As a relative smartphone newcomer, Acer entered the Android playpen last year with the Liquid S100. It was a decent first effort, but very a bold manoeuvre.

The HTC Hero was topping the charts, while established players Motorola and Samsung were making waves with their deployment of handsets boasting the Google-made OS.

Despite releasing a mobile phone with an array of high-end specs, including the now commonplace Snapdragon processor and a superb screen, the Liquid was somewhat lost in the shuffle.

Without a trusted mobile name behind it, most of the smartphone-fancying kids threw the idea of purchasing this particular toy out of the pram.

Acer liquid e

Rather than being intimidated by the Android big boys, the notebook specialist is back with a second bite of the cherry.

The Liquid E (we laughed at the name too, and wondered if the Daily Mail would be launching a campaign against it) boasts the same design, same underclocked 768Mhz Snapdragon clip, same 480 x 800 hi-res 3.5-inch capacitive screen and same 5MP camera.

So what's new? Android 1.6 is out and Android 2.1 Eclair is in.

Okay, great. But now the playing field has been elevated with the HTC Desire, rather than the Hero, ruling the roost. Can a phone that does little to enhance the Android OS, while offering less than no improvement on the first device really contend with it?

With a top-end price of £400 SIM-free, it's really going to have to go some to achieve that. Let's investigate.