Acer Liquid Jade 2 hands-on impressions

Acer kicks Windows 10 to the side for the Android-powered Liquid Jade 2

Acer’s replaced Windows 10 with Android on the already-neat Jade Primo, making the Liquid Jade 2, and it’s all the better for it

If you saw the Windows 10-powered Acer Jade Primo earlier this year and thought, “Wow, I wish that ran Android,” then your prayers have been answered. The Liquid Jade 2 is almost identical, apart from swapping out Microsoft’s OS with Google’s. This could make the difference between people buying the big Acer phone, and people not caring it even exists.

That’s a shame, because like the Jade Primo, the Liquid Jade 2 is one of Acer’s better smartphones we’ve tried out. This is helped dramatically by the ultra-comfortable shape. It’s beautifully curved and fits in the palm well, and there’s a big piece of 2.5D glass over the 5.5-inch 1080p screen. Although the rear panel isn’t metal, it does a very job of looking like it is, with a very cool hairline brushed effect that catches the light nicely. The camera lens and its surround is massive though, as is the speaker grill at the opposite end of the body.

Acer has launched a smart case with the Liquid Jade 2 that works a lot like the cases we’ve seen for the LG G3, and various Samsung and HTC phones. There’s a window in the front folio cover that’s oblong rather than circular. If it was a window in a building, it would be one through which you’d shoot arrows. The shape actually makes sense, because it falls so well to hand — or thumb — when holding the device. This is important because you scroll through option pages by swiping up and down. There’s everything from battery level and notification alerts, to app shortcuts and even a camera preview window. This doesn’t make much sense though, and the G3’s round window worked better.

The same AMOLED panel that made the Jade Primo such a visual star is also on the Liquid Jade 2, and a Snapdragon 808 quad-core chip powers the device with 3GB of RAM. The camera has 21 megapixels, 4K video recording, and a dual-LED flash, while the selfie cam has 8 megapixels and auto face-detection. When it spots you, a three-second countdown begins before it takes a snap, so you best be ready. Plug in a pair of headphones, and you’ll get virtual surround surround sound using DTS Headphone:X, and stream audio using DTS Play-Fi. It’s the first time these two features have been seen together in a single device.

The Liquid Jade 2 will be sold in the U.S. this year, but Acer’s other smartphones won’t join it, and instead are headed to Europe. There are two Liquid Zest models, one with 3G and the other with 4G LTE. Apparently, there is still demand among networks for a 3G-only phone, and the Zest will cost 110 euros. That’s a strong price for a 5-inch 720p phone with a quad-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera. The 4G model will be around 150 euros and is powered by a newer MediaTek processor than the 3G phone.

If you’re tempted by the Liquid Jade 2, it’s going to be sold through Acer’s own online store and various retailers, with a cost and release date to be finalised very soon, but we know it’ll arrive before summer.


  • Neat design
  • Gorgeous AMOLED screen
  • Funky folio case
  • Not Windows 10


  • No price yet
  • Not quite stock Android
Product Review

The HTC U12 Life is a midrange contender, but it’s no champion

The HTC U12 Life is a midrange smartphone with a large 6-inch screen, plenty of battery life, and a dual lens camera, but it bears little relation to its bigger sibling. Find out if it’s worth considering in our HTC U12 Life review.

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick, the Asus ZenBook UX330UA - will get the job done without digging too deep into your pockets.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Bigger than Black Friday: Don’t miss the best Single’s Day deals

Thanks to AliExpress, Single's Day – the world's largest retail day – is no longer a foreign affair. If you're ready to do some early holiday shopping or want to score some discounts ahead of Black Friday, we've rounded up some of the…

Our favorite ebook reader is not a Kindle. Here are all the best options

If you're a bookworm, an ebook reader can be an important part of your life, one that allows you to read your books whenever and wherever you like. But which should you get? Here are five of the best ebook readers available.

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.