TAIWAN: ACER HAS DEBUTED a raft of smartphones at Asia's biggest technology conference, Computex, to try and make a name for itself in the ever-competitive mobile market.
The Taiwanese hardware firm unveiled a €79, or £65, entry-level phone and two €199 smartphones in a low-key press briefing in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt on Monday.
The €79 smartphone, named the Acer Liquid Z200 sees the firm eyeing the likes of Motorola's Moto E. The handset arrives powered by a dual-core 1GHz CPU running the latest Android 4.4.2 Kitkat mobile operating system (OS). It also boasts a 4in WVGA display and a 2MP rear-facing camera.
The interesting thing about this phone, however, is not just the price but that it has dual SIM ports, so it can be used as a business and personal phone in one, in case your business isn't keen on forking out for high-end company phones.
The cheap as chips smartphone will hit European markets sometime in mid-June in five colour options: black, white, pink, blue and yellow. Acer is hoping its bright colour versions and entry-level price will appeal to the younger market. The UK price is yet to be announced but it is likely to retail for around £70 when it hits British stores.
Announced alongside the Liquid Z200 was the €199, or about £165, Acer Liquid E600 and Acer Liquid E700 smartphones, which are quite similar in appearance, boasting 5in displays and arriving in three different colour options of maroon, cyan and black but featuring quite different internal specifications.
While the Acer Liquid E600 is said to offer "true 4G" connectivity due to being compatible with the latest 4G LTE Cat.4 standard, which claims to bring broadband speeds of up to 150Mbps, the Liquid E700 has three SIM ports for those occasions when you want three different personas.
The Acer Liquid E600 arrives powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal flash storage, and the Liquid E700 is powered by a quad-core MTK processor and has 2GB of RAM, backed up with 16GB of internal storage. Both smartphones are running the latest Android 4.4.2 Kitkat OS.
The Acer Liquid E700 is focused on offering longer battery life and promises up to 24 hours of talk time due to its 3500mAh battery, in case you feel the need to talk for a full day without rest, and up to 60 days on standby, though we'll be keen to test these projections for ourselves in a full review.
Both the Acer Liquid E600 and Liquid E700 are set to hit the UK in mid-June alongside the Liquid Z200 and will likely be priced around the £180 mark.
The firm also announced an 8in Android tablet device at the press event on Monday, powered by an Intel Bay Trail chip. None of the new devices announced at Computex today are running the Windows Phone OS, probably due to it previously telling us it "can't take the risk" on Windows Phone and has no plans to release more devices running Microsoft's mobile OS, at least not until the firm improves the app selection and gets the software into the hands of more consumers.
The firm has increasingly focused on Android lately, and has slowly moved away from Windows in the past year or so, which could have something to do with the company saying that the Windows 8 transition from Windows 7 was a "disappointment to the entire hardware industry" in an interview with The INQUIRER last year.
Speaking at its launch of the firm's latest line of notebooks in New York in 2013, Acer director for Northern Europe Simon Turner said, "The Windows 8 transition has been disappointing to everyone in the industry, there's no question."
When asked why the OS wasn't well received, Turner said that many other hardware brands had a lot of Windows 7 devices hanging around when Windows 8 launched, which didn't help sales because it contributed to confusion among consumers. µ