Acer Liquid Jade 2

Less-than-wonderful external hardware disguises rather high-end internals and nice software.

Mobile World Congress

Acer's new Liquid Jade 2 is taking over the top spot in its lineup, and while the headlines are gravitating towards its new 1TB cloud storage model we're also interested in the hardware, software and performance. If the Liquid Jade 2 looks familiar, it's probably because this is the same platform that was released as the Jade Primo Windows Phone back in January. But that doesn't make it less impressive — there's a lot on offer here.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, along with a 21MP camera, which are higher-end specs than you usually associate with Acer phones. The Liquid Jade 2 is also running Android 6.0 Marshmallow (with the February security patch), and displaying it on a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED panel that looks quite nice. The software is basically unchanged from stock aside from a few icon changes and some new toggles in the notification shade, which we're happy to see.

The hardware itself is a bit underwhelming considering how high-end the phone is marketed as and the level of the internals. The plastic all around looks quite nice with a brushed coating and a bright red strip around the outside, but it feels rather thin and flimsy when you run your hands around it. But depending on the price, you may be able to look past the slightly less-than-wonderful hardware experience to get good software and specs in a solid package.