Acer Liquid Jade Z review
Acer's low-to-mid range smartphone
Acer, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, has launched the Acer Liquid Jade Z smartphone for the low-to-mid range end of the market. There are pros and cons with this piece of tech, just like any other in its pricing bracket, but there are a few unexpected twists and turns uncovered in this review and these may just have you convinced that this Acer smartphone is for you.
|✓Excellent display||✗Low internal memory|
|✓High resolution camera||✗Small battery|
The Acer Liquid Jade Z looks very much like the Samsung Galaxy SIII with a plastic body and chrome effects trims that highlight the edges of the display and the camera lens on the rear. The shape is very similar too, with nice sweeping curves that aid a secure grip and one-handed operation.
The audio jack is located on the top edge which makes it readily available for use with the headset, included in the box. The micro USB port is located on the bottom, while on the reverse is a rather smart looking circular speaker grill.
The initial opinion of the Acer Liquid Jade Z is heightened through its slimline form, of just 7.9mm. The phone also only weighs 110 grams, which is extremely good when compared to its similarly priced rivals.
The 5” IPS display is protected behind Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and uses Zero Air Gap technologies to bring the generated images closer to the surface. This enables a better viewing experience with minimal reflections and wide viewing angles. The resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels is plenty for browsing, streaming or gaming and equates to 294ppi.
There is plenty of processing power offered by the MediaTek 64-bit 1.5GHz quad core processor with 1GB RAM. There is an 8GB internal memory and 32GB microSD card slot, which may indicate a few possible issues when we look next at the set up.
Phone Set Up
The Acer Liquid Jade Z has dual SIM capabilities, but if this is the main purpose of purchasing this phone then it may not be the best choice on the market. The second SIM card would need to use the microSD card slot, which in turn means that the memory cannot be expanded. And, this may become an issue as this Acer phone has a small internal memory and a good portion of this is taken up by 50 or so games that cannot be removed, leaving little spare memory for the user.
However, if a dual SIM set up isn’t desired, then consumers will enjoy the excellent Android KitKat v4.4 OS, app downloads from Google Play and built in Google services such as Voice Search, Gmail and YouTube.
There are number of features on the Acer Liquid Jade Z that could make a purchase tempting.
The first is a special Read Mode that eliminates blue-light emissions from the image processing engine. This protects the eyes from the dangers of this highest energy wavelength of light, which is given off by PCs and smartphones. These can cause headaches, difficulty with sleeping, dry eyes and other potential long term effects.
The second feature that brings appeal is the floating windows system that allows open apps to be moved around, therefore aiding multitasking. This feature comes into its own when you begin to explore the attributes of the Acer AYOC Apps (abApps) which run in parallel with a Cloud style service for syncing and sharing files across all owned devices or with chosen friends and family.
- abMusic - This app enables the enjoyment of tunes saved on a PC with streaming taking place over a wireless or mobile network. The app can also be used to download music from a PC onto the phone and Mac users who purchase music through iTunes get these added to the phone instantly. abMusic work with the 42-bit Hi-res audio HD speaker that incidentally boasts DTS Studio Sound.
- abPhoto - This app enables the archiving of pictures taken on the Liquid Jade Z via a PC.
- abFiles & abDocs - This app makes files and documents (such as Office documents) accessible on other devices via a wireless or mobile network. Files from a PC can also be upload for offline access and vice-a-versa.
Other pre-installed apps include Real Football 2015, Puzzle Pets, Livescreen, Booking.com and a Flashlight app as well as those other 50 plus games! For those who love a new app, the Acer Suggests widget sits on one of the home pages and makes recommendations of which app to download next.
The final plus mark for the Acer Liquid Jade Z comes in the form of the integrated AcerNAV offline software, which is powered by TomTom and uses TripAdvisor’s POI to bring GPS navigation services, at home or abroad, without the need for a data plan. Other features that will prove popular include 4G internet access, Bluetooth connectivity and the option to create a Wi-Fi hotspot for connecting other devices to the internet.
Camera & Video
The 13MP camera captures images in great detail and with 4160 x 3120 pixels, viewing photos on a PC or laptop is an equally high definition affair. The f/1.8 lens aperture aids capturing the fine detail of objects that are in-focus while the Acer Bright Magic feature integrates multiple pictures into one shot for the best results, when limited light is available to illuminate the scene.
If a little more than point-and-shoot is desired, then users can adjust the ISO, white balance and scene modes. Face detection, panorama, an LED flash, HDR, an on-screen grid, 1080p video recording and continuous shot mode takes care of everything else.
The 5MP secondary camera has a f/2.2 aperture, which lets in more light for your selfies. Beauty mode can be used to enhance the result and the volume button or a voice command can be used to activate the shutter.
The 2,300mAh battery is far from high-capacity and is ultimately the pay off against manufacturing a smartphone that is so light and thin. There is however a battery saver app, while standard usage times should equate to up to 7 hours of talk time or 400 hours of standby.
Written by: Michael Brown