Acer neoTouch P300

Style & Handling Summary for Acer neoTouch P300
The P300 certainly looks the business, with a polished body and a solid build.
Acer neoTouch P300

User Friendliness Summary for Acer neoTouch P300
Despite some improvements to the Windows interface, some of the menu setting are still fiddly, and the touch-screen doesn’t really work effectively unless you use the stylus.

Feature Set Summary for Acer neoTouch P300
The P300 boasts a great set of business features: Wi-Fi, HSDPA, Office Mobile and A-GPS are all present and correct. You also have access to Windows Marketplace for downloading extra apps.

Performance Summary for Acer neoTouch P300
The slow processing speeds make for delays when opening and closing apps.

Battery Power Summary for Acer neoTouch P300
With 240 minutes’ talktime and and 400 hours’ standby, battery life is pretty much what you’d expect.

Full Review and Specification for the Acer neoTouch P300

Acer has been producing smartphones and a rate of knots over the past six months, likely trying to get the message across that it does more than computers and establish itself as a name in the mobile market. Quality has varied wildly, from the spot-on Acer Liquid to the underwhelming beTouch E200.

Style and handling on the Acer neoTouch P300

With the exception of the Liquid, Acer handsets have failed to impress with their design so far. Luckily the P300 bucks that trend. It’s a nicely built slider device with a polished finish and a 3.2-inch touch-screen. The QWERTY keyboard slides out smoothly and feels stable, which isn’t that common on phones like this.

Hold the phone vertically, and below the screen sit the call and call end keys alongside a Windows Menu key – we’ll talk more about that later. They are much too thin, resembling trimming as much as keys – we kept mistaking the icons above for the actual keys. In fact, these simply symbolise which key is which.

Touch-screen and QWERTY keyboard on the Acer neoTouch P300

You need to be careful using the screen if you don’t want to end up in completely the wrong place. Press a key or scroll too fast and it’s likely that the P300 won’t even recognise your command. You’re better of using the stylus, which lives at the bottom of the phone. It seems a bit archaic, but you definitely get better results.

The QWERTY keyboard also has flaws: it looks good and it’s spacious, but the flat keys make it hard to differentiate between them. Plus, the space bar is positioned slightly left of centre, which is counter-intuitive to fast typing.

User friendliness on the Acer neoTouch P300

Windows phones are notorious for their fiddly menus and settings, and while it’s far from perfect, Windows 6.5 is certainly better than previous versions. The text-heavy menu has been replaced by clear, vivid icons, and there is a list of shortcuts visible on the homepage.

But things are still far from perfect. For example, the volume switch, which on most phones you push one way up and one way down, requires you to push one way to open up a virtual volume level display on the screen, which you then adjust. It’s just unnecessarily complicated.

The verdict on the Acer neoTouch P300

The neoTouch P300 is a well-featured, good-looking smartphone that fails on usability. It’s a shame, because the Windows functionality means that you can open, edit and send documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, and Wi-Fi, HSDPA and A-GPS make for good access to the internet and mapping.

But it’s fairly slow, and applications take forever to launch and to close. A more powerful processor would have been handy.

It certainly had promise as a business phone, but until the Windows issues are sorted out, it fails to impress.