Acer Liquid Z530 Smartphone Review

About the Z530

Irrespective of the price segments, there are a lot of brands with respective models. One of them priced towards those who are looking for a low-cost phone, Acer Liquid Z530 looks promising by the looks of it. rounded edges, brushed aluminum rear finishing and something that’s easier to hold.

Packaging, Accessories and Specification

A lot of smartphones get sold online, which is all the more reason the packaging should use a good enough hard box. I wish Acer did similar to Coolpad did with Note 3. Once you open the top, the phone is protected by a plastic bag and a removable tape on the screen. Acer listed basic functionality and the frontal picture of the phone on it.

Though it’s nothing really to be bothered about as an end user, the box mentions two countries where this phone is made. One is China, and another in Malaysia.

The contents are pretty standard, but unlike the Coolpad’s packaging, Acer Liquid Z530 comes with a warranty and a safety information booklet. The adapter is made by a Chinese-based company called Dee Van Electronics. This adapter takes voltage inputs between 100 to 240v.  For those who are traveling to different countries that use different voltage outputs, all you need is just a travel adapter and you’re good to use it anywhere.

The specifications are as follows:

Technical Information
Messaging Type Email
MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
SMS (Short Message Service)
Sensor Type Accelerometer
Ambient Light Sensor
Proximity Sensor
Multi-SIM Supported Yes
Number of SIM Card Supported 2
SIM Size Supported Micro
SIM Size Details 2x Micro
Audio
Radio Tuner Yes
Radio Tuner Type FM
Processor & Chipset
Processor Manufacturer MediaTek
Processor Model MT6735
Processor Speed 1.30 GHz
Memory
Built-in Memory 16 GB
Standard Memory 2 GB
Memory Card Slot Yes
Memory Card Supported microSD
Display & Graphics
Screen Size 12.7 cm (5″)
Camera
Camera Features Auto-focus
Built-in Flash Yes
Software
Operating System
Operating System Version Android 5.1 Lollipop
Network & Communication
Cellular Data Connectivity Technology EDGE
GPRS
HSPA+
LTE
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Standard Bluetooth 4.0
Wireless LAN Yes
Interfaces/Ports
USB Yes
Headphone Yes
Battery Information
Battery Talk Time 12 Hour
Battery Standby Time 630 Hour
Physical Characteristics
Colour Black
Height 144 mm
Width 70.3 mm
Depth 8.9 mm
Weight (Approximate) 145 g
Miscellaneous
Package Contents
  • Liquid Z530 Smartphone
  • Adapter
  • C8 Headset
Warranty 1 Year

The technical specs have some lack of information. It has not listed any information maximum MicroSD card storage capacity it supports, nor any info about the SAR rating. But the required information is mentioned on the packaging. They are as follows:

GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz

UMTS 850/900/1800/2100MHz

4G LTE 800/1800/2100/2800MHz

LTE/HSDPA/EDGE/GPRS Support

The Acer Liquid Z530 provides WiFi B/G/N standard, along with Bluetooth 4.0. Both the cameras are 8-mega pixels with autofocus. The primary camera also has a flash.

The Acer Liquid Z530 uses the same MediaTek MT6735 SOC clocked at 1.30GHz but with only four ARM Cortex-A53 CPU. The SOC uses ARM Mali-T720 GPU core. The actual screen size reported by CPU-Z is 4.97″, a 720p resolution panel. The screen density is 295 dpi. By Comparison Coolpad Note 3 uses 3GB ram and its MT6735 SOC is with eight cores clocked at 1.30 GHz, with the same GPU. It also uses the 720p resolution, but its a 5.46” screen with 268 dpi screen density.

It should also be noted that the Acer Liquid Z530 has limited sensors- Accelerometer, Proximity sensor and the light sensor. The Coolpad Note 3 has all that, plus a Gyroscope, orientation sensor, magnetometer, rotation vector, Gravity and Linear Acceleration Sensor. For those who are wondering, both phones come under similar price point.

Overall Design

To tell the truth, holding a smaller Acer Liquid Z530 is very comfortable to hold. The back panel is plastic, but it does have that brushed aluminum type finish which does help in a way to give a premium look for the handset.

Towards the left, there’s an LED notification light, the earpiece with a chrome ring and the front-facing camera. The lower section has the company’s branding. Note that the main controls are a part of the screen. On the bright side, the controls are backlit along with the screen, which wasn’t the case with the Notepad 3. It should also be noted that the touchpad controls on the Note 3 did not have any backlit.

