I have the chance to review the new Acer F900 smartphone recently. If you remember, I blog about their launch event couple of months back.
The Acer F900 is one of the 5 smartphone launched by Acer in April 09. The most distinctive feature of the F900 is the 3.8 inch WVGA touchscreen. There is no physical keyboard, therefore the phone is rather slim at 11.75 x 6.35 x 1.285 cm and weighs 150g. Comes with the usual HSPDA, WIFI, Bluetooth and GPS. 3.2 megapixel camera with auto focus. Total 256 MB Flash memory for OS/embedded apps and 128 MB SDRAM for user applications and storage. You can extend it by inserting a microSD card. 1 thing I don’t like about the Acer F900 hardware is that it is still using Mini-USB port for data transfer and charging when most phones are moving towards using Micro-USB instead.
The Acer F900 is running on Window Mobile 6.1. Personally, I’m not a fan of the original Window Mobile interface. I’m sure I’m not alone because a lot of phone makers are creating their own user interface to run on top of Window Mobile. Acer is no exception. The Acer F900 comes with Acer Shell v2.0.
At first look, the Acer Shell looks pretty impressive. There are 3 “panels” that allows you to slide left or right. On each panel, you can place widgets on the table. There are widgets like Photo Frame, Contacts, CD, Calendar etc etc. You can add, remove or move the widgets anywhere you like on the “table”. There is even a window where you can see the weather forecast. You can swipe downward to access application shortcuts.
But after using the Acer Shell for some time, the novelty faded and I begin to ask myself if I really want a home screen that looks like a table with stationary on it. There aren’t a lot of widgets to choose from and I doubt Acer has open up the SDK for developers to create new ones yet. Daniel remarked that it reminds him of Microsoft Bob. I have to agree with him.
As a whole, the Acer F900 is a normal Window Mobile 6.1 with a large 3.8 inch scren. I’m personally not a huge fan of the Acer Shell. But that is just me. But if you don’t like the Acer Shell, you can always unload it and use the orginal Window Mobile interface.
A large screen Window Mobile Smartphone with Acer Shell
Large 3.8 inch scren.
Acer Shell 2.0
Thanks to Andrew from ICON and Acer for sending me the review unit.