Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!

Just a year ago, smartphones with LTE capability often cost an arm to get. Fortunately, times have change for the better especially this 2015 as we see more and more affordable smartphones with LTE was launched.
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Acer Liquid Z330 review, the Social Media LTE phone to get under 4000 Pesos!

Acer is one of those who pushed themselves to the limit. Early this year Acer Philippines started with the Liquid Z410 which was ppriced a lot higher internationally, but they managed to price it at just 4,490 Pesos. Okay enough with my story as it appears that they did it again with the recently launched Acer Liquid Z330 which is priced even lower at just 3,999 Pesos compared to its international price of USD 140 (6.6K Pesos)

Now guess what, I have a unit for review. I know you're excited so let's start!

Acer Liquid Z330 Specs

Display: 4.5 Inch FWVGA IPS 854 x 480 resolution w/ Zero Air Gap at 218 ppi
CPU: Snapdragon 210 quad core processor
GPU: Adreno 304
RAM: 1 GB
ROM: 8 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 32 GB
Back Camera: 5 MP w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP
Battery: 2,000 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 EDR, GPS, dual SIM, dual Standby
Dimensions: 136 x 66.5 x 9.6 mm 
Price: 3,999 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
The box of Acer Liquid Z330
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Inside the box

The Liquid Z330 by Acer comes in a newly designed refreshing Blue Box. It contains standard accessories found in a smartphone package. That includes some paper manuals, a thick and durable looking micro USB / data cable, earphones with mic, 1 A wall charger and the Z330 itself.

Build Quality / Design

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
The sleek looking plastic textured back of Z330

What Acer did with the design of the Z330 is unique, sleek and stylish. They were able to make plastic look great and metallic. It's also slim and feels amazing to hold even with just one hand. It's well crafted at the same time too as there's no deformity and sharp edges.
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
You see the micro USB port and microphone below
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
On the right side, there goes the volume rocker
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
On top the ear speakers, female 3.5 mm port and power button is visible

This is also one of the few phone where I liked the look of chrome paint on the sides as it's well placed that added more spice to it's elegance. Lasty, if you think that this is just a design centric phone, it's build looks pretty tough even if it's made out of all plastic materials.

To nitpick, the only thing missing here for me is a glass protection to prevent annoying hairline scratches in case you don't like putting a screen protector.

Having said those characteristic of this budget phone, Acer did a terrific job here!

Display Quality

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
The beautiful screen of Acer Liquid Z330

The Z330 features one of the best displays I've seen under 4,000 Pesos even with a lower screen resolution at just 854 x 480. It seems like the use of IPS panel did the trick here to make the screen looks better. Color-wise it's well balanced and have a good enough brightness safe for the human eyes.
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Normal vs Blue light shield mode

Talking about eye safety, pushed the boundaries further. I love the way that this has a blue light shield protection that basically turns your screen into a greenish state that's amazing in the eyes especially when reading at night.

At this price point, the sun isn't perfectly clear. The Acer Liquid Z330 just like the MyPhone My31 just have a 2 point multi touch screen that makes typing, navigating and touch experience isn't as smooth as I would have wanted.

Audio Quality

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
The loudspeaker found at the lower back

One thing that Acer was able to emphasize in their smartphone line even with the lower end ones is the sound quality. They always tend to boast it's quality to be better than your average smartphone. And they're quite successful with that as the Z330 is no exception.

It packs a louder than average speaker that was able to produce clear and sweet tunes. It's detailed enough too to distinguish what instrument the artist is using. To get satisfying audio and something between 70% is already loud enough. One more thing,it doesn't distort that much even at 100% volume compared to similarly priced phone. That's a rare for a budget device.

Headphone-wise, it's powerful enough to drive cans with low impedance and you'll have no problem with in ear monitors even with the Havi B3 Pro 1 and VSonic VSD5. It has a DTS audio feature that enhances soundstage via software, but I prefer to turn that thing off. Once you did that, you'll experience close to balanced sound signature with a little emphasis on the highs and lows. The best part of it is its quality, it's a notch higher than the SKK Lynx which I thought to be the best sounding device under 4,000 bucks. The Liquid Z330 was able to outdo it in terms of clarity, quality, details, texture and bass control.

It's microphone on the other hand performed in an okay-ish level, it's just fine and I won't complain at this price.

