In a bid to challenge Samsung's phablet supremacy head-on, Acer and Asus are betting big on 5-inch+ smartphones.
The Computex 2013 conference in Taiwan isn't officially open yet but that hasn't stopped two of the host country's biggest companies, ASUS and Acer, from revealing a host of exciting new products across every conceivable device category including phablets.
FonePad Note - Asus
Asus revealed the FonePad Note, which boasts a 6-inch full HD IPS+ display and supports stylus input. It also boasts an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, stereo front-facing speakers and 2GB of RAM. All of which makes it sound like a direct competitor to Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note III. The Note range essentially defined the phablet market and the third iteration of the device is expected to have a 6-inch full HD display and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. Other hardware and software details are yet to be revealed, but are expected to be released before the conference ends on June 8.
Liquid S1 - Acer
Asus has form in this category -- it also makes a 7-inch version of the FonePad -- but, with the launch of the Liquid S1, Acer is taking its first steps into the phablet world and in doing so is playing it safe. Its 5.7-inch screen resolution isn't quite full HD and there's no support for 4GLTE but it does have a quad-core 1.5GHz processor so it should perform strongly.
Acer has been a bit more forthcoming with features and specifications, in particular the Liquid S1's floating apps palettes which allow applications to float on top of one another rather than filling the screen and preventing mulititasking. The camera also features a voice command -- shouting "Cheese" will trigger the shutter -- and rather than facial recognition, the phone sports mouth recognition: it automatically knows when a subject is smiling and will automatically take a picture.
The Liquid S1 will hit Europe this autumn and is earmarked for France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia and the UK first before being rolled out further afield before the end of the year. Existing cellular contracts and network provider support will dictate the handset's final price, but Acer has given the phablet a recommended retail price of €349.