Notebookcheck

Acer Liquid Z6 Plus Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 02/27/2017

Acer's large smartphone. Acer's Liquid Z6 Plus is a middle-class smartphone with a large Full-HD display, fingerprint sensor and a huge battery. The middle class is highly contested, however - so is the Liquid z6 Plus able to stand out in any way?

For the original German article, see here.

The Liquid Z6 Plus can be considered a flagship model of sorts for Acer, since the manufacturer has no ambitions to offer truly high-end Android smartphones at this time. Although the official retail price is about 300 Euro (~$320), we were able to find the Z6 Plus for about 260 Euro (~$275) online. For this price, the smartphone comes very well-equipped; highlights are without a doubt the Full-HD display and the humongous battery.

There are many appealing smartphone choices in this price segment, however, including Acer's own Liquid Jade Primo. This Windows 10 Mobile phone is/was actually a lot more expensive, but its price has slipped as its OS is slowly loses more ground. The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) scores with a great case design and a large battery, while HTC focuses more on sound quality with their Desire 10 Lifestyle. The ZTE Axon 7 Mini features a slightly smaller display, but exudes upper-class flair. How does the Acer holds up against the competition is the subject of our review.

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Acer Liquid Z6 Plus (Liquid Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 401 PPI, capacitive, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 24.2 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm, Card Reader: microSD bis 200 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, gyroscope, compass, USB-OTG
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B20/​B38/​B40/​B41); bandwidth (download/​upload): 150Mbps/​50Mbps (LTE); SAR: 0.529W/​kg (head), 1.6W/​kg (body), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 153.8 x 75.6 ( = 0.33 x 6.06 x 2.98 in)
Battery
15.5 Wh, 4080 mAh Lithium-Ion, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 700 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix AF, Dual LED Flash
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Speaker at the bottom edge, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, SIM tool, headset, Acer NAV, Acer Tutorial, Kids Center, 24 Months Warranty, FM radio, fanless
Weight
169 g ( = 5.96 oz / 0.37 pounds), Power Supply: 37 g ( = 1.31 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
299 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

2.5D glass - meaning glass with curved edges - is very popular right now and Acer uses is for the Liquid Z6 Plus as well. The integrated metal back features a brushed design and extends around the edges. The gaps are not alway completely even, but as a whole, the phone looks quite seamless and rather upscale as well. At this time, there's only a dark-gray variant with a black faceplate.

For a 5.5-inch phone the Acer Liquid Z6 Plus is quite heavy at 169 g (6 oz), but because of the heft and the rounded edges, it's quite easy to hold. The torsional rigidity is very good as well and pressing on the front or back has no noticeable effect on the display.

Größenvergleich

156.6 mm / 6.17 inch 76.8 mm / 3.02 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 150 g0.3307 lbs156.9 mm / 6.18 inch 76.9 mm / 3.03 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs153.8 mm / 6.06 inch 75.6 mm / 2.98 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 169 g0.3726 lbs151.7 mm / 5.97 inch 76 mm / 2.99 inch 7.8 mm / 0.3071 inch 169 g0.3726 lbs147.5 mm / 5.81 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 7.8 mm / 0.3071 inch 153 g0.3373 lbs

Connectivity

3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of flash storage are the de facto standard for many smartphones in this price class. The Z6 Plus can handle two SIM cards simultaneously, but the microSD card and the secondary SIM card share a slot, so the user has to decide if they want a Dual-SIM phone or extend the the storage. The microSD card can be formatted as an internal drive or used as removable media; in the latter case, the card can be selected as standard storage drive, so apps supporting the App2SD functionality automatically move to the card.

Software

As a PC manufacturer, Acer of course has close ties to Microsoft, so it's not really surprising that the Liquid Z6 Plus features "Microsoft Apps" on the home screen. Closer inspection reveals that this is only a collection of links to the Google Play Store, however. The navigation app "Acer NAV" is courtesy of TomTom; the user can register in the "Acer Portal" to receive tips for the smartphone as well as cloud storage. "Acer Tutorial" features video or text tutorials and the "KidsCenter" allows the user to childproof the start screen. In addition, there are a plethora of ad-based apps and games preinstalled - so many in fact, that only 22 GB out of 32 GB are available to the user. Purists wanting a "clean" OS need to put in some work and uninstall numerous applications.

