Acer Liquid E2 Review
|Style & Handling
Pros : Solid performance and a large screen.
Cons : Terrible design and average battery
Verdict : The Acer Liquid E2 provides impressive performance for the money, but an ugly build, average battery life and lack of any real stand out features hold it back.
Acer Liquid E2 Full Review
The Acer Liquid E2 is gunning for the low to mid range of the smartphone market and it comes packing a quad-core processor and a reasonable price tag (coming in at around £200), but with so much competition it needs a lot more than that to stand out.
The Acer Liquid E2 is a plastic monstrosity. We’d expect a plastic build at this price point, but the Acer Liquid E2 has large plastic bezels above and below the screen and the front of the phone curves inwards from the back plate at the top, which is probably meant to give it a bit of flair but actually just looks ugly. While the back of the handset has large ugly speaker grills at the top and bottom. It’s quite chunky too, with a thickness of 9.9mm.
The phone is available in black or white but you should avoid the white version at all costs as it’s a horrible off-white colour which makes the whole thing look more like a toddler’s toy than a smartphone. The one good thing that we can say about the design is that it does at least feel sturdy.
Performance is probably the Acer Liquid E2’s main strong point. It has a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. While that amount of RAM isn’t special, a quad core processor is almost unheard of at this price point. It gives the phone a lot of power for the money, allowing it to easily handle web browsing and other general tasks, though HD gaming is hit and miss and you shouldn’t expect it to match the power of a high end quad-core handset, as most of those have faster processors and more RAM.
There’s no 4G support so web browsing and downloading and streaming files aren’t as fast as they could be when away from a Wi-Fi network, though it’s not really any slower on 3G than most mid-range handsets.
The Acer Liquid E2 has a 4.5 inch LCD 540 x 960 display with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch. That’s quite a lot of screen for the money and while the resolution isn’t great it’s not bad either, making it a solid bet for watching videos on. That said, colours tend to look a little cold and washed out and it’s noticeably worse than the screens on higher end phones.
The camera on the Acer Liquid E3 is pretty average. It’s got 8 megapixels, which is a bit of a surprise since most low to mid-range smartphones stick to 5 megapixel snappers, but it’s certainly not the best 8 megapixel camera around. Pictures come out ok but are often quite noisy unless there’s impeccable lighting and also tend to be a bit washed out. Really, while it might be an 8 megapixel camera it takes photos more in line with a 5 megapixel one.
The Acer Liquid E3 can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps and has a 2 megapixel secondary camera on the front.
The Acer Liquid E2 is pretty sparse on features. It has an interface that’s quite close to stock Android 4.2.1, which means it’s intuitive and easy to use, but it’s also pretty basic, requiring you to download apps from Google Play to get much extra functionality.
The phone features DTS audio and dual speakers, but the quality actually isn’t up to much. It certainly won’t be a threat to the HTC One and really isn’t any better than the speaker audio from any other smartphone.
It has a meagre 4GB of built in storage, though there is support for micro SD cards of up to 32GB, so you’re well advised to invest in one of those if you buy this phone. It supports Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth 3.0 but lacks higher end features like NFC, infrared and 4G LTE.
The 2000 mAh battery promises a standby time of up to 450 hours or a talk time of up to 9 hours, which is probably about right. Obviously though as soon as you start web browsing and watching videos the lifespan goes way down. Ultimately it’s not likely to last more than a day unless you’re very careful with how you use it.
The Acer Liquid E2 is a reasonable phone in a lot of ways. Its quad-core processor impresses and its camera isn’t bad for the money. On the other hand it really is one of the ugliest smartphones we’ve ever seen, particularly the white version. It also has below average battery life and no strong selling points beyond the processor. Storage is limited, there’s no 4G or NFC and the display is decent but unremarkable. You could certainly do a lot worse for your money, but unless you really only care about processing power you could also do better.
Acer Liquid E2 Specification
Dimensions : 131 x 68 x 9.9 mm
Screen size: 4.5 inch
Screen Resolution: 960*540 pixels
Screen Type: LCD display
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 245 PPI
Processor: Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
Battery capacity : 2000mAh
Onboard Memory: 4GB (microSD support)
Camera : 8 mega-pixel (rear) & 2 mega-pixel (front-facing)
Operating system: Android Jelly Bean
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE : Yes / Yes / No
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes / No
Colours : Black or White
Launch Date: Available Now
Price : £149.99
Checkout the full Acer Liquid E2 specification here.