Samsung Ace Review

Introduction and Design
This is a CDMA phone offered from Sprint.
The Samsung Ace is a dual mode CDMA/GSM Smartphone that replaces the IP-830 for Sprint.  It has unlocked SIM slot for usage in any 900/1800 MHz GSM/GPRS network overseas and utilizes CDMA EV-DO domestically.

Unlike the IP-830, Ace runs Windows Mobile 6 Standard (Smartphone) and doesn’t have touch-sensitive display. It is very similar to the BlackJack (AT&T) and features a full QWERTY keyboard in a slim profile, but includes slight changes in the design. Included in the box you will find:

  • Lithium Ion battery
  • AC adaptor
  • 2-prong Euro and 3-prong UK plug adaptor
  • Sprint SIM card
  • Stereo headphones
  • USB sync cable
  • Software CD and user manual


The Ace relies heavily on the design cues of the original BlackJack. The dimensions are nearly identical, with the Ace being slightly taller.

You can compare the Samsung Ace to many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.

The phone has a slight V-shape to it, and is narrower than the Motorola Q family. This makes for a better in hand feel, especially for those with smaller hands, but also means that the keypad is more cramped.

The keys themselves are odd shaped; they are a three dimensional V, with the top and bottom slanting outwards to meet at a point in the middle. They are narrow and tightly packed, making typing more difficult than it needs to be. The V-shape means that your fingers naturally rest between the rows, as opposed to on the keys, which makes typing harder than it needs to be. It would be much easier to type if the Ace had retained the oval keys found on the BlackJack.

Above the keypad is the cluster of navigational and control keys. In the middle is the square, chrome trimmed 5 way directional pad. On either side of the d-pad are two keys each; to the left is the left Soft Key, with Home below it, and to the right is the right Soft Key on top of Back. These two sets are slightly concave, and have a chrome separator bar inbetween. On the far left and right are the Send and End keys, respectively. These are not concave, and this subtle design difference makes blind navigation of key group easy.

The 2.3” landscape display sits atop the face, and like most WM Smartphones is 320x240 pixels and 65k colors. Samsung typically has excellent display panels, and this one is no exception. Despite nearly identical specs to the Motorola Q9c screen (the Q is 2.4”,) the display on the Ace is noticeably crisper and brighter. It can be easily read even in direct sunlight and has an admirably wide viewing angle.

On the left side of the Ace is the volume rocker, at the very top, and the proprietary charging/headset port just below. On the right the microSD slot sits at the top. Below that is a jog wheel that can be pressed to select a highlighted object, with a back key just below it. The power button is on the top of the phone along with a lanyard loop, the bottom is empty.

The back of the phone features the 1.3 megapixel camera, prominently displayed at the top. It is flanked by a self-shot mirror to the left and the single speaker to the right. This cluster sits on a raised hump. Below is simply the battery door, which hides both the battery and SIM card.

Samsung has always prided themselves on design, and in general we like the Ace. The fit and finish are impeccable as always, and the phone has a good weight and in-hand feel. However, we were underwhelmed by the keypad design and the camera hump on the back isn’t our favorite feature. We always appreciate smaller design, but in this case Samsung probably have gone with a SureType-style keypad given the narrowness of the device. It’s not that the keypad is impossible to type on, it’s just not as easy as it should be.

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