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A budget smartphone

Acer Liquid Z3 suits beginners, late-adopters

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With the 3G 2100MHz band, we now have internet speed that is theoretically 100 times faster than Edge (2G) but is your mobile phone ready for it? 

The 3.5-inch display has 320x480 resolution.

Not everyone can buy a Samsung S4 or an iPhone 5, so all brands must be concerned about budget-centric people and this is clearly what the Acer Liquid Z3 is focusing on. The Acer Liquid Z3 is aimed at budget-conscious buyers who are looking for a dual-SIM version of a non-fancy smartphone.

For most beginners or late-adopters, a non-complex gadget is required. My dad refuses to switch to a new phone because he just wants to snap an occasional photo and make phone calls (nothing more, nothing less) and a smartphone like a Samsung is too much for him.

Liquid Z3 runs Android 4.2.2.

Here are the specs for a 2013-entry-level-phone spec: a 1GHz dual-core CPU, a 3.5-inch display of 320x480 resolution, 4GB of storage that is expandable via a microSD card, a 3MP rear camera and a price of 2,590 baht. In this case, the reasonable price is the main feature.

On the exterior, both the front and back including the flip cover are branded with Acer and AIS3G logos. On the bottom there is a charging and syncing microUSB port, which are standard in any modern phone.

The phone runs Android 4.2.2, which means you will have all its features right out of the box. The overall system performance is acceptable with only a few signs of slowness in the phone category. The Geekbench score confirms this at 605. In comparison, iPhone 5 scored 1,675 and the Z3 is 10 times cheaper.

The highlight of Z3 is its pre-defined themes/modes. There is a Basic Mode for those not used to a smartphone that focuses on call and text functions, while the Classic Mode has all the main functions in a simple layout. Then there is a Keypad Mode for users who want to be able to use the keypad straight away.

To sum up, it duplicates every familiar experience we had when we still used a candy-bar feature phone like 2007-era Nokias. And my favourite, the Senior Mode, has radio, weather, magnifying glass, clock and quick call contacts.

Without the implementation of modes, you can still use the Z3 just like any Android phone: installing apps, surfing the web or watching movies. This is what I love about this phone: it can be everything and nothing in the same device.

From a guy who uses big screen phones, I have to admit it take time to revert to a small screen. But once I became familiar with it, it felt like travelling back to a time when we still used the iPhone 3GS. Not bad for a phone this price, plus the battery life is good enough for a day's use.

There are some downsides, of course, like the lack of a front-facing camera and a password is required in order to change modes (not good if you keep forgetting), plus the phone only supports the 3G band from AIS.

But for me, at least, price alone makes it all acceptable. So, if you're looking for a good 3G deal or an AIS customer looking to make a switch to 3G 2100 it comes highly recommended, a good promotion to attract new users.

The Acer Liquid Z3 is aimed at the budgetconscious buyer.

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