Acer Liquid E3: Software
The Liquid E3 runs on Android 4.2.2 JellyBean, so not the latest Android 4.4 KitKat, but the interface remains relatively untouched by Acer. There’s the same core features, some that work in a slightly different way, but it’s largely a familiar experience.
Among the most notable tweaks, the notification drop down bar is set up slightly differently. The clear all apps button has been moved to the top, freeing up space for more notifications. It would be nice if the settings running across the had the same scrolling functionality Samsung uses on its handsets, though.
In the recent apps mode, running apps are arranged in a series of rows instead of a single column. This is also where the ‘floating’ apps live. This is basically Acer’s take on multitasking, letting you turn apps like the calculator and memo-taking app into widgets that can live while you run other apps. The problem is, you can’t resize them and there’s just not enough room on the screen to make great use of them.
There’s a handful of Acer apps pre-installed, but many are not that useful or offer anything groundbreaking. You’ll be heading to the Google Play store to replace them.
Acer Liquid E3: Performance
Performance is not one of the E3’s strong points. It runs on a MT6859 MediaTek CPU clocked at 1.20 GHz, often the go to processor for low-cost phones. There’s also 1GB RAM, which is typical of a phone at this price.
It doesn’t take long to notice problems. There’s noticeable lag navigating around the UI and the issues are more noticeable when you start gaming. It’s capable of running graphically demanding games like Real Racing 3, but when action becomes more congested the signs of struggle and framerate issues begin to show
Running the Geekbench 3 benchmark tests, the E3 manages a multi-core score of 1,103, That’s in the same ballpark as the Xperia M2 (1,061) and the Moto G (1,155) so there’s not a great deal of difference in the benchmarks. But that doesn’t really reflect the real-world differences in performance between the Snapdragon-running duo and the E3 and this is where the Acer E3 is something of a let down.
It also suggests the speed problems could be down software issues. Whatever the cause, though, the lag is irritating.