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Acer Liquid S2 Hands-on: 6-inch Display, 4K Video Recording

Acer is getting in on the 4K video recording movement with its new 6-inch Liquid S2 smartphone. The feature, which is available thanks to the S2's Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, allows users to capture 4K video using the handset's 13-megapixel rear camera. We got to spend some time with a sexy red Liquid S2 here at IFA 2013 in Berlin. And while shooting 4K video was a breeze, saving it to your smartphone is a totally different story.

That's because with a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, 4K video takes up massive amounts of memory. And since the Android 4.2-powered Liquid S2 has just 16GB of onboard storage, Acer requires that you have a microSD card installed in the phone in order to shoot in 4K.

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The move is a wise one when you consider that a 52-second video clip we shot took up a ridiculous 610MB of storage. Of course, if you don’t want to capture 4K video, or just don’t have the space anymore, you can always shoot in 1080p.

The downside to a smartphone being able to shoot 4K video is that no handset offers a 4K display. In other words, you won't be able to watch any such videos on your phone. Instead, you’ll have to output the video to a 4K TV, which costs well north of $1,000.

In addition to video recording, the Liquid S also features a host of camera settings including a panorama mode that can capture a 27-megapixel photo; Quick First Shot, which lets you take pictures form the lock screen and Smart Best Shot, which determines what shooting mode you’re using and captures several pictures to ensure you get the best photo possible.

Camera functionality aside, the Liquid S2 is also an impressively powerful handset. It’s Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM all but assure the phone will fly through benchmarks and real-world tests. And the ability to use the new 802.11 ac wireless standard and a built-in LTE radio mean Web speeds will be just as fast.

The handset’s 1080p display looked brilliant during our hands on, thanks to its 368 pixels per inch. The phablet’s exterior is also fairly modern looking, thanks to its slick red back panel and metal ring surrounding its camera lens. Still at 6.5 x 3.4 x 0.35 inches, this smartphone is a behemoth. Although, there are bigger phones out there such as the 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega, which measures 6.6 x 3.5 x 0.31 inches.

While we liked what we saw out of the Liquid S2 during out hands-on, we still haven’t heard anything about U.S. pricing or availability. Given that Acer hasn’t released a high-end smartphone in the U.S. in quite some time, we’re going to assume they won’t start breaking that trend anytime soon.