Near field communication (NFC) is the buzzword of the day, and any high-end smartphone without is deemed to be less than adequate. But adoption rates in the lower three-fourths of the smartphone realm have been much slower. Acer is working to fix that, and has promised to include NFC in all of its smartphones from now on.
To kick it off, Acer has launched the Acer Liquid Express, a mid-range smartphone that is running Android Gingerbread, has a 5MP rear-facing camera, a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, a Qualcomm 800MHz 7227 processor, and of course, NFC.
The Liquid Express will be available for free from both T-Mobile and Orange in the UK with a two-year contract. T-Mobile’s plans for the Liquid Express start at £10.21 per month, and Orange’s plans start at £20.50 per month.
The phone is certainly a good deal for free, and the fact that Acer is committing to NFC is a really cool sign for the industry, but the real story here is Acer’s advertising campaign. The campaign is headlined by none other than Flash Lightning, Miss Connected, and Mister Invisible.
All three characters are a laugh, and their overly ridiculous, retro superhero style almost makes me want to buy the phone, if for no other reason than to help convince Acer to make more commercials featuring them.
Acer announced the Allegro Windows Phone earlier this month, but the Taiwanese manufacturer is back with more concrete information. The Acer Allegro will launch in Europe before the end of the year for €299 ($424 USD). This price, of course, is before carrier contract discounts.
The Allegro’s 3.6-inch screen will be powered by a 1GHz processor, and customers will have a choice between dark blue and white color schemes. It will also include 8GB of internal memory, a 5MP camera with auto-focus, and DLNA playback. The most interesting aspect of the device, however, is a unique fast charge feature exclusive not found on any other Windows Phone. With it, the Allegro will be able to recharge its battery two and a half times faster than normal.
It certainly isn’t the most powerful device on the market, but the Acer Allegro should be great for those who want to pick up a Windows Phone on the cheap.
It’s time to add another Windows Phone to the list of second generation devices. Acer announced on Monday that it plans to release its first Windows Phone–at least, its first publicly available Windows Phone–in Europe in the near future.
Details are scarce at the moment, but the Taiwanese manufacturer did reveal that the device will be dubbed the Acer Allegro and retail for 299 Euros or approximately $400 USD. Acer plans to position the Allegro as a low-budget smartphone, so we can only assume that this quoted price is before carrier contracts, which will significantly decrease the up-front cost of the phone.
Acer showed off another Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” handset, the Acer W4, at the IFA conference last month. The device will include a 3.6-inch WVGA screen, 1GHz processor, 5MP camera with flash and autofocus, and 8GB of internal storage. In fact, there’s a good chance that the Allegro might be a European version of the W4.
Whatever the case, it’s nice to see more Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” devices coming down the pike.
Microsoft announced on Thursday that it has signed yet another set of patent agreements. This time, with Acer and ViewSonic. As part of the deal, the Redmond software giant will receive undisclosed royalties from Acer and ViewSonic phones and tablets running Android or Chrome.
Google often touts Android’s price tag–or lack thereof–but Microsoft continues to assert that Android is not truly free. There are many hidden costs involved, thanks to the numerous patent infringements found in the Android platform. “We are pleased that Acer and ViewSonic are taking advantage of our industrywide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.
“Today’s two patent agreements make for six Microsoft patent deals in the last 75 days,” tweeted Brad Smith, Microsoft’s General Counsel. “It’s safe to predict more will follow this fall.” Smith, of course, was referring to Microsoft’s previous arrangements with General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, and Wilstron. Microsoft also has an agreement with HTC. The exact details of this agreement are unknown, but Android-based HTC devices reportedly earn Microsoft $5 per item sold.
The Acer W4 Windows Phone handset made a surprise appearance at the IFA conference in Berlin this week. The device was originally spotted on stage at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in mid-July, but the details were scarce. Thankfully, Germany’s largest electronics convention brought with it some concrete information.
Acer’s first Windows Phone will come with a 3.6-inch WVGA screen, 1GHz processor, 5MP camera with flash and autofocus, and 8GB of internal storage. The device’s internals are more akin to a first generation Windows Phone than a Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” handset. The specs aren’t bad, but it definitely isn’t a high-end smartphone. We’ve complained about how small 8GB of memory is on multiple occasions, so there’s not much more we can say other than we wish it was two or three times larger.
