Acer's Liquid Mini is a pint-sized Android smartphone, offering a range of vibrant variants and equally as colourful features
Editor's Review of the Liquid Mini
We've already seen the Xperia X10 Mini and Galaxy S2 Mini, but it seems Acer is the latest to join the pint-sized smartphone parade. Essentially a scaled-down version of last year's Liquid Metal flagship, the Acer Liquid Mini lives up to its name, offering a dinky Android experience for those wanting to spend an equally small amount.
Design & Build
The Liquid Mini is good for those who don't want a bulky smartphone with its measurements of just 110.4 x 57.5 x 13mm, and at 109g, it's pretty light too. Build quality hasn't always been Acer's strong point, but thankfully the Mini feels solidly put together, and it's elegant rounded chassis makes it nice to look at.
Within its chrome-edged casing is a 3.2-inch touchscreen, which seems fairly small compared to the incoming wave of mammoth-screened Android smartphones. The lowely 480 x 320 pixel resolution proved pretty disappointing too, giving the display a washed out look.
Still, it's not all bad, as the Mini comes equipped with a capacitive screen, rather than the clunky resistive type often found on mid-range Androids. We found swiping through homescreens to be pretty whizzy too, boosted by the 600MHz innards.
OS & Interface
The Liquid Mini arrives running Android 2.2 (Froyo) out of the box, with no word on whether a taste of Gingerbread is on its way to the compact blower. However, a bump to Android 2.3 isn't necessarily needed, as Acer has customized Google's OS with the UI with its home-grown "Breeze" skin.
We're not usually a fan of custom-made overlays, but Acer's tweaked skin was surprisgly impressive. Breeze enables you to personalize your homepage, so that the top half features all your favourite apps, while other handy apps can be scrolled through along the bottom of the screen. Our favourite tweak however is the Cover Flow-style history, letting you scroll through your most used apps and most visited webpages. Acer's UI includes handy social networking integration in the form of SocialJogger too, perfect for those who spend too much time on Facebook.
Multimedia & Storage
As an entry-level smartphone, we weren't expecting much in terms of media, and unsurpringly, we weren't left eating our words either.
The Mini arrives sporting a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, which although sounds good on paper, is nothing to shout about. Although it does the job fairly well, the snapper is lacking both autofocus and flash, causing for dull-looking snaps in lowly-lit settings. Video recording is pretty basic too, capturing footage at 480p. Still, there is the added bonus of being able to upload your low-quality clips directly to Facebook and Flickr.
The handset boasts all the usual media widgets too, including a built-in media player, FM radio with RDS and a 3.5mm audiojack for boosting with your favourite headphones.
At just 512MB, the onboard memory isn't great, although this can be expanded via microSD to 32GB. The handset is sold with a 2GB in the box, too.
It may be an affordable smartphone, but the Acer Liquid Mini boasts both HSDPA and WiFi speeds for surfing the web. The onboard browser works well, although the low-quality screen is an ultimate let-down. Running Froyo, there's also support for Flash-based websites, getting a one-up on Apple's highly-specced iPhone.
We were extremely impressed with the Mini's battery life, as the pint-sized handset packs a 1300mAh juice-box, promising up to 8 hours of talk time.
While there's little wrong with the Liquid Mini, its lackluster screen and measly snapper make it decidedly under-whelming. If you're after an affordable Android smartphone, the Acer Liquid Mini will get the job done, but it just doesn't match up to similarly priced competitors.
Acer Liquid Mini News
Acer has launched the Liquid Mini Ferrari Edition, which bizarrely brings no extra horsepower to the pint-sized smartphone. Instead, Ferrari fans are treated to a slew of sports-car themed features, including a glossy red casing complete with a Ferrari shield and all of the latest Ferrari updates via the included Social Jogger app. There’s also preloaded Ferrari [...]
Following its debut at January’s CES, Acer has treated its Liquid Mini smartphone to a much-needed spec boost. The pint-sized handset has been given a bump to Android 2.3 OS, and will now be available in four new colours: blue, red, white and black. As well as shipping with Gingerbread, the re-jigged Liquid Minis will feature an [...]
Hot on the heels of the Acer beTouch E210, Acer has unveiled the Liquid Mini, a fun-sized version of its Android-equipped Acer Liquid Metal handset. Unveiled at CES 2011, the Acer Liquid Mini offers a smaller form factor to its older sibling, yet still sports its stylish curves. In the words of Acer themselves, “The subtle [...]
Acer Liquid Mini Specifications
110.4mm x 57.5mm x 13mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: TFT LCD
Size: 3.2 inches
Resolution: 360 x 640
Interface: Acer UI
External: microSD up to 32GB
Included: 2GB microSD card
A-GPS with maps
Up to 7.2 Mbps download speed
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
5.0 megapixel camera
480p Video Recording
At 30 fps
Battery Capacity: 1300 mAh
Talk Time: 480 minutes
Standby Time: 480 hours
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3, WAV, eAAC+, WMA
Video supported formats
Playback: MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV