Acer Liquid E3 review

The Liquid E3 has a decent spec list, just don't try and make a call

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

A HD screen, forward facing flash and stereo speakers give the Acer Liquid E3 a decent spec list, but really poor call quality and an old OS leave this handset lagging behind its closest rivals.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 512 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 5 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800

View full specification


  • 13MP rear camera
  • Stereo speakers
  • Forward facing flash


  • Atrocious call quality
  • Lack of internal storage
  • Old software
Ratings in depth

Acer Liquid E3 review design 2 5

Acer Liquid E3 review features 4 5

Acer Liquid E3 review perfomance 4 5

Acer Liquid E3 review usability 4 5

Acer Liquid E3 review Value 3 5 5

Acer isn't a manufacturer that you'd typically associate with mobile phones, despite having numerous handsets under its belt. With this experience, Acer is hoping to make a success out of its latest mid range offering, the Liquid E3.

A quick look down the spec sheet leaves little doubt where the Liquid E3 is going to be pitched, coming with a 4.7-inch 720p screen, a MediaTek quad-core 1.2GHz CPU and 1GB RAM this is certainly not going to set the world alight.

Elsewhere there is a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front sensor, which interestingly both come with flash, as well as 4GB of internal space to store all your snaps. Thankfully the Liquid E3 does come with microSD support.

But how much does all of this cost? Signing up to a two year contract will get you the Liquid E3 from as little as £14pm (around $23, AU$26) or SIM free from £128 (around $210, AU$237).

This means that the Acer is going head-to-head with the new Nokia Lumia 635, the Moto G and the HTC Desire 610. Even older flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 occupy this end of the market, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Sony Xperia M2 Aqua came in with a very competitive price tag.

There is definitely a fight to be had here.

Acer Liquid E3 review
With only 4GB of internal storage you really do need the microSD support

Measuring in at 136 x 68 x 9mm (5.35 x 2.68 x 0.35 in), the Liquid E3 is by no means the smallest handset in the world, but at 134g (4.73 oz) it is not the heaviest.

This lightness is thanks to the (non removable) plastic casing which fits in perfectly with the budget price tag.

Acer Liquid E3 review
It's big, but not the biggest

The size did mean that I had a little trouble hitting all aspects of the screen one handed, but this never proved to be a problem. Other than size, resolution is the big factor that comes into play when talking about mobile screens, and I am pleased to say that the Liquid E3 is not a let down.

Of course the same pop and sparkle that graces the full HD screens of mobile flagships was missing, but the Liquid E3 certainly gives the Moto G a run for its money at this level.

Fans of the HTC One series might be pleased to hear that the Liquid E3 employs a similar stereo speaker set up, with the speakers set back in stylish metallic red. Despite the cool colours, I really didn't like the design as they are set back from the screen, making it feel like the glass display doesn't fit the rest of the handset.

Acer Liquid E3 review
The colours are nice, but the overall design doesn't quite work

These speakers are backed up by DTS Studio Sound though, so the sound quality should be pretty good.

In terms of other key features, the Liquid E3 comes with a microUSB port at the base for connecting to a PC and charging. The volume rocker and covered microSD slot are on the right, with the covered microSIM slot on the left and headphone port on the top alongside the power/lock key.

Acer Liquid E3 review
As usual there's a microUSB charging port at the base of the phone

The Liquid E3 also employs the use of capacitive keys rather than Android's on screen wares, something that I am still undecided on. I like having dedicated keys but the Liquid E3 could have benefitted from being that little bit smaller.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAcer
Battery Talk Time5 Hour
Product ModelS100 Liquid E
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height115 mm
Width64 mm
Depth12.8 mm
Battery Standby Time400 Hour
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product NameS100 Liquid E Smartphone
Processor Speed768 MHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberXP.H480Q.015
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Socialize in high definition

The all-new Acer Liquid E equipped with the latest Android 2.1 Éclair, even more easy-to-use features and ultra-smart menus. With ultra-fluid, high-definition multimedia, stunningly fast applications and endless socializing on the go, this is the phone that will take your social and multimedia worlds into a new dimension. This is Liquid. Only better.

Designed to be special

Simplicity reigns supreme with the Acer Liquid E. The large 3.5" high-definition screen dominates the front, while an integrated 5MP camera is all you'll see on the back. But don't let the simple, ergonomic design fool you. The clean lines of the exterior conceal one of the world's most sophisticated mobile devices.

Package Contents
  • S100 Liquid E Smartphone
  • Plug (UK)
  • Quick Starter Guide (EN/FR/NL/DE/IT)
  • Battery