The Liquid Z6 Plus runs Android 6 with the security patches dating back to December 5th, 2016. Acer uses their own launcher, which shows news, social media updates, or the user's own content to the left of the home screen. Most other tweaks are cosmetic in nature.

Communication and GPS

The phone supports WLAN according to standards 802.11 b/g/n, which might not seem generous, but it's par for the course for this class. The WiFi transfer rates (standardized test with our reference router Linksys EA8500) are not that impressive - the HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle is much faster. Real-world tests show that it takes a bit longer to load a page once in a while even very close to the router, although the reception is always flawless. Ten meters (33 feet) away from the router and through three walls, the signal strength was still at 3/4 and pages loaded nearly as fast as they would have right next to the router. 

The Acer Liquid Z6 Plus supports eight LTE bands and four UMTS as well as four GSM frequencies. At least while abroad within Europe, coverage should therefore be sufficient. Reception quality in the inner city - we use the well-developed German Vodafone network - is quite good and the LTE signal strength remained at 3/4 even inside buildings.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8928, 32 GB eMMC Flash
101 MBit/s ∼100% +114%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
Adreno 405, 617 MSM8952, 32 GB eMMC Flash
52.7 MBit/s ∼52% +12%
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6753, 32 GB eMMC Flash
47.2 MBit/s ∼47%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
42.9 MBit/s ∼42% -9%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8928, 32 GB eMMC Flash
104 MBit/s ∼100% +114%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
Adreno 405, 617 MSM8952, 32 GB eMMC Flash
54.9 MBit/s ∼53% +13%
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6753, 32 GB eMMC Flash
48.6 MBit/s ∼47%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.1 MBit/s ∼41% -11%
GPS test, indoors
GPS test, indoors
GPS test, outdoors
GPS test, outdoors

Indoors the Liquid Z6 Plus wasn't able to establish a satellite link at all; outside, GPS connectivity took a little before the smartphone could pinpoint our location with an accuracy of five meters (~16 feet).

To get a better idea of the GPS capabilities, we conduct our bicycle test to compare the review smartphone to the professional navigation unit Garmin Edge 500. Surprising is the fact that the Z6 Plus only showed 300 m less than the actual distance - during our test with the app "Runtastic", the smarpthone repeatedly lost contact and simply recorded a straight line. At the intersection, the smartphone is next to unusable and even at the bridge, the recorded track is not close to the real path. The professional navigation unit Edge 500 isn't error-free, but still way more accurate.

GPS Acer Liquid Z6 Plus: overview
GPS Acer Liquid Z6 Plus: overview
GPS Acer Liquid Z6 Plus: intersection
GPS Acer Liquid Z6 Plus: intersection
GPS Acer Liquid Z6 Plus: bridge
GPS Acer Liquid Z6 Plus: bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500: overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: intersection
GPS Garmin Edge 500: intersection
GPS Garmin Edge 500: bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500: bridge

Telephone and Voice Quality

Acer uses Google's standard Android phone app. We don't think that's a bad choice, since the app allows the user to access favorites and contacts easily and is very intuitive as well.

The voice quality is just average and our conversation partners sounded somewhat muffled and not very loud, although we had no issues understanding them. The microphone does its job well, doesn't over-modulate and isn't too quiet. The speakerphone works quite well, but also doesn't get very loud.

Cameras

Foto taken with the front-facing camera
Foto taken with the front-facing camera

A 13 MP rear-facing and a 5 MP camera up front - that seems to be the current status quo as far as cameras in middle-class smartphones are concerned. In any case, our comparison includes a few other smartphones equipped as such. Like other, similarly priced smartphones, the Acer Liquid Z6 Plus features a dual LED flash as well as autofocus.