Just like the earpiece, the rear-facing camera and the discrete speakers have chrome rings. Along with the rear-facing camera center placement, there’s a flash towards the left and a pin-hole microphone.

The top section is where the power button is placed, along with the earphone jack. The left section of the base is where the micro USB port is placed, along with a pin-hole microphone next to it. The right side is where the volume control is. There’s nothing on the left side.

The back panel can be easily removed, and the first part you’ll notice is the phone has a removable Li-ion 2420mAh rated battery. Just above it, you will find two Micro SIM slots along with a MicroSD card placed on top of the MicroSIM 1 slot.

Viewing Angles and Display Impressions

There is a good amount of reflection on the screen, but with the highest brightness setting, you should be able to see the screen provided the elements displayed in it have a bright colour.

There’s no information about the phone’s screen protection type, whether or not it uses NEG protection. But it does seem to take a ‘basic’ amount of punishment from a screwdriver.  With a subjective observation with Coolpad Note 3 in hand, the Acer Liquid Z530 looks more accurate/less pixelated than Coolpad Note 3, thanks to a smaller screen and higher dpi with the 720p resolution.

Camera Impressions

  • Primary (Rear-Facing) Camera Impressions

There is a good number of presets Acer Z530 offers. There’s also a Time Lapse option for video recording, which also includes a good deal of video effects.

While there isn’t a ‘pro’ setting like you would see in Coolpad Note 3, the phone does have ISO setting along with others under the camera’s setting menu.

Out of five ISO settings, ISO 100 looks to be having a much lesser noise on the images, but ISO 200 and ISO 400 looks promising.

I wanted to use a very promising software that takes out subjective opinion and presents quality analysis. Unfortunately, the software is still in BETA version and it’s going to take a while. But the software does require the user to take five photos each per photo mode: Outdoor Landscape, Indoor- Wall Hanging, Indoor- Arrangements and Outdoor Night- Landmark. The camera is set to auto mode with no effects options selected. One each of five test images

One each of five test images is as follows:

The primary camera video recording demos are as follows:

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[restab title=”Daylight” active=”active”]

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[restab title=”Night Time”]

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  • Secondary (Front-Facing) Camera Impressions

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[restab title=”Daylight” active=”active”]

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[restab title=”Night Time”]

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Audio Quality Impressions

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[restab title=”Min. Background Noise” active=”active”][soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/238472112″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/restab]
[restab title=”Ceiling Fan BG Noise”][soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/238471846″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/restab][/restabs]

The recording done with minimum background noise stays sharp. But at times, it seems to have more bass. Still, on most count it’s very clear for anyone to hear. With the ceiling fan as a choice of background noise, the handset concentrates more on the person’s recording with little audible background noise.

[restabs alignment=”osc-tabs-center” responsive=”false”]
[restab title=”Min. Background Noise” active=”active”][soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/238472441″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/restab]
[restab title=”Ceiling Fan BG Noise”][soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/238472515″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/restab][/restabs]

Bundled Earphone Impressions

Those who always use the pre-included earphones should note that this comes with an earbud-type earphones. A lot of people do not like in-ear earphones for many reasons (mainly due to the direct placement in the ear canal), and an aftermarket flat types are very hard to find. The wiring between the control pod and the earphone jack are flat, and it helps to avoid any tangles.

The cable length between the 3.5mm jack and the hands-free control is 31.5″, while the cable length between the control and the earbuds are 13″. Unlike the  Coolpad Note 3, both the earbud wiring are of the same length. Both earbuds have directional (left/right indicator). The handsfree control has a single button to receive/disconnect calls and a pinhole mic.

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[restab title=”Min. Background Noise” active=”active”][soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/238472441″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/restab]
[restab title=”Ceiling Fan BG Noise”][soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/238472515″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/restab][/restabs]

SAR Rating

As per Indian government’s DoT (Department of Telecom), a handset manufacturer requires to disclose the SAR rating during the point of sale- such as on the product page, e-commerce site and/or on the packaging. DoT (and US based FCC) made it mandatory that all devices should have an SAR rating up to 1.60 W/Kg, measured over 1 gram of tissue.

Acer Z530 SAR USSD Code

As per the Safety information manual, the SAR value for the head is 0.642W/kg and for the body its 0.686 W/kg. But when using the USSD code (*#07#) for verifying the SAR rating, the Acer Liquid Z530 displays its UUID code instead.

Battery Life

For a phone of such size and processor cores, Li-on 2420mAh battery is adequate to last a day.

