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back to article Acer Tempo M900

With the launch of the M900, Acer's assault on the smartphone market comes to a halt. Well, at least until its first Android or WinMo 6.5 handsets emerge blinking into the cold light of day. Joining the ranks of the dual SIM DX900, 2.8in screen X960 and 3.8in F900, we now have a Windows Mobile handset with a slide-out Qwerty …

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FAIL

Fashion

"Stick either in an inside suit jacket pocket and it looks like your mother dressed you, so it’s just as well Acer bundles a rather fine leather belt clip."

Because wearing a 'phone on your belt doesn't make you look like your mother dresses you?

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Unlock app title = Golden finger

The first phone ever that unlocks by the scent of urine. I bet you could swipe your enrolled something else on there too...

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Thumb Up

I've got one

Basic review is ok but you missed out on so important info.

You surely didn't use the keyboard to type anything with an "A" in it, its a pin in the rse to sy the lest. You also didn't need any ' right? Well thats coz there isn't one on the keyboard!!! ... or maybe you used the SIP to type it ;)

Volume level when using headphones is too low. It needs serious boosting, probably in the same way the Omnia does via a hidden menu. We are waiting for Acer to sort this.

Don't let the 128meg of ram fool you or the CPU mhz, get rid of Acer Shell, install SPB MS3 and its FAST, blisteringly fast and I've not had any memory issues at all since owning one.

Would I have one again? Yes if I had not seen the OmniaPro specs (the slide out keyboard version). If the Omnia Pro isn't available, then yes I would.

Acer are pro-activley updateing the firmware which in my book is a big plus. Admit you have mistakes, resolve them. Cooked roms are already available including the usual "lite" versions.

Make no mistake, its a beast of a device, not as big as a Universal (is anything?) but it is big however, it fits in my back jeans pocket fine or in its pouch on my belt hidden by a jacket.

Overall, this phone is a great device for work ... awesome!

Btw, it accepts 16gig cards - at least mine does.

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Bronze badge

@Monty Burns

What's the problem with "A"? The picture on page 2 of the review shows it fairly clearly at the left of the second row, in the expected place, albeit sharing with Tab.

As for the missing punctuation mark, there are several common symbols that are missing from the keyboard (eg \£^[]{}<> ) - there simply isn't room for a full set on a reduced keyboard like this. All the keyboard-phones leave some out (not always the same ones!).

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Coffee/keyboard

I agree with Rik

"a rather fine leather belt clip"

But I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume sarcasm.

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Obvious question...

So how *does* it compare with the Touch Pro 2?

The Touch Pro 2 has more keys (including a control key), possibly a more responsive touch screen (?) and more RAM - oh, and official WinMo 6.5 support. The m900 has a slightly larger screen, A-GPS, official FM radio support, a better (or at least higher resolution) camera and the jog dial I've been missing ever since I switched to a WinMo phone from my P910i. Also some oddball features on each side - speakerphone on the TP2 and the fingerprint reader on the m900 (I have one on my G900 and never use it).

So: How is Acer's GUI compared with TouchFlo 3D? (Does HTC's greater experience in making WinMo phones lead to any extra polish?) Is the jog dial any good? What's the voice control like? I don't care about the 3.8 vs 3.6", and the lack of control key might be a killer, but Monty's comment about the keyboard scares me a bit. That said, frequent BIOS fixes are a luxury I wish Toshiba had achieved.

Still pondering... (I was going to order a TP2 next week, so this is a well-timed review!)

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Alert

@Andrew Garrard

If I had to choose I'd say HTC's TouchFlo 3D is the better of the two UI's, but I think Spb's Mobile Shell v3.0 is better than both, being faster and more adaptable, so I'd use that on either handset. The jog wheel on the M900 works just fine - nudges up and down moved the highlight quickly and a simple push activated whatever was highlighted.

Regarding the keyboard, I didn't come across any problems with the 'A' key and checking the block of copy I typed in as a test I see it has two apostrophes. Two weeks after the handset went back I can't honestly remember where the apostrophe was, but it certainly had one! I seem to recall it was brought up by the 'Sym' key - not being a "problem" I didn't actually make a note of it. The voice command software works well too - no better or worse than any other handset I have tested.

In short if the choice was mine I'd go for the M900 for the larger screen and better camera at the lower price but with Acer Shell as the GUI.

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@Al

Thanks, Al. I'll look into Mobile Shell. The jog wheel was so useful on my P910i that I ended up playing the chess game more than anything else, solely because you could play it one-handed while carrying stuff around; where possible I still use the four-way controller on my G900 rather than smearing the touch screen with my greasy mits, so the complete reliance of the TP2 on the touch screen bothered me.

I guess my only remaining hesitation is the lack of control key (mostly for cut and paste, occasionally handy for an editor, although maybe you can remap something else), the reports that reception is a bit dodgy on the m900, and whether the memory limitation is going to impact on my web browsing. (My current firefox is sitting at ~1GB, but I probably wouldn't have so many tabs open on a mobile... I don't know because my G900's battery dies five minutes after doing any 3G browsing.)

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Anonymous Coward

Rather Nice!

Bought one yesterday. Very pleased with the purchase, though my fence-post fingers don't make for a pleasant experience with the keyboard (but that would apply to ANY mobile phone keyboard).

My first impressions are that I bought a good 'un with respect to the several competitors out there. It does everything I expect it to, and though my experience of mobile phones in general is relatively light (I don't live to use a mobile phone like some people do) I'd be happy to recommend this little beaut to others.

I understand you can make telephone calls with it too.

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The A key and Tab

Its too easy to hit tab instead of A (or even both!), they should have been seperate keys. I've often got the A key jammed down as a result of trying to over compensate not pressing the Tab or its not registered the A key at all.

The firmware is awefull at the moment. You can't use mail to save attachments to the SD card as its not very "compatible" with some... although you won't be show any error messages. If you setup like this then you may well get blank screen of death which requires a battery out. The new F900 firmware is out already (which is a positive move by Acer) but it still doesn't cure this problem. If your like me and actually use this for real business work, a few docs/pdfs/speadsheets and thats all your main memory eaten up and out of memory errors .... not acceptable.

I'm currently in the process of returning it to Acer under warranty. A phone that keeps locking up, requiring a reboot, is not usable and "not fit for purpose".

Another issue i've just found, try and get normal headphones working with it ;-) A mini-usb->3.5mm adapter just doesn't work (the phone doesn't detect headphones). This is a REAL problem for me as well as the stock headphones are crap and don't work very well under a crash helmet - i can't hear the raido over my engine noise, something I have no issue with my normal headphones. Try locating 3rd party headphones, i can't find any for hours of searching....

btw, the ' via a symbol key? Many of us on the Acer/Eten forums would love to know which key you pressed in conjunction with the SYM key 'coz its not marked on the keyboard.

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