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While Acer has been in the electronic industry for more than five decades, its phones are relatively less popular as compared to the other globally popular handset manufacturers. The Taiwanese tech giant seems to be taking things slow in this regard, although it can be safely assumed that they have a steady pace. From the release of their first handset almost six years ago, Acer now offers handsets designed to suit all the needs of the present day market. From entry level phones to high-end business smartphones, the company has it all! However, not everyone is fond of trying new products, especially when it comes to technology. But this is what we do, and below we review the Liquid Z220 so you know if the phone is right for you!
The Acer Liquid Z220 was announced and launched in the first quarter of 2015. Coincidentally, this was also the time when other leading mobile manufacturers announced the launch of their flagships. It was pretty natural for Acer to lose its limelight with the release of the Galaxy S6 series, the iPhone 6 and the HTC One M9. The Liquid Z220 is among the latest to be launched in the Liquid series, and despite of just at par hardware specs, seems to be grabbing some attention. The Liquid series of Acer smartphones are those that one can buy within a budget, and along with Acer’s reliability promise, they are all set to offer one-of-a-kind experience.
The phone looks sturdy (and heavy), and looks tough enough to withstand a few accidental drops. The thickness precisely comes up to 9.6mm (0.38 in), making it considerably sizeable (in case of its thickness). The bezels at the top and bottom are pretty significant, and make the screen to body ratio come down to less than 60%. The phone also features a 2MP front camera, as well as the speaker on the top portion. The phone sports a textured finish, and the curved corners offer added comfort while holding it.
The Liquid Z220 features a 4-inch LCD display. Comparing it to the other handsets in the same price segment, this is slightly disappointing. The phone supports a maximum resolution of 800x480px, and a pixel density amounting to 223ppi. The panel appears set quite far from the glass, and the experience isn’t as we would have expected. But given the fact that the display unit is actually a low-brightness and low-contrast panel, it doesn’t seem surprising.
The specifications of the phone imply that we are not dealing with something very high-end here. The Snapdragon 200 powers the device, and uses a 1.2GHz, dual core processor. Now, this makes the phone apt for easily going through hours of regular phone tasks – make calls, texting, checking emails, and the like. However, applications notorious for heavy RAM consumption can be a potential issue for the device. For example, we found out that although we were able to play Dead Trigger 2 in the phone for a fairly significant amount of time, the overall gaming experience with the phone wasn’t really pleasing.
The device scored 321 in the single-core test in Geekbench 3, and was able to reach 603 when tested in Geekbench 3. While this does not seem to be very impressive, it certainly beats the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC’s One X launched way back in 2012! The device makes use of an Adreno 302 graphics card, but it hardly makes any difference. The screen offers little help when trying to read text in the sun (attributing it to the low brightness in the panel), and gaming experience is highly compromised. However, in contrast to our expectations, the OS is hardly touched, and the absence of additional proprietary apps gives you the undiluted Android experience.
The main camera of the phone is a 5MP unit, with an 89mm wide lens, and an aperture of 1.8. The specs may seem interesting, since the aperture is large enough to allow sufficient light in the shot to enhance clarity. Instead, the phone struggles to capture good quality images, although the pictures are somewhat detailed in areas with ample light. Images captured during low light conditions are below average, and half of those shots were not even worth saving. The front camera, a 2MP unit, seems to be sufficient for selfies, although it takes significant time to come up with a good shot.
The phone features one speaker, placed at the top of the front unit. The volume and the quality are average, although we were able to get decent output when plugged in with a good quality headset. Playing video files is no pain, but don’t hope for an immersive experience. The screen size is small, and the low pixel density eliminates most of the sharpness from the multimedia.
The Liquid Z220 features a removable unit, a 1300mAh Li-Ion battery. Thanks to the low resolution screen and the processor, the phone easily lasts a day of moderate usage. This includes heavy calling, social media, emailing, surfing and listening to music. Battery life, however, has been an issue with a few Acer smartphones in the past, and the Liquid Z220 seems to be slightly on those lines.
Connectivity features include WiFi (802.11b/g/n) and Hotspot, as well as Bluetooth v4.0. It features the microUSB 2.0 for fast data transfer, and GPS for geolocation.
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