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Acer ‘CloudMobile’ hands-on video: Acer ventures into high-end smartphones

There are a few videos we didn’t manage to get up before we had to fly back from Barcelona last week, but we wanted to post up a sneak peak we got of the upcoming Acer “CloudMobile.” We’re not entirely sure why it has the name “CloudMobile” because Acer reps wouldn’t comment on its cloud services, but this is shaping up to be a solid new Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) device. 

Acer seems to have a good feeling for how much to tinker with the design of Android and when to lay off. The CloudMobile is a lot sharper than the lower-end “Liquid Glow” handset (what’s up with these names?) we also saw at Mobile World Congress last week, with better customized widgets and an unlock screen that looks like vertical blinds. We weren’t allowed to fiddle around with it, but the unlock screen also appears to have some features that let you jump directly into apps much like many of Acer’s phones.

The feel of the phone, as we say in the video, is quite nice with a textured, rubberized back and good button placement. It fits in with Acer’s current tablet designs. 

Here are the specs we know so far: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm 8260A processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage, Android 4.0 (ICS), and an 8MP rear camera. There is a front-facing camera as well. 

Finally, the 4.3-inch screen of the CloudMobile is 720p (HD) and has an LCD IPS screen with “zero air gap,” which Acer says makes everything a lot brighter. Judging from the clarity of the screen, we’re apt to agree. It was quite bright and looked almost like an AMOLED screen. The Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet also had this technology and has one of the better looking tablet screens on the market.

It’s too early to say when or where this device will come out, but Acer reps told us it will be in the latter half of the year and a European release is likely. A US release may or may not happen, depending on if our ruling wireless carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon — play ball. 

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