Acer has been in the smartphone business for quite some time with decent devices targeting the mid and higher end market. Acer had released new smartphones in their popular Liquid lineup at IFA in Berlin last year. The devices launched were the Acer Liquid Z630, Z630s, Z530 and Z530s. We have been using one of the devices which was launched in India, the Z530 a device launched to compete in the budget segment.

Given the specs, the Acer Liquid Z530 looks pretty good and competitive, but does that reflect in the actual performance of the device? let’s find out.

Acer Liquid Z530 Review

Design:

The Acer Liquid Z530 at first glance does not look like a device in the Rs, 7,000 price range but has more of a premium appearance to it. From the front, the device looks neat with the front microphone standing out having a metallic ring around it in the middle of the device above the display.

The bottom of the device has a large bezel with the Acer logo and the capacitive touch buttons on the display. The power button is placed on the top of the device along with the audio jack. The USB port along with the microphone is placed on the bottom edge of the device. The right side of the device sports the volume rockers and no buttons on the left side.

The back side is covered with a brushed plastic panel with the speaker having DTS sound technology having metallic border similar to the microphone on the front. The Camera is placed on the top with the Acer branding in the middle. The back panel is removable; underneath is the battery compartment, two SIM slots along with a separate microSD card slot. In this price range, this device stands out with its good design and finish.

Display:

The device sports a 5-inch 720p display with resolution 1280 x 720 pixels, it has decent pixel density with 294 PPI. The viewing angles of the device are pretty neat along with the visibility in direct sunlight at full brightness. With an LCD panel for the display, the company claims that the device comes with Zero Air Gap technology to make sure that colors are bright and visible. For the price range, the 720p HD LCD is quite good. If you are planning to buy this device make sure you get a screen guard as the display is a fingerprint magnet.

Processor, RAM and Storage:

The device is powered by a MediaTek MT6735 SoC coupled with Mali-T720 GPU, it comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage that is quite good for the device in this price range. The RAM space available is around 1GB with 700MB being used up by system files and another 250MB for the apps. The device gives good performance and works well while browsing and with multiple apps running in the background.

Playing normal games like Angry Birds, Stick Cricket, etc. was a cake walk. But while playing some high-end games like Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger, etc., there was no lag, but a lot of heating was seen which made it uncomfortable to talk. At this price range you cannot expect to play high-end games on it can you.

The overall performance experience was great, the MediaTek SoC is capable of supporting 1080p display but with the 720p display, it can give its power for other tasks.

Camera:

Acer Liquid Z530 Back CameraThe device sports a 8-megapixel rear and front facing camera which makes it quite impressive for a device in its price range making it one of the cheapest selfie smartphones in the market. The camera specs although great on paper in practicals was not that great. Color reproduction under artificial light was not so great and the contrast was low.

Camera samples to be added soon

Focusing was an issue as it took a lot of tries to focus on images in Auto focus mode. It was faster to tap on the object to focus, under natural light the color reproduction was good. Coming to the front camera, the 8MP shooter can be called a 5MP shooter with the quality of images that are produced. The color reproduction etc. was similar to the rear camera.

Although capable of shooting up to 1080p the video quality was not impressive, the video was grainy in natural lighting, the video quality in indoor lighting was very bad. Although the camera specs are great on paper the quality produced is not that great and the camera is not its Unique selling point.

User Interface:

It comes with Liquid UI based on Android Lollipop 5.1, although it is said to be Liquid UI the user interface is mostly stock that is good. One thing that was not pleasing was the inclusion of loads of pre-installed apps. Not just Acer apps but other third-party apps are also present which has taken almost 3GB along with the OS taking up 3GB of storage space form the 16GB available. Apart from the pre-installed games apps, users can download more than 50 games for free in association with GameLoft.

You get a personalization app called Liquid Wizard which is a theme’s app. With this, you can make changes with size, ringtones, wallpapers, etc. The user interface is fast and smooth without much lag.

Battery:

The smartphone is powered by a 2420mAh Li-ion battery. With a 5-inch HD LCD display, it will take on a bit of power from the battery compared to the AMOLED display. The processor is also not one of the most powerful; thus, we can expect decent battery life. For my daily use I could get one day of usage under regular usage. To counter the battery drop while the device is idle, the company has a Standby Intelligent Power Saving mode that seems to work quite well. Standby time is good but the screen on time was almost 3 hours or less most of the times with average use.

The device comes with 4G LTE support and Dual SIM option with a separate microSD card slot and not a hybrid SIM slot. Dual Standby mode for both the SIM card slots was a surprise and a very good one, this allows you to accept calls from SIM 2 while you are on a call from SIM 1 which is welcome feature in this price range. A recently launched device, the CoolPad Note 3 Lite comes with almost similar specifications like the same SoC but bigger RAM and also a Fingerprint sensor offered at the same price.

Conclusion:

The device is decent regarding design and build quality, the internals is also decent and nothing extra ordinary. The processor and RAM support the beautiful 5-inch LCD display quite well. The UI is decent with not much changes made from the stock UI, but a lot of bloatware has been added close to 3GB of it.

With the device priced at Rs. 6,999 there are a lot of competitors that are better equipped, the recent one to join in the Coolpad Note 3 Lite which also sports a fingerprint sensor, the other devices competing are the Yu Yunique, Lenovo A6000 Plus and Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime.

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