The Acer Stream is a Google Android 2.1 smartphone with a 3.7in screen, a 5Mp camera and solid battery life. Here's our review.
Acer has a wide range of Android smartphones, split into four main series. There's the Liquid range, comprising four models; the Betouch range of seven; the Neotouch range with its three handsets; and Stream, consisting of just one smartphone, the Acer Stream we have here.
The Acer Stream certainly looks a little more upmarket than its cheaper companions. It has a tidy construction in metal-effect plastic that appears relatively high quality. This looks smart at first, but be warned that the gunmetal paint is liable to chip and wear off in everyday use. The back is a tough rubberised plate, with a cover that slides off to reveal the removable battery and slots for SIM and microSD.
The Acer Stream's main screen is the Amoled type, quite colourful but not as sharp as an Apple iPhone.
Two connection ports are offered under a rubber bung on the Acer Stream's left edge - microUSB for charging and data connections, and a mini HDMI.
Most intriguing are a line of three real buttons on the Acer Stream's front face, below the screen. These have somewhat cryptic arrows and line inscribed. But they didn't seem to do much. Consulting the manual, they're billed as media control buttons, to control rewind, play/pause and fast forward. We tried them on a video but they didn't do anything.
The power/standby switch is top left side - fairly easy to press without call for fingernails. Below this are volume up and down keys.
On the bottom right corner of the Acer Stream is a similar switch to activate the camera. This was tricky to operate, as there was no tactile feedback to indicate when you'd pressed it successfully. Often the only way you'd know if a picture had been shot is when, a few seconds later, the image would appear on the screen in place of the live view. Stills were underexposed and not as good as we'd hope for a 5Mp camera.
Equipped with Android 2.1, the Acer Stream is somewhat behind the curve in Android land. So there's no attempt to render Adobe Flash content, for instance. We noticed that at least one key feature was absent, namely the option for internet tethering to a nearby laptop over Wi-Fi.
To unlock the screen, there's a neat corner-roll effect, with the lower left corner showing an animated curled page you must swipe up to unlock.
Interface has constant apps in two rows at bottom of the home screen. Swiping upwards brings up the rest of the installed apps, with the constant apps staying at the top of the screen when you swipe sideways.
If you swipe downwards on the home screen, you can browse Cover Flow-style through recent apps and pages. Screen animations were ambitious but a little jerky and amateurish-feeling.
Battery life was quite good at around three days in standby, up to two days with intermittent calls and online usage.
Next page: Our expert verdict >>