Although not normally a name synonymous with smartphones, Acer has been active in the market since earlier this year and has big ambitions for becoming a global player with more handsets announced for the coming year. Initially launching a series of Windows Mobile smartphones in February, the company has announced that its first Android device is now on sale in the UK running Android 1.6. Known as the Acer Liquid A1, it is notable for being one of the first available Android smartphones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Acer's customized "Liquid" Android UI, and its slightly quirky styling with a black and white color scheme.
Other specifications are fairly standard with a 3.5-inch WVGA capacitive touch screen, 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM, b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, GPS, 5MP camera, support for microSD, and a 1350mAh battery for 300 minutes of talk time and 400 hours of standby. Network support includes quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band HSDPA/WCDMA. Although the Snapdragon processor is capable of speeds of 1GHz, Acer has underclocked the CPU in the Liquid A1 to 768MHz probably to extend the battery life.
Acer's "Liquid" Android UI is not a massive departure from the standard Android 1.6 interface compared to HTC's SenseUI and Sony Ericsson's upcoming Nexus UX platform, with only some minor design changes and customizations. But early impressions have noted the A1's speedy performance, making it one of the fastest Android handsets, at least until more Snapdragon-powered Android smartphones start showing up next year. The Acer Liquid A1 is available now at retailers eXpansys for £295.64 (US$480.10) and Clove Technology for £286 (US$464.45), both prices excluding tax.[Acer Liquid Blog via SlashGear]