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back to article Acer Stream Android smartphone

Typically, smartphones make less than satisfying PMPs, especially given the issue of video formats, with very few phones supporting the good old AVI container or Xvid/DivX codecs. Also, sound quality is usually a bit iffy and there is often little in the way of external controls for media navigation that you can use without …

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The operating system runs like a scalded cat

The UK Internet lynch mob would like a word with you under suspected animal cruelty charges.

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Scalded cat

In my experience, a scalded cat only runs as far as it really needs to, then stops and looks back at you balefully.

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Wow

That looks freakin' awesome. I love how every new Android handset is pushing the boundaries. It makes me wonder how cool they'll be in 2 years when I come to upgrade.

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You don't need one of these to play .avi files.....

There are probably other media players out there in addition but this http://www.arcmediasoft.com/arcMedia/index.aspx plays .avi files just fine on my HTC desire and i believe will work with Android 1.5 up. Beta so probably the odd bug but smooth as you like for me....

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Correction

1.6 upwards for the arcmedia thingy...

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Volume

It's all very well having controls for play/pause, skip and previous but, after play/pause, volume controls are probably the next most important to me. I miss the days when all phones had a D-Pad. This offered all the media functions in one simple control. I'd have preferred them to miss out the "previous" button (when does anyone ever use it?) and add a fourth giving; Play/Pause, Next, Vol+, Vol-.

It does look like a really nice device, though and it is good to see someone doing something a bit "radical" and adding buttons to a device. There are many reasons to dislike the iPhone but, for me, the main one is it's kicking off the fashion for getting rid of buttons from touch-screen phones. We don't all want to stand in the middle of the street, looking a complete pillock, swishing, swiping and pinching just to do something we used to be able to manage with the click of a button.

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volume controls?

are they the two buttons on the side of the phone? maybe, maybe not, the Acer website doesn't say much.

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re: Volume

Like most phones, I'm guessing that'd be what the 2 buttons on the side of the device would be for..

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look at the pictures

It already has dedicated volume controls (those buttons on the left edge), though I find them a little to easy to accidentally hit on my G1 (same vol button position).

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Volume control!

Acer have granted you wishes and like most (all?) android handsets it has a hardware volume rocker on the side as well as a dedicated camera and power button.

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Re: Re: Re; volume controls

Thanks folks, but those buttons will control the device volume. I don't want to turn down the volume on the ringer just to make my music a bit quieter. All music apps have volume controls independent of device volume. I'd like hardware buttons to control those. Maybe I am just being awkward but it IS being marketed as a PMP/Music device.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: ad nauseum

If it works anything like my Hero and Desire (and I imagine it does), the physical volume buttons are context-sensitive.

If I'm listening to music with the screen off, they do the music volume and only that. To change the ringing volume you have to be on the home screen or in an app that doesn't use the audio system.

On another note, I really like the sound of that UI skin.

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Android thought of that also...

If you change the volume it affects the current application. On the default home screen then it will only affect ringer volume, while in a call it will only affect the in-call volume, while on navigation it will only affect the navigation voice volume and while in a music app.... you can guess the rest!

So are you actually going to buy one now that your needs are satisfied or was it just trying to unsuccessfully nit-pick something you had no interest in anyway?

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Linux

I suspect

if it's anything like my Android handset, the buttons control overall volume... until an application like the media player is running at which point it becomes a "media volume" control and leaves the ringer and whatnot unaffected.

It's a really nice touch actually.

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FAIL

Market access

Can this thing use the full Google Apps Market? My Acer Liquid can't because Acer, or Google, or both are too lazy to add the sigs for the firmware to the permitted list.

Can you make this a standard test for all Android phones? Good apps to search for to test this are the two proper national rail ones - one from croworc and one from thales .. if these don't show, avoid the phone till they sort their crap out.

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WTF?

