Moving forward towards smartphones, the company known for its netbooks is releasing the Liquid Jade Z smartphone. It’s packed with technology, but at 3.8 ounces, it’s one of the lightest smartphones on the market today.
So what’s an Acer phone all about? Let’s take a look.
The Liquid Jade Z is available in 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage, as well as a model with double the RAM. If you want more storage, you’re going to have to turn to the humble microSD card, but you can’t have more than 32GB. Both models feature a 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek processor and a 5-inch HD Gorilla Glass 3 screen. You’ll get about 5 hours of talk time and 400 hours of standby time with the 2,300mAh battery. It also offers the option for dual nano-SIMs.
A nifty feature is the voice-activated 13-megapixel camera, complete with a quick little f/1.8 aperture lens. This means it should be stellar in low light conditions. For the selfie-addicted, there is also a 5-megapixel front lens and a “Perfect Selfie” mode that enhances low light conditions. For something different, you can also use Dual Shot mode -- the camera will take a picture or video from both the front and rear cameras at the same time.
The camera is located at the top of the phone, as usual, while the bottom of the back sports the rounded speaker. This makes it pleasing to the eye. You can choose between a smooth plastic case, or a textured case for added grip. It is quite comfortable in your hand.
The 294ppi screen is just right for watching movies and reading on-the-go. It features a vivid display with great viewing angles. The real detraction from its beauty comes in the form of the ‘Acer Suggests’ widget that takes up a significant portion of the screen. It’s just as annoying as the ‘Suggested Ad’ in Facebook that we all hate. Just another way to push apps and services we don’t really care about.
Speaking of apps we don’t really care about, this phone comes with much you won’t really care about. I, for one, don’t care to play Real Football 2015, but it’s there anyway, and you can’t remove it. With only 8GB of storage, that’s definitely a detraction. There’s a lot of stuff you probably will wish you could delete.
It sounds okay, though it wants to be better with the built-in speaker featuring DTS surround sound. However, it’s tough to find a native music app. You’ll probably just want to install Spotify or your music app of choice. You’ll want to enjoy your music through the headphones -- the speaker just didn’t stack up as it should.
If You Want It Smaller
For those that want to spend a little less than the $229/$249 on the Z, Acer has also announced the Liquid Z410. It weighs 5.1 ounces and has a slightly smaller screen (4.5 inches), a 2-megapixel front camera, and 5-megapixel rear camera. It comes with a less powerful 1.3GHZ quad-core processor with either 1GB or 2GB of RAM, but its replaceable battery performs better -- 5.5 hours of talk time and about 400 standby hours.
It’s due to be released in September for $129/$149. All of these models will be unlocked, expect those branded by AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. Whether it will compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung remains to be seen. There appears to be more work to be done in order to make that happen.