Continuum-capable Acer Liquid Jade Primo officially coming in February 2016

First announced at IFA in Berlin back in September 2015, Acer has officially launched it's own flagship Windows 10 Mobile smartphone, the Acer Liquid Jade Primo, at CES 2016. The Liquid Jade Primo was initially described as a "PC in your pocket", and as the phone sees its official introduction we're looking at something that's, on paper at least, every bit as capable as Microsoft's Lumia 950.

The PC in your pocket line refers to Continuum, and since the Jade Primo has the necessary hardware on offer, this is the first smartphone without a Microsoft badge on it that is going to be available to take advantage of the feature (the only other phones released up to this point that support Continuum are the aforementioned Lumia 950 and it's big brother the Lumia 950 XL.) Hooking the Jade Primo up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse will give the same PC-like experience with Universal Windows Apps as Microsoft's two flagships.

So, what make's it tick? Here's a quick rundown of what's inside:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage
  • 5.5-inch, Full HD 1080p AMOLED display with 2.5D Gorilla Glass
  • 21MP rear camera with dual-LED flash
  • 8MP wide angle front facing camera
  • Cat. 6 LTE

When it comes to pricing and availability there's both good and bad news, depending where you are. The Jade Primo will be available from February in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region, with pricing set at a steep €569. It will roll out to other regions gradually afterwards, with pricing and exact specifications subject to change. At this time there's no word on a U.S. launch.

The better news is that we'll be taking a thorough look at the Acer Liquid Jade Primo from Las Vegas, so stay tuned for much more.

Press Release:

LAS VEGAS (Jan 4, 2016) Acer today announced the new Liquid Jade Primo, a 5.5-inch premium smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile. The Liquid Jade Primo provides ultimate productivity for professionals through Continuum, allowing Windows 10 universal apps to provide a PC-like experience when the smartphone is connected with a secondary display.

Award-winning Sleek Design

The Acer Liquid Jade Primo features Acer's award-winning Liquid Jade design language with a sleek and slim profile, curved back cover that fits comfortably in the hand and ergonomic 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass screen. The rear and front covers feature a fine hairline-brushed finish, while a sharp diamond-cut band wraps the chassis and gives the smartphone an even more polished look. The cohesive circular-shaped receiver, rear camera and speaker inherited from the Jade family add a touch of elegance.

Multitasking Multiplied

With a USB Type-C monitor, wireless display accessories or the Display Dock, the Liquid Jade Primo can provide a PC-like experience on an external display with Windows 10 universal apps. It can be used as a touchpad and virtual keyboard or a keyboard and mouse can be connected for multitasking on both the screen and on the external display; this unlocks use-cases such as: - Connecting the smartphone to a TV or monitor at hotels or anywhere on the go for productivity-intensive applications, so that the heavier laptop can be left at home. - Projecting presentation decks to a projector or large screen, while displaying the "Presenter View" on the smartphone. - Playing videos on the TV while using other apps on the smartphone simultaneously.

The Liquid Jade Primo features a stunning 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display that supports 100 percent of the NTSC color gamut with 10000:1 contrast and 176-degree wide-viewing angles. A hexa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 808 processor along with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory provides powerful performance needed for multitasking, while LTE Cat. 6 and 802.11ac MIMO connectivity options makes downloads a snap. The 21MP f/2.2 auto-focus rear camera has dual LED flash and supports up to 4K (3840 x 2160) video recording and the 8MP f/2.2 front-facing camera boasts a wide-angle of up to 84-degrees, while supporting up to Full HD 1080p video recording.

Engineering Excellence

To reduce the heat that resource-intensive multitasking brings, the Liquid Jade Primo features an advanced cooling system that efficiently dissipates the heat from the processor, while also reducing the overall rear surface temperature.

For a slimmer chassis, the Liquid Jade Primo's antenna is formed by laser direct structuring (LDS) technology, allowing integration of the antenna and back cover. Also contributing to the slimmer profile is on-cell touch technology, which moves the touch layer onto the outer glass surface of the screen, eliminating the touch substrate layer.

