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Acer rethinks power buttons on the entry-level Liquid Gallant, with mixed results

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Acer's Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo are entry-level Android 4.0 phones with unusual power button placement.

Gallery Photo: Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo hands-on
Gallery Photo: Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo hands-on

Late last month, Acer announced the modest Liquid Gallant and Liquid Gallant Duo, a pair of Ice Cream Sandwich-based phones that are identical except for a second SIM card on the Gallant Duo. The 4.3-inch devices are now rolling out in parts of Europe — where we're told they'll go for less than 199 euros — and we got a chance to look at them during IFA. The models we tried weren't the fastest phones around, but for an entry-level device, the screen wasn't bad, and the skin was mostly unobtrusive.

The Liquid Gallant is pretty nondescript in either black or white, though the soft rubber back is a nice touch. The exception to this, as we've mentioned before, is that the power button is placed in the very center of the upper back, rather than the top or side. In theory, this makes it easy to wake up the phone while pulling it out of a pocket and prevents accidental presses. It's definitely hard to hit the button accidentally, but it's also right next to the camera, which means you may spend a lot of time trying to turn the phone on by pushing a lens. It's nice to see Acer experimenting with hardware, something that netted its CloudMobile an iF Product Design Award, but we're not sure this element will catch on.