The main camera takes fairly decent pictures, but a closer examination reveals that the module seems to have issues with backlit subjects: outlines appear strangely oversharpened and non-continuous. When we took a landscape photo, the autofocus failed and the resulting picture wasn't sharp at all. In lowlight conditions, the Z6 applies - compared to other smartphones - a very cold white balance and takes fairly dim, blurry picture. Since we encountered issues in most situations, we can't say we are very impressed with the main camera. Videos can be recorded in Full-HD in good quality with decent sharpness; the exposure control reacts very quickly to changing conditions.

The front-facing camera takes decent selfies, has not issues with backlit scenes and gets the exposure right, so there's decent dynamic range even in darker areas. Details and colors do suffer at times when looking at enlargements, however. 

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

We also analyze the main camera in our laboratory and take pictures under defined lighting conditions. At first glance, the photo we took of the reference card looks decent, although text on red looks fuzzy even without zooming in. We encountered the same issue with yellow as well. Here, the color reproduction is flawed with noticeably brighter spots. Angled lines aren't reproduced accurately, either, although the black and white sharpness is pretty decent. Colors fade towards the edges and the sharpness decreases.

Generally, colored areas look pretty uniform without noticeable grain. The colors tend to be too bright and don't match the reference color chart very closely, however.

Photo of the reference card
Photo of the reference card
Reference card (detail)
Reference card (detail)
Photo of the ColorChecker chart. The lower half of each field shows the reference color.
Photo of the ColorChecker chart. The lower half of each field shows the reference color.

Accessories and Warranty

Acer ships the smartphone with the charger and the USB cable as well as an in-ear headset. The quality of the supplied headset doesn't seem that high, however: when we connected it to our phone, the sound repeatedly dropped out.

In Germany, the Z6 Plus is warranted for a period of 24 months.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Operation

The preinstalled keyboard "TouchPal" features quite a few different settings, although we experienced an issue with Chinese characters appearing all of a sudden - switching back to Latin characters wasn't possible. The default layout was English, as well. Of course, switching back to the standard Android keyboard is always an option.

The display offers quite a bit of resistance to gliding fingers; it's up to the user to decide if this is a positive or negative attribute. In any case, the touchscreen is reliable even at the edges and in the very corners. The entry 'Quick Touch" in the options menu allows the user to activate various gestures, which primarily work on the display when it's in sleep mode - one of them, for example, wakes up the smartphone. The gestures are recognized reliably.

The menu keys are on the screen itself; the fingerprint reader sits right underneath. The fingerprint sensor functions as a button as well and wakes up the smartphone, although the finger has to remain on the sensor for the phone to unlock. When the Z6 Plus is unlocked, pressing on the sensor returns the user to the home screen. Fingerprints are recognized promptly and the phone unlocks quickly. The physical buttons work well and feature a well-defined click point.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

In this price range, a Full-HD display isn't a given - and the Acer Liquid Z6 features a 5.5-inch display, so it's comparatively large. Compared to others, the display is also quite bright at an average of 408 cd/m² - although the real-world  APL50 test shows a much lower brightness. The brightness distribution is also not that great at 83 percent and larger areas are unevenly lit. 

358
cd/m²
415
cd/m²
419
cd/m²
405
cd/m²
419
cd/m²
423
cd/m²
397
cd/m²
433
cd/m²
404
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 433 cd/m² Average: 408.1 cd/m² Minimum: 15.04 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 347 cd/m²
Contrast: 1197:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.6 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 7.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.08
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Super AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.5
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.2
Screen
23%
8%
16%
-0%
Brightness middle
419
355
-15%
380
-9%
287
-32%
327
-22%
Brightness
408
356
-13%
369
-10%
289
-29%
335
-18%
Brightness Distribution
83
88
6%
92
11%
91
10%
94
13%
Black Level *
0.35
0.26
26%
Contrast
1197
1462
22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.6
2.9
56%
6.6
-0%
2.9
56%
6.3
5%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.6
10.5
17%
10.4
17%
10.1
20%
11.4
10%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.9
1.2
85%
7.4
6%
2.1
73%
7.1
10%
Gamma
2.08 106%
2.26 97%
2.29 96%
2.05 107%
2.25 98%
CCT
8576 76%
6381 102%
8665 75%
6228 104%
7637 85%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9266 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The black value is quite low at 0.35 cd/m², although some other phones in this price class feature AMOLED displays, which achieve true black by turning off the individual pixels. The theoretical contrast is unlimited in this case - something the Liquid Z6 Plus with its LED display can't compete with, although its contrast ratio of 1197:1 is quite decent.

