The contacts application is quite sophisticated, with a number of useful features. It is designed with ease of use kept in mind, and therefore, although each contact can have exhaustive details, adding those details is certainly not a chore. Contacts can be starred which is somewhat akin to speed dialling. They can also be placed as shortcuts on the homescreen, and if there is a contact image that image shows up as the shortcut icon. There is no smart dialling, which is a surprising lapse in the otherwise full-featured application.
The messaging application is organized into threads rather than folders, similar to Gmail. New messages appear at the bottom of the thread. The most recent communication threads for that contact are also moved up to the top of the stack, regardless of their place in the timeline. Of course, the Gmail integration works exceedingly well, with almost the same functionality as the web interface and other sophisticated email clients. Other email addresses can be configured easily enough, and the messages are stored the same way they are online. The other accounts do not have threaded messages.
Connectivity is certainly not a problem with the Acer Liquid, as it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. The phone supports multiple standards so international roaming is possible with the Liquid. There is GPS available for a fee, although Google Maps can be easily configured to do the same job.
The web browser is great, very responsive to touch controls. There is no pinch zooming, but the other intuitive controls work well. There appears to be no Flash support in the browser, which is perhaps its biggest flaw. Apart from that, the menus are easily navigable, the settings are highly customizable and the design is reminiscent of fully-fledged browsers on bigger devices.
The gallery is well designed, with links to each area that has stored multimedia. The links are shown as folders, mimicking the folders they are physically stored in. The folder icon displays a preview of the first few files in the folder, making it easy to identify the contents. The video gallery is somewhat limited in terms of organizational efficiency. The videos are stored in a flat list format, rather than organized into folders. It is not a big issue, but it would have been nice to have the option. There is also limited batch edit functionality in the gallery.
The music player is basic, with a rather simplistic interface. The files are accessed through four large buttons which each bring up music sorted by the artist, album, song or playlist. However, there is one redeeming feature which elevates the player from the mediocre and that is the ability to look up the playing song on YouTube from the player itself. The search results are then sent to the pre-loaded YouTube client for immediate viewing.
The Acer Liquid has a 5 megapixel camera, which is far from shabby. The interface is not designed well though. The camera application brings up a simple viewfinder with a few shortcuts alongside. Although the lack of clutter is appealing, access to the settings menu is cumbersome and buried under multiple layers. Additionally, although there is autofocus, there is no flash – therefore pictures in lowlight are out of the question.
There is a serviceable document viewer for easily viewing email attachments. However these cannot be saved to the phone under any circumstances, which makes it rather inconvenient. The documents cannot be edited either, until the user pays for the upgrade. All in all, the document management system is a disappointment.