Acer’s newest Windows phone is about to hit the prime time, and I have been able to have a bit of a play around with it.
First off lets have a look at the unboxing video..
The phone feels good in the hand due to its slightly curved design. It fits very well. I would have preferred the back to made out of metal as this is a premium-priced phone, but I can forgive this as the Nokia 950 and 950 XL are also made of plastic. One area where it differs from the Microsoft phones is the fact that the back cover is not removable on the Jade. This in turn also means that the battery is non-removable as well. To access the SIM card slots and memory card you need to use the included pin to push out the metal drawers housing the respective cards.
There’s a slightly better feel of build quality and it does not have the same creaking back of the 950XL.
Specifications-wise we have got some good on-board kit. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 808 SoC and has 3GB of RAM with 32GB of on-board memory. The battery is rated at 2800mAh and given that Windows 10 Mobile sips at the battery (at least on the current version) this should get you through most of a working day and maybe even into the next.
The screen itself is a 5.5″ 1080p with a PPI of 401 with 2.5D glass which curves round to meet the curved rear. This makes the whole phone feel like a streamlined pebble. We also find that the screen is vibrant and clear – as is the case with most AMOLED displays these days.
It of course supports the new headline feature – Continuum. This is via a USB Type-C port that will allow power and display port simultaneously. This is done by means of a dock which was not available for me to test on this occasion. The dock will have an input for up to 3 USB devices and will support hard drives, flash drives and wireless mouse/keyboard receivers etc. It will also have an audio output so that you can really utilize the big screen experience in all it’s glory.
As for the camera the Jade is well served with the inclusion of a 21 megapixel shooter with f/2.2 as an aperture on the back. Up front we find an 8 megapixel unit, again with the same aperture levels. Both cameras will record at 1080p at 30fps. This makes the front one ideal for using the embedded Skype video calling service.
The back will actually go up to 2K resolution if required. Again not quite the 4K of the 950 family but still nice to have on board.
We also have the usual other camera attributes that you would expect on a modern smartphone camera like geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR and panorama. These features are all available to you via the new Microsoft camera app which takes a lot of the strengths from the Lumia cameras of old. I am a huge fan of this camera UI and I wish we could have this same system on a mainstream Android phone.
Apart from the software which we are very familiar with from the Lumia 950XL review, not much else here is different. All the inbuilt apps will work in exactly the same way and will appear in the same way. This is one of the things that I love about the Windows 10 platform as a whole.
The device I was testing was a prototype and as a result I was not able to test it much further than the basic un-boxing and brief overview displayed in the video above. Once the phone gets its final release I hope to get given a full review unit which would then allow me to put it through its paces properly – including testing Continuum.
The phone will be coming into stores very soon, so if you want a viable alternative to the Lumia 950’s then it is worth checking out.
The suggested retail price is going to be around £429.99 for phone standalone and £479.99 for phone and dock kit.