By May 13, 2009

Acer DX900 review

Are we now able to ditch the clutter of the personal mobile, the works mobile, the Sat Nav and the Camera? Will the world’s first Windows Mobile phone with Dual SIM capability put an end to the pocket bulging gadgets that we can no longer do without?

Being billed as the world’s first dual SIM smartphone to support both 3G and 2G SIMs. This DX900 device from Acer (aka Acer TEMPO) is described as offering the flexible mobile connectivity as well as fast web access all in one package.

The Acer DX900 (Acer Tempo)

The Acer DX900 (Acer Tempo)


If you have seen or been around the Glofiish DX900, then you already know a lot about this device, as Acer now own Glofiish and have adapted the device and re-branded it as their introduction to the Mobile phone market.


What’s in the box?

  • Acer DX900 (Acer Tempo)
  • Battery
  • Sync/charge cable miniUSB to USB
  • 2.5mm wired headset with inline mic and volume controls
  • Spare telescopic stylus
  • AC adaptor with UK adaptor
  • Pouch/case
  • Screen protector
  • Quick start guide
  • CD ROM

Take a look at Matt’s Acer DX900 unboxing video for more details.


Acer Tempo DX900 Specification:

  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Samsung S3C 6400 533 MHz Processor
  • ROM: 256 MB / RAM: 128 MB
  • 2.8" VGA (468×640) colour transflective TFT
  • HSDPA / UMTS ( 2100 / 1900 / 850 MHz )
  • Quad-Band GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • microSD
  • Connectivity – USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
  • WiFi 802.11b, 802.11g
  • GPS – Embedded SiRF Star III chipset
  • Built-in 3.0 mega pixels Auto-Focus CMOS camera, up to 2048 x 1536 resolution
  • 0.3 mega pixels Fixed-Focus CMOS camera for conference call usage
  • Built-in microphone and speaker, external stereo headset jack, hands-free mode supported
  • Composite TV out support
  • Battery – Removable 1530 mAh
  • 106(L) x 60.5 (W) x 17(H) millimetres
  • 147 grams (battery included)


On the top of the device there is just a GPS logo, but I think this picture does demonstrate the chunkiness of the DX 900.

Acer DX900 top view

Acer DX900 top view


The left hand side is home to the up/down volume rocker, below which, is a customisable soft key and finally the headset socket.

Acer DX900 left side

Acer DX900 left side


To be found on the base of the unit is the mic alongside the miniUSB socket followed by the telescopic stylus housing.

Acer DX900 bottom view

Acer DX900 bottom view


Turning 90 degrees the right side from top to bottom holds a dedicated camera button, a covered microSD card slot, a handy reset button, and for some reason the power button is on the side and not the top.

Acer DX900 right side

Acer DX900 right side


The rear of the DX 900 has an Acer logo and the 3 mega pixel camera, coupled with a portrait mirror and flash.

Acer DX900 back view

Acer DX900 back view


At the business end of the phone is a 2.8” 480×640 VGA display, above which is the forward facing VGA camera and earpiece.

Acer DX900 front view

Acer DX900 front view

Below the screen is the now normal minimalist buttons consisting only of the phone send and end keys either side of the up/down/left/right d-pad with enter button in the middle.

By removing the back you can see the dual SIM slots situated underneath the battery, slot 1 being the middle one and slot 2 being the right sided one, these prove somewhat fiddly to use due to being so flat.

DX900_back_off DX900_SIMs

Acer DX900 with it’s back off and showing SIM card slots


  • Obviously the dual SIM
  • Speed especially the GPS
  • Ability to switch off the business phone!


  • Overall size
  • Poor camera
  • Battery life


Matt delivered this device and his opening comment was ‘very Glofiish’, not a great start as the previous Glofiish models that I reviewed, sometime ago, did not come out singing and dancing in my opinion. But nevertheless I can see what he means and those who know the models will immediately recognise the usual software and features.

Out of the box the DX900 appears on the chunky side and is similar in size to my old Orbit, but a tad wider. It has a rubberised feels that is not unpleasant to hold and feels well made and robust, it was nice to note a separate earpiece socket, allowing the miniUSB cable to be used independently, albeit the 2.5mm variety.

The flush 2.8” screen is easy to use and appears bright and vibrant, as expected.

The SIM slots are different in the respect that the main slot is the only one that supports 3G/HSPDA the other is 2G worth bearing in mind, I did find issues with this, but it was my own fault was I hadn’t read the manual which is unlike me. I found a little difficulty in connecting to the internet as the phone seemed to have issues with the 2 SIM’s I had inserted, one contract O2 and the other PAYG Orange, I tried swapping them round and the issue was sorted, I never really found out why.

It was nice to have 2 indicators as to the respective signal strengths, this was useful in deciding which card to use in what areas dependant on available signal, it was pointed out to me that this would also prove useful if travelling as you could pop in a SIM from the country you are visiting and use that, without disrupting you own primary card too much, and of course the advantage of local call charges and not roaming.

A great advantage of the Acer is a simple program that allows you to dictate which SIM to use to suit your situation, but even better is the option to switch one or both of the phones off, best suited for turning off the business phone in the evenings and at the weekend should you choose.

Another issue that I never did solve was the ability to use threaded SMS, which I use all the time now. I think this is probably more a limitation of windows mobile rather than the Acers. It was quite possibly caused by a bigger limitation of the user?!

I was pleasantly surprised at how quick the GPS function was on the PDA, there is no preinstalled navigation software, but Google maps was really quick, and as always, easy to use. Overall the device was speedy enough in day to day use the Samsung 533 MHz processor was more than adequate in my opinion.

With regard to the rest of the device you can take it one of two ways; firstly you could be pleased that Acer have not customised the unit beyond recognition or secondly be disappointed that there are no real adaptations to the software to add value for money. I prefer the former, with so many programs and such a lot of software readily available the basic Windows will do for me and I applaud Acer for not meddling, I didn’t even use the bundled Spd’s Mobile Shell user interface that much as I am not a great fan. If I want customised then I will do it myself. Let’s face it this phone does not have massive amounts of memory to play with so the simplified version is fine by me.

The call quality was fine and the speaker is LOUD, with the added ability to choose that best signal available from either SIM, the mobile phone side was not a problem in any respect.

The battery life is not good, with so much going on in the way of 2 SIM’s, GPS, Bluetooth, wifi, data etc etc. the battery will definitely need charging daily, even though it is on the large side.

The camera is a letdown in this day and age, as is the overall size of the Tempo, the camera at 3 mega pixel is not the best and although there is the often missed portrait mirror and flash it could do with an upgrade. The size of the device also appears excessive, now with even 8 mega pixel devices clocking in at 14mm and less, there is definitely room for improvement in the dimensions department, I can’t believe that this is due to the dual sim, but I could be wrong.

The Acer DX900 (Acer Tempo)



The Acer Tempo DX900 is a very capable device, probably the first to take that huge step towards true mobile communication and flexibility, is has its faults and it is not perfect, but if you want device that can fit in your pocket and will replace 2 phones, a Sat Nav and basic camera, this does fit the bill. Not to mention the cost saving by not having to buy all these separate devices.

In a lot of ways the DX900 is but this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is uncomplicated and easy to live with on a regular day to day basis.

I think that it is a great step forward and hope that now it has been done others will develop and improve the concept, making smaller, lighter and better spec’d devices in the future.

Things, really, can only get better, I wonder what HTC think of this advance and how they are up to in this respect?


Review by: Steve

[ Post Tags: Windows Mobile, Smartphone, Acer, DX900, Dual-Sim, ]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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