Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Android Acer liquid e from Rogers review: recommend don't buy

Update: The missing apps I was looking for on the Acer Liquid E now seem to be available in the market place. I'm not sure how this happened but it certainly means I'm less critical of the phone.

This is by no means a full review and I am by no means a consumer electronics reviewer. That said I have to strongly suggest that anyone considering purchasing the acer liquid e from rogers to buy another phone from another provider instead (the obvious suggestion would be an iPhone 4 from bell).

What this may explain for some is why they can't find some popular apps, like the TD app and drop7, in the android marketplace on their phone.

The liquid e itself is a pretty straight forward android 2.1 phone, which basically makes it a commodity; ie replaceable.

The problem lies in the total stone walling I've received in my attempt to get a very simple matter addressed.

Because of the open nature of the phone, and the hack-ability of the hardware, the android market place has given developers the option to make their apps protected. This means only phones with OS images that have been registered with the market place can install the app. This aids in preventing some piracy and lowering the chances that the app is used on a compromised phone (important for, say, a banking app). It is a sensible policy. Both TD and drop7 have taken advantage of this option.

My issue is that the acer liquid e appears not to be registered with the market place.

Rogers' response (via @rogershelps and @RogersKeith)
It's possible that the app wasn't designed for all Android devices. Best to check with TD.
And they have not responded to further follow up.

Google has a support forum set up that theoretically has staff responding to problems; but you end up just getting users talking to each other about the problem and a canned response from an employee. I appreciate customer service is hard and it takes staffing. But best I can tell, 30-40 questions come in a day. Would you need anymore than a staff of 20-30 to be able to deal with this? To support an OS you are hoping takes off? How many staff do you think Microsoft or Apple have on their main support channels? I'm guessing a lot more than 30.

And finally acer's response.
With your permission may I go ahead and arrange a callback for you from the specialist team Pay for support. They would contact you and give more details on the charges and support boundaries.
So acer's response is they are willing to look into the problem if I pay them first. Again, I appreciate there is a place for a pay for support services. But I'm not really looking for support to something custom or unique. I'm simply asking acer to do what is a basic step when releasing an android phone. Something that google really should enforce by use of the android copyright. Something that rogers should pull together as the customer liaison. (The sad part is I might just pay them.)

If any one of these actors had stepped up to their reasonable obligation this problem would never have made it to market. But this is what happens when everyone does a half assed job. Really, go buy an iPhone from Bell.


Frédérick Barbe said...

Any development in this problem? I' m looking to go with this phone, but, with this problem, I will search for someting else.

I read that there is sometime 4-6 weeks delai for registering OS images...

Anonymous said...

sad... because in all other ways this phone really rocks.
I got it a month ago, and there was one app I was vaguely interested in that I could not find, but this has not been much of an issue for me yet. All the same, I will be giving Google, acer, and rogers a few messages to request a change. For all I know, they might be registering their version of 2.2 :)

Anonymous said...

Good warning, thanks!

I doubt any Google people could comment on this. It is really an issue for Rogers and Acer to work out.

It is rather sad to see how badly Rogers supports their phones. Compare this to Verizon in the U.S. - they appear to do a great job of supporting their Android phones.

steven said...

@Frédérick No progress for me yet. I saw one comment on a forum that a replacement phone may solve the problem but I haven't seen any confirmation; and I'm skeptical.

@Karl There's definitely a lot the phone does well. But I find minor flaws can be so much worse when you can't track down why they are happening and if they will ever be resolved. Here's hoping for 2.2.

@Trufflufagus I think you are absolutely correct that Google people have a hard time commenting. But to be honest it seems much more likely that this is a Google issue than a Rogers issue. Google operates the store and Acer has the image. Rogers could refuse to carry the phone until Google and Acer sort out their issues but whatever isn't getting done, it's up to Acer or Google to do it.

chenzhihao said...

you are right, i am trying out the acer version for fido.
problems are that the mobile kicks you out of the program, very touchy.
no flash led light blub.
too hot when using the mobile to surf/playing games/using bluetooth.