Acer Liquid E3 – Hardware Review
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Developer: Acer
Publisher: Acer
Platform: Android

Acer Liquid E3 – Hardware Review

Good: Clear screen, smooth all the way, affordable
Bad: Removal of the back speakers, still many specs remain the same as the E2
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Rating: 9.7/10 (9 votes cast)

A bit more than a year ago we had the chance to try out Acer’s Liquid E2 smartphone. This smartphone proved to be a great piece of quality, especially for its fairly low price. Specs were in the right place and it packed a decent sized screen to present you with a great media device. Today we have the chance to take a closer look at its successor, the Liquid E3. Perhaps it’s time for an upgrade?




We’ll start off with some comparisons and basic specs to shed a better light on the improvements the newest model has to offer. For starters, following the trend of having larger screens on smartphones, the Liquid E3 shows it will not be left behind. The E3 has a slightly bigger screen size than the E2, expanding the 4.5” screen to a 4.7” screen.

The processing speed of the new model remains the same, seeing the new model also uses the Quad Core 1.2 Ghz processor. Nonetheless, this proves to be more than enough to run heavier apps quite smoothly.

You’ll see a distinct change to the overall shape of the E3 compared to its predecessor. The E3 is less curvy as the E2 and a bit thinner as well. The more ‘tight’ design proves to be quite classy and perhaps more adult than its younger brother. The distinct ‘Acer Smiley’ has been removed for the front speakers and has been replaced with a straight lined speaker and microphone at the top and bottom of the front side. These speakers are finished with a touch of red which gives an extra edge to the overall design. Cleaning out these two speakers prove to be a tad easier, seeing no dirt will stay put behind the curves.

The backside of the phone has changed slightly with the removal of the two exterior speakers but the addition of the AcerRAPID button. With the removal of the speakers, it is only a given that the overall media volume(without plugged in devices) is a tad lower. That being said, it is not really the core feature of one’s smartphone. The AcerRAPID button is a button that to which you can assign two different functions. This happens to be a great feature if you wish to be able to start up a specific app or function without having to look for it in the menu. You can assign one startup to one short press of the button and another startup by pressing the button for a longer period of time. This also ignores if the phone is blocked or not. For example you’ll be able to activate your camera, if you wish to take a quick picture without having to unlock your phone. Overall a well appreciated function.

Another added function is the ‘Quick Touch’ feature. This also allows users to access their music library with simply forming the letter ‘Z’ on your screen, when the phone is locked. When doing so you’ll also be able to go to the next or previous song by swiping the right direction on your still locked screen. When the Quick Touch feature is enabled, you’ll also be able to unlock the phone by forming the letter L on screen. A function you’ll come to love as time passes. Especially the skip song function proves to be a simple but great asset.

Overall the backside of the phone feels a bit more rough than the E2 but still fairly soft. Which brings us back to the fact that smudges can be easily seen but luckily they can be removed just as easily.


Acer upped itself by exploring the media capabilities of this model more than its predecessor. The E3 will offer its user a 13MP camera, which proves to be a great camera, compared to other models on the market. Especially those in the same price range. Acer is also proud to present you with a decent (1.8MP) front camera with a LED flash and calls it their ‘selfie function’. A fun add-on but the 13MP still remains a more impressive feature.

Like the E2, the E3 comes preinstalled with Android 4.2 on it. Unlike the E2 however, the E3 will use a more basic skin. Some functions have been left out, like simple features that showed up on your lock screen for example the time your alarm clock is set. Overall pretty much everything still works the same and thus you’ll easily get used to this model.

One really big change comes with the E3 and that’s the removal of the ‘options’ button. This one got replaced with the ‘floating apps’ button. The latter allows us to show all running apps, to either access the one you need quickly or close those that are slowing down your phone. Sadly this came at the cost of the options button, which in the end is a tad more practical, seeing Android already shows the floating apps when you keep the ‘back or home’ button pressed for a short moment.

As expected, the phone still provides all basic features a smartphone needs. Surfing proves to be easy as well as watching media on your telephone. Of course it is best to turn off your phone once in awhile to ensure smooth sailing. That being said, overall the phone does not slow down even with a fairly full memory.

To game or not to game?

Seeing mobile gaming is becoming more and more common by the day, a smartphone has no other alternative to provide some decent hardware in order to run games. Seeing the E3 has nearly the same specs as the E2, gaming is certainly an option on this device. Loading times aren’t always that short but once things get running you’ll certainly be able to run a lot of games, even those that require higher specs.

To run heavier games, you’ll have to keep in mind that you’ll need the storage to save them on your phone. It is advised to get a MicroSD card with the phone to ensure not running out of space too soon. If you only need a few smaller games on the phone, be sure to switch your settings so that new items are installed on your phone, seeing the OS and the preinstalled apps still allow for a few extras to be saved on the phone.

The subtle, yet appreciated enlargement of the screen size, allows us to be able to see things a tad more clearly. The screen itself proves to be clear and offers a 1280×720 resolution, which results in great looking visuals. Especially when you keep in mind this is still a low priced smartphone.

During your gaming sessions you’ll notice that the phone heats up a bit, but it will never reach an annoying level. This is certainly a plus for your gaming comfort.

If you tend to have frequent gaming sessions on your phone or play games when you have to wait a lot during the day, the battery life still survives for quite some time. If you game casually, a day and a half will be no problem. If you’re a more frequent gamer, you’ll probably have to recharge it every evening. Of course keeping your wi-fi, mobile internet and Bluetooth running whilst you don’t need it, will also be a great impact on your battery life.

When it comes to the overall gaming comfort, the E3 is a slight step back from the previous model. The sharp edged shape of the phone makes it a little less pleasant to hold. The weight however is certainly a plus.


Even though Acer’s Liquid E3 has a lot of the same specs the E2 has, there’s a clear difference with the bigger screen size, the upgraded media functions, the AcerRapid and Quick Touch functions and of course the overall smoothness of the phone. The E3 proves to be a great competitor for high priced smartphones, with its moderate price. If you were looking to buy an E2 in the store, which goes only slightly cheaper than the E3, you should consider getting the new model.

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Acer Liquid E3 - Hardware Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 9 ratings

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  1. […] that long ago we were able to present your with our opinion of the Acer Liquid E3, an entry priced smartphone, with a lot of power for its retail price. Recently we had the chance […]

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