Subjectively, the colors look a little washed out. To validate our impressions, we use the CalMan software and a spectrophotometer. The result of the examination reveals a distinctly bluish hue, while the deviations to the reference color space are just about average at 96 percent. The Acer "BlueLightShield" can reduce the blue tint and make the screen easier on the eyes, but it dulls the screen somewhat in the process.

CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN graylevels
CalMAN graylevels
CalMAN color space
CalMAN color space

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 47 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
56 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 27 ms rise
↘ 29 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 91 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.6 ms).

The smartphone is quite usable outside, since the brightness is high enough. The glossy display is prone to reflections, however, so we recommend a shady spot whenever possible. Even at very shallow angles, the screen content is easy to see.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Performance

The CPU - a Mediatek MT6753 - is an older upper middle-class SoC with eight cores running at up to 1.5 GHz. Our multi-core test shows that the SoC is capable of decent performance, but unfortunately not that many apps can make use of all eight cores. The average performance is hence typical for the class, since the individual cores aren't that powerful. 

The ARM Mali-T720 MP2 graphics processor runs at 650 MHz and features two cores. For Full-HD resolution, this GPU doesn't offer quite enough performance, which is obvious when looking at the various graphics benchmarks. In many cases, the Z6 Plus can't quite keep up with similarly-priced smartphones here.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
37286 Points ∼13%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
75225 Points ∼26% +102%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
24799 Points ∼8% -33%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
45234 Points ∼15% +21%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
46968 Points ∼16% +26%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
2442 Points ∼8%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
1100 Points ∼4% -55%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3277 Points ∼11% +34%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
2092 Points ∼7% -14%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
608 Points ∼10%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
441 Points ∼7% -27%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
680 Points ∼11% +12%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
698 Points ∼12% +15%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
1076 Points ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1681 Points ∼37% +56%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1121 Points ∼25% +4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
160 Points ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
242 Points ∼3% +51%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
327 Points ∼5% +104%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
197 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
299 Points ∼5% +52%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
388 Points ∼6% +97%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
1090 Points ∼24%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
813 Points ∼18% -25%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1687 Points ∼37% +55%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1102 Points ∼24% +1%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
241 Points ∼2%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
46 Points ∼0% -81%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
394 Points ∼3% +63%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
606 Points ∼5% +151%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
291 Points ∼4%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
58 Points ∼1% -80%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
475 Points ∼6% +63%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
673 Points ∼8% +131%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
10347 Points ∼12%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
12949 Points ∼15% +25%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
9670 Points ∼11% -7%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
6456 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
7746 Points ∼1% +20%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
9913 Points ∼2% +54%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
7045 Points ∼3%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
4675 Points ∼2% -34%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
8505 Points ∼4% +21%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
9858 Points ∼4% +40%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
12 fps ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
22.1 fps ∼0% +84%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
5.7 fps ∼0% -52%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
12 fps ∼0% 0%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
17 fps ∼0% +42%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
13 fps ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
20.38 fps ∼1% +57%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
10 fps ∼0% -23%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
19 fps ∼1% +46%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
18 fps ∼1% +38%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
4.5 fps ∼1%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
12.33 fps ∼2% +174%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2 fps ∼0% -56%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
4.9 fps ∼1% +9%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
6.7 fps ∼1% +49%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
4.7 fps ∼1%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
10.7 fps ∼3% +128%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
4.2 fps ∼1% -11%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
9.4 fps ∼3% +100%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
7 fps ∼2% +49%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
3.1 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3.2 fps ∼0% +3%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
4.2 fps ∼0% +35%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
2.9 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
7.2 fps ∼0% +148%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
4.5 fps ∼0% +55%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
2979 Points ∼15%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2383 Points ∼12% -20%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3691 Points ∼19% +24%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
3663 Points ∼19% +23%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
9 Points ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
820 Points ∼9% +9011%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
573 Points ∼6% +6267%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
624 Points ∼7% +6833%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
10 Points ∼0% +11%
Graphics (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
428 Points ∼1%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
1427 Points ∼5% +233%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
346 Points ∼1% -19%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
512 Points ∼2% +20%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
827 Points ∼3% +93%
Memory (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
797 Points ∼11%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
1679 Points ∼22% +111%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
421 Points ∼6% -47%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1319 Points ∼18% +65%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1052 Points ∼14% +32%
System (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
1702 Points ∼10%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
1301 Points ∼8% -24%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
858 Points ∼5% -50%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
2127 Points ∼13% +25%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
1379 Points ∼8% -19%
Overall (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
272 Points ∼3%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
1264 Points ∼15% +365%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
517 Points ∼6% +90%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
973 Points ∼12% +258%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
328 Points ∼4% +21%

