When it comes to Android smartphones, or even mobility in general, Acer is not really usually among the first brands that come to mind. With its new CloudMobile S500, however, that just might change. With some pretty hot specs and at a pretty good price, the phone could very well be a midrange-busting unit—provided it has access to the necessary markets.
The CloudMobile S500 packs quite a bit within its shell. For starters, there’s the dual-core Krait processor that’s clocked at 1.5GHz—something we might have expected from a flagship a year or so back, but is now packaged here in a midrange phone. There’s also a pretty decent Adreno 225 graphics unit backstopped by 1GB of RAM.
It has a 4.3-inch IPS LCD screen with a 720×1280 pixel resolution and runs on Android 4.0.4. Prospective buyers might have to bear with the possibility of being stuck with Ice Cream Sandwich because Acer hasn’t given any notices about a future update to some form of Jelly Bean. As for storage, there’s 8GB of internal memory plus memory card expansion of up to 32GB.
The camera is an 8MP snapper with 1080p video capability, and then there’s a VGA front camera for video calls or impromptu mirror use. You get your standard connectivity options, of course, from Wi-Fi to HSPA+. It even has NFC!
Available for £290 or around $470 without a contract, it’s not exactly the definitive midrange phone. It’s at the higher end of the midrange. Still, that’s certainly a good price for those specs. But then, specs never tell the whole story, so read on.
When you look back at previous Acer smartphone products, particularly the Liquid line, you’ll notice that the CloudMobile S500 more or less keeps with the same aesthetic—rounded at the top and bottom, flat at the sides. The S500, though, looks like a more polished design in terms of looks as well as build. It’s still fully plastic, but it looks more durable.
If you remember, the phone was recognized for its design by getting an iF Product Design Award. The clean look of the front and unobtrusive speaker plate at the top, plus the textured back panel all contribute to the great looks and feel of the device. It also helps that the design facilitates such things as access to the microSD card slot.
Navigating through the phone is a breeze, no doubt aided by the dual-core Krait CPU and the ample RAM. It also helps that Acer didn’t really customize the Android OS on this phone all that much. Surely, users will find the S500 very adequate for a wide range of functions, from productivity to entertainment. This is coupled with the above-average display, which really helps complete the experience. So, whether you’re looking for an all-around RingCentralbusiness phone or want to get some high-end smartphone action without shelling out a higher amount, don’t hesitate to put the S500 on your shortlist.
Don’t try to push the handset too much when it comes to demanding HD games, though—it can still play them, but it might struggle sometimes.
The banner feature of the CloudMobile S500 is the bundled AcerCloud service access. It’s really no different from other cloud services where you get to upload files like photos and music to the cloud and sync your data across multiple devices on different platforms. It’s a good thing that the phone has decent specs and good performance to help its sales figures, because it is logical to believe that AcerCloud access won’t be a deal-breaker for most people.
This is perhaps Acer’s strongest smartphone entry yet, and it has a price that should get people thinking. A well-designed body, an attractive spec sheet, solid all-around performance, and the relative cheapness of the unit might allow Acer to finally make its mark on the smartphone market. The CloudMobile S500 is definitely worth a look.