AT&T and T-Mobile are now evaluating Acer's Liquid Metal, an Android OS 2.2-based smartphone, for possible release in the United States, a senior Acer official said at a New York City press conference.
Rogers Communications has already chosen the Liquid Metal for release in Canada, noted Aymar de Lencquesaing, president of Acer's Smartphone Unit, in answer to a question raised by Brighthand during a press Q&A on Tuesday.
The Liquid Metal is a GSM phone, and there are only two GSM carriers -- AT&T and T-Mobile -- in the U.S., Lencquesaing observed. It's now up to these carriers to decide about U.S. release of the new phone, which also features an 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 3.6-inch, WVGA (800x480) touchscreen, and a new app called Social Jogger.
Other bells and whistles include a 5 megapixel camera; a stainless steel battery cover; Bluetooth and Wi-Fi b/g/n wireless connectivity; DLNA/UPnP support, for link-ups to PCs, TVs and game consoles; and Dolby Surround Sound. Available colors will include silver and brown.
Liquid Metal Heads to the U.K. and France
Acer first announced the Liquid Metal in September for the UK market, but a planned release in October or November on that side of the pond seems to have gotten delayed.
Earlier this week, French mobile operator SFR reportedly introduced this smartphone under a choice of two subscription plans.
Speculation about U.S. release of the phone has raged since late October, when the FCC posted photos on its site showing the Liquid Metal with AT&T bands aboard.
Breeze, Social Jogger, and Status light
As described on Acer's Web site, its new Breeze UI adorning the Liquid Metal lets users manage apps more easily. "Information is visible even when the screen is locked; view the application history and quickly start up your most used applications," according to the site.
The new Social Jogger app "aggregates your Facebook and Twitter feeds, allowing you to surf through the updates with the trackwheel, receive updates directly through the dedicated widget on the homescreen, and comment or share directly from the user-friendly interface."
Its LED status display provides signals on the very top of the handset to let the user know about incoming messages, missed calls, and whether the battery needs recharging without taking the phone even part way out of a pocket.
A Different Animal from Acer's 5-inch Tablet Phone
The Liquid Metal is a different animal from another Acer Android OS 2.2 tablet phone also making waves this week, which features a larger 4.8-inch display.
At the press conference in New York on Tuesday, Acer announced four devices, including 7-, and 10-inch tablets based on Google's Android OS 2.2, and a dual-screen, multi-touch tablet running Microsoft Windows 7.
The 4.8-inch tablet is capable of phone calling, and it's outfitted with a SIM card slot. A prototype device on display at the event also included ports for HDMI, Micro-USB, and microSD. Acer hasn't given names yet to these upcoming Android OS tablets, although the Windows 7 tablet is dubbed the Iconia.
All four of these devices will feature Acer's new ClearFi interface for crossplatform multimedia content sharing, but the sharing will work on Acer devices only.
Acer's plan is that that, ultimately, all of its smartphones will also sport ClearFi, a new tiled UI that will work as an abstraction layer across mobile gadgets running on multiple OS.
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