When does a phone become a tablet? The Dell Streak 5 blurred the boundaries with its 5-inch WVGA display, and now the Acer Iconia Smart is doing its part to make categorisation complicated with its 4.8-inch, 21:9 aspect smartphone. Powered by Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon and Android Gingerbread, the Iconia Smart seems almost tailor-made for web addicts with long, narrow pockets.
It’s a slender device – the 21:9 ratio helps that – but it’s not exactly thin. Still, Acer has used the space to pack in both an 8-megapixel camera on the front and a 2-megapixel camera on the back; there’s also HSDPA, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. Happily Flash Player 10.1 compatibility means video can make the most of that broad display; you could even stage a miniature Philips Cinema HDTV setup.
In use, Gingerbread is snappy and the phone feels well made, if a little plasticky. It’s not all that light, either, and the long screen – while making sense for web – doesn’t really work for regular-widescreen video clips. It also makes the onscreen horizontal keyboard pretty broad, whereas the portrait keyboard is surprisingly narrow. Definitely a niche smartphone, but one we’re looking forward to reviewing when it arrives in the UK on May 1 2011, pricing tba.