The Liquid mt certainly isn't the thinnest or sleekest Android phone around, but it is unquestionably a big step up for Acer, and may just even be capable of turning a few heads. As the name suggests, the phone is largely enclosed in metal, including some shiny chrome around the edges and a stainless steel back that's been given the appearance of carbon fiber. It slides up to reveal the battery, SIM card and microSD card slot -- the latter of which is blocked by the battery, which can be a slight inconvenience but seems to be an increasingly common occurrence.
On the front of the phone you'll find four capacitive touch buttons that keep things as minimal as possible, along with a 3.6-inch display that boasts a standard 800 x 480 resolution. The glass on top of the display is also slightly curved, which unfortunately allows for a bit more glare than the screen would presumably have otherwise. Visibility proved to be even worse outdoors, where we sometimes struggled to see anything on the phone in particularly harsh lighting conditions.
The screen itself is otherwise decent, although we noticed that the color temperature leaned considerably towards the cool side of the spectrum. It's not to the point of being distracting when you're actually using the phone, but it is certainly noticeable when compared to other devices. Both the front and back of the phone are also unsurprisingly something of a fingerprint magnet and, as you can see, the phone is also somewhat bigger than it had to be given the screen size, although it's certainly still more pocketable than most jumbo phones. On the whole, however, the phone is solidly built and looks good even next to some higher-end phones, which is no small feat.
Performance-wise, the phone is... decent. It packs the same 800MHz Qualcomm msm7230 processor found in the likes of the T-Mobile G2
and managed to score around the 1100 mark in our Quadrant tests (that's in unmodified HTC Evo 4G
territory), but the phone just felt a bit more sluggish than we would have liked in general use. In fact, navigating around Android proved to be noticeably less snappy than something like the LG Optimus One
(and its various iterations
), which only has a 600MHz processor. That sluggishness was prevalent when using both Acer's "Breeze" Android skin or stock Froyo (more on that later), though stock did fare ever so slightly better.
Battery life is also solid but unremarkable. It'll easily handle a day of average use, but you'll likely run into trouble if you leave the next day without remembering to charge it. One other nice little touch is a hidden status display at the top of the phone, which shows the phone's charging status when plugged in, and flashing icon when you have new email -- something that we wouldn't mind seeing on more phones.
As for call quality, it's decent as well, although we found the volume to be a tad low for our tastes -- folks we talked to didn't seem to have any trouble hearing us, though. The Liquid mt is also actually Rogers' first phone to support 14.4Mbps HSDPA, although we unfortunately weren't in an area where we could test those speeds.
Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to say about the Liquid mt's 5 megapixel camera (with an LED flash). You'll get some decent enough stills and video outdoors under ideal conditions, but just about any other situation will likely leave you wishing your brought a point-and-shoot along as well. Even in the best conditions, however, we found our shots to be excessively sharpened (see a 100% crop here
), and the colors were generally just a bit off in most every situation, and occasionally a lot off. Check out the gallery below for a general idea of what it's capable of.