Acer Stream review

Acer Stream review

T3 3
  • Acer take a stab at smartphone supremacy

    An unlikely force to be reckoned with in the smartphone market, Acer has set its sights on HTC and Samsung, the creators of the current Android boasting powerhouses the Desire and Galaxy S, with its latest high-end offering, the Acer Stream.

    Going heavy on the multimedia elements, the Acer Stream has put itself directly in the firing line of competition from the similarly speced Motorola Milestone XT720 and Samsung Galaxy S, both of which, like the Stream, are 720p HD video touting, Android 2.1 handsets. Much like the original Milestone, Acer has forgone the UK’s network providers and made the Stream available exclusively SIM-free via the online retailer eXpansys ahead of its launch on August 9th.

    Check out our hands-on gallery of the Acer Stream here

    More on Acer:
    - Acer Aspire 8942G review
    - Acer Stream to launch August 9th with Android 2.1
    - Acer Liquid e gets its racing stripes from Ferrari

    Aesthetically the Acer Stream is an attractive handset that wouldn’t look out of place mixing it up with other top speced smartphones. Sleek and stylish around the front, the Stream is, let down considerably by the rubbery plastic backing that deducts from its high-end looks and makes it feel disconcertingly light and flexible in the hand. Despite this lack of rigidity and the handset’s minimalist 11.2 mm thickness, Acer has managed to give the Stream a large and cumbersome feel through its added width and bulbous corners.

    Acer Stream: Multimedia

    Released by Acer as a “high-end multimedia smartphone, optimized for watching movies, listening to music and enjoying web browsing” you would rightfully expect the Stream to be a strong multimedia contender of mobile entertainment. Fortunately you won’t be disappointed.

    Whilst the Stream’s 720p HD video recording capabilities are clearly one of its crowning characteristics with fluid footage and strong sound quality, the 5.0-megapixel auto-focus packing camera that accompanies it is not too shabby either. Disappointingly, however, the handset’s camera capabilities do not stretch to an accompanying flash meaning low light and indoor photography is decidedly average and strictly limited with sedate, lifeless colour contrasts.

    Another issue with the Acer Stream’s photographic and video capabilities can be found in the outlandishly small and awkward shutter button found along the device’s right side. Whilst keeping the phone’s sleek, flowing design in check, the camera’s shutter button could deter the use of the Stream’s otherwise impressive camera and video recorder package.

    With a HMDI port snuck into the side of the device’s body, such visual delights can be crossed over to user’s home TV setups, as can HD quality video footage from the phone’s on-board camera.

    The Stream’s audio qualities on downloaded music and video content are highly impressive even with the in-box pair of generic Acer headphones, thanks to the handset’s Dolby sound. Through the Stream’s lacklustre on-board speaker music and film dialogue is tinny and lacking any discernable qualities, through the headphones, however, watching a film on the 3.7-inch AMOLED display becomes a joy for both visual and audible senses.

    You would image that all this power-supping high-end goodness would be a severe drain on the Stream’s battery. Surprisingly however, the Acer Stream stands up reasonably well on the power front. Whilst the battery does appear to handle frequent use better than some handsets such as the daily charge iPhone, you would still be safer putting it on charge over night or risk it cutting out during a second day’s full, extensive use.

    Acer Stream: Performance and design

    The Android operating system varies between handsets, even within the same editions of the Google operating system. Skinned with Acer’s custom touch, a swipe to the right brings up gallery content, while a slide to the left brings up a very useful recent history. Eight customisable icons sit at the base of the homescreen and you swipe up to access the full menu. Unfortunately you can only customise the lock screen, and only with the widgets Acer wants you too, this is far too restrictive and far less intuitive then HTC Sense.

    Thanks to the 1GHz Snapdragon processor crammed inside the Stream’s shell, Acer has created a handset that is on the nippy side opening apps rapidly with navigation and smooth, seamless breeze.