UI Impressions

  • Initial Setup
  • Pre-Bundled Software

The phone has few of Acer-Centric software. Few are useful, others are not. Some can be uninstalled, and some, unfortunately, cannot be. It goes without saying that a lot of people would prefer minimum or no non-vanilla Android apps and it’s even more annoying when something like ‘News Republic’ cannot be uninstalled when apps like Agoda and Flipkart can be removed.

Most of the Acer apps require the user to sign up and create an Acer ID. It just feels strange to sign up and sign in to run specific tasks like to view and create ZIP and Search using Speech.

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[restab title=”Acer Aid Kit” active=”active”]

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[restab title=”Acer Care Center”]

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Out of all the apps, I liked Acer Aid Kit and Acer Care Center. Acer Aid Kit contains a basic clean-up utility, along with Uninstaller, app-specific cleaning utility and backup/ restore options. The Acer Care Center contains a Diagnostic Tool can even a casual user can narrow down any issue on the phone if any. The best part is that you don’t need to sign up to Acer.

  • Interface Impressions

Performance Benchmark

  • 3DMark for Android

3DMark includes multiple benchmark tests, each one designed for a specific class of hardware. 3DMark recommends the best test for your device, and you can choose to install only the tests you need to save storage space.

Sling Shot is an advanced 3D graphics benchmark for smartphones and tablets running Android 5.0 or later that support OpenGL ES 3.1 or ES 3.0. Run Sling Shot in OpenGL ES 3.1 mode to compare flagship Android devices from HTC, LG, OnePlus, Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, and other leading manufacturers. Or choose OpenGL ES 3.0 mode to compare high-end Android devices with the latest iPhone and iPad models.

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[restab title=”Test Set”]Acer Z530 3Dmark Sling Shot ES 3.0 GPU Score[/restab][/restabs]

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  • PCMark for Android

[toggler title=”About PCMark for Android” ]PCMark for Android introduces a fresh approach to benchmarking smartphones and tablets. It measures the performance and battery life of the device as a complete unit rather than a set of isolated components. And its tests are based on common, everyday tasks instead of abstract algorithms.

PCMark for Android is protected by rules for manufacturers and supported by a detailed technical guide that explains exactly what’s being measured and how the scores are calculated.[/toggler]

Acer Z530 PCM8

Surprisingly, Acer Z530 stands out to have a better web browsing performance compared to Coolpad Note 3.

  • GFXBench OpenGL Benchmark

[toggler title=”About GFXBench” ]GFXBench is a free, cross-platform and cross-API 3D graphics benchmark that measures graphics performance, long-term performance stability, render quality and power consumption with a single, easy-to-use application.

GFXBench 4.0 enables measuring mobile and desktop performance with advanced graphics effects and increased workloads.[/toggler]

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Acer Z530 GFX OpenGL Low Level FPS[/restab]
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  • MobileXPRT 2015

[toggler title=”About MobileXPRT 2015″ ]MobileXPRT 2015 is a benchmark for evaluating the capabilities of Android devices. MobileXPRT runs five performance scenarios (Apply Photo Effects, Create Photo Collages, Create Slideshow, Encrypt Personal Content, and Detect Faces to Organize Photos). It also gives you an overall measure by generating a single performance score.[/toggler]

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[restab title=”Set 1″ active=”active”]Acer Z530 MobileXPRT pt1[/restab]
[restab title=”Set 2″]Acer Z530 MobileXPRT pt2[/restab][/restabs]

Acer Liquid Z530 is having certain benefits over the Coolpad Liquid Z530 with specific workloads, just as applying photo effects on images, creating photo collages and slideshows.

  • WebXPRT 2015

[toggler title=”About WebXPRT 2015″ ]WebXPRT 2015 uses scenarios created to mirror the tasks you do every day to compare the performance of almost any Web-enabled device. It contains six HTML5- and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Enhancement, Organize Album, Stock Option Pricing, Local Notes, Sales Graphs, and Explore DNA Sequencing.

WebXPRT runs on a wide variety of devices and operating systems—from iPad tablets to Android phones to Windows computers. WebXPRT is available to the public and runs right from your browser.[/toggler]

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[restab title=”Set 1″ active=”active”]Acer Z530 webXPRT PT1[/restab]
[restab title=”Set 2″]Acer Z530 webXPRT PT2[/restab][/restabs]

Conclusion

As far as third-party compatibility is concerned, this device is not OTG compatible. In all honesty, I would find it strange to find any Android devices not having OTG support. The Fitbit Flex wireless band does work with the Acer Liquid Z530.

[review]

 

 

 

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