During some face time with Acer on a visit to Taipei, we got a look at the elusive Acer Predator gaming smartphone.
Acer's new Predator line of systems and products was long in coming, and even now a few more items are sliding in, including the Predator phone. We don't have full specs on this handset yet -- Acer told us that it's actually still finalizing them -- but we have some, at least, as well as a few images.
The Predator phone is a beastly 6 inches. We're not sure if that includes the space marine-evoking armor or if it's the actual size of the display, but in any case, it's a big phone. (No, those are not a child's hands in the photo; those are the grown-man hands of Tom's Hardware Editor-In-Chief Fritz Nelson.)
Under the hood is a decacore Mediatek Helio X20 SoC -- that's ten cores spread out among three clusters. The Helio X20 is an intriguing choice, but it makes sense for a "gaming" smartphone. The chip is designed to handle tasks at multiple levels, so although one cluster of two Cortex A72 cores may be able to handle a demanding game, the quad-cluster of 1.4 GHz Cortex A53 cores can slide in and take care of less intensive operations. That's designed to be more efficient and thus spare the battery.
This battery, though, is fairly beefy at 4,000 mAh, and efficient SoC or not, running games on a regular basis will require all the capacity it has to offer.
Although it's certainly its own beast, the Predator phone shares all the same design language as the Predator 8 tablet -- in fact, they look like (differently-sized) twins. Acer's logic here is simply that gamers often love to carry gaming themes across products -- the backpack will match the mouse, which will match the keyboard, which will match the headset, and so on -- so why not extend that to phones?
It's not just gaudy cases they have in common, though; the Predator phone has four front-facing speakers, just like the Predator 8 tablet does. Presumably, these are the same "Predator Quadio" speakers with "virtual sound" and Dolby Audio optimization that the tablet has. If that turns out to be the case, it follows that perhaps this phone will enjoy some of the tablet's other choice features, such as Predator TacSense tactile feedback and possibly even the stylus support.
Again, assuming the Predator phone follows the Predator 8 tablet's lead, it will run the latest version of Android and should be priced reasonably. (The Predator 8 starts at $299 yet packs an Intel x7-Z8700 Atom [Cherry Trail] CPU.)
Acer was somewhat vague on when the Acer Predator smartphone will launch, but it looks like an end of March/early April time frame will be the target.
Update, 10/15/15, 9:58am PT: Fixed typo.
Seth Colaner is the News Director at Tom's Hardware. He curates and edits the news channel and also writes on a variety of topics. He would have become a professional ultimate Frisbee player, but he was born 15 years too early.