Out of Acer's MWC 2015 line-up, the Liquid Jade Z is leader of the group. It packs a MediaTek chipset with a 64-bit CPU and 1GB of RAM. The phone runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat and we're happy with its performance.
The phone features a 5" IPS display of 720p resolution. At first glance, we thought the resolution is 1080p, it's that good looking. Part of the reason for this is the Zero Air Gap technology that Acer has embraced for the phone. There's also a Gorilla Glass 3 layer for protection on top.
The Acer Liquid Jade Z takes on a similar design language from the Liquid Jade S. There are a few new touches here and there, though. The back is now done in a nice cross pattern design. It's not as smooth as the Jade S and this makes it feel grippy. Unfortunately, the glass on top of the Jade Z display isn't curved like on the Jade S - a feature we enjoyed on the previous model.
Nevertheless, the slim profile and lightweight have stayed. The Liquid Jade Z weighs 110 grams and measures 7.9mm thin. At the back of the phone, there's a 13MP snapper with LED flash, while a 5MP front-facing one will take care of selfies.
Acer has kept the DTS Surround Sound simulating speaker at the back, but we couldn't determine if it's an upgrade over the one in the Liquid Jade S due to the noisy environment. Overall, we quite liked the Liquid Jade Z from our first encounter with it and with a price tag of €199, it's definitely going to peek our interest again when it launches in March.
The company also announced the entry-level smartphones - Liquid Z550 and Liquid Z520. Starting off with the Liquid Z550, which packs a 5" LCD screen of WVGA resolution. We are less than impressed with it and as you would imagine, the resolution is far too low for a screen of this size. Additionally, the color are washed out and the contrast is unsatisfactory. To make matters worse, we noticed a bit of ghosting in places.
It's not all bad though, as the phone is powered by the Snapdragon 400 chipset sporting a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. The phone runs Android 4.4.2 quite well as a result. Internal storage is 8GB and is expandable via the on-board microSD card slot.
The phone is available in black and sports a similar cross-pattern design on the back as the Liquid Jade Z. We don't have the dimensions of the phone just yet, but it's a bit on the bulky side. Still, you get DTS sound from the speaker at the back, which is a nice feature to have.
The Liquid Z520 on the other hand is the smaller brother with a 4" LCD display and a similar resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Here, the 233ppi pixel density is more acceptable, but colors and contrast remain unsatisfactory. The design is also quite similar, but the phone is available in white and black.
Interestingly, the white version features far grippier and sturdier battery cover and feels nicer than the black version. Sadly, this one is still on the bulky side, but feels nice in the hand due to its more compact dimensions.
Powering the Liquid Z520 is a Snapdragon 200 chipset with a dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. We noticed some lag here and there, but nothing too bad as Android 4.4.2 KitKat is optimized for low-end devices like this.
The Liquid Z520 will go on sale in April for €109, while the Liquid Z220 will be available this month for €89.