Acer Liquid or why I changed an apple

    About a month ago, I moved from an Apple phone to the flagship device manufactured by Acer, widely known in Russia for its netbooks, Liquid (S100). Since I was satisfied with the result, I decided to write a short review of this device and what I got by changing the platform. Immediately make a reservation that I used it for business tasks and therefore I did not particularly consider the functionality from the series and toys.

    In general, the desire to change the annoying iPhone appeared a long time ago, as it was used, I became more and more convinced that this model is less suitable for business than I would like. Considering various options, I decided to look at the Android platform, the benefit of it was a lot of noise and talked about its rapid growth.

    Of all the devices available at the time of purchase, the choice fell on Acer Liquidfor several reasons.
    Firstly, the price was within the range of 17 tr, secondly, the design of the device is moderately strict and at the same time glossy with three color options (I chose white), thirdly, the characteristics:

    Capacitive screen 480x800, glass backing.
    CPU: Snapdragon 1 GHz (reduced to 768)
    RAM (Mb): 256
    ROM (Mb): 512
    Sensors and communication: Bluetooth, Wifi, A-GPS, 3G, HSDPA, Digital compass, light sensors and accelerometer
    Camera 5 Mpx with autofocus
    Slot microSD, microSDHC, 3.5 mm jack
    OS: Android 1.6 (there is already a test 2.1)

    Appearance and iron

    Acer designers managed to create a little thing that stands out against the general background, the device turned out to be pretty glossy and pleasant to the touch.

    Unlike the iPhone, the volume rocker is located on the right, below on the same side is the camera button, which I often lacked. At the top on the right side is a button to turn off the screen and power. For this reason, I was confused at first, the old reflexes affected. At the bottom is a mini USB connector which is much more common than the apple standard.

    The headphone jack is located on the upper end to the right, and as it turned out, the device perfectly understands the headphones from the apple and responds to pressing the headset button, both when playing music and on calls. But the most interesting is the decoration of the end with useful LEDs with various statuses - charging, message, missed call. It looks fresh and interesting, and most importantly in a quiet mode attracts attention.

    Under the screen on the front side there are touch buttons - Home screen, Search, return and Menu pleasantly illuminated with white light. As you can see, compared to a minimalist apple, there are enough buttons.

    I was very pleased with the crisp and bright screen, after the iPhone 320x480 it simply amazes with the clarity of the picture, the kit included a protective film, which I hastened to put on. The headphones that came with a medium-quality phone, so I advise you to buy separately, well, as a bonus with Liquid, there is already a 2 GB MicroSD.

    From Donut to Eclair

    At the time of purchase, a donut was installed on the “liquid” Android version 1.6, but literally in a week the test firmware 2.1 Eclair came out and I will talk about it.

    When working with the system, two things are striking in the eye for which Apple is praised and scolded - this is the usual multitouch and unusual multitasking. Multitasking is used everywhere and practical does not affect the speed of applications, but the program’s launch speed is more than happy.

    Interface and system

    Lockscreen, here, in contrast to the apple, there is not only an unlock slider, but also a very convenient slider on / off the sound of the phone, which is convenient at a meeting, in the apple this was implemented using a hardware switch.

    After unlocking, the desktop literally floats on us, in general, the effects of manifestation and flooding in Android are everywhere, so for those who are used to Apple everything will be natural. Unlike an apple-phone, you can bring out not only program icons, but also various widgets and folders to the desktop, and arrange screens as you like. There are only five screens on the desktop (I’ll say that there are many third-party desktops that can “emulate” the iPhone interface or something else).

    When you click on the menu button, we bring to the menu with the programs so dear to me since the days of Windows Mobile, all the programs that we have installed are collected. When scrolling, they fly away into the distance like in star warriors :)

    An Android, like an iPhone, displays program messages, only does this in a special area that can be moved apart by swiping your finger from top to bottom along the taxbar at the top of the screen. This in my opinion is more convenient than the ever-disturbing popup.

