Acer listened carefully to what customers didn't like about the Liquid Jade and announced an improved version of the phone back in December - the Liquid Jade S. CES 2015 gives us the first opportunity to see it in person.
The phone keeps the visual aesthetics of its predecessor and looks the part. We especially like the phone's slimness and tapered edges.
The Liquid Jade S measures 7.8mm thick, just 0.3mm more than the past version, and weighs 116 grams. That's because Acer has fitted a slightly larger battery - 2,300mAh vs. 2,100mAh. When you add all of this together and throw in the new textured back, the Liquid Jade S feels entirely different and a lot better than the Liquid Jade.
Acer has kept the 5" 720p IPS display and it looks decently well. Under the hood, there's a change in the chipset. Instead of the Mediatek MT6582 with a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7, the company has fitted the Liquid Jade S with the newer, 64-bit Mediatek MT6572M. The phone enjoys the added oomph of an octa-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and 2GB of RAM, instead of just 1GB.
The phone is running the latest revision of Android KitKat, which is unfortunate, as we hoped to see Lollipop run on Acer phones. We're sure Acer will push an update to the latest version of Android soon enough, although we haven't heard anything specific.
Anyway, the front-facing camera is improved and is now 5MP. We didn't have the proper conditions to test it, since the lighting wasn't ideal, but it should perform much better than the old 2MP snapper.
The Acer Liquid Jade S will retail for €299 and will debut in Europe, Middle East and Asia later in January.
Acer also introduced a more budget-oriented offering at CES 2015 in the face of the Liquid Z410. It packs LTE connectivity and a 4.5" qHD display with a rather low qHD resolution resulting in a pixel density of 245ppi.
The phone comes in an interesting color scheme, but even this can't help its rather uninspiring design. Still, it's at least fast with a 64-bit quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU, a Mali-T760 GPU and 1GB of RAM. Just like its larger brother, the Liquid Z410 sports DTS Studio Sound, which should in theory grant it an advantage when it comes to sound quality. The CES showroom floor is quite loud and we couldn't estimate the quality that the front-facing speakers provide.
At the back, there's also a 5MP snapper shooting 720p video, while a 2MP front-facing camera takes care of selfies. The phone runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat extremely well, but sadly the experience is rather spoiled due to the low resolution of the display.
The 16GB internal storage is expandable via the microSD card slot. The phone features a beefy 2,500mAh Li-Po battery, which Acer says can hold up to 400 hours of stand-by time. Expect the phone to come out by the end of January with a €129 price tag.