Enterprise-Grade Security and Device Management

With BitLocker technology on Windows 10 Mobile, the Liquid Jade Primo allows for full encryption of all user data stored on internal memory, protecting the device from offline hardware-level attacks. For corporate users, the Liquid Jade Primo also supports device management solutions such as Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA DM) v1.2 and Microsoft Intune, so that IT personnel can help users be productive while safeguarding company information.

Pricing and Availability

The Acer Liquid Jade Primo will be available in EMEA in February with prices starting at €569, and will be gradually rolled out to other regions. Pricing will be announced in each market closer to availability.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

95 Comments
  • Meh...
  • ?
  • Windows Hello?..
  • Windows Hello on my L 950 is so unreliable I actually switched back to pin usage. So no big loss really. 
  • My Windows hello has been rock solid even with my sun glasses on which has been great while working outside
  • Exactly, they better start working on the software or it will be a deficient phone like the Lumia 950 and it'll have the same fate ( be retired from stores)
  • The 950 is retired from stores? Already?  It's been sold out almost everywhere I have looked... Had to get my dual sim from Europe. 
  • Been sold out in many countries in Europe along with the 950 XL since some time. Be en waiting for my XL from Carphone warehouse for some tine expected to be back in stock by 19th.
  • How is the 21mp camera that Acer is offering? Im upgrading from my Ativ S to this or the 950 for capturing pics of my 8 month old son. The 950 & XL have been sold out on the MS store online for at least three weeks now. I check every day.
  • Does it still include the dock and keyboard? :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yup
  • You know this how?
  • They had previously stated that it would come complete with that, plus keyboard and mouse, out of the box. That said, they didn't reiterate that with this announcement so perhaps that has changed.
  • Niceee well done A
  • I wonder if this will make the 950s drop in price.
  • I doubt it unless that Acer would bundle the dock/keyboard/mouse with their phone. L950 has better display, Pureview camera and Windows Hello.
  • Is anyone really interested in windows phones not made by Microsoft? The alignment of os and hardware is what makes iPhones so popular, and the same goes for Lumia.
  • Yep
  • I think it's nice to have choices, and it's also interesting to see what they come up with. I'm wondering if BLU will have anything to announce during CES 2016...
  • @libra89. Some just don't realise a vibrant ecosystem isn't created by a single OEM. Apple is the exception not the norm as they have pretty much been the sole OEM of their own products for aeons. Plus Microsoft has always relied on OEMs to build hardware and that wont change any time soon.
  • I agree. This Acer WP looks fine but not as iconic as Lumia phones.  It just looks like an Android phone loaded with Windows Mobile 10 (so that it at least appears better than an Android phone). I would prefer those flagship phones from other OEMs to run Windows Mobile (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Edge running Windows Mobile would be awesome).
  • As if Lumia phones look iconic these days. They all look like iPhone knockoffs now.
  • Not iconic, yes. iPhone knockoffs, absolutely not.
  • iCrap knockoffs? iRolledLaughingOnTheFloorFor10Minutes
     
