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Acer beTouch E400 review

Barry de la Rosa
24 Jul 2010
Acer beTouch E400
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
234
inc VAT

It's relatively cheap for an Android 2.1 handset, but the resistive screen and 600MHz processor mean that it's not as responsive to use as we'd have liked

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Specifications

Android 2.1, 3.2in 320x480 display

Acer's new beTouch E400 is slim and elegant Android phone with a 3.2in touchscreen. It has touch-sensitive buttons below the screen, which makes the entire fascia a flat, glossy surface. Acer kindly includes a plastic screen protector in the box, along with three different-coloured backplates for you to choose from: black, white or burgundy red.

Acer has installed Android 2.1 and added a few tweaks and apps of its own. The most useful of these is a copy of Documents To Go which lets you view Word, Powerpoint and Excel documents and can be upgraded to allow editing. Acer has added its own Sync software, and included a CD with the PC version of the software.

There's also a copy of Twidroid, a well known Twitter client, a music streaming app called Spinlets, and the NemoPlayer media player. The latter will address the concerns of those who find Android's built-in media player too basic, while Spinlets is more of a music discovery app, letting you sample music from artists arranged by genre.

As well as apps, Acer has included some widgets for the home screen, including a clever media app that displays photos, video or albums in a spinning carousel. There isn't much in the way of social aggregation - once again we found that Android's integration of Facebook accounts doesn't work, and for some reason the phone didn't import all our Google contacts. It does however import photos from Picasa, something we haven't seen on other Android 2.1 devices.

The screen is a resistive touchscreen, which means it relies on pressure rather than the touch of skin. It's not the most responsive we've used, and certainly not as responsive as a capacitive touchscreen. In addition, the 600MHz processor isn't as snappy as other phones we've reviewed, but we didn't notice any major slow-downs.

We were impressed by the svelte good looks of the E400, and the choice of colours out of the box will appeal to the style-conscious. At £234 SIM-free it's relatively cheap for an unlocked handset, but it's a shame it's not available on contract. With Android 2.1, you can run the latest apps, but the resistive touchscreen and 600MHz processor mean that it's not as responsive as it could be. Samsung's Galaxy Portal has a better screen and is much snappier.

Details

Price£234
Rating****

Hardware

Main display size3.2in
Native resolution320x480
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels3.2-megapixel
Video recording formatMP4, 3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, USB, WiFi
GPSyes
Internal memory256MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Memory card included2048MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless dataEDGE, UMTS
Size115x59x12mm
Weight125g

Features

Operating systemAndroid 2.1
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel/PowerPoint viewers
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportMP3, AAC, eAAC+, WMA
Video playback formatsMP4, 3GP, H.264, WMV
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserWebkit
Accessoriesheadset, data cable, charger, 3x backplate, pouch
Talk time5 hours
Standby time16.7 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)14h 51m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£234
Price on contractN/A
SIM-free supplierwww.handtec.co.uk
Contract/prepay supplierN/A
Detailswww.acer.co.uk

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