we've ever seen on a smartphone. It's incredibly sharp and really shows up the competition.

It's also very fast and powerful, and looks like a premium handset through and through. This is Acer's flagship phone, and in these areas it really shows.

The great screen also makes it brilliant for web browsing and watching videos, while Dolby Mobile helps with the sound quality, making it an admirable music player too.

It's got an accurate keyboard, a decent camera and a few nice extras such as Polaris Office and video editing software.

We disliked

The battery is easily the single biggest problem with the Acer CloudMobile S500. It's just not very good, and will really struggle to even get you through to the end of the day. That's a serious issue, since a smartphone with a dead battery is just an expensive paperweight - at least until you find a charger.

AcerCloud is also a real letdown given that the handset is called a 'CloudMobile'. As a bonus feature it's fine, but just don't buy it expecting a complete cloud solution, because you won't get one, and you might still find yourself heading to Dropbox when it comes down to it.

Only having 8GB of internal storage is a bit of a shame too, when other phones at this price tend to come with 16GB, though at least it supports microSD cards.

Also, while it's undoubtedly a premium handset in look and feel, its appearance won't be to everyone's tastes, ultimately coming off as slightly bland.

Final verdict

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The Acer CloudMobile S500 is a fairly impressive handset. The screen is absolutely stunning - one of the best around in fact, and certainly better than others in its price range.

The dual-core 1.5GHz processor can tackle pretty much anything you throw at it. The phone looks expensive and feels good in the hand, and it comes with a pretty solid 8 megapixel camera.

But it's not all good news. The battery is a huge letdown and Acer really dropped the ball with its cloud service, particularly given that it's the headline feature.

It's a shame, because both of these seem like easy fixes - ship it with a bigger battery and remove some of the restrictions from the cloud service and suddenly the Acer CloudMobile S500 becomes a real powerhouse, worthy of the name.

But that's not what happened, so the phone we got is good, but not great.

The screen is the star of the show here, and while the Acer CloudMobile S500 drops the ball in a couple of key areas it's still an impressive handset. Just make sure you keep a spare battery in your pocket.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, GPRS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyCloudMobile
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAcer
Battery Talk Time6.50 Hour
Product ModelS500
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Weight (Approximate)125 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
Height127 mm
Width65.8 mm
Depth9.9 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time355 Hour
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product NameCloudMobile S500 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineCloudMobile
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer, G-sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberHM.HAQEK.001
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Leading design

The award-winning design DNA of its predecessors is well represented in the latest Liquid S Series. It features subtle yet ergonomic curves that look stylish and feel just right. The premium materials and pleasing textures are irresistible.

Vivid view

The Liquid S Series provides a large screen with the highest resolution for its size. Its sharp view makes everything look as real as the hand you're using to hold it. The response of the touch experience is better than can be imagined; your finger feels attached to the screen while swiping.

Limited Warranty2 Year