The Acer Tempo X960 is a Windows-based quad-band smartphone with touchscreen display.

Sleek and lightweight, the Acer Tempo X960 is black smartphone featuring shiny chrome accents. The phone runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and is primarily aimed at business users.

It features a 2.8in, 480x640 touchscreen and stylus, although the absence of keypad on the Acer Tempo X960 means the stylus is required to navigate through the menus as well as type messages on the screen.

We did find that while the touchscreen was responsive, only needing lightly pressure with the stylus on the display to make our selection, we weren't as fast at typing messages as we are on phones with standard keypads or flip-out Qwerty keyboards.

As well as offering an Icon Matrix user interface that displays all of the apps on the home screen in small square icons, Acer also provides a 3D view. This displays a graphic of a desk featuring equipment such as a calendar and a Rolodex contacts index.

By tapping on each of these pieces of equipment you get immediate access to some of the phone's apps, such as time and date or contacts, rather than having to navigate through the Windows Start menu. You can move across the desk to other apps by simply swiping the stylus left to right or vice-versa on the screen.

In particular we love the way text messages are displayed as little Post-Its, which then roll off when you scroll through; although we did find the display of the Acer Tempo X960 wasn't particularly colourful, relying on a palette of just greys and blue. If you prefer the Icon Matix view, simply swipe your finger vertically across the screen to switch views.

The Acer Tempo X960 also offers email and access to the web via HSDPA and Wi-Fi connections. We found it was easy to connect to our wireless network, and web pages were fast to load. The handset also benefits from GPS satnav, and comes bundled with Google maps for easy navigation. We found that the Acer Tempo X960 handset registered our location in seconds,but only to within 600m.

There's also a 3.2Mp camera, which can either be accessed through the Start Menu or from the quick launch button located on the side.

While we liked the Acer Tempo X960's camera and found it produced good clear shots either with or without the built-in flash, we found the 3x zoom tricky to operate as you have to use the stylus to zoom in, rather than a physical button.

The Acer Tempo X960 smartphone takes eight hours to charge initially and Acer recommends you then charge the device each day. There is no on-screen battery indicator; instead, users have to rely on an LED on the phone's casing, which simply starts flashing red when the battery is low. When charging this LED glows a solid red and swaps to solid green when charging is complete.


While we had a few minor gripes, overall the Acer X960 is an excellent smartphone for business users. With Wi-Fi, HSDPA and bluetooth connectivity, it ensures you have fast access to email and web while still offering a more consumer and fun UI.