Acer neoTouch review
We review the Acer neoTouch, a neatly designed handset that does more than enough to convert us to Windows 6.5
After buying maker of smartphones Glofiish last year, Acer brought out a few rebranded Glofiish models before settling down to bring out own-designed kit.
The results have been a bit hit and miss so far, and the latest tranche to hit the streets, of four Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones, seems to suffer a similar fate. By far the best of the bunch we’ve seen so far is the neoTouch.
It is a neatly designed piece of kit, and it is brimming with features. The black outer shell has that kind of shiny finish that attracts fingerprints and the back of the casing suffers in this respect.
But the front is dominated by the screen so fingerprints aren’t a problem. Beneath the screen there are four touch-sensitive buttons that fade into the background until you press one of them at which point a white backlight marks them out. Call, End, Home and Back functions are provided by these buttons.
Side buttons are kept to a minimum. They sit on a silver strip that runs around the edge of the casing. There is a shortcut to the camera on the right side as well as a volume rocker and reset slot (push the end of a safety pin in here to do a reset).
The right edge just houses the main on/off button. On the bottom is the miniUSB port that lets you charge the battery and connect to a PC. On top, right where it should be for best ergonomics, is a 3.5mm headset jack. The top also houses a stylus.
Now, the presence of a stylus might cause a little intake of breath. A truly functional touchscreened smartphone should not need a stylus. Rest easy, though. For a lot of the time you won’t need it.
The screen of the neoTouch measures a generous 3.8-inches across diagonal corners. It delivers 480 x 800 pixels and it is nice and sharp.
The screen size means that you don’t really need the stylus even when deep into Windows Mobile 6.5 applications and menus. The all important function of tapping out SMS messages and emails can be accomplished using on-screen Qwerty keyboards which in both tall and wide format are large enough for accurate use with fingertips.
The accelerometer switches the keyboard between wide and tall formats as you turn the phone in your hand. Suffice it to say we managed without the stylus throughout testing.
If we have a beef about the screen it is that it is resistive and therefore does not support multi-touch. That means some actions are a bit irritating to complete. One such is zooming in the Web browser which requires using an on-screen slider.
You zoom into the centre of the page rather than the bit you actually want to see, so there’s often the need for a bit of fingerpanning post-zoom.
The ‘must have’ processor of the moment, Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon takes the honours as the headline feature as far as technical specifications are concerned. The processor ensures the neoTouch jogs along very nicely.
There is 512MB of ROM and 256MB of RAM. Our review sample reported 270MB of free storage and you can augment that with microSD cards. You have to remove the backplate to get to the slot.