Acer Liquid Jade Z hands-on: mid-range hardware and LTE for 199 euro


Not long ago, we reviewed the Acer Liquid Jade S – a seemingly promising yet rather underwhelming mid-range Android handset. At MWC 2015, we took a look at its mid-range sibling, the Acer Liquid Jade Z, which appeared to be nearly identical in terms of appearance and features, save for the presence of 4G LTE support. Was it any better overall, however?

For starters, the Jade Z is a very light and very thin handset. It weighs just 110 grams, it is 7.9-millimeters thin, and fits nicely in the palm. Moreover, the texture on the back adds grip and resists fingerprints. While the phone feels plasticky overall, we're willing to accept this given the phone's mid-range nature. 

At 5 inches in diagonal and with 720 by 1280 pixels of resolution, the screen on the Acer Liquid Jade Z seems decent on paper. But in real life, it is clear to see that the panel isn't of the best quality. Still, it gets the job done and should meet the needs of anyone who doesn't expect excellent pixel density or color accuracy. 

Inside the Liquid Jade Z ticks a 1.5GHz, 64-bit, quad-core SoC by MediaTek. It is backed by 1GB of RAM or 2GB of the good stuff in case you pick the Plus variant of the handset. Flawless performance shouldn't be expected out of such a hardware combo, although the unit we got to handle ran respectably well during our brief testing. While the 8GB of on-board storage would hardly suffice to the average user, the microSD card slot allows you to add extra gigs of storage space. 

Parts of the the Android 4.4 KitKat build running on the Jade Z have been customized. The recent apps menu, has been redesigned and holds up to nine recent items on the screen along with shortcuts to specific tools and features. It is also worth mentioning the addition of DTS audio enhancements, although these are in no way a guarantee for stellar sound. An update for Android 5.0 Lollipop has been confirmed for the aforementioned Plus variant of the device.

If you turn the Acer Liquid Jade Z around, you'll find a 13MP camera with a single LED flash and a very wide aperture, supposedly to improve low light photography. The 5MP camera at the front is expected to take presentable selfies.   

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All of this can be yours in the coming weeks as the Acer Liquid Jade Z is destined to launch this month for just 199 euro ($215). The price seems adequate for what you get, although only a thorough review would confirm if the phone is a keeper or best avoided.

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