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Hands on: Acer's Atom-powered Liquid C1 smartphone

updated 09:57 am EST, Tue February 26, 2013

Atom handset aims high

Acer is one of a few companies that has partnered with Intel for smartphone hardware, despite the overwhelming popularity of ARM-based chips. We already took a close look at the company's Liquid E1 and Z1 handsets, which are aimed at the entry-level and midrange market, and today we tried out top of the Liquid lineup, the C1, which is powered by a Lexington Atom processor.

The C1 features a 4.3-inch qHD (960x540) display that we found to be decent but not spectacular, as many of the high-end phones have transitioned to OLED technology or even higher resolution. Acer claims the graphics engine is well suited to image-intensive applications and video, and we did not encounter any lag or other performance issues.

The phone's matte plastic battery cover is grippy but not aesthetically attractive, though the frontside looks like most other high-end Android devices with a solid slab of black glass covering the display and continuing to the edges of the facade.

Despite its presence atop Acer's smartphone offerings, the C1 essentially represents a midrange Android device. The Atom platform is a strong performer, but without many of the other features that have come to be expected from flagship devices, it doesn't have much of a chance competing against devices such as the HTC One.

If the C1 arrives on the market with a budget-minded price tag, it may have a chance at filling a small niche in the market. If it costs as much as flagship handsets, however, we don't expect many customers to find it enticing.

by MacNN Staff



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