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Acer DX900 Review

What Mobile
June 19, 2009

Acer has been in the mobile phone market before, but there’s been a considerable break and now it has returned, the company has decided to concentrate on the smartphone market.

Acer was able to get into the game quickly by buying E-TEN, and the DX900 is a rebranding of a device that was originally launched under the incredibly stupid Glofiish (and that double ‘i’ wasn’t a typo) branding in the middle of 2008.

In fact, the DX900 doesn’t really fit in that well with the latest generation devices because it’s a legacy of E-TEN, and originally announced back in 2008. It’s a chunky monkey and wouldn’t even look good against the models HTC were selling last year, let alone 2009. But, they say beauty is only skin deep – and the DX900 does have one or two things going on that could help you see beyond it’s exterior look.

Twin personality

One of the unique features of the DX900 is having two SIM-card slots. We’ve had handsets that can take two cards before, but they simply swap between one and the other. The DX900 is different, as you can use both networks simultaneously. It’s certainly odd to look at the standby screen and see two individual signal meters, and having to choose which line to make a call on (either pressing ‘Talk 1’ or ‘Talk 2’).
You have to choose a primary account though, as only that works on 3G and offers data. The second phone is GSM only, so usable only for voice calls and texting.

Front-end menus to hide the normal Windows Mobile screen have been all the rage for some time and the DX900 has its own, built by Spb software. It mixes a range of user interface designs, with animated transitions when going between various menus, weather forecasts, easy access to contacts, last used applications, upcoming appointments and – if you really need to – the ability to push it to the background so you can go back to the raw Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional interface.

The DX900 also has integrated GPS, TV-out, Wi-Fi, 3-megapixel camera with LED flash and the obligatory microSDHC card slot to expand the memory. You’ll also get a USB cable, stereo headset and a case in the box.

The VGA resolution display helps the DX900 retain some appeal, but the main selling point is the twin-SIM feature, and if you have another account for business/personal use, or one for cheap international calls and roaming, this might be the seal the deal. Otherwise, it may be worth waiting to see what else is coming from Acer in the future.

 

VERDICT

The DX900 was supposed to be released in 2008, but with the original manufacturer being bought out by Acer, it was delayed – and is now starting to look somewhat dated compared to the competition.
However, before it’s simply cast aside without a second glance, it is important to highlight the twin-SIM feature. This isn’t just a way of swapping between one network or another, perhaps to get cheaper calls or separate work with pleasure, as you are always connected to both networks simultaneously. Only one gets full data capabilities, but it’s still a pretty unique proposition. Beyond that, it’s a rather forgettable, and unexciting, effort.

 

RATINGS (OUT OF 5)

PERFORMANCE: 3
FEATURES: 4
USABILITY: 4
OVERALL: 3

 

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