    The phone’s settings are divided into groups just like on the iPhone:

    I also had a convenient utility from Acer that brought together the most popular settings together, MySettings also displayed very popular actions in the form of translucent icons.

    By the way, localization changes in the same settings, by default the system is already multilingual. In general, many complained about the keyboard, and so I had no problems with it, the standard keyboard successfully understood the Russian language and even adequately suggested word variants. In general, I did not feel much difference with Apple.

    I really liked after a long sitting on Apple that you can freely choose a desktop wallpaper? not just lockscreen.

    And especially such a feature of Eclair as Animated "live" wallpaper. These are essentially programmed visualization modules, to the reception of an oscilloscope that shows the current music that is playing in the player, or the effect of circles on the water when touched, looks very nice.

    Applications in the device are put in two ways from the Android Market or as in the old WM good from a memory card. In general, unlike the iPhone, I did not need to install any utilities in order to drop music, documents or videos onto my phone, everything is native - you plug in and see a USB flash drive. finally, you don’t need any monstrous and slowed down iTunes, long synchronization, adding to playlists and other dances with a tambourine. Connected - copied - listened!

    It’s worth mentioning separately about the Android Market, I liked the speed of work, a lot of applications, unfortunately so far only free, and therefore often Lite versions, the most important feature is multitasking, which manifests itself even here. You can safely select several applications and they are a miracle! will be downloaded in the background without throwing you out of the application as it was with the AppStore.

    Another convenient thing is the download history and checking for updates. Entering one screen, I immediately see what I have, what I downloaded and what programs have been updated.

    Software, software, software

    One of the strengths of the iPhone for me was convenient programs with a convenient interface that performed all the functions I needed. As in this regard, it is on Android below.

    Photo album
    The standard program is simply indescribable with beauty, here you can see the background change a la Ambilight on Philips TVs, the animation of stacking and changing the position in space by tilting. In general, you need to see this! Standard apple gllera cannot be compared. Both photos and videos are displayed, plus albums from Google Picasa are uploaded.

    Another nice little thing is that any photo can be shared with the world or friends, easily and in many ways.

    post office
    Mail is an extremely important and vital thing in work. I have several accounts on my corporate Exchnage server and mail on Gmail, a long-standing dream was to receive it on one phone, using all the capabilities of Push and Exchnage synchronization.

    Thanks to dancing with a tambourine, I succeeded on the iPhone, I set up only one Exchnage account (more than a mobile phone doesn’t allow it) and Google mail via IMAP, but from time to time there were some reception problems. As it turned out, the iPhone did not understand the expired SSL certificate well and, on failure, stopped working with corporate mail.

    At Liquid, everything was simple and elementary. I set up two drawersExchange specifying only the username, password and address of the mail domain and most importantly! there is a checkmark Accept expired certificates. There were no problems with Gmail. And most importantly, everything worked in Push mode from the server.

    The mail interface is familiar to many Gmail client for mobile devices. Nothing particularly outstanding but everything is in place.

    All attachments in the letter are located at the end and can be easily downloaded or opened.

    Electronic books
    There are many readers of various types and formats in the market, I settled on FBReader. Convenient with a simple and intuitive interface, understands the FB2 and txt formats, including in archives. Sorts books in the library, searches for them on a memory card, there is a day-night mode and many other options. In general, a practical and functional thing, something that reminded me of readers with Win Mobile.

    Documents MS Office and Google Docs
    To view documents in Office and PDF formats, Acer developers included a lightweight version of Document to Go in the firmware that perfectly copes with its viewer tasks, those who wish can upgrade it to the full version and get editing functions.

    I also use the convenient Gdoc utility which allows me to edit and view documents from my online repository in Google Docs, but this I occasionally lacked for Apple.

