In addition to the heavy flagships in upscale spheres, there are still light and delicate smartphones: the Acer Liquid Jade Plus is definitely one of the latter.
Although Samsung and Apple dominate the smartphone market and the trend towards the phablet remains strong, there is still a need for alternatives. This is where the Liquid Jade Plus comes in. It is from Acer – a (still) small manufacturer in the mobile phone business who, however, is ahead of Apple and thus far ahead of Samsung with worldwide sales of notebooks and PCs. Acer’s recipe for success is extensive equipment at low prices. At 279 euros, the Acer Liquid Jade Plus is inexpensive, but is the equipment really lavish?
At any rate, the housing, with a height of about eight millimeters, is anything but plump – it’s pleasingly thin. Only the 11 megapixel camera, which takes decent pictures at least in good lighting conditions, contributes to an additional two millimeters. The slim impression is supported by the generously rounded rear cover, the silvery frame and the weight of 110 grams. The 5-inch display is one of the larger on the market, and the resolution is 1280 x 700 pixels, only about 10 percent below what Apple qualifies as Retina display.
The thin body and large display take their toll, however: with not even five hours of typical operating time in mixed application, the endurance of the Liquid Jade Plus can only be called satisfactory. The pure conversation time meets high expectations in the GSM network and is supported by good to very good speech quality, but in the UMTS network often used today for telephony, however, it is rather short. Quick battery change is impossible, because the energy storage is permanently installed, as is so often the case. The Acer smartphone is therefore not the best choice for power users.
But they would miss LTE anyhow. The data standard promises high data transfer rates particularly in congested places. If the cell traffic is not too high, the maximum of 21 Mbit/s of the Liquid Jade Plus is completely sufficient with UMTS, and the high transmission and reception quality ensures that the network options will be available to the users. That’s more than can be said of some other smartphone.
Something quite uncommon can be seen after taking out the SIM card holder: instead of just a nano SIM, it has space for two small identification cards. One compartment can be used for a micro SD card as needed. According to the manufacturer, up to 32 gigabytes are supported, and in the test, a 64 GB model worked without any problems. The operation of two mobile phone cards is no longer possible, but the expansion of the data memory is unnecessary for many users anyway. Ultimately, Acer is selling the Plus version of the Liquid Jade in Germany, which shines with a rich 16 gigabytes instead of 8, of which just under 12.5 GB are freely available. Also, the RAM has been doubled in Germany compared with the models of other countries. The performance of the integrated media library MT6582 processor with four cores and 1.3 GHz clock frequency is more than adequate for all but the serious gamer.
The Jade Plus is delivered with Android 4.4.2 in its pure form – without the compulsory, but not always positive, changes to the user interface made by other manufacturers. A special bonus, Acer Extend, runs on the Jade, a software that allows remote control via PC. The device must be connected with USB debugging in the so-called developer mode. Software can then be installed on the PC that duplicates the smartphone display. Text messages or e-mails can then be written using the keyboard, and the device is operated via mouse.
The Acer is certainly not a standout product. But if you are on the lookout for good quality at a low price in an attractive housing, you will find it with the Liquid Jade Plus – and still get the Tomtom navigation app, rated very good by connect, which includes offline maps for all of Europe free of charge.
Acer Liquid Jade Plus