Legend

 
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Acer Liquid Jade Primo Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8928, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Axon 7 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 MSM8952, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 32 GB eMMC Flash

The Liquid Z6 Plus is somewhat slower while websurfing than competing units. Once again, the higher resolution might be the culprit. In any case, HTML5 pages load more slowly and some animations stutter. This is also quite evident when looking at the benchmark results, since the review smartphone always trails the others slightly.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
2892 Points ∼6%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
7141 Points ∼14% +147%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2141 Points ∼4% -26%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3905 Points ∼7% +35%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
3371 Points ∼6% +17%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
14218 ms * ∼24%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
6376.2 ms * ∼11% +55%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
12145 ms * ∼20% +15%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
9670.9 ms * ∼16% +32%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
11109.2 ms * ∼19% +22%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
18.049 Points ∼5%
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
40 Points ∼11% +122%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
18.22 Points ∼5% +1%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
24.119 Points ∼7% +34%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
23 Points ∼7% +27%

* ... smaller is better

The Acer Liquid Z6 Plus isn't a speed demon when it comes to microSD cards - the competitors are significantly faster. The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016), to give an example, writes to our Toshiba reference SD card about twice as fast.

Reading from and writing to the internal flash drive is a different story: here, the Acer Liquid Z6 Plus actually leads the competing smartphone at times.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
27.97 MB/s ∼32%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
29.2 MB/s ∼34% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
58.24 MB/s ∼67% +108%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
50.27 MB/s ∼58% +80%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
42.76 MB/s ∼44%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
47.7 MB/s ∼49% +12%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
75.54 MB/s ∼78% +77%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
73.89 MB/s ∼77% +73%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
10.4 MB/s ∼4%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
7.94 MB/s ∼3% -24%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
10.11 MB/s ∼4% -3%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
6.7 MB/s ∼3% -36%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
22.2 MB/s ∼11%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
17.03 MB/s ∼9% -23%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
22.33 MB/s ∼11% +1%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
14.05 MB/s ∼7% -37%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
70.1 MB/s ∼12%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
60.62 MB/s ∼10% -14%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
46.24 MB/s ∼8% -34%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
122.84 MB/s ∼21% +75%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
209.4 MB/s ∼14%
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
149.4 MB/s ∼10% -29%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
189.35 MB/s ∼13% -10%
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
230.82 MB/s ∼15% +10%

Gaming Performance

The GPU unit wasn't designed for demanding games, which becomes quite obvious when playing Asphalt 8, a racing game with very taxing graphics. The stutters are quite visible and even controlling the game can be a challenge due to the lags. Reducing the details helps, but most 3D games in Full-HD aren't that much fun to play. Less resource-intensive games like Angry Birds work well, however and the touchscreen controls work flawlessly. 

