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Acer Liquid E2 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £149.99
inc VAT

An impressive screen, but an otherwise unexciting budget smartphone


Android, 4.5in 540×960 display

Acer is better known for laptops than smartphones in the UK, and the Liquid E2 is unlikely to change this situation. It has a good screen and reasonable performance, but is let down by poor design and the fact it’s just outclassed by the very strong mid-range competition.

Acer Liquid E2

The Acer Liquid E2’s white plastic shell and silver rim resemble a cheap version of an old iPhone mixed with one of Samsung’s Galaxy phones. The orgy of plastic coupled with the over-sized speaker grilles on the back of the device mean that at best the E2’s design will divide opinion. One upshot is that the phone feels well-built, even if it doesn’t look it.

Acer Liquid E2

The screen is arguably the most important part of any phone, and the 540×960-pixel, 4.5in panel on the Liquid E2 is its strongest area. It’s far from the best the best display we’ve seen, as we expected at this price, but its brightness and contrast levels are acceptable, as are the display’s viewing angles. The screen didn’t handle bright outdoor lighting particularly well, however, with the auto brightness setting underestimating how bright the screen needed to be in order to be comfortably legible.

The Liquid E2 runs an unaltered version of Android 4.2.1 Jellybean. Many users will see this as an advantage compared to the heavily-customised Android versions most manufacturers use, as it gives them a blank canvas on which they can install custom keyboards or app launchers from Google’s Play Store. However, standard Android does look a bit dowdy compared to the smart custom operating systems available from Samsung and Sony.

The Liquid E2 is powered by a quad-core, 1.2GHz MediaTek processor. It coped reasonably well in our benchmark tests. The phone completed the Sunspider JavaScript benchmark in 1,441ms, which is fine for a budget phone and up there with budget rivals such as the Motorola Moto G and Alcatel One Touch Idol S. Performance in everyday tasks such as email composition, document editing and web browsing was good, with the device remaining fairly responsive throughout tougher tasks like opening image-heavy web pages. Multi-tasking proved to be a much trickier challenge for the E2, though, and it ground to a halt when attempting to browse the web while simultaneously installing an app.

Acer Liquid E2

The phone managed a respectable score of 3,195 in the challenging 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark. This is below average by modern standards, falling well short of the Motorola Moto G, which scored 5,412 in the same test. Despite this mediocre score, gaming is still possible on the Liquid E2. Simple, popular games such as Temple Run 2 and Angry Birds Space were smooth, while the slightly more demanding Beach Buggy Blitz and Riptide GP were also playable, with only slight juddering occurring during busier moments of on-screen action.

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Main display size4.5in
Native resolution540×960
CCD effective megapixels8-megapixel
Internal memory4096MB
Memory card supportmicroSD
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless dataGPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSDPA


Operating systemAndroid
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel editors, PDF viewer
FM Radioyes
Accessoriesstereo headset, charger, USB cable
Talk time9 hours
Standby time450 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price£168
Price on contract0
Prepay price£150

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