Welcome to my review of the Acer Liquid J Smartphone. This is a slightly more expensive budget style phone from Acer compared to my recent review of the Acer Go (Liquid Z220), retailing around £149.
– MediaTek MT6732 Quad-core 1.50 GHz
– 5″HD (1280 x 720) screen
– 13 Megapixel (Rear Camera) f/1.8, 5 Megapixel f/2.2 (Front Camera)
– 8gb storage, 1 GB RAM
– Sensors – Ambient Light Sensor, G-sensor, Proximity Sensor, eCompass
– Dual SIM Size – Nano or Nano/Micro SD combination
– FM Radio include
– Micro SD up to 32gb
– Android 4.4 KitKat
– Cellular – GPRS,HSPA+, LTE
– Bluetooth 4.0
– Wireless LAN
– Battery 2,300mAh
– Battery Talk Time 7 Hour, Battery Standby Time 400 Hour
– Dimensions – Height 143.5 mm, Width 69.8 mm, Depth 7.9 mm
– Weight (Approximate) 110 g
Below are profile shots of the phone. Click on a photo to enlarge image. Due to the design of the phone, the depth of 7.9mm often looks even slimmer. The profile equates to a phone that is really great to hold in the hand and use one handed.
The Acer Liquid J is running android 4.4.4. The Acer skin is using a relatively stock Google experience but Acer does add to this in many ways. Acer adds 13 of its own apps in to the equation including abDocs, abFiles, abMusic, abPhoto and abVideo. These 5 apps allow you to access media and files on your computer and stream them to the phone. AcerExtend is an app that allows you to view and control your Acer phone from your computer via USB or WiFi. Other Acer apps include Acer SnapNote, Easy hotspot, LiveScreen, Quick Mode, System Doctor and Quick Guide. AcerNav is a offline turn by turn navigation app, with the service and maps by TomTom. Other useful apps included are a FM Radio, Flashlight, File Manager, Quick Mode for changing to an easier to use home screen layout and then there are the bloatware apps. Bloatware includes the following – Skype, Real Football 2015, Puzzle Pets, Polaris Office 5, eBay, Clean Master, Acer Suggests, Amazon Appstore, Barcode Scanner, 50+ games and Booking.com.
In terms of the phones radios, WiFi, Bluetooth and cellular all worked well. Call quality and the 720p screen visibility, viewing angles were all reasonable. The screen features zero air gap technology which is similar to that used on the iPhone. This means that the screen on the Acer is pretty decent.
Like all manufacturers today, there is a race to produce slimmer phones. And the Liquid Jade Z is super thin at the expense of battery life. I managed to last a day but only just. However, I can’t deny the slim design and profile was comfortable to hold in the hand, and at 110g is extremely light.
Performance. The Liquid Acer Jade Z was nimble and smooth phone in use. This was replicated by an AnTuTu score of 30,831. The phone comes with 1gb ram and 8gb storage, which is as really low. A better option would have been 2gb/16gb storage in my opinion. Fortunately, you can add a micro SD card up to 32gb. If you don’t need to use the micro SD card slot, you can add another sim card.
Camera and Audio
Below is a sample HDR shot from the rear 13mp f/1.8 camera. The photos generally were better than most phones around this price point. This is helped by its f/1.8 rear camera but it is not at the level of the Samsung Galaxy S6 or LG G4.
The camera interface is fairly straightforward, with other options available by hitting the settings icon. See screen shots below.
The loudspeaker is on the rear and projects a clear undistorted sound maxing out at 80db. This is not as high as other phones I have recently tested which as an average maxed out at around 83db – 88db. Headphone output is good and you can tailor the sound using the DTS Audio options. USB Audio is not supported. A FM Radio is included.
The Acer Liquid Jade Z feels great to use with just one hand, due to its slim profile and narrow width. Acer install a lot of useful apps but then ruin the experience slightly with a large amount of bloatware. I found it was possible to uninstall some of these apps but not all of them. You could disable the remaining apps in the phone settings, which made them no longer visible in the app drawer. 1gb ram and 8gb storage have the potential for performance/memory issues further down the line. At a suggested retail price of £149, the Acer Liquid Jade J has fierce competition. I was surprised to see that this phone is running android 4.4.4 which and not android lollipop. Its dual sim setup is handy but overall its a crowded market place around the £150 and there are some better alternatives at this price point although none are as slim as the Acer Liquid Jade J. So if overall thinness is a key consideration then maybe take a look at this phone.