Unfortunately, the E130 doesn’t feel particularly fast in use. This is perhaps not surprising as it uses an ST Ericsson processor that’s clocked at 416MHz, which is rather slow in comparison even to cheaper handsets such as the ZTE Racer, which is built around a faster 600MHz Qualcomm chip.
Another issue with the handset is its small 2.6in screen. Unlike the screens used on most BlackBerry devices, it is enabled for touch input, but unfortunately it’s a resistive rather than capacitive display so it doesn’t support multi-touch gestures like pinch to zoom. In addition, its small size combined with its limited resolution of 320 x 240 pixels means that the Android OS feels rather cramped and as a result, it ends up being a lot fiddlier to use. Browsing web pages is especially awkward, for example, as you have to do a huge amount of scrolling around due to the lack of screen real estate.
This is a shame, as the handset’s keyboard is excellent. It uses bubble style keys that protrude outwards towards you and create a reasonably large surface area to press on with your fingers or thumbs. The keys respond to being pressed with a satisfying click, so you get a decent amount of tactile feedback even when you’re tapping away at speed. The layout is good, too, with commonly used punctuation marks, such as the full stop and comma, positioned on dedicated keys.
The E130 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to connectivity either, especially considering its relatively low price tag. It supports HSDPA at speeds of up to 3.6Mbps, along with Wireless G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR. Naturally, there’s also GPS onboard, which you can use with the beta version of Google Navigation to get turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
On the storage front, Acer has provided 512MB of ROM onboard, but you can supplement this with inexpensive microSD cards thanks to the phone’s memory card slot. However, this is rather awkwardly placed under the battery cover, but at least you don’t actually have to take the battery out when you’re swapping cards.
The handset isn’t a bad performer when it comes to media. It has a standard headphone jack at the top, so although the supplied headphones are pretty poor you can easily swap them for your own cans. If you do, you’ll find that the E130’s audio is surprisingly punchy. Another bonus is that the handset has an FM tuner built-in so you can switch to radio when you’re bored of your own selection of tunes.