Acer usually stays clear of the United States, considering its main markets have always been in Southeast Asia. However, it seems that Acer may be looking to make waves in the U.S. at the lower-end of the spectrum. Acer announced that two of its smartphones will hit the States in September. The Liquid Jade Z and Liquid Z410 will both arrive unlocked, after a few months of sale in Asia.
The Liquid Jade Z is the star of the show, with a 5-inch HD (1,280 x 720 pixels) display, 13-megapixel camera, and a thin light design. Internally, a quad-core MediaTek processor powers the smartphone, alongside your choice of either 16GB of onboard storage with 1GB of RAM, or 16GB of onboard storage with 2GB of RAM.
The Liquid Z410 is a little less impressive, with a 4.5-inch qHD (540 x 960 pixels) display. It runs on a lower performance MediaTek processor, but with either 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, or 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM. Acer lowered the camera resolution to 5-megapixels on the Liquid Z410, and the device is 40 grams heavier than the Liquid Jade Z.
Both smartphones run on Android KitKat 4.4, which is outdated now that Android Marshmallow 6.0 is on the way. Acer has not confirmed whether the devices will receive Android Lollipop 5.0 or will skip to Android Marshmallow when they get an update.
The entry-level Liquid Jade Z will be available unlocked for $230, but it’ll cost you $250 for the 16GB/2GB configuration. The Liquid Z410 will be much more affordable, priced at $130 or $150, depending on the configuration. Both devices are unlocked and work on all 4 carriers in the United States.
The Liquid Z410 does strike a market that is lacking in decent low-end smartphones, but Acer’s Liquid Jade Z is treading into the same market that the Wileyfox Swift and Storm, and the Obi Worldphone SF1 and SJ1.5 are competing. All of these other budget devices are higher calibre smartphones. In addition, there’s the new Moto G from Motorola, which costs a mere $180 and offers many of the same specs as the Jade Z, as well as customization options and waterproofing.