In the sea of phones that is Mobile World Congress, Pocket-lint picked out Acer's latest mid-ranger, the Liquid E1, to have a play around with.
The Android 4.1-touting Liquid E1 handset is from a company that, by and large, isn't seen as one of the front-runners of the top-tier smartphone space.The E1 has partnered up with the likes of DTS to try and give some more mass appeal, but spec-wise it's not pushing all too many buttons. But then the price hammers home - at around €200 (UK price is still TBC, but has previously been penned in at £170) it's a very safe buy when on a budget.
The E1's soap-shaped exterior is somewhat functional rather than exciting, while the dual-core 1GHz processor isn't as spec-tastic as many desirable models out there but we found it kept up with our app-loads and screen swipes no problem.
There are other decent features on board such as a 4.5-inch screen that, for the price tag, represents great value too. However, the 960 x 540 pixel resolution doesn't measure up to HD standards, but we're not surprised for that money. To our eyes the IPS screen looked from a decent range of viewing angles which is among the more important phone factors.
In the hand the plastic-backed E1 feels, er, plasticky. No surprises there. The textured rear panel is comfortable to grip and there's plenty of room around both the 5-megapixel camera unit and enlarged dual DTS speaker outputs for the hand.
The DTS system isn't going to sound like a cinema from such a small phone - believe us, it really doesn't - but the demo we saw on stand cranked out plenty of volume. Volume is one thing, but if it's quality you want then plug in a pair of decent headphones to ensure full bass frequencies can be heard.
The E1 comes equipped with a 1,760mAh battery which, while we could only test it for a number of minutes rather than hours, ought to deliver the juice aplenty.
Mid-range is definitely the word, yet the E1 balances out cost and performance to produce a handset that, while not particularly exciting, is a fair measure on all counts.