Truth be told, we like the F900's music player a lot. Albums are represented by a carousel of discs that you can swipe through, each disc having cover art on it just like a late 70's vinyl picture album – which probably means nothing to readers under the age of 40. Tap the relevant disc and it appears at full screen with the media controls inside it. The music player also comes with full range of EQ settings and produces a rather decent sound. That said, you are stuck with the supplied miniUSB headset, as there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack.
The F900 has a decent music player and FM radio, but no 3.5mm headphone socket
The lack of a video player other then Windows Media Player is bit of a drawback on a device with a 3.8in screen. As always, you can download CorePlayer or similar, but Acer really should supply the F900 with an optimised player that makes better use of all that colourful WVGA screen acreage.
On-board storage is a meagre 256MB, however, the F900 has a microSD card slot that is good for 32GB. We tested it with a 16GB card and it worked perfectly, something that's not always proved to be the case with Windows Mobile devices.
As with other Acer smartphones the F900 comes loaded with a decent array of subsidiary kit and programmes including a voice controller, business card recogniser, media streaming client and Google Maps. You also get the same rather fine SiRF Star III unassisted GPS, as you do on the DX900, together with the same run-of-the-mill 3.2Mp autofocus camera. One thing you don't get is a forward facing camera to make 3G video calls, but that's probably no great loss to most users.
Unfortunately our time with the F900 was marred by a couple of firmware issues. To start with the accelerometer proved a little wayward and refused to work at all with Opera Mobile or the Acer Shell home screen. Secondly, and more annoyingly, on one occasion the WiFi radio suddenly decided it didn't want to launch. A clean boot fixed this, but that also wiped all our data and installed programmes, so it’s not a fix we would be happy having to do more than once.
The animated weather and time displays certainly have their appeal
We also couldn't find a way of turning the haptic feedback off, which is not a problem if you like it, but is an issue if you don't. Yet when it came down to basic ‘phone stuff,' the F900 performed well. Both incoming and outgoing calls sounded loud and clear and the speaker quality proving above average too. No problems with signal reception either, the handset working well in both 2 and 3G reception areas.
Who wouuld buy this?
This phone seems pretty irrelevant, as it still can't do things now which the iPhone perfected 2-3 years ago. Are MS/Asus on a go-slow or something? Somebody seriously needs to put a bullet in this ridiculous OS which just makes MS and all who use it look incompetant. Whilst I used an HTC TYTN for about a year, I would never try and kid myself that it approaches a Blackberry let alone an iPhone, nor would I buy another WiMo device - Using one has convinced me that it lacks any redeeming features. Badly built, utterly overcomplicated and cluttered interface, unusable 3g and Wireless, rubbish camera, sluggish phone calls, unresponsive squidgy touch screen, old-fashioned stylus, dropped phone calls, zero design with its brick-like demeanour and the list goes on. Its simply obsolete in its current form. Who needs such buggy memory ineffcient multi tasking? Who outside of the IT industry exactly buys a phone then expects to replace the shell or the media player before it becomes usable? How can such an ergonimically bereft and fidddly OS be described as being remotely flexible? If the iPhone should have taught MS/Asus anything, its that very few people buy their devices, and even fewer enjoy using them. The iPhone is simply so good that even the Apple imposed limitations of it fail to stop it being immensely fun to use, and how many devices you use everyday can you say that about? Its a smart phone where you don't compromise on the phone component and gain so much more through the apps. Meanwhile MS are beavering away integrating Zune into WiMo next versions, and no doubt adding on a skin to make it look like Windows 7, like who makes these awful awful decisions?? They are still carrying on like they're just competing with Symbian still, when the ground has most definitely shifted. To paraphrase their age-old advice, "format and start again."
I would say that it's people under 30 know nothing about vinyl, not those of us under 40 who have plenty of vinyl and grew up with it.
Wait for WM6.5
It really isn't worth bothering with a Windows Mobile phone until 6.5 comes out. I really struggle to see why Acer aren't supporting Android instead?
@Jimbo et al...
THIS ISN'T ABOUT THE FUCKING IPHONE!!! There. I said it. Fuck me. You lot are dull! Who are you trying to convince?
ON TOPIC: The phone looks OK. Too many shutlines and 'sticky outy bits' for my taste, let down greatly, as stated, by an aging OS that was shit when it was first released.
at ac who thinks the ipone works straight from the box!
'iPhone, it just works without users having to dick about trying to find 3rd part solutions to things it should do out of the box '
erm... the app store? a whole raft of applications not made by apple to fix the iphones shortcomings...
untill last month... mms? app needed to bodge that... want to rotate a photo?? need an app for that... flash content... oh! no app for that!!! safari doesnt render every page perfectly... no alternative app for that!
I love Winmo, yes its fiddly, sometimes, but a hell of a lot more flexible... and it atctually multitasks! nothing like closing each applicatio if i need to open another!
the mobile in my pocket?? well, it happens to be an 8gb Iphone 3G!