I don't understand this bit:-

From page 2 of the review:-

"To view your directorial efforts on a telly the Stream has a micro HDMI port, which resides on the upper right hand side of the handset under a rubber cover next to the micro USB port. It's an arrangement that sadly nixes any chance of using the Stream with a desktop charger."

Why? Or does the reviewer want an iPod style dock instead of having to plug in 2 separate leads?

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Hmm

I'm guessing that one cable may hamper the other... just a guess though.

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@ Wonko

Having the MicroUSB port under the same rubber cover as the MiniHDMI is what prevents the use of a desk stand/charger. It's one thing I really like about my faithful old HTC Hero - the exposed MiniUSB port at the bottom means it can be used with any number of no-name desk stands.

Al

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Jobs Horns

flac

Er, I have a humble Tattoo and it plays flac via Meridian which was a free download via the Market, so I imagine the Acer Stream could probably do the same. Oh, & the sound quality is probably still better than you can get from one of those weird little Jobs gadgets which won't play flac anyway. Doh!

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Stop

/facepalm

Dude, if you're gonna do what all the "cool kids" are doing these days and diss Jobs, you gotta get your facts straight. The 3GS (Possibly the 4, I don't own one) has one of, if not THE BEST sound quality of a smartphone on the market. Why? Because it uses the same audiophile-grade DAC chip as the iPod classic and other high-end PMPs. Don't believe me? Go check Head-fi. I do miss FLAC support, but it's not really an issue for me as I just convert it into ALAC. And even though ALAC takes up a bit more space, with 32GB of space I can carry around almost half my music library in lossless with me wherever I go. Plus, I get to browse my library with that pretty cover flow thing, too. Bash apple products for being useless until jailbroken or being too expensive and you'll have a valid point. But bash the iPhone on terms of sound quality? That, besides the lack of internal storage, is the one thing that's keeping me from making the switch to android.

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Stop

/face

Dude, if you're gonna do what all the "cool kids" are doing these days and diss Jobs, you gotta get your facts straight. The 3GS (Possibly the 4, I don't own one) has one of, if not THE BEST sound quality of a smartphone on the market. Why? Because it uses the same audiophile-grade DAC chip as the iPod classic and other high-end PMPs. Don't believe me? Go check Head-fi. I do miss FLAC support, but it's not really an issue for me as I just convert it into ALAC. And even though ALAC takes up a bit more space, with 32GB of space I can carry around almost half my music library in lossless with me wherever I go. Plus, I get to browse my library with that pretty cover flow thing, too. Bash apple products for being useless until jailbroken or being too expensive and you'll have a valid point. But bash the iPhone on terms of sound quality? That, besides the lack of internal storage, is the one thing that's keeping me from making the switch to android.

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FLAC...

I'm not sure why you would want FLAC playback on a device that only has the storage capacity for one album on-board and the ability to use a memory card with a few more on it.

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Volume

folks, just to confirm the volume rocker on the side of the Stream works as per most Android phones - use it in standby and it alters the ringer volume, use it with the media player running and it changes the media playback volume etc. I should have said something about that seeing as media playback is the Stream's main USP.

@ AC 23.33 - thanks for the heads up re. Meridian. Nice little app.

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FAIL

Why would anyone buy this....

.......when Windows Phone 7 is just around the corner?

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snigger

Ah, irony.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would anyone buy this....

Wrong way round, Captain Astroturf!

[Windows Phone 7 icon] ...when FAIL is just around the corner?

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Maybe they like multitasking or cut and paste?

Windows Phone 7 is bound to get better but it's widely known that the first release will be hobbled, (or more charitably) focused on certain consumer functionality. Things like cut & paste and multitasking are not implemented, which you'd think are pretty bloody important. Give it a few more iterations and it will probably give Android a run for its money. Whether that's enough to consider it right now is another matter.

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Grenade

Windows

If Windows Phone 7 is just around the corner, I'll be on this side of the corner, holding a lead pipe.

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Nice looking phone

As I am going to upgrade shortly, I will certainly check it out

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