Acer Liquid S2 Phablet Review

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When it comes to mobile devices, there has been a split between smartphones and tablets. However, with the advancement of technology, many companies have tried to combine the two device's best features into one device. These devices are popularly referred to as phablets by manufacturers and consumers alike, which are basically a phone and tablet in one device. This month, we'll be looking at the Acer Liquid S2 phablet.

While still technically classified as a smartphone, the Liquid S2 retains much of the functionality and features of a tablet. Its large 6-inch LCD touchscreen display also makes up for the size of the phablet. However, the two main draws of the device, on physical appearance alone, is the rear camera and the small, but noticeable Dolby logo. The camera itself is a normal 13MP camera, but it is also the first to sport a ring flash that sits around the camera. It is also equipped with Dolby Digital Plus technology, allowing users to experience enhanced audio for movies, music or games from the phablet.

Acer Liquid S2 brings the best of two devices together

Acer Liquid S2 brings the best of two devices together

The screen itself has a 1920 x 1080 resolution with a pixel density of 397 PPI. With such a high resolution display, users can enjoy HD video content, as well as games without having to tone down the graphics quality. Furthermore, the use of Dolby Digital Plus ensures music and movies sound loud and clear, whether through the built-in speakers or headphones.

The phablet comes with a 3,300mAh non-removable Lithium-polymer battery and a hassle-free, power-saving mode that automatically kicks in when the battery indicator is down to 30 percent. While useful, it doesn’t say much about the phablet, as some of the preset apps do have the propensity to drain the battery rather quickly. While it can be remedied by having the mode active at all times, it will affect some of the app’s performance. As an alternative, users may also blacklist certain apps from running as well.

The Liquid S2 is the first smartphone to
incorporate a ring flash.

The Liquid S2 is the first smartphone to incorporate a ring flash

Along with the unique ring flash around the rear camera, the phablet also comes with a 2MP front camera and a rather extensive, user-friendly camera and video capturing app, which allows users to capture stills and videos in various modes, such as a simple style overlay for the camera.

With all the high-powered apps and software running on the phablet, it would need a high performance chip to juggle them all. The Liquid S2 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and an Adreno 300 GPU. In addition to 2GB RAM and 2.3GHz worth of processing power, the device also supports 4G LTE and the latest wireless AC standard.

Top: audio, power; Bottom: two microphones

Top: audio, power; Bottom: two microphones

We first ran 3D Mark, Antutu, and Quadrant and received an overwhelming score of 16,065, 28,255 and 14,677 respectively. This greatly exceeded our expectations and explained why the Liquid S2 has a high power consumption rate. The scores themselves come very close to high-end tablets that are available in the market today, which is very good for a phablet. We then proceeded with the final benchmark, Epic Citadel, and we were very pleased to see an average of 59.6 FPS.

The use of Dolby Digital Plus ensures music and movies sound loud and clear

The use of Dolby Digital Plus ensures music and movies sound loud and clear

All in all, the Acer Liquid S2 is a high-performance phablet and we would recommend the device for anyone who is looking for a versatile, yet powerful mobile device. However, please be prepared as the Liquid S2 isn’t cheap, but it is definitely worth its asking price.


·         Network: LTE, single micro-SIM card

·         Camera: 13 MP with autofocus and LED ring flash (rear), 2MP (front)

·         Display: 6-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)

·         OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)

·         Price: $586.11

·         Processor: Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800

·         GPU: Adreno 330

·         Multimedia Audio: MIDI, AMR, ACC LC, AAC+, eAAC+, Vorbis, mp3, flac, wma, wave

·         Video: mp4, H.264, H.263, mpeg4, wma, wave

·         Connectivity: 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi iEEE 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0

·         Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 1x microSD slot (expandable up to 64GB)

·         Color: Black and Red

·         Dimensions: 166 (H) X 86.2 (W) X 8.99 (T) mm

·         Weight: 229g (with battery)

·         Battery: 3,300mAh Li-polymer (non-removable)


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