Angry Birds
Angry Birds
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne

Emissions

Temperature

The smartphone hardly gets warm - even after longer load periods, the case only heats up to 35.7 °C. Most users will hardly notice that, especially since the warmer areas are pretty localized. The power adapter remains cool as well. During idle, the temperatures are even lower - we measured a maximum of only 29.8 °C on the back. Even heat-sensitive users will find no reason to complain.

Max. Load
 35.7 °C
96 F
33.8 °C
93 F
31.1 °C
88 F
 
 34.9 °C
95 F
33.8 °C
93 F
31.1 °C
88 F
 
 34.4 °C
94 F
32.6 °C
91 F
30.4 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 35.7 °C = 96 F
Average: 33.1 °C = 92 F
29.7 °C
85 F
31.8 °C
89 F
32.8 °C
91 F
30.2 °C
86 F
30.8 °C
87 F
33 °C
91 F
29.8 °C
86 F
31.1 °C
88 F
32.3 °C
90 F
Maximum: 33 °C = 91 F
Average: 31.3 °C = 88 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.6 °C = 85 F | Room Temperature 21.4 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.1 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 35.7 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 33 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

Pink Noise
Pink Noise

The speaker on the bottom edge is more entry-level than middle-class and doesn't get very loud. Music isn't full-bodied and the Z6 Plus sounds more like a cheap radio than a good smartphone.. Highs and the higher mids are over-emphasized and the sound is mushy and not very differentiated. For occasional YouTube videos, the quality suffices, but the speaker is hardly good enough for larger rooms or acceptable when listening to music. The HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle is in a completely different league and brings high-resolution sound to middle-class smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) sounds much better as well.

Sound output via the 3.5 mm headphone jack and Bluetooth works well, but the headset we received had some issues. Other headphones and headsets work flawlessly, however. 

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.638.52525.430.23125.333.74032.927.95033.627.46331.632.48028.430.61002727.912520.827.41602224.720021.327.725020.83331521.248.340019.455.250019.558.963017.760.680017.966.8100017.869.3125017.371.3160017.468.9200016.772.7250017.273.5315018.272400017.968.8500017.661.9630017.754.6800017.851.81000017.953.61250018.155.41600018.241.6SPL3081.1N1.342.5median 17.9median 55.4Delta1.314.831.64725.431.425.332.432.93133.643.731.634.728.430.22730.420.824.72231.521.336.820.84821.250.419.456.619.560.417.766.417.97317.873.517.374.717.473.916.774.117.27518.276.817.976.817.67917.78017.875.617.966.118.163.418.255.83087.51.369.7median 17.9median 66.41.312.7hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Liquid Z6 PlusSamsung Galaxy J7 2016
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.12 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 10.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (34.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 95% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 96% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.52 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.6% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 72% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 82% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequenzdiagramm im Vergleich (Checkboxen oben an-/abwählbar!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is quite low and in idle mode - with an average draw of 1.61 watts - the Z6 Plus consumes even less than the very frugal Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016). The ZTE Axon 7 Mini requires even less, but its minimum power consumption in idle mode is higher. Under load, the Z6 draws about 5.2 watts, which is just an average result.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.04 / 0.27 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.48 / 1.55 / 1.61 Watt
Load midlight 5.2 / 5.68 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
4080 mAh
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
2870 mAh
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2700 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3300 mAh
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
2705 mAh
Power Consumption
-67%
6%
10%
Idle Minimum *
0.48
1.22
-154%
0.67
-40%
0.68
-42%
Idle Average *
1.55
2.25
-45%
1.71
-10%
0.96
38%
Idle Maximum *
1.61
2.32
-44%
1.83
-14%
1.06
34%
Load Average *
5.2
7.84
-51%
2.37
54%
3.22
38%
Load Maximum *
5.68
8.07
-42%
3.31
42%
6.75
-19%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Acer managed to squeeze a 15.5 Wh battery into the slim chassis, which means that the Z6 offers one of the highest capacities in its class. The resulting run times are very good as well: during the WLAN test, the smartphone lasted for 18 hours; under full load, the Z6 shut down after 6 hours. It's quite amazing that a large battery like this charges in just about two hours, even though there's no rapid charge function.

