x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Acer Liquid Z3 Review

Posted: , by Chris P.




Acer Liquid Z3 Review
Acer Liquid Z3 Review
Acer has a stellar track record as a master in the inexpensive electronics branch, originally starting off with PCs and laptops, and more recently – tablets and smartphones. With that in mind, the Acer Liquid Z3 falls right into the very field of expertise of the Taiwanese company – at €99 (about $132) it's truly a budget-friendly offering.

But, smartphones on the cheap have ceased to be a novelty, though the traditional concerns are still present: does an affordable price tag spell low quality? Not necessarily it would appear, and the pocket-friendly 3.5-inch Liquid Z3 is a prime example. Of course, that's not to say that no trade-offs are involved, so the real question is whether the Z3, as a whole, is worth it? Let's find out.

In the box:

  • User manual
  • USB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Acer headphones


Acer Liquid Z3 Review
Acer Liquid Z3 Review
Trendy as they may be, Acer hasn't gone for a variety of colors with the Liquid Z3 – it's only offered in black & white, and we've got the arguably less attractive black version. The Z3's design amounts to more than the frugal price tag suggests – it's obviously plastic, but real sturdy at that, not to mention compact. Let us emphasize that this is a very well put together piece of hardware for its price range – there are no cracks in the profile of the device and it didn't so much as creak despite a considerable amount of force being exercised on its sides.

There's no mistaking the Acer Liquid Z3 for a premium device. But it doesn't feel cheap, either. The rounded back of the device features a brushed matte plastic, making the device a pleasure to hold. Moreover, while at 0.41 inches (10.4mm) thickness, the Liquid Z3 is leaning slightly more towards the bulky category, we found that to be a good thing in terms of ergonomics. At 4.23 oz (120g), the Z3 weighs enough to make its presence known, but no more.

The Z3 features capacitive platform buttons, instead of software ones. Up on the right, there's the volume rocker, while top middle is where you'll find the power button. Both physical buttons suffer from a shared flaw – there's barely any travel to the keys, and they provide very little feedback. What's even worse, both keys require you to use some force to get them to register your press.

Acer Liquid Z3
4.29 x 2.36 x 0.41 inches
109 x 60 x 10.4 mm
4.23 oz (120 g)

Acer Liquid Z3

LG Optimus L3 II
4.04 x 2.41 x 0.47 inches
102.6 x 61.1 x 11.9 mm
3.88 oz (110 g)

LG Optimus L3 II

Sony Xperia E
4.47 x 2.43 x 0.43 inches
113.5 x 61.8 x 11 mm
4.08 oz (116 g)

Sony Xperia E

Samsung Galaxy Fame
4.46 x 2.43 x 0.46 inches
113.2 x 61.6 x 11.6 mm
4.25 oz (121 g)

Samsung Galaxy Fame

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Acer Liquid Z3 Review
The TFT screen on the Acer Liquid Z3 is perhaps its biggest weakness. While size preferences are certainly subjective, the Z3's 3.5-inch display is definitely far from the norm, as far as Android devices go. And while we can definitely understand that some people simply prefer compact phones, there's no denying that the 320x480 resolution (165 ppi) is edging on the sanitary minimum nowadays. But, it's not all bad – the screen is not unpleasant to look at – it won't be turning any heads, but it's adequate considering the target group that Acer is shooting for with the Z3. Viewing angles are also good, though the glass on top of the screen has made the Z3 quite reflective.

  • Options

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 06:47 2

1. realtrevor (Posts: 14; Member since: 13 Dec 2012)

8.5 rating for this junk and 7.5 For the BlackBerry Z30. Are you kidding me?

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 07:10 3

2. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

The review was published with rating 8.1 (not 8.5) but it was a mistake, as the real rating is 7.9/10.

You cannot compare the rating with the Z30, as these phones are from different class. If you read the review, you will see that the Acer Z3 is positioned in the budget smartphone class, costing about $130, while the BlackBerry Z30 is a flagship phone with a price of $600.

You should read the "How we rate" page (linked below the rating) http://www.phonearena.com/howdowerate

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 07:24 7

3. darkskoliro (Posts: 1090; Member since: 07 May 2012)

I think that the rating you give can be quite misleading if people dont understand the category they are in. Perhaps you should incorporate an icon next to the review showing that it is a "Budget Phone" or a "Premium Phone". Just something a little more obvious.

posted on 13 Oct 2013, 05:28

6. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

Oh yeah thats what I thought after taking a look at the ratings of z30 and galaxy grand

posted on 16 Nov 2013, 17:05

12. kyropee (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Nov 2013)

For me, PhoneArema Team has been right in reviewing and "How we do rate". It is even easy to compare among phone without PhoneArena says the class. A price itself says its class and quality that should be. It's just a logic thing for readers to know.

However you should tell the mistake happen to rating. 7.9 to 8.1, how come?

posted on 13 Oct 2013, 05:26

5. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

Just look at its user interface
As boring as help

Its worth to buy galaxy ace 3

posted on 12 Oct 2013, 06:21 1

4. mas39 (Posts: 80; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)

Personally I agree with the Phonearena Team, it's very obvious to me that these are made for totally different markets, it's obvious the Z30 is a flagship phone and the Liquid Z3 is for the budget end, so the marks given are quite correct on that basis.

posted on 13 Oct 2013, 05:30

7. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

Personally I think "no!"

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 05:15

8. amateen (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Oct 2013)

Can I connect USB drive with it.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 01:55

9. ranidf (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Apr 2009)

I think it should be mentioned:

1) That Z130 is one of the very few phones that got DTS logo. DTS is a world-known company. However, the implementation is very bad, the sound's loudness is very low and the sound quality with both DTS on and off is below average.

2) The lightness of two side of the phone while viewed in landscape mode is not the same. One part is darker than the other.

3) The screen is prone to flickering.

4) USB tethering while working on Windows 7 seems to be not working on Windows XP, even though there is a driver for such on their site.

5) The over-all feeling is that the phone hasn't been beta-tested enough prior to it's release.

posted on 21 Oct 2013, 01:02

10. Chris.P (Posts: 567; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

I fondled with the Z30 for about a week before this review got published, and problem 2, 3 and 5 simply did not apply to my testing (and tested it was).

I can't comment on the USB tethering part, since I didn't actually try to. On your first point, however, I've got to say that from our experience, slapping a DTS logo on the back of a phone rarely means anything more than some marketing fluff. The loudness was actually adequate and so was the sound quality, considering the ultra-budget class of the phone. Seriously, you've got to hear the speaker on some of the other phones we get to review :-/...

Cheers for the feedback anyhow, despite the fact that our experiences with the Z30 appear to have failed to converge. :)

posted on 30 Oct 2013, 03:29

11. nightflame (Posts: 2; Member since: 22 Oct 2013)

I have had this phone for a month now. Its a great little phone. No other budget phone comes close in terms of processing power for the size. The let down is the screen. At 480x320 text is a bit soft. Also the viewing angles are poor. The fact that it is almost stock Android with very little manufacturer customization and bloat is good. For more info stargw.eu/1360438d7b1f18d9c

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories