Published: February 27, 2013 8:56 AM
By Romain Thuret
Hot on the heels of LG's low-cost Optimus L3 Series II smartphone (announced at €119, or approx. £105), Acer is showing off its own budget Android 4.1 handset at this year's Mobile World Congress. The Liquid Z2 Duo is a 3.5" handset with a very respectable finish considering its low-end price tag.

Entry-level smartphones seem to be something of a trend at this year's MWC. And so Acer has hit the ground running with its Liquid Z2 Duo mobile on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, announced at just under €100 (approx. £87)!

Acer Liquid Z2

So what do you get for your hundred euros? Well, the Liquid Z2 Duo has a 3.5" screen with HVGA resolution (480 x 320 pixels, TN screen), a "single-core" 1 GHz MediaTek processor and 512 MB of RAM. It offers Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 EDR and has a built-in GPS.

Acer Liquid Z2

The Liquid Z2 Duo has 4 GB of onboard memory that can be boosted via the microSD memory card slot. There's also room for two SIM cards inside. In fact, Acer told us that the majority of its new smartphones would be available in "Duo" twin-SIM versions.

There's a 3-Megapixel photo and video camera on the back (no LED flash), as well as a relatively powerful speaker. SRS audio enhancement technology is onboard too.

Acer Liquid Z2

Acer has loaded this phone with a choice of two menus to help new users find their way around this Android smartphone. There's a standard menu with lists of apps on a black background, as well as a "Quick Mode" which displays the contents of the Liquid Z2 in a way similar to more basic phones. 

We managed to play around with the Liquid Z2 Duo for a few minutes on Acer's MWC stand and, from what we saw, this looks to be a superior handset to the LG Optimus L3 Series II. The Acer smartphone has a bigger, higher-res screen, Android looks more flattering, and the phone's finish feels less cheap and plasticky than LG's mobile. And the Acer model is cheaper! In all, the Liquid Z2 Duo makes for a nice and wallet-friendly surprise.

Acer Liquid Z2

The Liquid Z2 will no doubt prove an attractive option for users looking for a SIM-free handset or for anyone who wants to try upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone without breaking the bank. The Liquid Z2 Duo should be available from March.

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