Acer rings in year 2 of Android with a Snapdragon-based device

Acer today took the lid off of its first Android-based smartphone, the Liquid, formerly shown off as the "A1." In addition to being the top computer manufacturer's first Android smartphone, it's also the first Android phone based on the 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset.

It's not the first Snapdragon phone altogether -- that honor went to the Windows Mobile-based Toshiba TG01 earlier this year -- but the Liquid will become be the most powerful Android handset available. Sony Ericsson is rumored to also be working on a Snapdragon-based Android phone with a UI known as "Rachael," and HTC is reportedly working on the "Dragon," but neither company has officially debuted a product as Acer has today.

The majority of the half dozen or so Android handsets available worldwide run at 528 MHz; but as the software platform approaches the beginning of its second year in commercial availability, companies are beginning to step up its processing power. November more or less marks the beginning of the "Android year," so Sprint will be breaking out the 800 MHz Samsung Moment on the first of the month.

Acer however, did not announce when the Liquid will be made commercially available. Today's announcement was made in the UK, so that will presumably be the first market to receive the new Acer Liquid.

The specs for the Liquid have yet to be released, but the Snapdragon chipset specs are no mystery: 1 GHz CPU; 600 MHz DSP; 3D graphics support (up to 22 million triangles per second and 133 million 3D pixels per second); 1280 x 720 HD video support; integrated 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth; built-in gpsOne engine; support for cameras up to 12 megapixel; and mobile broadcast TV support.

Though Snapdragon is capable of 720p HD, the Liquid's resolution is only WVGA (800 x 480). Additionally, Acer says the device will come with "a new user interface with easy access to entertainment and Web bookmarks," so expect yet another manufacturer-specific Android UI like HTC's Sense and Samsung's TouchWIZ.

Similar to the way T-Mobile packaged Geodelic's Sherpa exclusively with the MyTouch3G, Acer will package a Spinlets app exclusively with Liquid. Spinlets is a relatively new media company which has partnerships with Sony BMG, CBS Interactive, Grab Networks, and Vio Mobile to provide free streaming music and video content.

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