Sunday, November 11, 2012

Acer Liquid Glow E330 Review - Performance & Battery Life

Acer Liquid Glow E330

The Acer Liquid Glow isn't a premium smartphone with top-notch fefatures but, given its price, it delivers a pretty good set of features combining Android ICS (pre-installed) with a rich set of connectivity options. Let's have a look at how it performs.

Battery Life


At the beginning, I was concerned about the 1300 mAh battery being a bit short, but in my tests the Liquid Glow consistenly went through the day without many worries (sometimes I even managed to keep it unplugged for 1 day and a half). This is with the display brightness set at half and with syncying (e-mail, google talk, etc..) always on. What I usually did though, was switching off the Wi-Fi, Blueetooth and GPS except for when I needed them. With this pattern, I never got out of juice before bed time.

However, if you play a lot of games, do heavy browsing or have long calls, you'd better take the charger -or a spare battery- with you (just as with most smartphones).

The good news is that the battery is user replaceable (as it should) and it also charges pretty quickly with the provided adapter; it takes less than two hours to charge the phone completely (from depleted) and about 30 minutes to recharge from 50% to 90%. I also noticed that the first charges gave less juice than the ones I did some days after, so the battery seems to get better as it's conditioned.

In brief, the battery life on the Acer Liquid Glow is average -as per today's smartphones- in spite of its modest capacity (nothing to write home about). I guess the compact display size (at 3.7 inches) makes up for the small battery and allows for a decent run time to the Acer Liquid Glow.

The battery part is BAT-310, which is not specific to this model, so you should be able to get spairs or aftermarket replacements easily.

Phone functions


Audio quality in phone conversations is loud and clear in your end. But because the Liquid Glow doesn't include a noise cancelling microphone, your partner might not hear you very well when you are in a busy environment (under normal conditions everything is fine).

Ringtones are loud and you wan't miss a call because of this, but if you pump up the volume to the max, the ringtones sound a little bit distorted (as if the speaker couldn't cope with the volume). I kept the volume just a bar below the max and that's it. Vibration is average, if just a little weak.

I also miss the possibility to make video calls, due to the lack of front-facing camera. Not that I use it constantly, but it is a nice feature that -unfortunately- you won't enjoy in the Acer Liquid Glow.

Operation


When it comes to performance, the 1 Ghz single-core processor on the Acer Liquid Glow is more than adequate. It does the job done and you won't get any hiccups whatsoever. Also the 512 MB RAM does the job of keeping the UI running smoothly and basic apps and games ticking over. Booting the phone takes about 20-30", far from the premium smartphones with fast-boot functionality but not a show stopper (you wan't usually switch off the phone completely, would you?).

More demanding applications though, may run short of memory now and then. During my tests I experienced some freezing with the web-browser (specially during pinch & zoom operation) in heavy pages, and also some unexpected closes. I have tried with almost all web browsers from the Play Market and I have not managed to avoid it.

But this should not scare you too much, our smartphones are real computers and we learned to live with these little inconveniences (or you never had to force the closure of Internet Explorer on the PC because it has stopped responding ?). The Liquid Glow, in this regard, it's not better or worse than the average.

The Liquid Glow does have a microSD port, and the sales package includes a Sandisk 4GB microSD card. The extra memory can be extended up to 32GB and is useful for dropping multimedia content (the card is seen as a mass storage device when you plug the phone to a PC using the included USB cable) but also for moving the most demanding applications from the system memory to the extended storage (this somehow helps keeping the available RAM under control).

Wireless communication includes Wi-Fi (good signal, with up to "N" speeds), HSDPA 3G (no LTE support), GPS and NFC.. not a bad deal for the price.

The GPS signal is all right and with cellular data on it gets a fix in few seconds (thanks to the built-in assisted GPS). A cold fix without data may take up to a minute, but you'll need a data plan anyway if you intend to use Google Navigation. The phone also sports a NFC radio chip for near field communications. This should be useful in the future for making payments, but currently is more of a gimmick only useful for switching profiles when -for example- you "pass" the phone over a NFC tag (stciker) in your car.

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