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Acer Liquid Zest Plus Hands On

The Acer Liquid Zest Plus might sound like a household cleaner but Acer's new device brings mid-range specs at an affordable price. Here's our hands on.

Published onApril 22, 2016

The Acer Liquid Zest Plus; the name alone screams like something straight out of your bathroom cleaning closet, so it might very well might help get those tough hard water stains. Jokes aside, this mid-range phablet of sorts was announced at Acer’s press event in New York City – the only new smartphone announced for its portfolio. While it might be hard to take the Acer Liquid Zest Plus seriously, even with the obnoxious name, it definitely turn heads with its “under $250” price point when it goes on sale.

To be blunt, there’s really nothing about the design that strikes us. Call it conventional or call it mundane; this plastic-constructed smartphone very much looks like Acer’s previous efforts in its lower-to-mid range Liquid series. And of course, the mid-range attachment is quite evident here, as the plastic construction doesn’t necessarily give us confidence with its hollowness. Sure, the material helps to give it a lightweight feel in the hand, but it’s nowhere remotely close to achieving the same level of meticulousness and craftsmanship we see in today’s high-end devices.

Yet again, the sub-$250 pricing is no doubt its saving grace. For the price, you’re getting an Android 6.0 Marshmallow running smartphone that features a 5.5-inch HD screen with Zero Air Gap, MediaTek MT6735 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 5MP wide-angle front camera, and a “tri-focus” 13MP rear camera. The latter sounds intriguing in itself, but it’s just jargon for a camera configuration that consists of laser, phase detection, and contrast detection focusing.

We checked it out quickly in our brief time with the handset and we’ll say it definitely helps cuts down on the focusing time once the camera is up and running. Looking at some of the samples we shot with the phone, it’s really tough to gauge their quality through the phone’s screen. They look good, but contrasting light sources seem to make it difficult for it to produce a neutral exposure throughout the scene. Again, this is just all preliminary stuff. Shutterbugs, however, with be delighted with the full manual control mode.

As for the Android 6.0 Marshmallow experience that’s running on the Acer Liquid Zest Plus, it’s really no different from most other Android phones running a stock experience, so it’s a shoe-in for those comfortable already with it. Being a mid-ranger, there’s always going to be that reluctance for some to make it their daily driver, just because it’s unknown if Acer will proactively send out software updates to bring it up to the latest Android experience. It’s nice that it’s Marshmallow out of the get-go, but we’re not all that far away from seeing the latest, major Android update in the pipeline.

The last thing to note, this phablet is packed with a whopping 5000 mAh battery. That’s quite a hefty tally if you ask anyone, so we can only hope for better-than-average results with its battery life. On the flip side, though, it makes us wonder how long it’ll take this one to get back to full capacity.

Obnoxious as the name might be, this phone certainly has its own appeal to consumers. As a backup, the sub-$250 price might be hard to swallow, given the handful of sub-$200 phones out there already saturating the market. Still, others might otherwise end up taking a liking to the handset, especially if they’re looking for substantial savings and something that might have above-average battery life.

What do you think of the Acer Liquid Zest Plus? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!