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As the DX900 we looked at last week was pretty much just a rebranded version of a Glofiish phone that had previously been on the market, the F900 is really Acer's first handset that has been built in-house from the ground up. For a first attempt at a smartphone it's an impressive effort, but it's not without its faults, although given its competitive price many of these can be overlooked.
It's obvious from the moment you take the F900 out of the box that the handset has been heavily influenced by the design of HTC's Touch HD. The dimensions of the two are almost identical, the front of both handsets are dominated by a large 3.8in, high resolution, resistive touchscreen and both share the same all black glossy finish. As with the Touch HD, the F900 also has a row of four touch buttons perched beneath the display (call/answer, home, back and call end), but whereas the HTC handset only has two physical buttons (the on/off button and the volume rocker switch) the F900 adds a third to control the camera.
Another welcome addition is the easily accessible microSD card on the right hand edge of the phone. This is much better placed than the slot on the Touch, which is tucked away under the battery cover. However, the F900 does lack a dedicated headphone jack, leaving you to rely on the mini USB port that's awkwardly mounted on the left hand edge ready to snag in your pocket when you've got the supplied stereo headset attached.
One area where the F900 really does excel is its screen. This is not just because it's large and bright, but also because it has a high resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The extra pixels make it excellent for viewing web pages, as you don't have to perform as much scrolling around as you do on other handsets with lower res screens such as the iPhone. Videos also looked top-class as it delivers smooth motion and vivid colours. However, one negative is that it doesn't seem to be quite as accurate as similar high-res screens on devices like the Touch Diamond2. Every now and again, we had to tap two or three times on buttons or check boxes to get them to register.