At Mobile World Congress, Acer debuted its Iconia Smart smartphone, which is powered by the Android operating system. The company is marketing is 4.8-inch screen–just shy of the 5-inch screen on the Dell Streak 5 for AT&T–as “100% smartphone, 100% tablet,” suggesting that the hybrid device employs a compact enough form factor to be utilized daily as a phone, while offering enough screen real estate to add value to the user experience in the tablet category, making it one of the more portable tablets announced at MWC compared to the 9- and 10-inch slates debuted by Samsung, LG, and others.
The unique thing about the Iconia Smart is the device’s display, which takes on an aspect ratio of 21:9, making it more akin to a widescreen theatrical movie seen in theaters rather than the 16:9 widescreen home format videos.
As the 21:9 aspect ratio makes the device ultra narrow–when held in portrait mode–it may be more comfortable as a phone that the wider 5-inch Dell Streak. However, in landscape mode, the shorter, but wider, screen may not serve users well as users will now have to scroll vertically more often. Also, while the screen resolution may offer a better experience with certain apps, such as spreadsheet apps, it may not be a good multimedia system as most movies released to consumers employ a 16:9 aspect ratio. On the Iconia Smart, you’ll probably be left with vertical black bars on the left and right hand sides of the screen.
The device comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is powered by a 1.0 GHz Snapdragon CPU, same clock speed as the Dell Streak 5. Additionally, it does have a gyroscope, like the iPhone 4, and an 8-megapixel rear camera with 2-megapixel front-facing camera, rivaling the Galaxy S II from Samsung. For me, it’s a mashup of some of the best features from several different devices.