As much as its form factor may invite ridicule, we found ourselves falling in like with the Acer Iconia Smart remarkably quickly. Its touchscreen is highly responsive, the screen’s very high-quality – and pixel density is good too. And while it’s a bit unwieldy, it shouldn’t have too much trouble fitting into most pockets. We didn’t try this on the show floor, for fear of being chucked out by security.
Its features roster is decent too. The main interface elements – extra shortcuts row aside – are standard, with a petite row of soft keys sitting below the screen itself, but there’s a micro HDMI slot sitting next to the microUSB on its side (both covered by a little rubber bung), the camera has a flash and Dolby audio is built-in.
Of course, the all-important question of how much it’ll cost in the UK – if it ever gets here – is something we don’t know. We did ask Acer for a UK release date, but came away empty-handed. That said, it’s something we can understand. Without support from all the main carriers that most other Android phone makers benefit from, even more conservative, affordable Acer Androids have their work cut out for them, commercially.
Part of our little crush on the Acer Iconia Smart is, naturally, that it’s something different in market where there’s often little to differentiate the key players, let alone the mid-range and budget brigade. We don’t hold much stock in the idea that a 21:9 aspect ratio is a useful tool for mobile movie-watching (a mobile phone really isn’t a portable cinema), but for reading websites and giving even more room for your fingers to type away, in landscape orientation, it brings something new. Or at least unusual.
We’ll be back with a full look at the Acer Iconia Smart if – fingers crossed – it makes it to the UK market.