Samsung's Galaxy Ace 2 is more high-end than its last-gen siblings, thanks to its 800MHz dual-core processor and 3.8-inch WVGA screen
Editor's Review of the Galaxy Ace 2
Yesteryear's Galaxy Ace was a phone well suited to those want to have reliable, speedy performance combined with an affordable price tag. While it lacked the flashiness of the Galaxy S phones, it featured everything you really needed from a smartphone.
The Galaxy Ace 2 aims to continue in the same vein, while updating with the times. It features a front-facing camera, dual-core processor, and 5MP camera. Have Samsung got the balance right once more in combining affordability with up-to-date features?
Design & Build
Much like its predecessor, the Galaxy Ace 2 isn't the most exciting looking phone in the world. Its mildly patterned chassis isn't beautiful, but the phone feels comfortable and solid in the hands, and, at 10.5mm, isn't grotesquely fat either.
The 3.8" LCD Display performs admirably compared to other phones in the same general price range. The colours are decent, and it doesn't crumble in the face of sunlight or tight viewing angles. With 246ppi, you can't moan too much about visible pixels either.
OS & Performance
The weak-point of this phone is certainly the OS. While Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) performs smoothly here, and Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 UI has kitted it out with plenty of neatly-organised Hubs, this phone's horsepower is wasted here. Much lower-end phones already feature Android 4.0, and it's a mystery why Samsung are yet to even confirm that this phone will be getting the update.
With such an undemanding OS, at least the Ace 2 comes good with its performance. Everything runs perfectly smoothly on the Dual-core 800MHz processor. Internet browsing is quick and responsive, and you'll be able to run the majority of Google Play's rapidly expanding library of apps with no issues.
The 5MP camera on here may not sound incredible (and it isn't), but the wealth of options courtesy of Samsung's TouchWiz UI, and the presence of LED flash make this a very usable snapper.
There are plenty of customisable options, and several shooting modes (Panorama, Action shot and Cartoon, to name a few) and scene modes (Landscape, night, sports etc.) to choose from.
The shoooting quality itself is OK, with the phone performing surprisingly well in low-light conditions. The time it takes to focus, however, is frustrating, and you're looking at a good four seconds of waiting time before you can even take a photo. The 720p HD video-recording option does its job perfectly well, with a decent 30fps frame-rate.
Software & Multimedia
The TouchWiz music player makes a welcome appearance on the Galaxy Ace 2, with its usual wealth of sound modes, equaliser settings and different means of organising your tunes. The sound quality is strong too, offering 5.1 surround sound digitalisation, which with good enough headphones gives a good false impression of being, well, surrounded by sound.
The video player onboard here offers all the usual video formats (MP4/H.264/H.263), but also outdoes itself by playing back DivX and Xvid files at up to 720p resolutions. More than sufficient to enjoy shows and films on those long commutes to work.
Battery life, connectivity & storage
The Ace 2 contains a 1500mAh battery, which theoretically gives around 8 hours of non-stop talk time. Translated into normal use, this should give you a day and a bit of use if you're fairly frugal with your battery.
Connectivity-wise, the Ace 2 has all the expected features and then a little bit more. Aside from the obligatory WiFi, Bluetooth (4.0 we'll have you know), A-GPS and FM radio, also present is DLNA functionality, allowing for streaming of media between various devices. HSDPA speeds of up to 14.4Mbps round off this phone's strong selection of connectivity features.
The 4GB of onboard storage isn't particularly much for a phone that has good enough multimedia features to be filled up with music and videos. Thankfully, this can be expanded by 32GB courtesy of the microSD slot, so lack of room shouldn't be an issue.
The Galaxy Ace 2 is one of the better affordable handsets out there. Its flawless running of its OS and range of multimedia options make it effective at carrying just about every function you need from your smartphone.
While at this price the phone wasn't expected to contain all the visual and technical thrills of high-end handsets, the fact that it's not running on Android 4.0's tasty Ice Cream Sandwich update is frustrating. As such, it feels a little outdated despite its decent specs. This (large yet fixable) issue aside, this is one of the best-value phones in its price bracket.
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 News
Those of you after the new Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 can pre-order the phone for £279.99 SIM free, ahead of its UK release in April. That’s thanks to KingOfGadgets.co.uk, who have become the first retailer in Blighty to start selling the smartphone. Interestingly, its £279.99 price-tag is just £30 more expensive that the Galaxy Ace [...]
Samsung‘s new handsets are getting snapped-up by networks in record time, as Three has confirmed that it’ll be selling both the Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2 smartphones. The network’s yet to confirm availability details for either handset, although O2 has already confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 will be landing on shelves [...]
O2 has confirmed that it’ll be selling Samsung‘s newly-outed Galaxy Ace 2, and isÂ promisingÂ a release towards the end of April. Update: TechRadar has revealed that the phone will also be available through Orange and T-Mobile, who are also yet to confirm pricing details. Speaking to Recombu, the network confirmed that it will be offering the [...]
Samsung has confirmed that we’ll be seeing two new mid-range smartphones at MWC next week: the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and previously-mooted Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 handsets. Colour us confused, as Samsung has already announced the Galaxy Ace Plus for UK shores. However, the phone has recently been removed from Phones 4u’s Coming Soon page, [...]
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 Specifications
118.3mm x 62.2mm x 10.5mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: PLS TFT
Size: 3.8 inches
Resolution: 480 x 800
Integrated NFC Chip
External: microSD up to 32GB
CPU: 800MHz Dual core
A-GPS with maps
Up to 14.4 Mbps download speed
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
5.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and LED Flash
720p Video Recording
At 30 fps
Front facing camera with video calling
Battery Capacity: 1500 mAh
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+
Video supported formats
Playback: MP4, WMV, H.264, H.263