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Acer Liquid Jade Z review

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Acer is adding yet another smartphone to its family of Liquid Jade devices, but the latest model, the Liquid Jade Z, could be the best yet. At €199, which works out at roughly £144, it’s right in Moto G price territory, but its powerful 64-bit quad-core 1.5GHz Mediatek MT6752 processor means this phone will certainly give the Moto G a run for its money.

The Liquid Jade Z finished the SunSpider JavaScript test in just 906.7ms in Chrome and 855.8ms in its default browser. This is an incredible score from such a cheap device, as the Moto G only managed to finish the test in 1,478ms. Web browsing felt incredibly snappy, although admittedly pinch-zooming was strangely slow, undermining the phone’s otherwise very responsive touchscreen. We hope Acer will tweak the software before launch.

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We managed to run the 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme benchmark on the deviceas well, which gave us a score of 4,978: far superior to the Moto G’s 2,832. This shows the Jade Z should also be able to handle itself in games.

The Liquid Jade Z is also slimmer and lighter than the Moto G, measuring 7.9mm thick and weighing a mere 120g. This can make it feel a little flimsy, as there’s almost no weight to the device at all to give you that sturdy peace of mind, but its crosshatch textured back at least makes it very easy to hold and grip comfortably.

Its 5in 1,280×720 resolution screen doesn’t have the best colour reproduction either and blacks looked slightly blue-ish on the phone’s maximum brightness setting, but whites looked clean and the display was pleasingly bright.

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The phone’s 13-megapixel camera protrudes out of the back slightly, but Acer told us it now allows 20% more light into the lens, making it easier to take pictures in low lighting conditions. It also has voice recognition features so you can use its front 5-megapixel rear camera for selfies without having to tap the screen.

The Liquid Jade Z is only running Android 4.4.4 at the moment, whereas the Moto G has already received an upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop, but Acer assured us that the Liquid Jade Z would soon be joining the Moto G with a free OTA update to Lollipop later this year.

If the promised Lollipop update does arrive and the price stays around the £150 mark, Acer could have a budget hit on its hands with the slim, quick Liquid Jade Z.

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