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Acer DX900 - Acer DX900

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

Like most of the current crop of Windows Mobile 6.1 based smartphones, the DX900 tries to hide some of WinMo's interface deficiencies by adding a more user-friendly interface over the top. Acer has gone for the Spb Mobile Shell, although it's used the older v2.1, rather than the newest V3.0 version of the software. This is pretty much the same interface used on the O2 XDA Zest. We liked it on the Zest and we like it here too because the simple, grid-based menus and minimal graphical animations make it feel very fast and responsive to use.

However, as with all Windows mobiles when you drop back to the standard WinMo interface, the fiddly buttons and fussy menus come as a bit of a shock. That said, you do get the benefits of the Office Mobile bundle of apps for editing documents on the go and also support for multi-tasking - something which Apple hasn't managed to properly implement yet.

The DX900 is built around a Samsung 533 MHz processor, paired with 128MB of RAM. It's not the fastest handset on the block, but it's performance is more than good enough to handle most day to day tasks like emailing, music listening or video watching, although memory can get a bit tight at times. Storage space is also a bit limited at 256MB, but at least you can add extra storage via the side mounted microSD card slot.

As with most of today's smartphones the handset also has built-in GPS. There's no navigation software provided, but the GPS worked great with the free Google Maps app. It was quick to lock on to satellites from a cold start and managed to hold on to them pretty well even in heavily built up areas. Connectivity is pretty good too with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth supported, and as mentioned already there's also HSDPA support for when you need web access when you're on the move.

Call quality is one of the handsets strong points. It holds on to weaker signals pretty well and the ear piece is one of the loudest we've come across, so in noisy environments like train stations it's easy to hold a conversation without saying ‘eh?' every 15 seconds.

Unfortunately on the battery front things aren't so rosy, in fact they're pretty dire. Despite the big, chunky battery the handset struggled to last for more than a day with medium usage of the core functions like taking calls and web browsing. That's very disappointing when most of the latest WinMo handsets are good for around two days. The camera is also a bit of a let down as it only has a 3.0 megapixel resolution, and despite the presence of auto-focus and an LED flash the shots it takes are a bit on the soft side and colour fidelity isn't wonderful.

Verdict

We love the DX900's dual SIM approach and really wish this idea was implemented on more phones. However, in other areas this handset doesn't fair so well. It's rather large and heavy by today's smartphone standards and the battery life is also a bit of a let down. The latter is especially disappointing as with better battery life it really could have been a useful option for those who need to juggle phones for work and personal use.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 7
  • Value 7
  • Features 8
  • Design 7
Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Mr B

July 8, 2009, 5:57 pm

Shrink this down to the size of an S740, give it a keyboard, and put in a bigger battery, and I'm buying!

Technology changes, and so sho

July 9, 2009, 2:23 am

It's got two SIMs in it and you're complaining that it's too large.


Why not demand that it has a full-sized SD card slot and complain that it isn't the size of a bleedin' pee?

Mr B

July 9, 2009, 4:29 pm

Because my comments were genuine.


The s740 is about the biggest sized phone that will fit comfortably in your pocket.


A device like this really does need a keybaord to make it fully functional.


Less than a day's use on a battery means lugging a power adapter around, which defeats the point in having a multifunction device!





So keep your pointless comments to yourself, and let those post with sensible suggestions!

Technology changes, and so sho

July 9, 2009, 8:17 pm

*sigh*


The comment was made to you _and_ to the reviewer (and to the many others who would agree with the size sentiment), so don't take it so personally.


Nevertheless, my comment stands on its merits.


Everything you've requested has an impact on the size of the device.


People seem to forget how large SIM cards are compared to the overall product, and you have to be able to remove them at will. Keyboards need to be a certain size to be ergonomic. Batteries with high enough energy densities consume a well-defined volume and weight. Loudspeakers need cavities otherwise they don't tend to be very loud.


This isn't just phones, but also laptops, flat TVs, cars, you name it.





No doubt it should run at 1GHz but not get hot, have a decent camera without a huge lens and run a hugely capable - multi-tasking - OS without crashing ever and with absolutely no security holes and no need for updates with no impact on battery life no matter how many applications are running.





I've little doubt the comments are genuine in that they were honest and sincere, but my comments are genuine in that they are based in fact.

William

January 14, 2010, 2:11 am

Hi, I know this post is a little late for the review, but does anyone know of a good quality dual sim phone that costs little less than this one?





Will

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