First out the gate for new Mobile World Congress announcements is Acer with its Liquid E3, a compact 4.7-inch smartphone that's designed for photo enthusiasts. The handset currently runs Android 4.2.2 but an update to 4.4 KitKat is promised down the road.
Acer didn't divulge the screen resolution of its 4.7-inch panel, but the mere mention of "high-definition screen with IPS technology" leads us to believe that it'll be a 720p display. The Liquid E3 is fairly light at 135 grams and features curved design, which Acer claims makes it easier to hold. We'll have to go hands-on and report back. The Liquid E3 is equipped with a quad core 1.2 GHz processor, 4 GB of internal user storage, 1 GB of memory, Wi-Fi, and integrated GPS. The specs seem modest, but this is a value-oriented offering at €199 for the European market starting in April.
The Liquid E3 comes with both a 2MP front camera and 13MP rear camera with "ultra-fast focus." The front camera's also paired with a front flash which is great for those who love to take selfies to show off to their friends how much fun they're having. Acer's also included its AcerRAPID button that can turn on the device with the first press, and then also be used to launch an app or answer a call while the phone is active. A long press can also launch the camera, and then take a picture.
Acer's made a few customizations and app for its version of Android. One is called SnapNote, where users can capture stage presentations with automatic angle correction and PDF/PPT conversion making it a cinch to take notes during class or a business meeting (just remember to keep it on silent). AcerFloat User Interface also allows app windows to stay open, so users can multitask without having to back out of one app to work on another. The press of the multitask key brings up the Float Apps, making it easy to access or toggle between apps like the camera, maps, calculator, notes and browser . A Float Caller notification ensures that users will not be interrupted by incoming calls that take over the full screen. When a call comes in, the Float Caller mini-window pops up and the user can choose to take the call or reply with a quick message.
Acer smartphones also support AcerCloud, a file sharing and media management solution that lets users retrieve, enjoy and share their multimedia and data files using a variety of computing devices, including the automatic backup of your photos to your other connected devices. AcerCloud simplifies the management of digital assets across devices, regardless of platform, and is free on new Acer products. With all the alternative cloud storage apps, such a Dropbox, Box, and even Google's own Drive, it'll be interesting to see if users will opt for the Acer-exclusive service.