Acer Liquid Jade S review

S for speed: Acer's mid-ranger receives a welcome performance boost

Acer Liquid Jade S review

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Sluggish overall performance was a major thorn in the side of last year's Liquid Jade. Acer has sought to rectify this with the Liquid Jade S, opting for a much more powerful 64-bit MediaTek MT6752 octa-core processor and Mali-T760 GPU.

Despite a powerful processing package, the Liquid Jade S runs Android KitKat which, unlike Android Lollipop, does not fully support 64-bit architecture. Thus expect to see an increase in performance after the Liquid Jade S receives it's next update.

Even in its present state, the Liquid Jade S still delivers impressive benchmarking results, scoring an average of 3517 on the Geekbench 3 multi-core test. While the Liquid Jade S is a fair way behind the all-conquering Samsung Galaxy S6 (4850), its score is not far off that of Snapdragon 810-powered flagships such as the HTC One M9 (3803).

Acer Liquid Jade S review

Consistently high Geekbench 3 scores translate into a smooth, almost Nexus-like, experience

When factoring in the price of the Liquid Jade S and the scores of its mid-range competitors, performance seems even more remarkable. The Liquid Jade S scores considerably higher than the ever-popular Oneplus One (3050) and Honor 6 (3148), demolishing cheaper offerings such as the Moto G (2014) (1142).

As you'd expect from such a fine benchmarking score, real-world performance is superb. The raw power of the processing package combines extremely well with Acer's minimal user interface, resulting in a snappy and responsive experience.

Flicking through numerous homescreens, the app drawer and the UI in general is a smooth, snappy affair.

Multitasking was also handled without a hitch, thanks partly to the 2GB RAM, and graphically intensive games, such as Asphalt 8: Airborne, run very well indeed with no noticeable frame drops or lag.

Due to the thinness of the Liquid Jade S, heat dissipation isn't the greatest. The rear gets pretty hot during gaming and even when undertaking less intensive tasks such as web browsing.

Battery life

The slender profile of the Liquid Jade S has prevented Acer from including a high capacity battery. Although the non-removable 2,300mAh battery seems respectable on paper, considering the power efficient MediaTek processor and 720p screen, battery life on the whole was average.

For most light-to-moderate users the Liquid Jade S will make it through a full day of mixed use, with around four to four and a half hours of screen on time. Those who regularly use the dual-SIM functionality and 4G LTE will need to be a little more frugal with their use in order to avoid the dreaded low battery warnings.

Acer Liquid Jade S review

A customisable power save mode allows you to eek out more juice from the Liquid Jade S' battery

Playing the TechRadar test video at full brightness and volume for 90 minutes drained the battery of the Liquid Jade S from 100% to 73%. That's 11% worse than the ZTE Blade S6, a fellow mid-ranger, which sports a similarly sized battery and 720p screen.

Initially, things don't look too great for the Liquid Jade S, but when delving a little deeper into the specs, there may be a glimmer of hope. As previously stated, the Liquid Jade S has a 64-bit processor.

However, unlike the Blade S6, it does not currently run the latest version of Android. Android KitKat is not fully optimised to support 64-bit architecture and an update to Lollipop would solve this issue, potentially reducing overall power consumption.

As of now, the battery life of the Liquid Jade S is not fantastic, but it's not dreadful either. For most, the battery will suffice for a day's worth of use.

Although if you're a heavy user who likes to play graphically intensive games or stream videos, expect to charge the Liquid Jade S before the day is out.