  • Yes I personally I am interested in a non lumia phone, Nokia/lumia is not my cup of tea, only got an l730 because I had no other option
  • I sure am not. I'd be concerned about support
  • Software wise or/and firmware wise? I kinda agree with you, although we have to try and trust other oems if we want W10M to saturize the market. Acer was one of the first to support WP7 so I'm still getting one out of pure nostalgia. My HTC M8 still seems to run good enough on W10M and that device has been completely forgotten by HTC. So I'm curious how Acer will do. I'm carefully optimistisc for now.  
  • Not sure if I can agree with what you say, but I'd love to have more oems giving W10M a try. We should embrace them, not shun them. Else this plattform will never succeed. I'm getting one for sure though. Call me a brave fool, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
  • I'll be tempted but need to see final UK pricing vs the Lumia 950/XL. A 1080p screen is fine for me personally (Lumia 930 for example, still looks great screen wise IMO) but will need the price to be lower than the 950 really.
  • I don't care who the manufacturer is, if it's a decent phone. I do think the Lumias are currently the best, so right now, those would be my preference. But Microsoft has a long history of selling an OS that runs on other companies' hardware. In the US, the largest cell carrier, Verizon, has no flagship, so I'd grab this in a heartbeat if it were available here (sounds like it won't be).  Biggest problem for me with the phone is not the brand name, but lack of wireless charging. I have Qi chargers in several rooms of my house now, at my office, and in my car... I'm highly motivated to get another phone that will work with those. Plugging in a cable may seem simple, but compared to the one-handed set-it-down to charge, it'd be like going back to TV without a remote control.
  • I seriously am.  With the exception of my first Windows Phone, the HTC Arrive, which still works great to this day, I've been the Lumia route and I have to tell you they still have some serious quality control problems,  I'm sure you've never had a problem with any Lumia but from experience, I've had more than my share. I have the HTC One M8. running the latest build of W10M.  Not a single issue.
  • I do. Having more options is not necessarily bad. Specially from well known player like Acer and Asus. Specially if they offer cheaper device from similar class in Microsoft arsenal.
  • I'm very interested because my experience with windows on htc devices were much better than nokia/MS
  • Amen to that!
  • Only two questions,
    1. Will further support be provided like on Lumia ?
    2. Should we go for a non-Lumia flagship with an OS that's still not very stable ?
  • 1. Softwarewise? probably. Else we can use Windows Insider I guess... Time will tell. 2. Probably not, unless you're brave enough like me ^^' (or foolish)
  • I don't know but the hardware and design looks premium than the Lumia(s) by Microsoft. Too bad the Operating System side is still unsatisfactory for MSFT fanboy like me
  • I'm sorry but there is nothing premium about this phone's looks and the Lumia at least has the option of the Mozo covers which are gorgeous.
  • I render the good old days when people were more concerned with what a computing device could do than how it looked. It could be the ugliest phone on the market but if it had the best features and/or price and/or build quality, I'd probably buy it in a heartbeat.
  • If only that were the main determining factor. This current style where every phone has to be a metal and glass slab even though most people stick it in a case is silly. The specs of the 950 and 950XL are on point and that should be the most important thing on the hardware side along with weight.
  • Lol even router manufacturers try to fit high end spec. hardware into small chassis & wonder why it overheats all to appease users that would never buy it in the 1st place. This practice needs to stop
  • @FarStrider2001, it's come to a point where shrinking the die and cramming many functions into a single soc has reached the wall. Too much concentrated heat.
  • 1. I am not sure that you can expect Nokia level support from Microsoft anymore....
    1. Only issue will be with the firmware/drivers fir those devices. If they sell enough, I am sure other OEMs would support...
  • How is these specs better than the 950/XL ?
  • Cheaper than L950/XL .. Value for money..
  • It's only a 5.5" screen so it's hard to fairly compare it against the 950XL. I already find 5.7" screens a tad smaller than what I prefer. However, if you look at it as an upsized 950 then it's a fairer comparison (especially since they both have 808s).
  • MSFT is bad when it comes to pricing of hardware. How it's better than Lumia? Go find it for yourself with an open mind.
  • Translation: "It's not as cheap as I'd like even though the specs are on par with similarly priced phones. Therefore, Microsoft is bad at pricing."
  • 1020' camera sensor has not been beaten yet in camera phone
  • Move on
  • Yeah, this is bumming me out. I want an upgrade path!
  • Technically they have... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Frost Nexus 6P
  • That bad news is brutal
  • It's definitly more expensive then I've hoped it to be. But then again, you do get a lot of goodies for that price. And my first WP7 device was from Acer, so I'm buying one out of pure nostalgia. Okay, I like the shape as well, even though it looks a bit cheap for such a pricy device. But then again, so do the latest Lumia's *shrug*
