Acer Liquid e, beTouch E110 / E400, and neoTouch P300 / P400 hands-on

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|02.17.10

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Acer Liquid e, beTouch E110 / E400, and neoTouch P300 / P400 hands-on
Acer took MWC rather seriously this year with no fewer than five phone intros to its name spanning the range from Android to Windows Mobile 6.5.3, so we went ahead and put our hands on all of them today. Starting at the bottom of the range, the lowly beTouch E110 is obviously designed to compete head-to-head with the likes of the HTC Tattoo -- in fact, it apes the Tattoo's design pretty closely in some respects. Unlike Acer's higher-end Android phones, the E110 uses a custom skin that seems pretty well-suited for its QVGA resolution, and it's still managing 3.6Mbps HSDPA in your choice of 900 / 2100 and 850 / 1900 flavors for different areas of the world. It feels as cheap as it looks, but as long as it's priced appropriately, we still think it's a reasonable way to get new audiences on the smartphone bandwagon.

Follow the break for more impressions, shots, and video!

Moving up the range a bit, we've got the neoTouch P400 and beTouch E400. What makes these phones fascinating is that they're identical -- the only perceptible difference is that one runs Android while the other runs WinMo 6.5.3. It's the first time we've seen a manufacturer so totally share hardware ID between operating systems, and we don't see any reason why it shouldn't happen more often -- especially now that we've got Windows Phone 7 Series in the pipeline and users are more likely than ever to say "if only this ran [some other operating system], I'd buy it."
At the top of the line is the Liquid e, Acer's warmed-over Liquid with Eclair swapped in place of Donut. There's not a lot to say about this phone, really -- if you liked the Liquid, you're guaranteed to like the Liquid e even more (unless you hate Android 2.1 for some curious reason). Though it continues to run underclocked from its 1GHz maximum, we think we have a feel for why Acer did this -- the phone's bone-stock UI is quite speedy already, so the battery consumption saving probably seemed well worth it.
The black sheep of the bunch would have to be the neoTouch P300 on account of its slide-out QWERTY keyboard -- the only phone here to have such a thing. We came away with the impression that it's a solid low- to midrange WinMo 6.5.3 device, but also with the realization that it's not enough anymore to simply be "solid" -- you've got to have an angle, something to catch a customer's eye, something to add mystique to the product and the brand (like the HTC HD mini's yellow internals, for instance). The P300 doesn't stand out in any way, so we're thinking it'll be pretty tough to draw attention to it unless a carrier deal falls into Acer's lap.
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