Acer have made a few nice looking phones recently, the other week we looked at the dual SIM equipped Liquid Gallant Duo and I was very impressed overall. So when I found out they were going to send us their flagship device the Cloud Mobile I was a little excited. As usual when I get a device I am going to quickly run through my initial impressions and then bring you the full review in a couple of weeks time. First up are my good and bad points
- Onscreen softkeys
- Really smooth feel to everything
- Nicely arranged internal memory
- MicroSD slot
- Removable battery
- Vanilla Android with some nice tweaks
- Great camera
- Decent speaker
- Dolby Digital sound is great
- High screen dpi
- small size may put some people off
- Slightly plasticky feel to it
- 1460 mAh battery
The Acer Cloud Mobile won an award you know? For it’s design and looks. I can’t quite see it myself but the device is nice looking, but not really award winning.
The backplate is always one of the things that makes or breaks a product and here the backplate doesn’t disappoint. It has a dimpled soft touch which is pleasant to hold, the camera, the “Dolby” branded speaker and the noise cancelling microphone are the only parts breaking through the rear.
One thing I tend to worry about with a phone is the power button placement, manufacturers either seem to place the power button somewhere along the top or on the right hand edge. The Cloud Mobile has a nice pronounced power button on the top left edge, which is normally a little awkward for a leftie like me to use but it’s large enough to live with.
The rest of the device has a volume rocker on the right, a strangely placed micro usb on the left and that’s about it.
The screen has a small bezel surrounding around the outside so the overall size isn’t massive. As the device has on screen soft keys the front of the device is uninterrupted. Above the screen you get the front camera and the sensors.
Here are some photos of the Cloud Mobile:
The Acer Cloud Mobile has an impressive spec, reminiscent of the HTC One S.
Here are the specs:
- Dimensions – 127 x 65.8 x 9.9 mm
- Weight – 122g
- Display – IPS LCD 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.3 inches (342 ppi pixel density)
- MicroSD slot up to 32 GB
- Internal Memory – 8 GB, 1 GB RAM
- Bluetooth – V4.0 with A2DP
- Rear Camera – 8MP autofocus, LED flash
- Front Camera – HD
- Android 4.0.4
- CPU – Qualcomm MSM8260A Snapdragon Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait
- GPU – Adreno 225
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Battery – Li-Ion 1460 mAh
The headline grabbing part is the IPS LCD 1280×720 screen with zero air gap. It makes an incredibly sharp and clear screen. Viewing angles are great and colours are impressive. Being only 4.3″ the dpi of the screen is higher than any of the current competition. Another great feature is the Qualcomm S4 dual core CPU running at 1.6ghz along with the 1GB of RAM it means everything flies by. A few benchmarks on the Cloud Mobile put it up with the HTC One X and the Transformer Prime.
The Cloud Mobile runs Ice Cream Sandwich which means you are going to be fairly up to date. No word about Jelly Bean yet. Acer have created a launcher that has a vanilla Android look and adds a few clocks and weather widgets, a nice customisable lockscreen and a modified notification area. Acer have done a great job with the software and I keep coming across little tweaks that make life easier. The Dolby Digital sound stuff is built in and is basically a graphic equalizer, but when turned on it really improves the quality of music and video. Acer have included the Swype keyboard so your typing needs will be met. Not that I can use it, I quickly installed SwiftKey. Chrome and Google Play Music are both included alongside the normal apps, so synced bookmarks and Cloud Music are easy to set up. Talking of Cloud apps Acer have included a selection of Acer Cloud apps, I’ll cover them in the next section.
The 8mp camera is great, there isn’t any lag between pressing the on screen button and the photo being taken. Acer have also included a load of tweaks to the camera app such as filters, burst mode, HDR mode. I will do a complete camera walkthrough in the full review.
The whole Acer Cloud thing is really pushed as the main reason behind this device, yet downloading and installing it on a non Acer Windows PC is anything but easy. At the time of writing this I hadn’t managed to get the Acer Cloud apps to recognise my new Acer ID. Hopefully I will get this sorted in time for the full review. I’ll stick to Dropbox in the meantime.
My initial conclusion is that the Acer S500 Cloud Mobile is a great phone, the screen, the technology behind the screen, the cpu, the sound quality and the software tweaks Acer have made to Ice Cream Sandwich truly make it a great phone. The price is decent as well, retailing around £300 at the moment.
The few bad points are the battery, at 1460mAh it is going to leave you having to charge up at some point during the day. I have only had the Cloud Mobile for a few days so far so I can’t really comment on quite how long it will last.
Another possible bad point is the grey area that is the Acer upgrade process. Will the S500 ever get Jelly Bean? Acer have committed to upgrade some of their tablets so lets just hope they upgrade their flagship phone.
I will be publishing the full review in a few weeks time, once I have had a good play with all of the features and hopefully managed to get my Acer ID recognised on some of my other devices to try out the Acer Cloud suite. If you have any questions or things you’d like to be tested with the S500 cloud Mobile then let us know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to deal with them.