Android Phones

Acer Iconia Smart is an odd duck

February 14, 2011 | by Michael Heller



There is no shortage of Android devices in various sizes, and form factors, but this one is definitely new to me. The Acer Iconia Smart is a whopping 4.8″ display, but what makes it unique is that it comes in a 21:9 aspect ratio. That means the screen runs at a very awkward 1024×480. Acer’s tagline for the device is “100% Smartphone, 100% Tablet”, so the idea seems to be that it tries to be the best of both worlds, but I’m not sure it works on either end of the spectrum.

As a phone, the form factor seems like a better idea than say the Dell Streak 5, because the length makes it easier to slip in your pocket. It also seems like it would make some tasks easier in portrait mode, though more difficult in landscape mode. And, either way you slice it, media and games would either be stretched out or be surrounded with black bars of wasted space. The press release claims that “you can watch a movie in its original format, for an engrossing cinema-like experience”, but movies are shot in 16:9, not 21:9. That said, the clip in the hands-on video does look pretty nice.

On the plus side,the Iconia Smart comes preloaded with:

  • Gingerbread
  • DLNA support
  • HDMI out
  • 1 GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 6-axis motion sensing (gyroscope & accelerometer)
  • 8 MP rear camera and 2 MP front camera

Should be interesting to see how consumers feel about this one. The Iconia Smart will cost $499, and be available in Europe in April and the U.S. in June or July.