As an American site, we tend to ignore devices that have zero chance of making it to the states. That said, we're making an exception for Acer's new Liquid Jade phone. For one thing, it's going to come bundled with Acer's new Liquid Leap smartwatch in select markets (Asia, mostly), and will initially be the only phone that's compatible with it. In addition, though, Acer claims this is the world's "most compact" 5-inch smartphone. And you know we love us a good superlative.
Acer Liquid Jade hands-on
Whether or not that claim is actually true, the Jade is indeed very thin and light. All told, the phone measures between 6.8mm and 0.75mm (0.27-0.03 inch) thick, depending on where you hold the tape. Because this hasn't been released yet, Acer isn't committing to a final weight spec, but it says the phone will come in under 120g (4.23 ounces). In fact, the device would be even thinner if not for the bulge on the upper back, where the 13-megapixel camera with f/1.8 lens lives. That module does create sort of an awkward nipple on the back, but with that kind of aperture, it could be worth it, especially for people who are serious about smartphone photography. And hey, even as is, the phone feels surprisingly insubstantial in the hand.
That thin design and high-res camera aside, this is, at its heart, more of a mid-range device. As sleek as the actual build is, the backside is clothed in glossy plastic that picks up fingerprints easily. That was especially true on the black unit I handled, though you might have better luck with the white and aquamarine models, which have been designed to color-coordinate with the Leap smartwatch. Spec-wise, it has a 720p, not 1080p, display, though the IPS panel and "Zero Gap" bonding technique mean viewing angles are quite good. The processor, meanwhile, is a generic quad-core MediaTek chip. (In fairness, the processor was more than capable of handling Android 4.4.2 in my brief hands-on time.) Storage is also fairly limited, with either 8GB or 16GB on board, though you'll thankfully find a microSD reader in the same slot where the SIM tray lives.
The Jade will arrive in Europe and Asia sometime in the third quarter of this year, with the price expected to be under €300. If you are indeed one of our American readers, you won't want to hold your breath, then, but feel free to partake of our hands-on photos anyway.
Zach Honig contributed to this report.