Acer Stream Android smartphone
Acer's multimedia-orientated Stream smartphone has a HDMI-out port, 720p HD video recording and dedicated media keys
- HDMI-out port, 720p video recording, attractive design and build, large display, 3D UI effects, good performance
- Awkward external buttons, Acer's UI customisation not entirely welcome, no camera flash, HDMI-out port limited to photos and video
Acer has pitched its Stream smartphone as a multimedia powerhouse, but it fails to live up to expectations. The Acer Stream is far from a bad smartphone, but given its price it doesn't do enough to be considered a valid alternative to more proven performers.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Acer recently launched its line of Android mobile phones in Australia, and sitting at the top of the company's range is the Stream: an Android smartphone aimed at multimedia buffs. The phone's HDMI-out port, 720p HD video recording and dedicated media keys are certainly not run-of-the-mill features, but Acer's attempt to improve the standard Android interface is not entirely successful.
Acer's Liquid E Android smartphone possessed questionable build quality, and the Stream is definitely better in this respect, with a fairly attractive, industrial-looking case. The Stream is a relatively thin smartphone; the dark grey finish on the front contrasts nicely with the matte black rear, creating a distinctive look.
Our main complaint with the design is the awkward-feeling external buttons — the power, volume, and camera keys require a firm press to activate and the thin buttons dig into your fingers when pressed. The touch-sensitive keys below the display aren't always responsive, while the media controls on the bottom edge of the Stream don't do enough to justify their presence — we found it just as effective to use the on-screen controls to play, pause and skip music or videos.
The Acer Stream has a large, 3.7in AMOLED, capacitive touchscreen. The phone supports multitouch (so you can pinch the screen to zoom in on photos, maps and web pages) and is bright and clear most of the time. However, its viewing angles and performance in direct sunlight are noticeably inferior to the HTC Desire's screen, which also utilises AMOLED technology.
The Acer Stream runs the 2.1 version of Google's Android operating system and it includes all the regular features and functions of the OS including access to the Android Market for third-party apps, an excellent notifications taskbar and automatic and seamless synchronisation with Google services. Acer says the Stream will be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 version of Android (called Froyo) but hasn't specified a timeframe. Froyo will add full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card, as well as a range of other improvements.
Like many other Android smartphone manufacturers, Acer has chosen to customise the standard Android UI. The biggest change is the notifications bar, which has been moved from its regular position at the top of the screen to halfway down the screen, at the top of a shortcut bar. Sliding up the shortcut bar gives you access to the main menu, while tapping on the time in the bar offers shortcuts to the alarm, and tapping on the battery and coverage indicators allows you to activate airplane mode, and switch on and off the GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functions. The top half of the screen displays the time and date, and slides left to reveal a 3D carousel of recently used applications and to the right to reveal media shortcuts including photos, video and music.
Though Acer's interface makes the Stream a distinctive Android smartphone, not all the changes are for the best. In particular, the altering of the notifications toolbar is annoying, and the Acer UI virtually ignores home screen widgets. To access these, you need to hold down the home button and they only displayed when the screen is locked. We did like some of the 3D effects (particularly the wallpaper effect when unlocking the screen) and the recently used apps carousel is definitely handy.
Like the Liquid E, the Acer Stream comes preloaded with Facebook and Twitter (Twitdroid) applications along with Documents To Go for handling Microsoft Office files and RoadSync calendar and mail applications for enhanced Microsoft Exchange support. The Stream also offers an Acer customised on-screen keyboard as an option. We prefer the standard Android keyboard as the Acer one is small and cramped.
Acer has pitched the Stream as a multimedia smartphone, but we were disappointed with its media credentials. The 5-megapixel camera lacks a flash and takes poor quality photos even for a camera phone, while the 720p video recording function isn't up to the standard we've come to expect; video is noticeably inferior to footage shot with the iPhone 4 and the phone struggles to record steady footage. The included HDMI-out port works well, but is limited to displaying still images and video — you can't hook it up to your television to play games or browse the Web. Other features of the Acer Stream include a built-in accelerometer, a GPS receiver, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a microSD card slot for extra storage. Acer generously includes an 8GB microSD card in the sales package.
One aspect of the Acer Stream that definitely impressed us was its general performance. We didn't encounter any lag or slowdown during regular use and the Stream always felt snappy during testing, even when running multiple applications. Battery life was about standard for an Android smartphone; the Stream will need to be charged every night to avoid the dreaded low battery warning.
Acer environmental policy
According to Acer, the company helps "reduce waste and the impact on the environment by introducing initiatives such as 'Plant 1 Million Trees', 'Take Back Program' and Carbon Offset Programs with education departments." More information about the company's green initiatives can be found on its Web site
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Apple iPhone X
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Toys for Boys
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPDelivery ManagerACT
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- TPOutlook Support AnalystsVIC
- FTPHP Developer (Codeigniter / Cake)NSW
- FTFront End DeveloperVIC
- FTJunior CRM Support AnalystOther
- TPAPS6 Business AnalystACT
- CCSharePoint DeveloperACT
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerOther
- FTLead Business AnalystOther
- FTSecurity Cleared Network EngineerACT
- FTMajor Incident and Problem SpecialistOther
- CCApplication Security and Identity Management SpecialistQLD
- FTClinical Support Specialist - PermanentQLD
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- CCDynamics CRM Functional Consultant - BrisbaneOther
- FTClass Super - Application Support Analyst - SMSF solutionsOther
- FTNetwork Engineering Team Lead/Network ManagerACT
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Government - 12 Month Contract - SydneyNSW
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- FTLead Business AnalystOther
- FTSenior Infrastructure Project ManagerOther
- FTNetwork AdministratorOther