    The device’s 3.7 inch AMOLED display handles bright sunshine with very few issues only appearing washed out in the very brightest of light. The screen’s multi-touch capabilities handle commands such as the basic pinch to zoom function with minimal effort.

    The virtual keyboard options on the Stream include a full QWERTY, traditional mobile handset configuration and there’s a mash-up middle-ground also in the fray. All are comfortable to the touch, spacious and easy to navigate although slightly slow to respond on occasions and with a predictive text system that at times decides to take its own, seemingly random tangent.

    The Stream’s high-end multimedia credentials are reflected in its price which, unlike the handset itself, is not on the light side. At £399 the Acer Stream is £100 cheaper than what is arguably the market leading smartphone at present, the Apple iPhone 4 but is by no means on the fringes of being a budget Android handset like the HTC Wildfire.

    For anyone after a high-end mobile multimedia experience the Acer Stream is a perfect fit. While the Stream is a strong handset, despite having a spec to rival the cream of the smartphone crop such as the HTC Desire, the user experience is far less intuitive, but ultimately it lacks that killer wow factor necessary to take it to the top.


    OS: Android 2.1
    Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
    Storage: 2GB, microSD expandable
    Screen: 3.7-inch AMOLED WVGA touchscreen
    Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 2.1, 3.5mm,
    Camera: 5.0MP with auto focus
    Video: 720p HD
    3G Talk time: 5 hours, 400 hours standby
    Dimensions: 119.5 x 63 x 11.2 mm
    Weight: 126g (with battery)
    Battery: Li-Ion 1400mAh

    • Video
      iPhone 4S VS Galaxy Nexus video

      Can Ice Cream Sandwich take on iOS or will the iPhone remain supreme? We find out in our smartphone scuff

    • Video
      iPhone 4S Siri Demo video

      We asked what you'd say to Siri and put your questions to the iPhone 4S Voice Assistant. But can it tell us the meaning of life?

    • Video
      iPhone 4S launch video

      We talk to the mad men queuing-up for the next Apple smartphone

    • Video
      AMD Military iPhone Case Test

      How tough is the toughest iPhone 4 case? We put the Griffin Survivor case through it's paces at an AMD military training day.

    • Video
      iPhone 4S: 10 things to do first

      Tips and tricks to get the most from the new iPhone 4S

    • Video
      iPhone 4S unboxing

      We find out what's inside the box with Apple's new smartphone

    • Video
      iPhone 4S VS iPhone 4

      Is the new iPhone 4S worth the upgrade? Here's a head-to-head

    • Video
      iPhone 4S video

      First look at the most hotly-anticipated phone of 2011

    • Video
      iPhone 5: What you want to see

      The announcement is imminent but what would you like to see in the next Apple smartphone?

    • Video
      How to fix a smashed iPhone screen

      Tips and tricks on how to repair an iPhone screen

    • Video
      Nissan Juke iPhone case video

      We test the world's first self-healing, scratch-resistant iPhone case from Nissan

    • Video
      iPhone 4S VS cameraphone rivals video

      We round-up the best quirky cameras on the market from the roof-top of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London

    • Video
      Best Christmas shopping apps video

      We round-up the best festive apps

    • Video
      Best smartphones 2011 video

      Five of the best smartphones from the past twelve months, from Android to iPhone

    • Video
      Bubblescope iPhone accessory

      Find out how to take 360-degree pics on your iPhone

    • Video
      How to make a micro SIM

      How to make a micro SIM

    • Video
      Mobile & Tablet Destruction: Tough tech tested video

      We find out how much pain our indestructible cases can take.

    • Video
      iPhone 5 features news

      We've got the new iOS, what could the new iPhone bring?

    • Video
      iPhone 5 concepts 2012

      We take a look at the best concepts for the next Apple smartphone

    • Video
      WWDC 2012 news

      All the latest on OS X Mountain Lion, iOS 6 and the possible iPhone 5

  • Acer Stream

    Best deals


Be the first to comment…

Back to top
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to with your preferred social network

Log in with your account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join with your preferred social network



Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human


I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password


I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now