Acer Stream Review: White Water Rafting: Acer's Custom UI For The Acer Stream

By 07:14 Tue, 10 Aug 2021 Comments

Acer’s custom job

The thoroughly customized user interface is what we like most about the Acer Stream. But you don’t have to agree – Acer have done well to give users a choice. You can opt between Acer UI and Android UI. Switching to and from any of the two available interface styles requires a reboot.

Welcome to the Acer Touch 3D UI v4.0

The Acer Stream runs Android 2.1 E'clair and if you choose to work with the standard Android UI there will be no surprises. There are five homeclassy screen panes to populate with shortcuts, widgets and folders. Task management and notifications are the usual fine Android stuff.

Basically, the differences to other Eclair-powered phones are minor. The only thing to note is perhaps some of the Acer home-made widgets. We like the Media player and the Web player for instance.

Now, if you decide to give the Acer UI a try prepare for a whole recent experience. And just so you know – we liked it for the most part. Knowledge of the standard Android Operating System (OS) will assist you find your way around the Touch 3D UI v4.0 of course. But it’ll hold a while for you to start feeling at home. Everything has been rearranged: Lockscreen, main menu and the Notification bar.

Here's our demo video that will give you a primer on the UI:

The homescreen

The first thing you’ll notice on the homeclassy screen is the list of shortcuts placed at the bottom of the screen. Acer call it an Application dock and we find it quite a smart solution. Pulling up the Application Dock is the only way to display the customized launcher – the Acer Stream’s main menu. Below the Application dock you’ll find three side-scrollable screens with application icons.

The Acer Stream main menu

Icons can be dragged between the Application Dock and the actual launcher. In effect you can have a mini launcher visible on the homeclassy screen at all times. The Application Dock can store up to eight icons to frequently used features. You can choose to have no icons on the Application dock – drag them all back down to the main menu.

This isn’t something we would do though. All you acquire is a neater homeclassy screen but you can’t utilize the blank space, which is pointless. And by the way, getting rid of the Application Dock will also affect how you work with the notifications.

The Acer Stream homescreen

The notification bar is correct above the Application dock – that’s the middle of the screen, not top as you might expect. Otherwise, it’s the usual thin strip with indicators for signal strength, battery status, missed calls, etc. There is also a small clock.

Tapping on it will display the notification area with info about recently installed applications, missed events, time and date as well as switches for turning on or off the Airplane mode, GPS receiver, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, etc. This is also one of the ways to acquire to the alarm clock.

The notification bar and area

The upper half of the homeclassy screen displays a large clock with the date correct underneath. This part of the classy screen is side scrollable: a swipe to the correct will display the recently used apps. The so called Application hitale is a stack of thumbs of applications. A swipe to the left will hold you to the Media panel. It hosts your images, songs and videos which are displayed as Cover-Flow-like thumbs.

Application hitale • Media panel

You can set both the Application hitale and the Media panel to show or cover depending on your personal preferences. The same goes for the large clock on the homescreen, too.

While listening to music, you can create the current song’s album art replace the wallpaper on your homescreen. Sadly, you can’t utilize it to acquire back to the minimized music player. However, you can always swipe to the correct and go to the Application Hitale where you’ll find the music player among the other recently used apps.

And where have all the widgets gone?

The Widgets

Surprisingly, those are not quite where you’d expect them to be. The Acer Stream’s lockclassy screen serves as an extended homeclassy screen to fill with widgets. And it’s widgets only – no shortcuts or folders.

The lockclassy screen consists of five panes ready to accommodate a large number of status widgets or mini apps. When the phone is locked the controls are not working but the classy screen can be scrolled and the widgets can actually be pressed. It all makes sense – and there’s small to no chance to acquire the phone accidentally unlocked in your pocket or bag.

To start with, tapping on a widacquire won’t launch the respective app – you’ll only see a pop-up prompting you to unlock the phone by an upward slide. It’s pretty safe. Status widgets like weather or My Location have tiny update buttons. You can update the widacquire and acquire the latest status without unlocking the phone. Music player widgets have equally tiny play, pautilize and skip knobs – the nemoPlayer even has volume controls. You can listen to music without unlocking the phone.

The widacquire panes of the lock screen

To customize the five panes of the Lockclassy screen you need to press and hrecent the Home key. The lockclassy screen is then accessible in edit mode, with an Add Widacquire button on each of the panes. This is one of the major differences between the Acer UI and the standard Android interface.

Pressing and holding the Home key will not bring the regular task switcher on if you’re using the Touch 3D interface. But you don’t need this – you have the application hitale a swipe away on the Homeclassy screen at all times.

To sum it up, the user interface seems quite different at first but after a few days with the phone you’ll acquire to appreciate the Acer Touch 3D UI v4.0 for not only being colorful but pretty user-friendly as well.

The Clash of the Titans

Finally, we ran the usual benchmarks on the Acer Stream and weren’t really surprised to see it acquire some pretty impressive scores. It’s close enough to some of the most powerful smartphones on the market such as the Samsung I9000 Galaxy S, the HTC Desire and the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10.

Acer Stream benchmarks

Samsung I9000 Galaxy S benchmarks

HTC Desire benchmarks

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 benchmarks



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