Battery

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Impressive battery life under heavy usage

If you're looking for a small Android phone that can last with you for a day even with LTE enabled. The Z330 is the one to get. I was extremely impressed by the battery life of this device considering that it only has 2,000 mAh of power. It can last up to two days under light to moderate usage that includes regular SMS, occasional calls and social media under auto adaptive brightness setting. It also comes with a built in battery saver that can make your phone last longer.

Under heavy usage, it also didn't disappoint, I was able to squeeze a little under 8 hours of usage with Antutu battery tester with WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE, Max brightness, GPS and many apps opened.

The Snapdragon 210, small screen resolution and Android 5.1 Lollipop is simply crazy good in battery management.

Camera

With the Z330 you get a rare camera software on this budget full of features. I was able to see a lot of Instagram like filters, skin brightening, picture with sound and presentation shots. Just like what we normally found on a digicam it also has a scene mode that makes you choose the shooting scenario you want, either landscape, night mode, night portrait or portrait. The camera software of Acer also remembers your favorite shot which gives you a dedicates button for it. Then it has several voice commands and timer options that you can explore using when needed.

While the continous shot function is not actually that speedy, this is the most affordable phone I've seen to rock that one. What's amazing with this is night mode and the instagram like effects also works in videos. Plus it has time lapse and video stabilization up to 720p.

Camera focus has a zenfone 2 like speed. Argurably the fastest hutter speed found in an under 5000 phone. That applies to both the rear and front camera. I would also like to point that the selfie camera has a true wide angle lens that allows more people to fit in by just extending my hands ayaw from our faces.

Photo quality wise, given that it's only at both 5 MP I didn't expect too much. It generally decent in my opinion as long as you have good lighting as it won't overexpose. It may not be as detailed as I would like, but it definitely have a balance color tone that's very much acceptable in this price point.

Camera Samples

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Impressive details here!
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
The shutter is fast enough to capture slow moving vehicles steadily
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
HDR mode in action
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Quite okay in fine dining light
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
No overexposure and visible grains here, the best flash under 5K easily
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Decent selfie cam at 2 MP
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Selfie shot at night



Note: Both the front and back cam can take wide angle shots

Performance

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
The new UI of Acer on Android 5.1 Lollipop

Generally, the Z330 performed on the level I expected from a phone that's powered by the efficient Snapdragon 210 processor, 1 GB RAM and this screen resolution. I rarely felt hiccups especially under light to moderate usage that includes social media, calls, text and using light apps. All of the features found on a basic Android phone works too. Calls is fine, music is good, Bluetooth and LTE is working at the same time. 

What I definitely loved here is the UI of Acer improved a lot compared to the Kitkat devices I tried earlier this year. It's easier to use, smoother and looks aesthetically great. What concerns me here is the amount of bloatwares pre-installed, I hope that Acer lessens them in their next releases as it only eats up space if you don't need it. (System eats up 5.37 GB out of 8) Fortunately, some of the pre-installed apps are actually useful like the Acer SnapNote and Acer Aid Kit that has a built in System Doctor, Power Management and Backup and Restore features. It also has a quick mode function that gives you a simpler user interface to easily reach your favorite apps in a single click.

Casual gaming is fine, I never had a problem running light games like my favorite PBA Slam, and Subway Surfers. Under heavy graphics I was able to test Asphalt 8 and it's playable here with minor frame drops. However for unknown reason I can't open Dead Trigger 2. Overall, it's good enough for gaming that don't require more than 2 points of multi touch.

What I missed here is the tough responsiveness found with 5 point multi touch devices and the smart gestures like double tap to wake.

Benchmarks

Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Antutu score and multi touch test
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
Geekbench and quadrant scores
Acer Liquid Z330 Review, The Social Media LTE Phone That You May Want To Get Under 4000 Pesos!
GPU Bench score

Pro's - Price, Android 5.1 Lollipop, LTE capability, generally smooth experience, good camera software, detailed audio
Con's - 2 point multi touch only, app storage isn't large, no smart gestures like double tap to wake and sleep, no OTG support

Verdict

Acer is the brand that we should take seriously now, they're consistent as the company did it again with the Acer Liquid Z330! It's currently the most affordable LTE smartphone offered by an international brand that can please you in terms of casual and social media performance! A must have to those who seek for an extra affordable LTE handset with long battery life even if it has some understandable weaknesses for the price.

GIZ Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
    Comments