Acer mixes the form factor of the BlackBerry with the power of an Android.
One of the reason that BlackBerry is so popular is because of it’s form factor. The full qwerty keyboard along with a landscape mode screen allows for a much more usable experience over a portrait touch screen device- at least for typing out more than a couple of sentences. With the beTouch E130, Acer tries to bring that experience to the Android platform.
Packaged in a small orange and white box, the Acer beTouch E130 comes with your usual assortment of accessories- a wall charger, a carrying case, some literature including a quickstart guide, a headset and a USB cable. Acer also throws in a microSD to SD converter for the 2GB card pre-installed inside the phone. The phone is available in black and white and we received the latter one for review.
On the hardware side, the E130 is spec’ed very much like what you’d expect a lower-end handset to be. It has a 416MHz CPU with 512MB ROM and 256MB RAM. The 2.6″ touch screen has a QVGA resolution of 320×240 pixels and is resistive in nature. On the radio side, you have quad band GSM support along with UMTS data connectivity. Acer also includes WiFi, GPS an Bluetooth 2.0 radios.
Looks-wise, the white version of the E130 is a decent looking phone . Measuring 115 x 63 x 11.5mm and weighing just 109g, the E130 fits nicely in your hand and doesn’t weigh it down. Acer keeps the sides clean with just a 3.5mm jack on top and volumes buttons along with the USB port on the right side. Although I couldn’t tell in my limited amount of testing, I have a feeling that the white version will get a bit dirty over time- I just hope that it doesn’t get discolored.
The front of the device features the full keyboard with decently sized keys that are easy to press but not as soft as I would have liked. Along with your traditional qwerty keys, Acer places a shortcut button to messaging that can also be pressed for a longer time to turn the phone silent which is good thinking from their side.
Above the keyboard, Acer places a trackball which is a bit of an odd choice in the times we live in. An optical d-pad would have been a nicer edition, however, this is a budget phone so maybe that’s the reason Acer didn’t add that as it would’ve added to costs. Some might argue that you don’t need a tracking device with a touch screen which is true for some phones, but not for the Acer and I’ll get to that a bit later.
Next to the trackball, you have six buttons- the call and end buttons are full height and easy to press but the remaining four buttons- home, back, menu and search can get accidentally pressed because of their small size.