The Acer Liquid Metal is a good-looking Google Android 2.2 'Froyo' handset. It features a curved design and a metal accent on the back but, oddly, has a plastic backplate. It's chunkier than some smartphones at 14mm thick and weighs a middling 135g but fits comfortably in the palm of the hand.
The Acer Liquid Metal's 3.6in, 480x800-pixel touchscreen is responsive to even a light touch. Haptic feedback notified us that our commands had been registered. Four touch-sensitive buttons on the front take you to the home screen, go backward, access the menu and launch the Google Chrome web browser. As with all such smartphones, the built-in accelerometer reorientates the screen so you can use it in landscape mode and tap out emails and text messages on the larger onscreen keyboard.
Powered by a modest 800MHz Qualcomm processor and 512MB of RAM, the Acer Liquid Metal was fast to open and load apps and to switch between different tasks. We were impressed by how well it handled Flash - sites with embedded Flash video content displayed well on the Liquid Metal. We found it easy to surf the web; pinch-to-zoom meant it was easy to read text-heavy sites.
The handset also features a 5Mp camera. With a little help from smile and face detection technology, taking clear and sharp and shots is easy. MicroSD cards up to 32GB are supported.
Business apps include Documents to Go, but Acer confuses things by including a more consumer-oriented SocialJogger which combines Facebook and Twitter feeds on your homescreen, and urFooz, which lets you create a virtual 'look-a-like' complete with profile details and bookmarks, to post to your social networks.
As with the HTC Desire HD, the music player is enhanced by support for Dolby Mobile. We also love the fact that you can shake the handset to mute alarms or switch tracks when listening to the music player. Battery life is a solid 8 hours, with a claimed 9 days on standby.
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