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Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

Samsung Galaxy Ace

Posted: , posted by Victor H.

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Interface and Functionality:

Far from being crème de la crème, the combination of a Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset (with Adreno 200 graphics) and 278MB of RAM runs the Froyo show smoothly. Unlike the complete redesign of the main menu that we saw on the early prototype unit that we previewed, in the final Galaxy Ace the Koreans used a traditional version of TouchWiz UI. This translates into the usual garments of a black side scrollable main menu and four quick access icons on the bottom, which define the user interface.

The homescreen and the main menu of the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The homescreen and the main menu of the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The homescreen and the main menu of the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The homescreen and the main menu of the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

Unlocking the handset is done in the traditional sliding-the-lock way. From there on, the standard Froyo experience takes over. One notable addition is pinch to zoom support in each of the homescreens as well as the main menu. In both cases an overview of all the pages appears allowing you to quickly navigate between them.

The unlock screen - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The overview of the homescreen pages - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The overview of the main menu pages - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

The unlock screen

 

The overview of the homescreen pages

The overview of the main menu pages


On the software side, you are treated with Samsung's AllShare app which makes sharing over DLNA to a supported device like an HD TV a breeze. The inclusion of a built-in Task Manager, which you can access by holding down the single physical key or via the settings menu, allows you to view running apps and how they affect the performance of the Galaxy Ace.

Android has the best Google apps suite in the industry and this handset is no exception. The Gmail, Google Maps (version 5.2), YouTube and Google Talk applications are virtually on par with their desktop versions both in terms of functionality and speed. In addition, the full version of ThinkFree office in its document editing glory contributes to a comprehensive software package.

Google Maps - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Android Market - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

Google Maps

 

Android Market




Camera and Multimedia:

The 5-megapixel shooter on the Galaxy Ace surprised us with its good performance and reasonable amount of options in the menu for a relatively affordable handset. We found images to be reasonably detailed, with accurate color representation and above average dynamic range. You're presented with a set of options such as different shooting modes including smile shots, continuous and panoramic shots. An array of scene selections will fine tune your picture and you can also switch the focus to macro mode. Unfortunately, there is no dedicated shutter key, but the menu offers rather intuitive on-screen settings.

The camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
The gallery - The camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
   

The gallery


Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Outdoor samples made with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

Strong - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Medium - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

Darkness with flash


With a relatively capable 5-megapixel shooter, we expected to see an equally good video capture, but that is simply not the case. Video is recorded in the terrible QVGA resolution at 15fps - only good for viewing on a small screen or for multimedia messaging. 

The video camera interface - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

Samsung Galaxy Ace Sample Video:



The 3.5-inch screen opens the door to video playback, but we could only play MPEG-4 files out of the box. A quick download from the Android Market (we tried RockPlayer) adds support for DivX/Xvid encoded files, but choppy and just plain slow playback rates were an issue when playing files at around the native resolution. A slight decrease in quality helped, so while you might encounter some issues with it, the Galaxy Ace could be considered for entertainment on the go, especially given its support for expandable memory of up to 32GB via microSD cards.


Internet and Connectivity:

The Galaxy Ace has the stock Android browser, which would have been great if it came with Flash support. Was it because of the 800MHz processor or something else, Adobe Flash Player wasn't available for download from the Android Market. Except for our futile attempts to install the player, browsing was a pleasant experience with smooth scrolling and full support for multitouch actions like pinch to zoom. On the downside, we could only open up to 4 tabs, so extreme Internet multitaskers could be disappointed.

Surfing the web with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review
Surfing the web with the Samsung Galaxy Ace - Samsung Galaxy Ace Review

Connectivity is well represented by 3G with download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. You also have Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS. The handset's conveniently located microSD card slot on the side allows hot swaps of microSD cards with capacity of up to 32GB. The internal memory is only 158MB, but Samsung has included a 2GB microSD card in the package, so space shouldn't be an issue for your basic app needs.


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Samsung Galaxy Ace

Samsung Galaxy Ace

OS: Android 2.3 2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
6.5Good
Display3.5 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (165 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 800 MHz, ARM11 processor
Size4.43 x 2.36 x 0.45 inches
(112.4 x 59.9 x 11.5 mm)
3.99 oz  (113 g)
Battery1350 mAh, 11 hours talk time

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