Acer is pushing up their lower end devices today with the announcement of the Acer Liquid Z5. Marketed for the entry-level European market, the Z5 will be launching in mid-January in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Benelux, France, Ukraine and the UK for the rather slim price of just €169. With the launch of their budget tablets, the Iconia A1-830 and the B1-720 it looks like low-cost is going to be a focus for Acer this year. The device itself will be sold with official accessories such as a flip and standard sleeve type cases on launch day too, so no need to go hunting for accessories all over the place. The phone itself brings a larger scale than some other entry-level devices out there, but isn’t too big either. Acer has put a 5-inch screen on the Liquid Z5 sporting a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, which adds up to 195 pixels-per-inch; not a bad DPI for an entry-level phone, especially with that size screen. You’ll also find Android 4.2 Jelly Bean under the hood which runs on 512MB of RAM. This is slightly disappointing given that Android 4.4 KitKat is optimized for devices with 512MB of RAM, but at least it’s a newer version of Android than many entry-level phones tend to ship with.
Under the hood you’ll find a MediaTek MT6572 Dual-Core 1.3GHz processor with a Mali 400 GPU. The Malo 400 is still a pretty good contender and has plenty of power under the hood for things like Temple Run and Angry Birds. Playing games on this device should be pretty viable too since it has a 2,000mAh battery, which should last pretty long given that the Dual-Core processor won’t be sucking up too much juice. You’ll also find taking pictures is a little better than your standard 5 megapixel camera, as this 5MP rear camera has a 5 element lens featuring f2.4 aperture and an LED flash for dark spots. The 0.3 megapixel front-facing cam is plenty for those Google Hangouts sessions with friends, and you’ll be able to connect to the world via a 3G HSPA+ radio with WiFi 802.11 b, g or n and dual SIM capability with dual standby. Being Android 4.2 this phone has Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR and GPS. Those worries about the size of the device should be pretty happy since it’s 8.8mm thin and weighs 147 grams, which is only a little heavier than the higher-end 5-inch Android devices out there.
Those wanting a better sound experience will be pleased with the DTS Sound technology, which should help when you plug your headphones or other speakers into the 3.5mm audio jack up top. It’s also got an FM radio tuner built-in for on-the-go radio enjoyment. Acer is also including its RAPID lock screen, which gives easy one-hand access shortcuts to commonly used apps like the camera and other favorite apps. For those who enjoy a more simplified experience you’ll find modes like Basic Mode, Senior Mode, Keypad Mode and Classic Mode. There’s also Acer Float technology which allows floating app windows for maximum multitasking, allowing you to take notes while making a phone call for example. Acer’s successor to the Liquid Z3 looks like a pretty sweet entry-level phone, or just a great phone to have on hand in case you drop that shiny new higher-end phone you just bought.