While Acer's Liquid line of Android smartphones hasn't exactly set the world on fire, the company is proceeding with its rollout with the latest model in the United Kingdom. The Acer Liquid Express (sounds like drain cleaner, doesn't it?) is launching now at T-Mobile and Orange locations across the country, distinguishing itself as one of the only low-end smartphones to offer near-field communication (NFC) technology for quick wireless retail payments.
The Liquid Express runs on an 800Mhz Qualcomm processor and an as-yet unannounced amount of RAM. That's not the fastest thing on the block, but it should be more than enough to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread comfortably. A 3.5-inch screen with a 480 x 320 resolution will have to suffice, while a respectable 5-megapixel camera handles shutterbug duties. It's hard to tell without physically touching the device, but it looks like Acer has some minimal customizations to the Android launcher running in the software.
The price is right: free on-contract for both T-Mobile and Orange. That's a pretty good deal for those just getting their first smartphone - though if recent studies are to be believed, there aren't that many left in the UK who fit that description. You can check out a second press shot of the budget smartphone below. In the US, AT&T might be preparing something similar with the Acer Liquid Mini, though it's been so long since we've seen it that it would need a significant upgrade to be relevant.