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

Swatch and Mastercard team up for on-the-wrist, on-the-go mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

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.

The Mi Mix 3 is coming to the U.K. on January 16 for a bargain price

Xiaomi announced the Mi Mix 3, a smartphone with a massive screen, a cool slide-up camera module, up to 10GB of RAM, and in the future, a 5G connection. Here's everything you need to know about it.

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.