    Skype, ICQ, Gtalk, Twitter, VKontakte
    Under Android, many programs have been written that perform the functionality of connectors to social networks. networks and instant messaging networks and microblogging. I chose for myself the familiar Nimbuzz combine for an iPhone that more than covers my need for ICQ, Skype (including calls). As a Twitter client I use Seesmic. There is also a Vkontakte program.

    But most importantly, all this can simultaneously work in the background and send notifications of new messages.

    With this Liquid is all right; there is Wifi, 3G, EDGE. And a very convenient and fast browser.
    In general, the impressions of the work remained no worse than Apple.

    Alarm clock
    Here, the functional standard is simple and convenient.

    Navigation and maps The
    integrated version of Google Maps, unlike the iPhone version, is pleased with such additional options as Latitude, Direction indicator (thanks to the electronic compass), Google Buzz layers, Public transport layers and features from Google Labs. By the way, for those who need traffic jams, there are Yandex.Maps, you can also find such a useful thing as a metro map with the calculation of the Ru path. Metro

    Music The
    built-in player does not show such beauties in design as on an iPhone, but it copes with its tasks. The only negative is the lack of an equalizer. But by default, the sound on Liquid is clean, saturated and loud, which cannot but rejoice.
    There are many third-party applications in the market, but I was quite happy with the standard one, especially since he understood the headset key perfectly and worked perfectly with my stereo Bluetooth.

    Here the google phone turned out to be on top, everything is searched, everywhere and immediately, the search is very fast and convenient. And contacts and letters and music and much more.

    I have not had such convenient work with contacts for a long time, here is the ability to store them on the phone, in your Google account or on the Exchange server. And the choice of types of synchronization and the output in the list indicating where the contact lies and filtering by groups, uploading contact photo from the server. Personally, I store personal contacts in Google, and corporate contacts in Exchange and I always have access to them from online, the ability to recover in the event of a phone loss. The output of the contact list is also convenient, and each contact, unlike the iphone, is accompanied by a miniature.

    Phone, call lists and SMS
    The telephone part is logical and beautiful, in the case and nothing more. It is possible to sort the list of calls by missed and other calls. SMS on functions is standard and similar to that of iPhone.

    The standard camera program can work in photo and video mode. The settings are more than enough, everything is logically sorted. You can crop, rotate or send a photo right after shooting. Autofocus works fine, pictures are more than acceptable, especially considering the 5MPx resolution, which the iPhone is so far away. And the presence of a snap button allows you to quickly start shooting, something that I often missed on an iPhone.

    You Tube and Video The
    built-in youtube player is no different from that of the Iphone, except that there are more options for managing your account and the ability to directly upload the video online.

    Work with content on the map
    That's what I categorically lacked on the iPhone, so it's free work with content! By default, Android does not have file managers installed, but you can say many programs from the Market, I settled on Astro Filemanager.

    Now I can freely move any files on the map, rename and delete them. Thanks to the built-in manager, it is easy to backup installed applications, which are then stored as APK installation files on the map, and not in an unknown folder on the computer in iTunes.

    And if I want, I can just send the file to a friend by mail or bluetooth, and not throw a link with the words download. And in order to download the book, you do not need to raise the wifi ftp server and refine your download via the browser.


    So, switching to Liquid, I got things that I lacked on the iPhone

    + a flexible interface
    + free access to content
    + advanced mail options
    + synchronization of contacts with multiple sources
    + the ability to exchange applications
    + more powerful hardware
    + calendar synchronization
    + the ability to change batteries
    + multitasking

    Of the minuses compared to the iPhone, it is worth noting

    - not a prestigious brand
    - a thicker body
    - lack of accessories
    - while fewer applications and games

    Eclair 2.1 Video Interface for Liquid

    Ps In general, I was more than pleased with the transition and even persuaded a friend to change his WM communicator to a google phone, showing all the chips of my Liquid.

    UPD. Uploaded Acer Liquid 2.1 video with Eclair firmware + custom keyboard and wallpaper from HTC

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