Acer is rumored to be working on another Mango handset, the M310. Fujitsu-Toshiba’s first device is already available in Japan, and HTC’s second generation phones–the TITAN and the Radar–are coming in October. More manufacturers will be announcing their new devices in the coming weeks.
Two new Windows Phone Mango handsets were spotted at Tech·Ed 2011 this week. The event, which was held in Auckland, New Zealand, included appearances from the Acer M310 and an untitled ASUS phone. Details on the latter handset are scare, but the former looks like it might include something new for Windows Phone: HDMI out.
The Acer M310, which appeared to be final hardware, sported a shiny black casing with beveled edges. Those who remember the Acer W4 from Computex this year will recognize the style. Prospective owners can look forward to 8GB of storage, DLNA over WiFi, and HDMI out.
The ASUS device went with the opposite look: a matte black finish with a front-facing camera. The hardware, however, didn’t appear to be final. It may have been an engineering sample running “non-final code.”
Windows Phone NZ has since redacted most of the details, but it’s exciting to learn any information we can get about the second generation of Windows Phone handsets.
Elbert Perez, an independent game developer for Windows Phone, ran across two new devices that were playing one of his games: the Acer M310 and the Nokia 800.
Perez’s app tracks the make and model of each device that plays his game, so one could make the logical conclusion that the handsets are already in production. While the devices are not publicly available, it is very likely that Acer and Nokia employees are testing the new hardware with popular games.
Both device manufacturers are currently working on new Windows Phone handsets, including the intriguing Nokia Sea Ray and the average Acer W4. It is possible that the Acer M310 and Nokia 800 are another name for the W4 and Sea Ray, respectively, but they are more than likely new devices.
Microsoft and its hardware partners have yet to provide any concrete details about the pricing and availability of the next generation of Windows Phones. The going rumor is that these devices will be released in September, so an announcement could be made at any point.
The next iPhone will be released in September, and Microsoft plans to have the second generation of Windows Phone handsets ready to compete with it. These devices will be the first to run Windows Phone 7.5, codenamed “Mango,” which was released to manufacturing on Tuesday.
Microsoft announced the first slate of Windows Phones in mid-October of last year, with handsets hitting Europe and the US over the following month. Many people believed that Microsoft would follow a similar schedule, so a September launch is much earlier than originally anticipated. Thankfully, it should allow Microsoft to go head to head with the competition this fall.
Microsoft showed off a few of its partners’ new Windows Phone handsets at the Worldwide Partner Conference on Tuesday. All four of the devices, from Acer, Fujitsu, Samsung, and ZTE, were running an early build of the Mango update, which is set for release this fall.
The new Samsung handset is widely expected to be the SGH-i937, the successor to the Samsung Focus. The device is very thin and light, something we should see across all Windows Phones. The device is expected to include a faster processor and longer battery life than first generation Windows Phones, but no specifics were given. Samsung is also rumored to be working on a second device, the GT-i8350.
Fujitsu’s debut Windows Phone device looks a bit like the concepts for Nokia’s upcoming phones. The waterproof magenta handset has a great camera and brings “a little bit of lightheartedness and life.”
Microsoft did not have much to say about the Acer handset, but it is the first Windows Phone from the company. The fifth largest manufacturer in the phone space, ZTE, is also jumping on the Windows Phone bandwagon.
These devices are expected to hit stores this fall alongside the Mango update.
According to Chinese blog zol.com.cn, Acer unveiled their first Windows Phone at Computex 2011 this week. The device, dubbed the Acer W4, was on display at the show. Unfortunately, the specs aren’t much different from current generation devices.
The beautiful Nokia Lumia 900 is manufactured from a single-piece injection-molded polycarbonate shell and features a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack Display (CBD), 1.4GHz processor, 16GB of internal memory, 512MB of RAM, and a 1830mAh battery. Performance-wise, it can best nearly every device on the market. The 8MP Carl Zeiss camera takes fantastic photos, and the quality of the 1MP front-facing camera is astounding. The intuitive Windows Phone OS, support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network, and $99 price tag are just icing on the cake.
Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
The Motorola DROID RAZR was easily one of the best Android phones of 2011. It was one of the first seriously thin phones and it had the best specifications, durability, and styling to come out of Motorola in a long time. Now, with the introduction of the MAXX variant, it's almost irresistible, even to those currently locked into a contract. With Verizon’s 4G LTE, a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 3300mAh battery pumping out over 21 hours of talk time, the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX is ecstasy wrapped in Kevlar.