Acer Liquid S2 is a 6-inch Galaxy Note rival that brings both 4G and 4K

The Acer Liquid S2 is a new 6-inch rival to the Samsung Galaxy Note that brings both 4G data connection and ultra-high-definition 4K video.

Richard Trenholm

Richard Trenholm

Movie and TV Senior Editor

Richard Trenholm is CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture over the past 15 years from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.

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When does 4 and 4 equal 2? When 4K and 4G add up to the Acer Liquid S2, a new phablet rival to the Samsung Galaxy Note that shoots ultra-high-definition video.

Revealed at technology industry shindig IFA in Berlin this week, the 6-inch S2 shoots dizzyingly detailed 4K video, the next generation of ultra-high-definition video, as well as plain old 1080p video.

The S2 sports a 6-inch Gorilla Glass screen displaying 368 pixels per inch. So shooting 4K is one thing, but actually watching it is quite another: you can't see the extra detail on the phone itself, and unless you have a cinema in your den or you've forked out around four grand for a UHD TV, you can't see the extra detail packed into each frame.

Pictures and video

The S2 shoots 1080p full high-definition video, recorded at up to 60 frames per second. It'll play back at four times slow motion for slo-mo action.

The 13-megapixel f2.2 camera fires up from the lock screen for quick snapping, and you can set up to five profiles that each remember various settings, so you can quickly switch among different setups without having to alter each setting individually. Say your phone is set up for taking well-lit pictures in a well-lit, sun-dappled garden when you walk indoors to a darkened room; you don't need to change every setting, just switch to a different profile, where everything is set up for a low-light situation.

If one photo won't do justice to a particularly expansive landscape, an unusually large group of friends or just a particularly massive sandwich, you can capture an extra-wide 27-megapixel panorama.

Acer Liquid S2 is a 6-inch smartphone that shoots 4K video (pictures)

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To shed some light on things, there's an LED ring flash on the back. And there's a 2-megapixel 1080p camera on the front for video chat.

After you've taken your snaps, a handy widget helps you tag each photo to keep them in order.

Hands-on impressions

Getting our mitts on the S2, we were surprised by how weighty it felt, but not disappointed. It has a reassuring heft to it, and that's complemented by the rounded edges and some cool design tweaks around the speaker grilles. The model we tried out had a cool red sheen to it.

The whole thing is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz and backed by 2GB of RAM. Swiping around home screens feels very slick and responsive, and this mobile should be capable of handing any game you care to throw at it.

4G data

The S2 gives you 4G data speeds, capable of connecting to the Web at a dizzying 150Mbps -- although the actual speed of course depends on your 4G phone network.

Also included is the latest Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, NFC, GPS, and a digital compass. There's 16GB of memory, or you can add a memory card for up to 128GB -- useful for storing the large files that result from detail-packed, high-resolution 4K video.

Android and apps

The software is Android 4.2.2, which is almost but not quite the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. Acer has also added Float Interface, a feature that allows apps or incoming calls to float on top of the app you're currently using.

Bonus apps include Polaris Office, Swype for typing without taking your finger off the screen, and Evernote.

The Acer Liquid S2 comes in black or red, and goes on sale at the end of October. Pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed, but while we're waiting for news be sure to check out more of our excellent IFA coverage.

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