* Prices may differ from that shown
I recently decided it was time to dip my toes into the smart phone technology pond , being, what could be deemed as a technological virgin ( no don't laugh ! ) I was quite impressed with my bravado. I didn't want to spend hundreds of pounds on the latest apple i-phone , as money conscience as I am ( my husband calls me tight ) all I could think of were the consequences of what I would do if I didn't get on with it .
I trawled the internet looking for a decent alternative that wouldn't break the bank if it wasn't for me .Who would have thought there would be sooooo many to choose from , not me that's for sure !
After hours and a huge headache , I found one that I liked the look of , it suited my needs and more importantly my budget .
When you're reading the following please bear in mind , I am not a tech wizard and this is my first foray into smartphone technology , so I am writing purely from the idiots stand point .That means no tech specs , if you want them follow the link .
The Acer beTouch E210 is an android operated phone , it has both a physical qwerty keyboard and touch screen technology , in fact all of the items you would expect of a mobile , camera , camcorder etc...
I was looking forward to getting it with some trepidation...A few days later the phone arrived .
Inside the box you get the usual paperwork , warranty , quick set up guide and safety information booklets along with the phone itself an SD card, battery, usb charging cable and two pin adaptor , which converts the usb to a normal electrical socket , along with earphones .
The phone is,( I have on good authority.) a little wider than a Blackberry and the keys on the qwerty keyboard are rounded making typing slighty easier .It is black with a silver trim , which gives it an expensive look .
My first mountain to climb was getting the back off of the phone , there is a small indentation you are supposed to put your fingernail into to push , lift and unclip it open . Maybe you could manage this if you were Thumbelina , or a weight lifting smurf , but my fingers were just too big and I couldn't get anywhere near opening it this way..Twenty minutes and a few $@!^$ expletives later the back was finally off.( I am hoping this is going to get easier as its a nightmare when everything is so tight ).
I placed the sim card in and then the Sd card ..why an sd card ? well apparently it has to be inserted if you want to use the camera , not sure why but you live and learn .Next the battery goes in ..dizzy mare put it in the right way round ,doh !! now plug it in using the usb cable in the mains and wait for the phone to charge ...
6 Hours later...yes only 6 the box said 8 but the red indicator light has gone out, which the paperwork says means the phone is fully charged , unplug from the mains and switch the phone on...Up pops the home screen an Acer logo with a little green android waving at me , then the screen moves on to android flashing across it , a little mp3 ditty to tell me that the phone is operational its time to get smart .
First things first .
I had to register the phone with Acer , doing this apparently gives you your warranty ..the wonders of technology .All I had to do was type in my name and address as simple as that . Registration complete it directed me back to the homepage where I had to sign in to google and accepts the T&C's to enable me to use the android market .At this point i was glad I had the forethought to top up my sim with enough credit beforehand as you have to access the internet for it . Google done I was returned to the homescreen , now it was time to explore !!
On the left of the home screen you see the time , date & your network provider to the right you have a speaker symbol and a green lock symbol ,on the far right browser menu and phone symbols , then , running along the bottom of the screen there are four more logos..Acer settings , market , email and messages. To open the phone and get into the menu you have to use the touchscreen to slide the green lock up to open the phone and see what else was included .In the rolling touch menu I gave myself a brainache..so many apps already on the phone facebook , microsoftword ,barcode reader , spinlets , talk , market , twidroid ,fooz ,places, voice recorder , youtube , gps ...and on and on.But , there was one missing .I needed to go to the market.
My First go downloading an app .
I wanted to make sure that I had Skype on my phone , as it wasn't one of the pre installed apps, I had to go to the android market and download it .I typed Skype into the searchbar and up it popped (wow that was fast ! I was impressed ).I pressed the download now button and expected a long wait , less than a minute later skype had been downloaded and installed .I pressed the menu button and was taken back to my homescreen went through the menu to see if it was showing and there it was .Success ! either I'm not as blonde as I thought or they have made downloading idiot proof ( please don't answer that lol ).
I had to make sure it was all working so I signed in with my details all of my contacts were there , just ready for me to press the button and talk ,so I skyped my hubby to see if the audio quality would be diminished on a mobile , no problems .It was clear as a bell , I ended the conversation and signed out of skype .On returning to the homescreen there was a helpful message from my little green android friend explaining that instead of scrolling through the main menu I could move regularly used applications to one of the six homescreens..6 Homescreens !!!I thought that it was just one , but on closer inspection quickly found myself surfing between them .To move skype to one of the main screens I touched and dragged the skype logo to the screen I wanted it on ...blimey i could be a meerkat this was SIMPLES tsk !!
My one problem now was that the touchscreen was far too sensitive ,scrolling was going mad shooting past everything I wanted to loo at , but after going into the phone settings I was able to find the adjustment , it took a few tries but I eventually got there .Now the touch screen is sensitive to my touch and I can scroll to my hearts content without missing anything .
I looked through the youtube app , there was a microphene symbol , I was intrigued so I pressed and it told me to speak .I gave the name of a band and a song and seconds later the video was there on my screen playing .The picture quality is astounding , bearing in mind how small the phones screen is I hadn't expected such clarity. I am CONVERTED .
The camera on the phone is only 3.2 megapixels but still gives a good picture , the camcorder is simple to operate , the only downside being that there is no flash so taking pictures in the dark won't give you a prize winner , however , the picture quality is fine for what I need , my Chihuahuas will pose all day every day they know what a camera is for .
Battery ; I was able to use the phone pretty much continuously for three days before I had to recharge the battery , which wasn't quite as long as I had hoped for , but then I have never accessed the internet via a mobile before and I had been playing with it constantly .Maybe after a few charges it will last a bit longer...I'll have to wait and see.
I always recommended Acer in the past for being a reliable PC manufacturer now I will be adding praise for their smartphones too . Until I am more savvy with Smart technology I am more than happy to stick with this fantastic little phone , it's like a mega portable computer , and with so many apps available in the marketplace I may never need to use a PC again...It has all the functionality of a Blackberry the touch screen of the i-phone , and all this at just over 100 quid , but the main reason I like it is because to me its a miracle of technology .Why ? I hear you say ...because they have made it idiot proof .If someone as dizzy as me can get to grips with it in just under a day then anyone can . All the bells and whistles of smartphone technology at the price of a good quality basic mobile phone ...Who needs an Apple when Acer have this ace ...not me that's for sure.
Sorry to have waffled on ...I am still giving myself a pat on the back for attempting to embark into the smartphone world ...now I'm in it I'm converted and most importantly I haven't drowned . I've beTouch ed