Acer Liquid Jade S Review
The Acer Liquid Jade S is Acer's new mid-range smartphone. It's positioned as a promising product of the “value proposition” type, which offers pleasant design, snappy hardware, a sizeable 5-inch display, a 13MP camera, dual-SIM & LTE connectivity, and many practical software features – all that at about half the price of current high-end Android smartphones! You won't be wrong to ask “excellent, but what are the caveats?” - so go on with our review. We will explain.
The package includes:
- USB Cable
- Safety instructions
Sleek and pleasant in a calming, mildly understated manner. This is how we'd describe the Liquid Jade S' design, and those are words you'll rarely hear for a budget device! It's not the build materials that make this smartphone special, though. It's the curves! The Jade S has an intensely rounded body comprising two layers. It starts with a non-removable plastic back panel of decent quality - sturdy, carefully sculpted, with a smooth, matte finish. The pleasant surprises don't end here - Acer topped off the smartphone with curved glass, which completes its liquid, flowing appearance. The layers are held together by a thin chrome frame.
Speaking of thin, the Acer Liquid Jade S is 0.3-inches (7.78mm) thick and it's light as a feather at 4.09oz (116g). The thickness may not sound very impressive on paper, but the phone flaunts a hidden trump card - its beveled edges make it feel thinner than it actually is! And with compact dimensions of 5.53 x 2.72 x 0.30 in (140.5 x 69mm) to complement its build quality, the Liquid Jade S feels pretty well in the hand.
On the top edge of the phone, you'll find a 3.5mm audio jack, while the volume buttons are positioned to the right. They are not of good quality - it's a small plastic stripe that never feels quite right under your fingers. It lacks the clickiness to make it feel responsive enough, and the “Vol -” key tends to get stuck at times, which is a major flaw. The “+” key has been made slightly convex as to let your finger recognize it more easily. Acer also had the good intention of making the central area of the volume keys double as a two-step camera shutter. Unfortunately, the stripe's mid-zone, where your index finger is supposed to land while taking a photo, is small and non-reliable. It's too easy to press the “Vol +” or “Vol -” buttons by mistake, rather than the “shutter” key, potentially ending up with a failed photo.
On the bottom, there's the inevitable microUSB port. The left side houses a dual-SIM slot, which carries either up to two nanoSIM cards, or one microSD card and a single nanoSIM card. It's one or the other - you can't have two SIM cards and an external microSD card in place simultaneously. Above the display, you'll find Acer's typical earpiece, which oddly looks like a miniature shower drain; along with a pair of light & proximity sensors, and the front camera. On the back panel, there are the aforementioned camera with a single LED flash, and a mono loudspeaker.
Decent viewing angles and brightness, but poor image quality.
The Acer Liquid Jade S sports a 5-inch IPS LCD display with a 720x1280 resolution and a pixel density of 294 pixels per inch. One would certainly expect better image quality of a screen with such parameters. Unfortunately, the picture looks somewhat jagged, as if there's always something wrong with it. That, the poor minimal brightness level, and the slightly colder colors are the meaningful problems to report here. Otherwise, the maximum brightness and viewing angles are great, which ensures comfortable visibility under most conditions. However, that curved glass layer is quite reflective, so don't expect miracles under direct sunlight.