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Android phone taps Snapdragon SoC

Oct 14, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 15 views

Acer announced its first Android smartphone, which will also be the first Android phone based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor. The Acer Liquid offers a WVGA touchscreen, HSPA 3G support, plus Android 1.6, and reportedly also provides WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and a five megapixel camera.

Acer offered scant information on the Acer Liquid, not even describing the screen size, let alone the price, carrier, or expected ship date. The announcement was perhaps accelerated to join today's announcement of the company's first Android netbook, the Aspire One AOD250-1613.

Touted features for the Acer Liquid include improved power management compared to most Android phones, as well as a camera with geo-tagging, ISO, self-timer options, and accelerated auto-focus. According to the company, the phone supports multimedia, web browsing, social media integration and video streaming, and offers a choice of red, white and black colors.

Acer Liquid

Acer will supply "a new user interface" atop Android 1.6, offering "easy access to entertainment and web bookmarks." The UI debuts "Spinlets" — apps for streaming music and video that can be shared via web-posting or e-mail, says Acer. Other software features includes address book integration with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa, and Flickr, with real-time notification of status or content updates, says the company.

Snapdragon moves to Android

Acer also touts the speed of the phone's 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which indeed should surpass the performance of other high-end phone processors such as the 600MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3430 found in phones like the Palm Pre and the Nokia N900.

Acer boasts that with Liquid users will encounter "no idle-time, almost instant uploads of web pages, and downloads of rich multimedia contents." The company also lauds the Snapdragon for its "superior handling of 3D graphics."

The Snapdragon is available in dual-core QSD8250/8650 Snapdragon chipsets clocked at up to 1GHz, which include a "universal modem" claimed to support "all 2G and 3G mobile broadband standards." The chipsets are built around an ARM-based 1GHz "Scorpion" microprocessor with 128-bit SIMD (single instruction multiple data) capability, plus a 600MHz low-power, "low-leakage" DSP. According to Qualcomm, they also offer WiFi, Bluetooth, and a "universal broadcast modem" that can receive broadcasts in MediaFLO, SDMB, ISDB-T, TDMB, and DVB-H formats.

HTC has incorporated the Snapdragon in is new Windows Mobile-based HD2 phone, and there are rumors that a similar Android model called the HTC Dragon is on the way. Meanwhile, Qualcomm is also pitching the SoC for mini-netbooks and tablets called smartbooks.

An A1 by any other name?

Acer did not reveal additional technical details about the phone, but Engadget Europe claims to have received reliable specs on an Acer A1 phone, which Engadget U.S. says forms the basis for the Liquid. The A1 offers a Qualcomm 8250 Snapdragon SoC clocked to 768MHz, and offers 256MB RAM, 512MB flash, a microSD slot, and a 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen, says the story. The phone is also said to provide HSPA and WCDMA network support, as well as quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE.

Other listed features not mentioned by Acer include GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, an audio jack, and a 5-megapixel camera. A 1350 mAh Lithium-ion battery is said to offer up to 300 minutes of talk time, and 400 hours on standby. The phone measures 115 x 62.5 x 12.5mm, says the story.


Acer did not reveal pricing or availability details on the Acer Liquid. The Engadget Europe story on the A1 phone should be here, and the Engadget U.S. story may be found here.

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