We're quite excited about the Acer Stream. Its specs suggest that it could be a real player in the smartphone market and we liked the look of it when we got hands-on at the beginning of last month.

We thought that the networks would be all over it like a rash, but it's been announced that the handset will be available exclusively to online retailer eXpansys

For a penny shy of £400, from 9 August, you can nab yourself a SIM-free version of the handset - one that runs Android 2.1 and has a 3.7-inch AMOLED, WVGA display (with 1.67 million bright colours and a 2000:1 contrast ratio).

It also packs 512MB of RAM along with a speedy 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, HSDPA 7.2, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It has 2GB of flash memory, but you can upgrade with a mircoSD (there's an 8GB card in the box).

Its camera is none to shoddy either - HD video shooting is 720p and it has 5 megapixels with geotagging included. You can even output it using a its mini-HDMI port.

Adam Moss of eXpansys said:

“With its impressive HD recording, playback and Dolby Digital capabilities it’s hard to argue with the 'HD' part".

"As a phone, it packs clever features such as 'Ambient information' which uses the lock screen to display key information automatically. It is a very exciting launch that includes so much great tech".   

“Acer has sneaked up on the competition with this device. They have not particularly been on the radar for phone technology and now have produced a fantastic piece of kit". 

"At the affordable price of £399 it is really great that we have secured the handset for our customers first”.

Ah, so Moss said "first". So maybe the exclusive isn't really that exclusive, it's just first dibs. Expect to see the Acer Stream hit the networks in the coming months then.

What do you smartphone lovers think? A contender or a pretender for the smartphone championship? Let us know below.