Hands-On With Acer's Liquid Jade 2, Liquid Zest Smartphones

While Mobile World Congress is often dominated by the big names like LG, Samsung, Sony and co. they're far from the only brands to bring new hardware to the show. Acer, despite their prowess in PCs and Laptops - Chromebooks, too - have long had their feet in the smartphone arena. During this year's Mobile World Congress, the Taiwanese firm had a couple of new devices to show off, the Liquid Jade 2 and the Liquid Zest. Both are devices that aim to offer maximum bang-for-buck, but in the case of the Liquid Jade 2, Acer might surprise some of you.

Starting off with the Liquid Jade 2, which was announced earlier this week, complete with a 5.5-inch AMOLED which promises to cover 100% of the NTSC color gamut, Acer have a good-looking phone on offer here. From the limited time that we spent with the handset, it felt good in the hand, and they've definitely selected a decent AMOLED panel here. Running what appears to be mostly stock Android, it's refreshing to see Acer just let Android be what it wants to be, something they presumably learnt from their partnership with Google on their Chromebooks. With a 21-megapixel rear-facing camera, capable of 4K video recording, and quality sound from Dolby, the Liquid Jade 2 has a lot going for it. On the inside, there's a distinct 2015 feel here, and while the build quality isn't stunning, it's a good-looking package for a device that will launch later this year for much less than most smartphones at this level.

For those not looking to spend quite as much, or even looking for a device as large as the 5.5-inch Liquid Jade 2, the Acer Zest - and its 4G brother, the Zest 4G - will be more applicable. The Zest pair of devices - regardless of choosing the 4G option or not - feature 5.0-inch 720p displays, MediaTek quad-core CPUs and little else in between. There's a fairly lackluster look and feel here as well, but considering €109 and €149 price tags, without or with 4G support, it's hard to complain. All-in-all, the Acer Zest and Zest 4G is a budget-bargain for those looking for something on the cheap without having to totally slum it, and there's certainly a market out there for this sort of thing.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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