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The Acer Liquid S2 is a solid alternative to other 6-inch devices (hands-on)

Acer probably isn’t one of the first manufacturers that comes to mind when you’re considering buying a new smartphone, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t trying to grab your attention. If it’s a specced out hardware package you’re looking for, then Acer’s latest flagship is worthy of your consideration.

This second half of this year seems to be all about devices in the 6- to 7-inch range, and the Acer Liquid S2 isn’t any different. It includes a 6-inch 1080p IPS display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 3,200mAh battery. That all sounds pretty standard, but Acer has done something a little different with the camera.

The 13-megapixel sensor is surrounded by a ring of LEDs, negating the need for a separate flash module and cutting down on clutter. It’s an interesting approach, but Acer isn’t the first company to attempt such a feat. The ADzero – better known as the “bamboo phone” – included a similar LED ring, but the concept phone was never released.

But the camera has another trick as well: 4K video recording. Acer managed to beat Samsung and Sony to the punch, but we can’t help feel that it’s wasted on a smartphone. It’s great that the Snapdragon 800 SoC is powerful enough to handle it, but how good can the output be from such a small sensor? We’ll find out when we receive a review unit, but call us skeptical for now.

Anyone after a stock Android experience over Samsung, HTC, and LG’s customisations might prefer Acer’s handset too. The company has made very minor changes to Android 4.2 – for the most part, this is close to a stock build. The major changes include tweaks to the multitasking interface, as well as a customised camera app that may be preferable to the stock experience.

Acer says that the Liquid S2 will launch in October, but didn’t reveal how much it will cost.

 

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