Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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A reasonable smartphone but not without flaws.
Samsung Galaxy Ace
Member Name: Nitrostar
Samsung Galaxy Ace
Advantages: Good price. Good features. Mostly responsive. Calling quality clear.
Disadvantages: Occasional slowdown. Irritating Micro SD card slot. Poor quality camera.
Requiring a smartphone for the day to day that had the functionality of the Android operating system combined with a reasonable price the Samsung Galaxy Ace seemed ideal. It is a stylish and sturdy little device that feels light both in the pocket and in your hand, although if you are wearing a light weight jacket you may notice its presence.
The device can be updated to the most recent Android OS (Gingerbread) and devices bought new today should already come equipped with this. If not it is a relatively simple update even for the most disconcerting of techophobes and will likely not cause any issues. The OS itself is stable and generally fast, although perhaps due to the limitations of the handset's hardware, a noticeable slowdown occurs if the phone is used after a long period of inactivity. This slowdown can be frustrating if you need to make an urgent call, use the web browser or one of the many apps on the Android market place and is somewhat reminiscent of computer lag when awoken from sleep mode.
However, in full flow the device glides, with a fast, responsive touch screen that allows you to flick through homepages or browse the Internet with ease and navigation of multiple windows is made easy through the sensibly designed interface and even new smartphone users should have no trouble quickly getting to grips with the various functions of the device. Setting up a Google Mail (Gmail) or POP3 email account takes only a few minutes and the large screen makes reading even HTML emails easy.
Automatic landscaping/portrait, enabled by default, means that you can view content on the phone to suit your preferences and the content itself and the pinch to zoom function is almost as fast as on higher-end models such as the Samsung Galaxy S II.
Call clarity is good although new users to touch screen devices should be wary of the potential issue of holding the device too close to the face and accidentally pressing buttons. On speakerphone, although the speaker isn't up to much, calls are still clear and the inbuilt microphone very responsive.
Unfortunately, the device is not without its flaws. Those hoping to use their phone as a replacement for a camera will be sorely disappointed in the quality of images the phone takes, particularly in low light, and video capturing is no substitute for the same function provided by today's basic digital cameras. The Micro SD card slot is also an annoyance, requiring the tip of a biro or similar to fully insert the Micro SD card or risk the OS rebooting over and over.
Battery life, as is common for a smartphone, is at a premium and anyone wishing to use their phone for extended periods would do well to remember to fully charge it beforehand as the battery life indicator on the main display can be misleading. Users of demanding apps such as Skype may also find that their battery is quickly drained and an occasional error may occur where an app such as Google Maps fails to close properly, resulting in further drainage of the battery life. For a heavy user, such as one who may make multiple calls and use the Internet or media capabilities of the phone for more than a couple of hours, the battery will almost likely be close to exhaustion within twelve hours of use but an average user could feasibly expect to only charge their phone once every twenty-four hours.
Audio quality from the speaker is also poor but Samsung provide headphones with a microphone to take calls so people who wish to use music streaming services, or watch videos from Youtube are well catered for and if an important call comes through then it is easy to simply switch to the call and speak without removing the headphones. Samsung also supply two covers, a textured black cover and a glossy white one although I think most users will prefer the black cover as the texture makes the device feel good in the hand and lowers the chances for slippage, particularly in wet weather.
For the price, this a competitive little phone and most people will likely be satisfied with the functionality and speed of the device. It could be argued that some of Samsung's supplied software is little more than bloatware unless you are an avid social networker with friends using similar devices but that aside the phone comes with all the apps and functions you would expect and can be easily added to through the Android Market.
Summary: Little better on the market for the price and competitive with some higher end models.