Acer Liquid Metal review

Acer's follow up to the Stream brings Android 2.2, but dials back the specs slightly.

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Acer has come up with a name for its Android skin – Breeze. We aren't sure you'll think it's a breeze to use, though. You'll either love it or loathe it. If the latter is the case, you can switch it off and revert to vanilla Android.

Breeze relies on a two-tier approach to getting about. When you switch the Acer Liquid Metal on, the Home screen shows the time and date, missed calls, notifications and the weather.

Acer liquid metal

You can flick left and right to move through five Home screens, each of which can contain widgets. Nothing odd there. But you can't put shortcuts onto any of these screens with a tap and hold. You have to be in what we think of as 'layer two' of Breeze to do this.

You get to this by dragging a curled up corner of the screen on the bottom left.

Acer liquid metal

You can long press the home button to get to the add widgets area, or you can drag upwards on the row of four application shortcut icons at the bottom of the screen to see a full apps list, and tap the Widgets app at the bottom of the screen.

Acer liquid metal

It is a bit of a round the houses way of fiddling with widgets, and it seems to us that it takes some of the spontaneity out of personalising your Android device. If you're keen on ever-changing widgets, it might be a step too far.

That 'layer two' Home screen has a few tricks on offer, too. It comprises three separately controllable elements. We've already seen that you can drag the four shortcuts upwards to reveal the full apps menu.

When you do this, the four app shortcuts that were at the bottom of the screen move to the top. The full range of additional apps are set across horizontally scrolling screens. Any you want to be in the set of eight that are always available can be dragged into position where they'll swap with the app that was previously present. A quick tap on the back button takes back you to the 'layer two' Home screen.

Acer liquid metal

Just above the four apps shortcuts is the Android status and notifications bar, which is more usually at the top of the screen. Tapping it brings up a host of scrolling menus and options. The bar is narrow, so you have to be careful to tap it accurately. You can do things like fiddle with connection status, see notifications and set alarms.

Acer liquid metal

Acer liquid metal

Acer liquid metal

If you've got music playing, there's even a small playback controller.

Acer liquid metal

Quite oddly, this notifications bar often moves to the very bottom of the screen when you're in an app. This feels strange if you're used to other Android devices where it sits at the top of the screen.

The greatest bulk of the 'layer two' main screen is given over to the upper two thirds of the screen. This initially shows just the date and time, but sweep left and you can see a carousel of recently used apps, sweep right and you can see carousels of music, movies and video on the device.

Acer liquid metal

Acer liquid metal

You can't personalise what these carousels show, but they do give you quick access to history and media, so are till quite handy. But the whole thing feels like an overly complicated way of getting round the Acer Liquid Metal.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBrown
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAcer
Battery Talk Time8 Hour
Product ModelS120 Liquid Metal
Screen Size9.1 cm (3.6")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.2 Froyo
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height115 mm
Width63 mm
Depth13.5 mm
Battery Standby Time550 Hour
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product NameS120 Liquid Metal Smartphone
Processor Speed800 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberXP.H58EN.011
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Premium quality, industry leading design. Next generation wireless with HD video capture. The Acer Liquid Metal is designed to fit perfectly into your life.

Subtle Chic

The Liquid Metal has been engineered using the finest materials; glass and metal have been moulded so perfectly that you'll think this smart phone was carved from one solid piece. The vivid, curved 3.6" screen beautifully displays photos, videos and the web in colour and clarity. Clever notification LEDs on top of the device blend in with the design, illuminating to inform you what you've missed. Liquid Metal goes beyond a phone and becomes a part of your style.