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Acer Enters U.S. Smartphone Market With $80 Liquid M220 Windows Phone

Acer isn't known for its smartphones in the U.S., mainly because its smartphone lineup hasn't been available here. That changed today, as the company unveiled the Acer Liquid M220, an $80 Windows Phone that we first saw at Mobile World Congress.

The 4-inch (480 x 800, 233 ppi) display is backed by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 SoC (1.2 GHz). Unlike the version Acer showed at MWC, this M220 has 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage (as opposed to 512 MB and 4 GB). The rear 5MP camera offers LED flash and an 89-degree wide-angle lens, while the front camera is a fixed 2MP camera. The replaceable 1300 mAh battery purports to offer three hours of talk time.

There's a microSD slot on board for expandable storage, and connectivity options include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 EDR.

The inexpensive device runs Windows 8.1, which is notable because Windows Phones haven't sold particularly well in the states, and it's somewhat curious that Acer would try to crack open the U.S. smartphone market with a device running an unpopular platform. On the other hand, why not? Throwing out yet another low-end Android device would just be noise at this point.  

Thus, this is a bit of a gamble for Acer, but it's a calculated one. It also fits with Microsoft's low-end global smartphone strategy, although we're a bit surprised to see that the emerging market plan Microsoft told us about at Mobile World Congress is already landing in the U.S.

Microsoft announced its own $70 Lumia 430 recently, so it appears we have a trend. It's also noteworthy that the Lumia 430 and the Acer Liquid M220 have strikingly similar specs. Behold:

Acer Liquid M220Lumia 430
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 200 (1.2 GHz)Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 (1.2 GHz)
Display4-inch (480 x 800), 233 ppi4-inch (480 x 800), 235 ppi
RAM1 GB1 GB
Storage8 GB (w/ microSD)8 GB (w/ microSD)
Camera5MP rear, 2MP front2MP rear, 0.3MP front
Battery1300 mAh, replaceable1500 mAh, replaceable

The biggest difference is in the cameras. The Lumia 430 is also a dual-SIM device. Both are primed for the Windows 10 upgrade.

The Liquid M220 arrives in June and will cost $79.99. Now that it has its first U.S.-available smartphone revealed (even though it's a low-end Windows phone), it's possible that Acer will start rolling out the rest of its smartphone lineup here soon.

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  • will1220
    gotta love that 2233 ppi display
    Reply
  • scolaner
    gotta love that 2233 ppi display

    Impressive, isn't it? ;)

    Just a typo. Fixed.
    Reply
  • belardo
    Is it just me... or does it look like an ugly POS? Kind of like an uglier version of an old Motorola design from 5 years ago... with a horrible screen.
    Reply
  • Quixit
    Is it just me... or does it look like an ugly POS? Kind of like an uglier version of an old Motorola design from 5 years ago... with a horrible screen.

    Acer has never good good at design. I think they've had one product (S7) in the last 10 years that didn't look terrible.
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    The liquid seems to be perplexingly solid...
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    That display looks almost 8-bit compared to my Galaxy S6. I take it this is aimed at the disposable phone market?
    Reply
  • scolaner
    15743580 said:
    That display looks almost 8-bit compared to my Galaxy S6. I take it this is aimed at the disposable phone market?

    Oh, tut tut. :) A phone is not a phone is not a phone.

    Comparing this to a hot new flagship is like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda Fit. If you compare them and say, "The Honda Fit has a laughably weak engine compared to this Ferrari," you are technically correct but entirely missing the point.

    I think these very inexpensive smartphone options are wonderful, because there are throngs of people, in the U.S. and around the world, that simply cannot afford an expensive handset.

    I would beg of you not to belittle these inexpensive phones. For some people, they're a godsend.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Comparing this to a hot new flagship is like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda Fit. If you compare them and say, "The Honda Fit has a laughably weak engine compared to this Ferrari," you are technically correct but entirely missing the point.

    Yeah true, I was joking in my post but it didn't come off quite that way. :lol:

    I think these very inexpensive smartphone options are wonderful, because there are throngs of people, in the U.S. and around the world, that simply cannot afford an expensive handset.

    Plus there's also the need for people who engage in, um, shadier activities that need a second low cost no contract phone line to stay off the grid, if you catch my drift. :lol:
    Reply
  • scolaner
    15744481 said:
    Comparing this to a hot new flagship is like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda Fit. If you compare them and say, "The Honda Fit has a laughably weak engine compared to this Ferrari," you are technically correct but entirely missing the point.

    Yeah true, I was joking in my post but it didn't come off quite that way. :lol:

    I think these very inexpensive smartphone options are wonderful, because there are throngs of people, in the U.S. and around the world, that simply cannot afford an expensive handset.

    Plus there's also the need for people who engage in, um, shadier activities that need a second low cost no contract phone line to stay off the grid, if you catch my drift. :lol:

    Heh, I wouldn't know anything about that! Lol...
    Reply