Acer neoTouch S200 smartphone
Acer recently entered the mobile phone market, and the Acer neoTouch is its top Windows Mobile smartphone.
- Looks quite classy
- Resistive touch screen, annoying "quirks"
When there are so many phones that offer an approachable user experience, the Acer neoTouch S200's interface remains a sad relic of the slow-motion car crash we know as Windows Mobile. We’d advise you to run, rather than walk, away.
The Acer neoTouch S200 is a compact 3G smartphone that uses Microsoft's latest Windows Mobile 6.5 user interface.
This quad-band Acer neoTouch S200 phone sports a 3.8in touchscreen for the main functions, adding four touch-sensitive backlit buttons below. To type text messages or web addresses, for instance, there's an on-screen Qwerty keyboard.
The Acer neoTouch S200 takes the latest 1GHz processor from Qualcomm, which also powers the phone's 3D graphics engine. And graphics is one area that Microsoft has tidied up, giving the home screen a rich and colourful looking appearance to the phone's home screen.
As well as the usual Microsoft Office apps for mobile use, you'll also find more consumer-focused programs that give links to social network sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Flicker.
Other features include assisted GPS, 802.11b/g wireless and a 5Mp autofocus camera.
Opening the packaging, Acer has taken a leaf from Apple's book by presenting the phone in an elegant box with side-hinging tray for such accessories as the charger and headphones.
And the Acer neoTouch S200 phone itself looks quite classy - slim and light with shiny black plastic casing. It's not the easiest to open when you need to insert a SIM; it's more a matter of knowing where to wrench off the clip-on backplate.
After a promising start, things deteriorate quickly when you start to use the Acer neoTouch S200 phone. Apart from the main app icons on the home screen, many on-screen items are too small to touch accurately, hindered particularly by the poor quality touchscreen panel.
Unlike the capacitive glass screen of the iPhone, for example, the Acer neoTouch S200 is not especially responsive to finger touches, requiring a little pressure to make things happen. Try to slide the front screen down to see icons below the horizon, and you're as likely to send a command to open some random app.
Windows Mobile has long required a stylus to engage with screen elements, and nothing has changed with Windows Mobile 6.5 here. Yes, you can just about type on the virtual keyboard with your fingertip, when set to its largest size, but be prepared to get wrong characters littering your attempts at typing. And we don't feel that pulling out a stylus just to tap out a quick text message is an adequate solution for such a commonplace task.
Sometime we found the simple act of answering a call required a few pressing attempts for the touchscreen to recognise our touch. Call quality was decidedly average, or below-average.
Internet Explorer Mobile 6 is included for web browsing, and trying to view web pages was as much an ordeal. Some site were rendered badly with elements in the wrong place, and trying to zoom in and out proved a major pain. If any UK network was to offer this phone with ‘unlimited data', they'd be on a safe bet that you're unlikely to have the patience to threaten much of your quota.
Photographs captured by the camera were not especially clear or bright, although the Acer neoTouch S200 is in good company here among smartphones that have difficulty in capturing images under limited indoor lighting.
Battery life wasn't bad, at least when only used as a phone. We saw up to four days standby time, inclusive of occasional calls and texting. Expect this time to plummet if you get internet access.
Other ‘quirks' - we'll be polite here - include a keyboard lock that didn't always lock the screen, and a ringtone volume that was too quiet (there may be a way to change this, but if so it was too effectively hidden from sight).
The interface as a whole was not especially slick, despite that fast 1GHz processor, with random slowdowns and moments of unresponsiveness.
Windows Mobile still gives a fear-inducing warning, whenever you dare switch off, made worse by some strange new grammatical wording of ‘The unsaved data will be lost if Yes to continue - Yes/No'. A friendly and humane interface this phone certainly does not possess.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 2 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
- 3 Playing chicken with a Tesla Model S
- 4 Audi TT (2015) review: A smarter take on the sports coupe
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Motorola's revamped Moto range is coming to Australia
- Meet Arrow, a new Android launcher from Microsoft's Garage
- OnePlus 2 goes official from $329
- Most Android phones can be hacked with a simple MMS message or multimedia file
- Here's what the worst Windows 10 phones will have for tech specs
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTTechnical Sales Support Representative - The Worlds largest Search Engine!NSW
- FTDesktop Engineering ManagerNSW
- CCLead Generator - Software SolutionsNSW
- FTAccount Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager & Account ManagerVIC
- FTField EngineerNSW
- CCMarketing Coordinator - World's largest search engine!NSW
- CCInternal Communications ExecutiveNSW
- CCAccount Strategist | Sales Executive | Global Search EngineNSW
- FTDevOps Consultant - Microsoft Experience - Digital ConsultancyVIC