Following the success of the Liquid Z series, Acer today unveiled the Liquid Z4, a compact 4-inch smartphone that won't break the bank at just €99. It's destined for the European market only at this time, but it shows that Acer is committed to the mobile market. The Liquid Z4 weighs 130 grams and is 9.7mm thick. While not the thinnest smartphone, we'll still call it small and easy to handle -- especially when compared to phablets that are bordering on the edge of ridiculousness.
Despite the small screen, the Z4 might be a nice little phone for media playback. The front speaker packs DTS Sound technology. We'll have to go ears-on at MWC to tell you how much DTS can add to that experience. The AcerRAPID button is a multi-function key that acts as a personal control key bringing even more "one-hand" control to the user allowing them to unlock and/or wake-up the screen, launch the camera, take a picture, launch apps from home screen and pick up phone calls.
Like the Liquid E3 also announced today, the Z4 also runs Android 4.2.2, but we're remaining hopeful that it'll also follow in the same footsteps as its bigger brother to an update to 4.4 KitKat before long. The Liquid Z4 has relatively modest specs, but considering the price, the dual-core 1.3 GHz processor, 4 GB of internal user storage and 5-megapixel camera (5 elements f2.4 lens, to boot) with LED flash make for a great entry level.
Speaking of entry-level, Acer's preloaded the phone with four profiles fit for different users.Acer
• Basic Mode: for youngsters with fixed call and text functions;
• Easy Mode: messages, radio, weather, magnify, clock, quick call contacts to make life easier;
• Classic mode: all main functions in a simple and organised layout for first time smartphone users;
• Keypad mode: for people who primarily use voice and need their keypad right away.
Acer's made a few customizations and app for its version of Android. AcerFloat User Interface also allows app windows to stay open, so users can multitask without having to back out of one app to work on another. The press of the multitask key brings up the Float Apps, making it easy to access or toggle between apps like the camera, maps, calculator, notes and browser. It can be customised with up to 8 favorite app shortcuts. A Float Caller notification ensures that users will not be interrupted by incoming calls that take over the full screen. When a call comes in, the Float Caller mini-window pops up and the user can choose to take the call or reply with a quick message.
Acer smartphones also support AcerCloud, a file sharing and media management solution that lets users retrieve, enjoy and share their multimedia and data files using a variety of computing devices, including the automatic backup of your photos to your other connected devices. AcerCloud simplifies the management of digital assets across devices, regardless of platform, and is free on new Acer products. With all the alternative cloud storage apps, such a Dropbox, Box, and even Google's own Drive, it'll be interesting to see if users will opt for the Acer-exclusive service.
The Acer Liquid Z4 will be available in Europe starting from April at a suggested price of €99 and in two colors: Essential White and Titanic Black.