Acer had announced four new Windows Mobile based phones in the Mobile World Congress earlier this year: the M900, F900, X960, and DX900. The Acer Tempo M900 is the most powerful of these four; it scores high on the hardware as well as the software fronts. It is easily amongst the best Windows Mobile devices available. It competes primarily with the HTC Touch Pro2 that I reviewed earlier. Although it runs on Windows Mobile 6.1, Acer has announced that it can be upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.5 in the future.
Acer Tempo M900 Specs:
- Display: 3.8 inch TFT touchscreen display, 480 x 800 pixels, 65K colors
- Camera: 5 MP camera, 2592 x 1944 pixels, AF and LED flash
- Processor: Samsung S3C 6410 533 MHz
- RAM: 128 MB RAM
- ROM: 256 MB ROM
- OS: Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
- Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA
- WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth: v2.0 with A2DP
- GPS: SiRF Star III Chipset
- Dimensions: 119 x 62 x 17.1 mm
- Weight: 188 gms
- Battery: Li-Ion Battery, 1530 mAh
Design, Operating System, and User Interface (4 out of 5)
The Acer Tempo M900 sports a functional design, which is not as stylish as the HTC Touch Pro2 but sports a rugged look. It has dimensions of 119 x 62 x 17.1 mm, which make it slightly bulkier than the HTC Touch Pro2. It also weighs around the higher side of the scales at about 188 gms, amongst the heaviest Windows Mobile phones. The build quality is pretty nice, and the phone feels very durable.
The Acer Tempo M900 runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. Supposedly, it will be upgradeable to Windows Mobile 6.5 when the new operating system is released. On top of the OS, there is a shell home screen much like the HTC TouchFLO 3D called the Acer 3D Shell. The user interface is very refined and snappy despite being Acer’s first attempt at creating one. The icons and graphics are visually appealing. The icons on the desktop are linked to internal applications like Calendar, Messages, Alarms, Email, etc. The Acer 3D Shell is not as polished or as refined as the TouchFLO 3D but is very usable. To view more options, you can swipe to the right to get to the next screen. In the next screens, you can view the contacts, music player and photo gallery icons and then the settings, programs, and internet options. You can view any of these to access the customized version by Acer. The 3D shell interface is much more usable than the default Windows Mobile interface. The virtual keyboard works pretty well thanks to the large display. The performance is fast due to the Samsung S3C 6410 processor clocked at 533 MHz. However, the RAM is a bit low at just 128 MB, compared to the 288 MB RAM in the HTC Touch Pro2. This lowers the rate of multitasking to just about three to four applications. The software is still a bit buggy, but it should be fixed with ROM upgrades.