Today we’ll be taking a brief look at the Acer Liquid E3, one of the newest low-budget mid-range device released by Acer. Word of advice though, if you want to purchase the Acer Liquid E3 know that you have certain options with it. At the moment, you have a choice between the Single-SIM and the Dual-SIM versions ( the latter being dubbed Acer Liquid E3 Duo ). In the nearby future, however, Acer will be releasing a “Plus” version of this device in multiple countries which will have a few minor improvements with a relatively major impact.
Personally, I’m not a very big fan of Acer, but I can appreciate the work they put into their devices – on all fronts. Their laptops aren’t all that great in comparison with some of their competing products, but at least they serve their purpose well when used by someone in need of a low-budget laptop. Same thing kind of goes for their phones, except here they’re slightly better than some of the ones available on the market and they can provide a lot of good features without breaking your wallet in half.
This is a really good phone, especially for the approximate price of 200 euros ( or 250 euros for the Plus version ) with all the features it has. Granted, it also has a few limitations that you’ll have to live with such as the lack of 4G LTE support, the lack of advanced features for the cameras despite its high-quality and the older version of Android present on it. Although, if I were you, I’d disregard all those “limitations and drawbacks” as they’re only bad if you view them as such – see this is where people need to differentiate between Needing something and Wanting something – you won’t NEED this to be the strongest phone with the newest tech in it, but you will most probably WANT it to be like that. Personally, I’d go for the Plus version rather than the normal one ( with or without the Dual-SIM ) as it has double the amount of RAM and a larger storage-space. If you don’t really need that, the phone runs smooth enough as it is ( this is where having an older Android gives you the upper hand – you won’t have to worry about the newest things not working on your device ) and it doesn’t seem to have any serious problem regarding its components. To put it simply – it’s hard to find something better or even at the very least as good as this phone for the pricing for which it’s being sold ( provided it’s around the 200-250 euro margin, otherwise if it’s too spiced up, you’re threading in mid-to-high-end territory ). Over-all, consider this: if you’re strapped for cash and need an new phone, you can get 3 of these for the price of 1 flagship.
As I’ve mentioned, the Acer Liquid E3 doesn’t support 4G LTE connectivity. It does use 2G and 3G, however, on both this one and on the Dual-SIM version as well. Currently, this phone is available having been announced in February and later released in April, although the Plus version may not be out officially in all countries ( rest assured, though, it will be in the near-by future ).
The Acer Liquid E3 is relatively small, being just large enough to house its 4.7 inch screen. Aside from that, it doesn’t appear to have any overly large margins to further enhance its size unnecessarily. Its design is smooth with rounded corners and a slightly protuberant camera. The phone also has capacitive buttons on the front and not the on-screen kind. The specifics about its size and weight are: 136 x 64 x 9 mm ( or 5.35 x 2.68 x 0.35 in ) and 134 g ( or 4.73 oz ), respectively.
The screen of the Acer Liquid E3 is pretty good. The 4.7 inch display on this phone is of IPS LCD 16 million colors quality that can house a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and has a pixel density of approximately 312 pixels per inch. Unfortunately, there’s no apparent screen protection so you’ll have to be careful with the handling of this phone and try to not mix it up with keys in the same pocket.
The audio-part of this phone is pretty neat. The Acer Liquid E3 has audio-enhancements on both the hardware-side and the software-side with Stereo Speakers on the front and a DTS sound-enhancement installed. Some people may not have heard about the DTS audio enhancement, partly due to the fact that Dolby and Beats are more popular and used more among other phones, yet I’ve been using it for some time and know for a fact its capabilities making the volume louder while still retaining its clarity at the same time.
The memory is one of the only things improved in the Plus version of this phone, which isn’t to say that the Acer Liquid E3’s memory is it itself bad. The internal storage of the regular version is only 4 GB of space and the RAM is also limited to 1 GB. The Plus version sort of rectifies this problem, making the internal storage 16 GB and the RAM 2 GB. Both versions of the phone also has a MicroSD card slot and can use cards of up to 32 GB.
The data connection details about this phone are pretty vague. All I can tell you for sure about the Acer Liquid E3 is that it has both GPRS and EDGE and can use the internet at 3G speeds. Naturally, the phone also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, although I’m not sure which versions due to a lack of info. The device also has a Micro-USB v2.0 port on it, however, it doesn’t use MHL and the phone doesn’t have an HDMI port either.
Popular opinion about the camera seems to be torn, and with good reason. On one hand, you have a decent 2 MP front camera ( which nobody aside from the Selfie-Addicts will use ) and a pretty strong 13 MP main camera. On the other hand, though, you have a sever lack of features that are mainly used to enhance the quality. Actually, the only 3 features known are: Autofocus, LED Flash and Geo-Tagging. Personally, I have no problem with this as I rarely use the phone camera, but I can imagine this being quite a disappointment for some users.
The battery on this phone is a Non-Removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh unit. Allegedly, the times promised by this battery are circa 260 hours of stand-by and 5 hours of talk-time ( which isn’t all that much, to be frank ). Thankfully, things aren’t so gloom – with regular internet activity ( like checking your E-Mail ), this phone can pretty much survive for a full day with calls and a few apps running at a time.
The hardware present on this device is quite powerful, the Acer Liquid E3 being thus capable of running even some of the more hardware-demanding games ( it does start to get warm, however, in those cases ). The specs on this phone are: a Mediatek MT6589 chipset, a Quad-Core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor and a PowerVR SGX544 video card. All things considered, if you get the Plus version you should probably be able to play just about any game on this ( some of the newer ones with the best graphics may not run, or run a bit sluggish, but all should be fine otherwise ).
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a phone with v4.4.2 KitKat, the Acer Liquid E3 is a wrong choice. It only has Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean on it, and while it may run smooth enough, some would prefer to have the latest version on it. Naturally, you’ll find a lot of bloatware too on it ( which can be easily removed manually ). There are a lot of Acer things on it too, some of them quite useful, although most users already have a personal preference and will opt to use that rather than the one provided.
There aren’t a whole lot of features present on the Liquid E3, but it really doesn’t NEED more than these to work. This phone has the following: two sensors ( Accelerometer and Proximity ), HTML for the browser, Java through MIDP emulation, GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS and that’s about it. The messaging on this phone is done via your standards methods of SMS ( Threaded View ), MMS, E-Mail and Push E-Mail. This device is also available in two colors: White and Black ( personally I like the black finish on it more than the white one ).
Here’s a brief list of the things this phone’s equipped with:
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- SNS integration
- MP3/WAV/AAC player
- MP4/H.264/H.263 player
- Document viewer
- Photo viewer/editor
- Voice memo/dial
- Predictive text input
This concludes our little review of the Acer Liquid E3. All and all it’s great phone for a good value that won’t strain your pockets too much. Are there better devices than this one – most likely. Are there better devices than the upcoming Plus version – not many ( and those that are available, are limited in their availability and heavily restricted to a handful of countries only ). In the end, if you know what you want and you don’t necessarily need the latest in hardware performance, this is probably the best phone for you.