Tag Archives: budget

Acer introduces the Acer Liquid Z5, a new 5-inch budget handset

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As the high-end smartphone market starts to slow down a bit, we’re seeing many more manufacturers turn their attention towards the mid-range and low-end market.

Although Motorola’s Moto G is currently the gold standard in budget devices, they’re not the only game in town. Yesterday Archos announced the sub-0 Helium 50 and sub-0 Helium 45, both of which feature LTE in an affordable package. Now Acer is also unveiling its latest attempt to wow budget shoppers, the Liquid Z5.

The Acer Liquid Z5 features a 5-inch TFT display with a resolution of 854×480 pixels, and a 1.3GHz dual-core MediaTek MT6572 CPU with 512MB of RAM. Other specs include a 5MP rear cam with BSI technology and a 5 elements f2.4 lens, a VGA front cam, 4GB storage, 3G with HSPA+, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi N, GPS, dual-sim support and FM radio.

As you can see, the Acer Liquid Z5 doesn’t have LTE or nearly as impressive specs as the Archos Helium series or the Moto G. On the bright side, its camera is supposedly better than most other budget devices, with Acer claiming that it delivers improved picture quality in low-light situations. Additionally, Acer boasts quite a few software options that might make it a bit more interesting for budget buyers.

The Liquid Z5 be a good match for those looking for a lower-cost handset that provides a few extras in terms of UI tricks and camera performance.

First, there’s four profile modes including a basic mode for kids with fixed call and text functionality, a senior mode with magnify and other options designed with the elderly in mind, a classic mode with “a simple and organized layout for first time smartphone users”, and finally there’s keypad mode for those that “primiarly use voice and need their keypad right away”.

Aside from the profile options, Acer also provides the Acer Float user interface. In short, this feature is said to make multi-tasking better by allowing app windows to stay open and it’s easy to toggle between them instantly. There’s even a float caller notification that will let you know someone is calling without interrupting whatever app you’re currently in.

The Acer Liquid Z5 will be priced at €169 (roughly 1) and will launch in white and gray variants starting with Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Ukraine, the Netherlands and the UK. No word on its exact release date for these markets, and it’s still unclear if or when the budget device will make its way to North America.

The Liquid Z5 certainly isn’t the cheapest or most exciting handset out there, but it could still find a market for those looking for a lower-cost handset that provides a few extras in terms of UI tricks and camera performance. For those looking for a near-stock Android experience in a budget package however, the Moto G is still the obvious choice.

Android Authority

Acer Iconia A3 budget tablet hands-on

Earlier this week right before the IFA tech event kicked off in Berlin, the folks from Acer announced a slew of devices. One being a brand new 10-inch budget Android tablet, and we have our hands all over it to see if it’s worth your hard earned cash. Below we’re giving you a quick look at the newly announced Acer Iconia A3 slate.

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With powerhouse quad-core Tegra 4 tablets and the Nexus 7 flooding the market, Acer is taking a different approach. Even though we’re not hearing anything about a US release yet for this particular device, it’s worth looking at. So, lets break it down. The Iconia A3 sports a 10-inch standard 1280 x 800 resolution display, and is powered by an aging and unknown Cortex A7 quad-core running at 1.2 GHz. So certainly nothing special, but at least it won’t cost an arm and a leg.

The A3 is all about entertainment in the living room, according to Acer, as it sports some neat new audio tweaks and Dolby Digital Plus virtualized 5.1 channel surround sound. Add that to the two side speakers for a great audio experience, then HDMI-out to stream to the big screen. The Android 4.2 Jelly Bean slate has 16 or 32GB of storage, 5 megapixel camera, WiFi, and a 3G model is reportedly coming.

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So how is it? Mediocre at best. This is a budget slate with mid-range specs, and is aimed at being a wallet-friendly device to enjoy on the couch or the kids TV room. The build quality overall was decent from our limited time with it, but it wasn’t anything mind blowing. The speakers actually got quite loud, even in a room such as this here at IFA in Berlin, and we’re guessing it will sound even better in the privacy of your own home.

It wasn’t the lightest being over 600g, but the 10.5mm thin device felt pretty good in our hands, if not a bit chunky. We’re hearing a mid October release for €249 in Europe, Middle Africa and other regions. We’ll update when an official release date is announced.

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Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 400 and 200, for budget smartphones

Last month, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Qualcomm killed the S4 brand and introduced the world to the Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800. Both of those chips are meant for high end devices, and we can’t wait to benchmark them, but at the same time we also understand that not everyone can afford a 0 to 0 phone.

Enter the Snapdragon 400 and 200, which the company just announced. Let’s start with the lower end part, the 200. It has four ARM Cortex A5 cores at 1.4 GHz, an Adreno 203 GPU, and it also supports multiSIM configurations. How slow is ARM’s Cortex A5? We don’t really know since no one has been crazy enough to ship a phone that uses it. We’re pretty sure that phones using the Snapdragon 200 will never cost more than 0, but hey, you never know in today’s world.

Now as for the second part, the Snapdragon 400, it’s a bit of a head scratcher. It comes in two configurations. One configuration has two Krait cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. Could these be the very same Krait cores that make up today’s Snapdragon S4 chips? The second configuration uses four ARM Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz. Oddly enough, when we first wrote about quad core A7 chips, we said that they benchmarked about the same as a dual core S4, so this actually makes a lot of sense.

When will phones using these new chips hit the market? Qualcomm says this year, but doesn’t get any more specific than that. Considering we’re at the end of February, that’s a lot of time.

And as for the chip we really want to see, the Snapdragon 600, it’s inside HTC’s new One. We should be getting in for testing in a few weeks, and you bet your ass we’re going to benchmark the living hell out of it.

Android Authority

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