  • 100%NTSC...
  • Wireless charging?
  • Looks like that's one of the big things it's missing, for those of us whe care about that.
  • No way I would buy a 3rd party device not directly supported by MS with all of the problems like simple audio notifications from Outlook not working. Once I used to be die hard HTC when it came to my Windows phones, but now that so many things are broken, I want an MS device so there is a chance I get a fix sooner.
  • Welp, since MS can push updates though whenever they want, I don't really see a problem to be honest. My HTC M8 still runs the latest W10M, even though HTC has all but forgotten about the device. I'm not having any troubles, with the exception of the occasional software bugs (not nearly as bad as on the 950/950 XL from what I'm reading). But I understand what you mean when it comes down to firmware updates. But then again, I'm still not too worried about it at this point. I'm definitly going to grab this Primo once it's released.
  • Outlook audio notifications work but are initially not enabled, you just have to go into outlook mail setting to set a tone for email notification by ticking the right checkbox.
  • Hands-on video needed :)
  • We need to see the phone first. Patience :)
  • Yup. I'm not that eager, however.
  • Let's hope T-Mobile gets this phone, but I'm not holding my breathe.
  • Windows Hello?
  • Good luck to you, Acer.  Windows Phone needs more OEMs that are willing to make mid-range and low-end devices.
  • There are plenty of those. Hardly need the latest tech in a low-mid range device. What we don't have is a flagship phone on the largest US carrier. Amazingly, this phone won't even be available in the US (at least no current plans, says the article)...
  • Without windows hello (fingerprint or iris) in flagship not worth..
  • What is that circle on the back at the bottom?
  • Speaker, I would guess.
  • It's the speaker
  • The most important thing, IMO, is that this will be available to the masses before MS figures out how to fix the L950XL. And in most instances, the specs are on-par with the L950XL.
  • If this doesn't have Windows Hello & an SD card slot, I will definately pass...
  • Re: Jctod73,
    Agreed.
  • And my hopes for a midrange phone are gone again
  • Verizon?
  • Very interesting. Too bad it's more expensive than a 950 here in Lisbon.
  • Before someone goes for it, let mi tell you this. No HERE Drive, Maps, Transportation, nada. No Mixradio. No Lumia whatever app is out there. No glance and many other settings available in Lumias as Other settings. Think good before you go for a Windows Phone that has even less apps than Lumia.
  • Mixradio is on all Windows Phones, Here is on 0 Lumias, Lumia apps have been retired. point?
  • Garbage!!
  • I see the article says no US plans, but with no 950 on Verizon, there's a real opportunity here for Acer.
  • Opportunity or is Verizon being the stickler here? Hmm...
  • 6" id consider. My M8 looks like a baby phone.
  • Wireless charging?
  • Ugg......no NFC.....no Qi charging.......looks like a Samsung S3.........for how much?        NEXT!  
  • Err this is not the full spec list...
  • Keep in mind that MSRP at Acer does not hold the same relationship to "street price" as it does at Apple or Microsoft. So I'd reserve opinions based simply on price. We'll have to wait and see. I have the blessing and good fortune of being able to "test" devices for corporate evaluation, so I'm not burdened with forming opinions based soley on marketing materials and forum opinons. :) I'm looking forward to actually putting one of these Acers through its paces. I think there is a good chance that at some point in its life cycle it will become a bargain for the right folks. Maybe sooner than later? Albeit, we will need Continuum to progress in the direction that it promises. Or put another way, only Continuum makes a flagship neccesary for what we would use it for. Without Continuum, we can deploy "640ish" devices just fine.  
  • I definitely want to see Continuum improve. I do wonder whether existing devices like the 950 will get any big improvements to continuum, like running two apps snapped on the external monitor. Stuff like that could be restricted by hardware so the 1st gen continuum devices could be as good as they will get already I suppose.
  • My Acer laptop came with rather annoying adware preinstalled. Do you think an Acer phone might also have junkware preinstalled?
  • It's Windows 10 Mobile.  If only it were as easy to get rid of crapware on a desktop OS.   Just hold your finger on the app and choose delete. It REALLY is gone. Even Acer can't do anything about that. :)
  • Nothing other than questionable aesthetics to separate it from the 950.
  • Okay, so the relaunched phone has been announced in Murika yet no one knows when it will land there.....? No clue what I just wrote.
  • Nice... But can it run Crysis? Lol jk, but most importantly for me, do these phones support CDMA and LTE bands 2,4,and 13? In other words, Verizon lol
  • I like the 1080p display and Continuum - Hopefully the final UK price puts it noticeably below the 950 in terms of cost. Unless I was saving over at least £100 I'd probably go for the 950 to get Wireless Charging, Windows Hello, Glance and SD Card support on top of what the Acer offers. The higher resolution display on the 950 doesn't really interest me so much. I'd love to know what difference 1080p vs the 950 resolution makes to battery life (if any)
  • What about the battery? I think it's going to be better than L950. But honestly never being lucky with battery