Acer Tempo M900
Acer's last and best Windows Smartphone?
Review With the launch of the M900, Acer's assault on the smartphone market comes to a halt. Well, at least until its first Android or WinMo 6.5 handsets emerge blinking into the cold light of day. Joining the ranks of the dual SIM DX900, 2.8in screen X960 and 3.8in F900, we now have a Windows Mobile handset with a slide-out Qwerty keyboard.
Acer's Tempo M900
Unlike the F900, the M900 doesn't face direct competition from HTC, the doyen of Windows smartphones, since the HTC Touch Pro2 makes do with a 3.6in screen. Acer, however, has fitted the M900 with the same bright and colourful resistive 3.8in screen fitted to the F900.
Despite the extra screen size, Acer has done a good job of keeping the M900's size and weight in line with the HTC device. At 188g, it’s a only half a gram heavier than the Pro2 while at 119 x 62 x 17.1mm it’s a negligible 3mm wider and taller and fractionally thinner.
Of course, the Touch Pro2 is a big old lump of a phone in its own right and some potential purchasers may rule out both devices simply on the grounds of them being far too big and lardy for convenient day-to-day use. Stick either in an inside suit jacket pocket and it looks like your mother dressed you, so it’s just as well Acer bundles a rather fine leather belt clip.
If you are concerned about such matters, we reckon that the M900 is a more handsome device than its sibling. The edges of the fascia are nicely curved while the smoked chrome strip running around the handset makes it look just a bit more grown-up and thoughtful than the F900.
With a 3.8in screen and a Qwerty keyboard, bulk is inevitable
You won't find much out of the WinMo smartphone ordinary with the M900. One the right hand side are buttons to turn the device on and off, the camera switch, a button to fire up the voice control system and the slot for the telescopic stylus. On the opposite side there’s a miniUSB port and MicroSD card cover.
The A key and Tab
Its too easy to hit tab instead of A (or even both!), they should have been seperate keys. I've often got the A key jammed down as a result of trying to over compensate not pressing the Tab or its not registered the A key at all.
The firmware is awefull at the moment. You can't use mail to save attachments to the SD card as its not very "compatible" with some... although you won't be show any error messages. If you setup like this then you may well get blank screen of death which requires a battery out. The new F900 firmware is out already (which is a positive move by Acer) but it still doesn't cure this problem. If your like me and actually use this for real business work, a few docs/pdfs/speadsheets and thats all your main memory eaten up and out of memory errors .... not acceptable.
I'm currently in the process of returning it to Acer under warranty. A phone that keeps locking up, requiring a reboot, is not usable and "not fit for purpose".
Another issue i've just found, try and get normal headphones working with it ;-) A mini-usb->3.5mm adapter just doesn't work (the phone doesn't detect headphones). This is a REAL problem for me as well as the stock headphones are crap and don't work very well under a crash helmet - i can't hear the raido over my engine noise, something I have no issue with my normal headphones. Try locating 3rd party headphones, i can't find any for hours of searching....
btw, the ' via a symbol key? Many of us on the Acer/Eten forums would love to know which key you pressed in conjunction with the SYM key 'coz its not marked on the keyboard.
Bought one yesterday. Very pleased with the purchase, though my fence-post fingers don't make for a pleasant experience with the keyboard (but that would apply to ANY mobile phone keyboard).
My first impressions are that I bought a good 'un with respect to the several competitors out there. It does everything I expect it to, and though my experience of mobile phones in general is relatively light (I don't live to use a mobile phone like some people do) I'd be happy to recommend this little beaut to others.
I understand you can make telephone calls with it too.
Thanks, Al. I'll look into Mobile Shell. The jog wheel was so useful on my P910i that I ended up playing the chess game more than anything else, solely because you could play it one-handed while carrying stuff around; where possible I still use the four-way controller on my G900 rather than smearing the touch screen with my greasy mits, so the complete reliance of the TP2 on the touch screen bothered me.
I guess my only remaining hesitation is the lack of control key (mostly for cut and paste, occasionally handy for an editor, although maybe you can remap something else), the reports that reception is a bit dodgy on the m900, and whether the memory limitation is going to impact on my web browsing. (My current firefox is sitting at ~1GB, but I probably wouldn't have so many tabs open on a mobile... I don't know because my G900's battery dies five minutes after doing any 3G browsing.)