Can one spend a two-digit figure on a smartphone and still get a decent handset in return? Yes, apparently, should they choose to give the Acer Liquid Z4 a try. This newly announced dual-SIM smartphone is modest, but affordable, and judging by our first impression with it, Acer could have a potential winner in the entry-level segment on its hands.
The Acer Liquid Z4 feels like a solid and sturdy smartphone in the hand. It isn't a beauty prize winner, but it is comfortable to hold and operate thanks to its ergonomic build. As we were trying it, our fingers could effortlessly slide back and forth across its 4-inch TFT LCD display. Speaking of which, the colors on the handset's screen seem a bit off, but its pixel density is great for a phone of this class. There's a 480 by 800 pixel display on the smartphone's front and it looks detailed enough for a budget-conscious user's needs.
Acer is launching the Liquid Z4 with Android 4.2.2 out of the box. The platform's UI has undergone some minor changes, and among the extras you get is a set of floating apps that run in a window. In other words, you can access a calculator, a stopwatch, or a notes app without closing the app you're currently using. Another cool extra that we don't mind having is the Acer Rapid key – basically, it is a programmable button placed on the back of the device. It can be used for picking up calls, or for launching an app, for example. As a whole, the lightly refreshed UI doesn't seem to take a toll on the phone's performance. In fact, the dual-core, 1.3GHz MediaTek SoC handles basic tasks well, although we wouldn't expect it to run heavy games and apps flawlessly. The phone packs just 4GB of on-board storage, which is very low by today's standards.
Flip the Acer Liquid Z4 around and you'll see its 5MP camera with LED flash. We aren't expecting miracles out of this humble snapper, but it could come in handy when no other camera is around. The camera app features a number of modes usually associated with higher-end devices, such as Panorama and HDR.
So all in all, the Acer Liquid Z4 is little more than an ultra-cheap Android handset, but it seems like a decent one nonetheless. It is a full-fledged handset that will let you surf the web, keep an eye on your Facebook feed, and even play a casual game every once in a while. With its 99 euro price tag, the Acer Liquid Z4 could surely attract the attention of buyers on a tight budget, and it would be a great phone to get for junior.