Speed Isn't Everything
By Seow Tein Hee
Is there a need for speed when it comes to mobile phones? In our opinion, yes. But it's more important to strike a fine balance between speed, stability and portability. Out of these three factors, the Acer neoTouch only manages to score in one.
The Bigger they are...
At first glance, anyone can see that portability isn't the strongest point of the Acer neoTouch. It's undoubtedly great to have a huge 3.8-inch WVGA screen. Messaging, web browsing, even basic navigation feels so much better and less cluttered when we put the neoTouch to the test. The price to pay is a rather cumbersome device to bring along. While it is relatively thin, the massive screen size will be an issue for tight pockets and small handbags.
Multimedia delivery is one of the focus of the neoTouch (and any other smartphones within its class). This is aptly represented by a 3.5mm audio jack and a 5-megapixel camera sensor with LED flash to fulfill your imaging needs. We were a bit disappointed at how it couldn't correct the colors properly with its auto white balance, albeit this only happens with either extremely warm or cool lighting conditions.
The Faster they are...
But there's no denying that the neoTouch is an absolute speed demon. This device is powered by both the new Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 and the swift Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1GHz processor. And yes, this does make a world of difference with the neoTouch's speed and performance. Lag is definitely minimal even with multiple applications running in the background.
The Harder it Falls
The real deal breaker was obvious after just a single day of usage - frequent lockups that required constant resetting. We had to reset the device for a grand total of five times in just a full day of usage. Note that the device wasn't overly taxed, with only the usual data pushing, cellular activity and multimedia viewing done on each occasion. Also, with intensive usage of its wireless features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and HSDPA, we drained the neoTouch in just half a day.
On paper, the Acer neoTouch has the makings of a great device with its high speed Snapdragon 1GHz processor and a generous display. Beyond the impressive specs however, the neoTouch didn't quite manage to impress us due to its lack of stability and lackluster mileage.
Speed isn't everything, because as we've seen with the neoTouch, it lacks the balance to perform to its full potential. Hopefully, there will be firmware updates to improve the situation because at the moment, we're feeling more like frustrated beta testers than satisfied consumers.