With its polished exterior and well crafted bodywork, the Acer neoTouch P300 is a smart looking smartphone.
The touch-screen requires a bit of care and some of the menu settings remain fiddly.
As well as access to the Windows Marketplace, the P300 is packed with A-GPS, Wi-Fi, HSDPA and Office Mobile to name but a few.
The Acer neoTouch P300's processor struggles to deal with its array of features resulting in a lag.
An average battery life of 240 minutes talktime and 400 hours standby.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:58:16 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
With its polished, smooth exterior the Acer neoTouch P300 is a smart looking smartphone.
It lacks the processing power to accommodate the vast array of features.
Acer has taken something of a scattergun approach with their delve into the mobile market. Over the last six months alone, we’ve been inundated with new smartphones from the manufacturer as they try and shrug of the preconception that all they do is computers and laptops. Some of them, like the Acer Liquid have been bang on the money. Others like the Acer beTouch E200, not so much.
The Liquid apart we’ve been a little critical of the lack of swoon factor when it’s come to the design and build of Acer’s phones. So you can imagine our relief when on opening the Acer neoTouch P300’s box we were greeted by a polished and well constructed device. The P300 packs both a touch-screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The sliding mechanism is both fluid and secure which can’t be said of all handsets of this ilk. When holding the phone in a vertical position, below the screen is the call key, call end key and a Windows menu key. That’s right kiddies, the Acer neoTouch P300 is a Windows Mobile device, more of which shortly. We found all three of these keys too thin, looking instead like a bit of trimming. Indeed our thumbs were drawn to the icons hovering above the keys as these looked like touch-responsive icons when in fact they merely symbolised what aforementioned thin keys related to.
As for the touch-screen itself, a degree of care is needed when using it. We found if we were too fast with our scrolling or key presses, it would often fail to recognise the correct command. Indeed for the best results we would recommend using the stylus, found at the bottom of the phone. Personally we’re not fans of this approach, but with the P300 it would appear to be a necessary evil. The keypad too was not without issues. Though it’s roomy and its glossiness adds to the overall style, we found it difficult to differentiate between the keys and would have preferred them to have been raised slightly. The space bar’s positioning – slightly left of centre - also felt out of sync.
Windows phones have notoriously been criticised for being fiddly in terms of menus and settings. Though it continues to leave many perplexed, there’s no doubting that Windows 6.5 is an improvement. The main menu is displayed with clear vibrant icons as opposed to a text heavy list, while a list of shortcuts with specific actions is visible on the homepage. However, while we welcome this more user friendly approach, the P300 still homes a number of intricate methods to negotiate. For example, the volume switch, rather than a simple, press one way to turn up, the other to turn down method, you’ll need to push it one way to reveal a virtual volume level display on the screen. You can then adjust it accordingly.
It’s ultimately with these usability issues that the P300 fails. Feature-wise and it’s a well equipped smartphone. Office Mobile means you’ll be able to open, edit and send Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word documents, there’s also A-GPS and Wi-Fi and HSDPA for your internet needs. Despite this obvious prowess the phone was slow to react, with applications taking an age to both open and close. A more powerful processor is really needed to account for a feature list of this magnitude.
What started out as a promising business phone, ultimately left us disappointed. The user experience was particularly frustrating, and though we admired the design and bodywork, the slow response to the multiple (and admirable) number of features left us with an empty feeling.