The palm-filling Android 4.2 handset features a 1280 x 720 5.7-inch display, 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front, a Mediatek quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage (a microSD slot can take that to 32GB) and single/dual SIM cards.
The device’s Float User Interface takes advantage of the large screen, allowing users to keep several app windows open at the same time – a feature certain to keep avid multi-taskers happy.
“The press of a key brings up the Float Apps shortcut; apps on a translucent screen float over the function being used,” the Taiwan-based company explained in its release, adding, “It is easy to access or switch Float Apps anytime. These apps include camera, maps, calculator and notes.”
The Liquid S1 also features Float Caller, preventing your entire screen being taken over by a call notification. Instead, a “Float Caller mini-window” pops up on your screen, allowing the user to decide whether to take the call or respond with a message.
The phablet’s camera incorporates Voice Shot, a feature that enables snappers to activate the shutter simply by bellowing “cheese”. There’s also Smile Shot, which recognises smiling faces – “especially useful for taking pictures of babies and young children” – effectively ending the need to actually look at the subject you’re photographing. More point-and-wait than point-and-shoot.
Audio-wise, Studio Sound claims to deliver “astonishing” cinematic sound thanks to its “bigger sound field and higher vocal clarity”.
The Liquid S1, which comes in matte black or white, is set to hit Europe first, with shipping beginning in Q3 2013. France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia and the UK will be among the initial markets for the new phablet, which will hit stores with a €349 ($455) price tag. We await information on a possible release date for the US and other markets.