Acer Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition

The Liquid E is eye-catching in red but does it have enough under the hood to hold your attention for long?

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Acer Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition The smartphone ships with a matching red Bluetooth headset and holster
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  January 4, 2011

Ratings Breakdown

Editor's Rating:
  • Performance:
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Key Specs

Bluetooth: Y
Camera: 5-megapixel
Data services: Y
Media player/capture: Y
Memory: 8GB

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Acer says its Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition is ‘the exclusive smartphone dedicated to those who demand something extra from their technological devices'.

In terms of looks the Liquid E is unique thanks to its red and black livery. The phone is an instant attention grabber and the Ferrari emblem on the back is an in-your-face indicator that tells everyone around you exactly what you've got. The Ferrari Special Edition is identical to the standard Liquid E in terms of shape and so is easy to hold and work on. Unfortunately, the phones' black surfaces proved to be serious fingerprint magnets.

As standard this smartphone ships with a carrying case and a Bluetooth headset and, as a nice touch, both are finished in exactly the same colours.

On firing up the smartphone the Liquid E lets out a roar that's meant to mimic the glorious sound track that almost every Ferrari engine produces. While this too is a nice touch, the Liquid E's speakers struggle to create a clear, crisp sound and so the overall effect is somewhat ruined. As a smartphone, sadly, the Special Edition struggles to impress. The phone relies on a Qualcomm 8250 processor that runs at 768MHz and although the phone runs Android 2.1, overall performance was fairly basic. While menus and images appear fairly quickly on screen, calling the camera into action and loading apps downloaded from Android Market is far from Ferrari quick.

The phone's 5-megapixel digital camera didn't win any fans either. Shooting subjects in less than perfect light produced photographs that had a distinctive colour tinge (green or blue in most cases) to them and in poor lighting, the camera failed to capture sufficient detail. The lack of a flash doesn't help matters, so unless you only shoot during the day or indoors where there's plenty of artificial light, don't expect print-friendly photos.

The camera is also fairly slow to work with, summoning it by pressing the camera button took a few seconds and when you decide you want to capture a photo, the camera, once again, takes its time. Here, annoyingly, it doesn't give you any indication about when it's actually going to fire. In the end we worked out the auto focus takes about three to four seconds before it captures the subject, so you have to hold the phone steady if you want crisp images.
   
The Ferrari Special Edition also proved a little annoying on a day-to-day basis simply because both its capacitive screen and its physical buttons were somewhat unresponsive. The screen itself doesn't respond to quick movements, so we found ourselves stabbing away to get the desired effect. The same can be said of the four buttons that sit just south of the LCD; these too required a pronounced effort to evoke a response.

For: Unmistakeably a Ferrari licensed product, matching case and Bluetooth headset, easy-to-handle.
Against: Basic performance, camera is far from great, unresponsive buttons and touchscreen.
Verdict: Looks aside the Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition isn’t a particularly strong Android device. There are better options for less money.

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