Samsung Galaxy Ace review

Reviews 15:19, 25 May 2011

We review the Samsung Galaxy Ace, a budget Android prepay device

Rating: 
4.5
Pros: 
Adequate camera, Bright screen, Side loading microSD card, Up to seven home screens
Cons: 
Low resolution screen, No Flash support, Nothing exciting by way of added apps
Verdict: 
Inevitable compromises have been made to achieve a price. You’ll have to decide whether you can live with them or not

Samsung’s Galaxy Ace is yet another new Android toting handset from the company that churns out smartphones like a slot machine with a winning line churns out coins. OK, maybe not that fast. But you get our drift.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace costs £230 and as such it falls into the crowded middle ground. More expensive than the Galaxy Mini you have a right to expect that it offers more features, and indeed you get them.

At first glance, though, the Samsung Galaxy Ace looks a bit bland. There’s a certain iPhone take to it with the rounded silver rimmed corners and single central button, and while it competes on the grounds of measurements (112.4x59.9x11.5mm and 113g for the Ace 115.2x58.6x9.3 and 137g for the iPhone 4), it doesn’t actually look as slick.

Next to the single Home button are two backlit touch buttons which light up when you press Home or touch their locations. It is nothing we have not seen before, but it is neat.

We do like the slightly textured backplate which makes for fairly good grip, and the side mounted microSD card slot which means you can hotswap cards. A 2GB card augments the somewhat mean 158MB of built in storage.

The screen measures 3.5-inches which makes it about the smallest we’d like to use for multimedia rich stuff like video viewing and web browsing. It is large enough for good responsive keyboard action, though, and Samsung bundles Swype which you can turn on and off in the Settings area. Swype lets you make words without lifting a finger from the keyboard, and some people find it a lot faster than pecking at individual keys.

The web browsing experience is pretty good, though the 320x480 pixel resolution means that small text is fuzzy and often unreadable.

Under the hood Android 2.2 provides the main power and there is an 800MHz processor keeping things strumming along nicely. Unless, that is, you want to watch embedded video. There’s no support for Flash so you can’t watch embedded video in the BBC web site – or plenty of others.

The smartphone basics of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HSDPA and GPS are all sitting pretty, and they work well. The speed with which web pages load, for example, is perfectly acceptable, and Google Maps worked for us without a hitch.

Specifications

Typical Price From £200 on prepay
UK Launch May 2011
Network Orange, 3, O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile
Frequency Quadband
Phone Style Touchscreen candybar
Thickness 11.5mm
Length 112.4mm
Width 59.9mm
Weight 113g
Built-in Memory 158MB
Additional Memory microSD up to 32GB
High-speed Data HSDPA
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
Screen Size 320 x 480 pixels, 3.5 inches
Screen Colours 16 million
Camera Yes
Designer Lens No
Camera Resolution 5-megapixel
Flash LED
Ringtones Yes
Music Player Yes
Radio Yes
Speaker Yes
Video Calling No
Internet Yes
Browser HTML
Games Yes
Battery Standby 420hrs 3G
Talktime 6.5hrs 3G

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