Usually better known for their laptops, budget electronics manufacturer Acer has decided to give the entry-level Android smartphone market another go with their Liquid lineup. The larger of two siblings, the 5.5 inch Z630S promises banging performance at a low price. How does it compare with other offerings on the market though?
Unlike offerings from Oppo or Xiaomi, this budget smartphone definitely looks the part of a budget low-to-mid-range smartphone. The Z630S features a plastic build, with well-rounded edges and a slightly textured back, making it rather comfortable in the hand.
There’re gold accents along the phone, including the front earpiece and camera ring, which feels a little gaudy – it does make the phone standout though, if that floats your boat.
Both the power button and the volume rockers can be found on the left side of the phone, with decent positioning and tactile feedback as well. Unfortunately, the speakers are actually on the back of the device, which can be pretty annoying as I tended to cover them, especially when using the phone in its default portrait position. It didn’t help that they were relatively tinny as well, making it difficult to hear anything outside of a quiet environment.
Despite Acer boasting about its Lumiflex technology for its display, it hardly made a difference. The 720p display isn’t really the best on the market, with weak brightness and poor colour reproduction. The relatively poor maximum brightness also means that it washes out easily under sunlight, making it quite a chore to use while outside. The fact that the Z630S uses such a low resolution on a large 5.5-inch screen results in a noticeable amount of jaggyness on screen as well.
The Z630S features Mediatek’s low end MT6753 processor, which while a few steps behind the leaders, is actually pretty serviceable here; general navigation around the OS is decent enough, and multitasking also works well thanks to its 3GB of RAM.
The low resolution screen might have also contributed to this as the processor needs to drive fewer pixels. Apps do take a bit of time to load, but in a device on this segment, it is really nothing to complain about.
Where it falters, and to be fair most budget devices do, is in its camera. No matter what kind of lighting conditions I placed it in, it was always a challenge to get usable pictures; details were weak, with average colours and poor sharpness.
Even when holding the phone perfectly still, zooming in reveals blurry backgrounds and kind of ruins the shot, especially when viewing it on a computer. Of course, it isn’t quite fair to be so harsh on such a cheap phone, but with the competition stepping up their game, Acer can’t afford to rest on their laurels.
NOT THE BUDGET CHOICE
So is the Z630S the weapon of choice for the more frugal consumer? It’s a tough call really; with Xiaomi’s Redmi lineup better than ever, at RM800, the Z630S, amazingly I must admit, seems rather expensive for what you get.
Its mammoth 4000mAh battery takes forever to charge but drains faster than more powerful devices with smaller batteries such as the Galaxy Note 5, and its materials do feel cheap compared to what you could be getting for your money.
Verdict: Average specifications make it a tough sell even in entry-level market
Total Score: 6.6/10