The Acer Liquid Z6 Plus thus doesn't require plugging in very frequently and easily lasts three days with normal use. In addition, there's a power-saver mode, which can automatically turn on or be activated by the user if the battery is running on empty.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
18h 07min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 51min
Acer Liquid Z6 Plus
4080 mAh
Acer Liquid Jade Primo
2870 mAh
HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle
2700 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3300 mAh
ZTE Axon 7 Mini
2705 mAh
Battery Runtime
-69%
-40%
44%
-54%
Reader / Idle
1485
2030
1287
WiFi v1.3
1087
334
-69%
574
-47%
1025
-6%
399
-63%
Load
351
234
-33%
681
94%
196
-44%
H.264
622
1220
435

Pros

+ bright Full-HD display
+ Dual-SIM
+ USB-OTG
+ sturdy and upscale-looking metal case design
+ long battery life
+ includes navigation software for free
+ supports many LTE bands
+ good voice quality
+ hardly gets warm
+ very low power consumption

Cons

- headset suffers from loose contact
- lots of bloatware
- rear-facing camera delivers low quality pictures
- "Bluelight Shield" has a dimming effect on the screen
- very noticeable bluish cast
- brightness is low
- speaker doesn't that great
- GPS module isn't very accurate
- build quality is lacking in some areas

Verdict

In Review: Acer Liquid Z6 Plus. Test model courtesy of Acer Germany.
In Review: Acer Liquid Z6 Plus. Test model courtesy of Acer Germany.

The Acer Liquid Z6 Plus doesn't make a verdict easy: the sturdy and good-looking case design is quite appealing, but on the flip side, the build quality isn't that great and gaps are uneven. A Full-HD display is still something special in this price range, but the SoC and the GPU are not quite powerful enough for the high-resolution screen. The brightness distribution also isn't that great and the display suffers from a bluish hue. The "Bluelight Shield" certainly helps, but it also dulls the display at higher resolution settings. The included headset seemingly has a short and the internal speaker is not very usable at all.

Of course, the Acer Liquid Z6 Plus has some real upsides as well: the high-capacity battery lasts for days, the case doesn't get hot and the feature set is solid.

Acer wasted a lot of potential with their Liquid Z6 Plus: too many little mistakes and shortcomings plague the metal-encased smartphone with its huge battery and take away from the user experience.

There are many inadequacies which deter from a very favorable impression: first of all, there are many preinstalled ad-based applications which overshadow the included (free) navigation software. The keyboard defaults to English, the GPS module isn't accurate and the camera doesn't take great pictures - it seems to us that Acer has to go back to the drawing board in those areas. Maybe a software update can help as well. When it comes to the keyboard and other software, the user has at least the option uninstall or reinstall applications. Still, users who aren't very familiar with smartphones will find this drawback to be somewhat of a nuisance. Too bad: at this point, we can only recommend the Liquid Z6 Plus to potential buyers who prefer design and a long battery life over general usability. Users who decide on the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) instead will enjoy both of the aforementioned advantages and can avoid the shortcomings that spoil the experience with the Acer Liquid Z6 Plus.

Acer Liquid Z6 Plus - 02/20/2017 v6(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
87%
Keyboard
64 / 75 → 85%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
39 / 60 → 65%
Weight
91%
Battery
100%
Display
82%
Games Performance
12 / 63 → 19%
Application Performance
32 / 70 → 45%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
51 / 91 → 56%
Camera
56%
Average
69%
81%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Liquid Z6 Plus Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-02-27 (Update: 2019-04-13)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).