We have Android 4.1.1 running on the Acer Liquid Z2 with user interface that has retained its stock form for the most part. That's good news as bloating the UI with extra visual tweaks wouldn't have made sense on a smartphone so weak in terms of processing power. Still, there are a few modifications that deserve to be mentioned. The lock screen can host four shortcuts to frequently used apps, while a dozen of toggle switches are placed in the notification bar – changes that any user would appreciate. On top of that, Acer has thrown in the so-called “Quick Mode”, which is basically a simplified alternative interface providing quick access to the phone's primary features. However, we can't imagine this being useful to anyone who has a basic understanding as to how Android's UI is organized. In addition to all the stock widgets that come with Android 4.1, Acer has included a weather widget of its own and a mobile data counter.

The Acer Liquid Z2 has a dual-SIM variant as well, and the interface of that model has been augmented accordingly. For example, one SIM card can be set to handle voice calls and/or text messages, while data connectivity may be assigned to the second SIM card. Note that while both SIM cards can be on stand-by simultaneously, only one can be active at the same time. In other words, if one of them is used for a phone call, for example, the other one won't be receiving any incoming calls or text messages.

Typing on the virtual keyboard provided with the Acer Liquid Z2 does take getting used to. It feels tiny in portrait mode so typos can be common, especially for users with fingers larger than the average. Swype is present for those of you who are familiar with that alternative input method.

Processor and Memory:

Acer has chosen to go with a low-cost, single-core processor SoC for its Liquid Z2 smartphone. The MediaTek MTK6575 is the chip in question, running at 1GHz and paired with 512MB of RAM. Needless to say, the experience is far from smooth, with choppiness occurring quite often, but overall, the UI is responsive enough to not drive the user crazy. In fact, the smartphone has the guts to run casual video games at good framerates.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Acer Liquid Z223555483FAIL1198 / 352
Sony Xperia miro1439

LG Optimus L5 II28264511FAIL1297 / 400
Sony Xperia L4223922532071804 / 449

There are only 4GB of on-board storage available on the Acer Liquid Z2, out of which a measly 1.2GB are available to the user. Loading a few apps and games onto the device will quickly cause that space to run out, so using a microSD card with the Z2 is highly recommended.

Web browser and connectivity:

With its smallish, low-res display, the Acer Liquid Z2 not suitable for heavy web browsing, although it is good for looking stuff up on the fly. Both Google Chrome and the stock Android browser come pre-loaded on the device, but it won't really matter which one you pick as their performance and feature set are comparable. While heavy web pages take a while to be displayed, lighter ones are rendered quickly, with acceptable loading times.

No basic connectivity option is missing on the Acer Liquid Z2. The smartphone comes with Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G, and Bluetooth. Even an FM radio with RDS is provided as a feature.

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