Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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Samsung Galaxy Ace
Member Name: bilbobaginz
Samsung Galaxy Ace
Advantages: Great applications, layout and looks!
Disadvantages: Camera not great but acceptable.
After happily using my Blackberry Curve 8900 for nearly 2-years I decided it was time for a change, and this desire coincided with the end of my Orange contract. Consequently, Orange were gracious enough to offer me a good price for the new phone, just £13 a month with 750mb internet, unlimited texts and 50-minutes of talk time. Usually this would cost around £18 for anyone in need of a similar package.
This is my first touch-screen phone and so comparison with other similar devices is limited to the odd time I got to use my mates IPhone and my other friends Samsung Galaxy S2 (the most recent edition).
The Ace is excellent upon first use, its display is bright and crisp, and the pre-loaded wall-paper designs only complement this feature. On the 'home' screen you will find a clock (which can be clicked to find the alarm clock settings), an internet, mail, messaging, maps, phone book, call and 'back up' icon (all separately laid out), and finally a menu button linking you to everything else on the device - chronologically ordered.
Away from the screen, the devices thin, metallic edged physique is nothing short of beautiful. The back of the phone is easily removed and replaced (and usually the model comes with two separate backs - one white and one grey - the grey rugged so it grips to your hand), and there is a mini-USB port for charging and connecting to a PC, with a micro-SD slot for adding extra storage capability. There is also a volume control located on the left side useful for turning up call volume when in busy, noisy places.
There is a centre button used to take you back to the home screen wherever you are on the device, as well as two touch sensitive buttons, one for going back, and one for bringing up further options.
I believe the general layout of the phone covers everything you could possibly need in a simple to understand format.
The touch screen works very well indeed. When typing messages, watching clips or playing games the device will switch from portrait to landscape layout when turned on its side. This benefits typing ability, as the keys become wider and slightly taller so less mistakes are made. The typing ease overall however is not to as high a standard as my old Blackberry. I feel you can't type as quickly without the occasional key being missed or mis-hit (due to the phones operating system not seeming to keep up!) which can be really annoying at times. The general responsiveness of the screen is really good though.
Accessing programs and downloaded applications through the menu button on the home screen is simple but effective. It works really well as a system due to both the chronological ordering of the items and the clear icon images neatly displayed on the screen. All icons have both an image and a label letting you know what the program is. The background when on this screen is also black to help the icons stand out further.
Pre-loaded applications include the wonderful 'Gestures' software which allows you to set various shapes/letters as links to web-pages, contacts and other applications. All you do is draw the shape/letter you require on the screen and the link will open - despite initial worries, when you draw a shape the device won't accidentally turn a page or click an icon, it realises 100% of the time that you are procuring a gesture and not using the phones other functions.
Another application I'm very impressed with is the 'market' app store its self. Market is an easy to understand, excellently laid out way for you to browse orderly through over 100,000 applications ranging from the latest free and payed games to the best news and entertainment facilities.
Other applications pre-loaded are as follows: Gmail, Messenger, Sims 3, Social Hub, YouTube and Talk.
Additional applications I myself purchased include the BBC news app which gives you Top Stories, World, UK, Sport, Technology, Entertainment and Arts as well as editable topics you create. 'Whats app' is a fantastic way to communicate through instant messages between anyone using the app in your phone book. It's free and works across all phones, anything with the ability to download apps and therefore access the internet.
The camera on the Ace is alright, not great, but useful to have on a phone without being all-singing and all-dancing. The video capabilities are a lot better than the Blackberry and with low-end HD capacity, the phone does pick up some brownie points on this front. Having the addition of a large micro-SD card means there's room for a lot of images and music files all browsable on the phones its self.
Overall, this phone really is worth the money. It's purchasable for around £135 from a range of internet and store retailers if you're looking for pay-as-you-go, and on contract it can be found at very low, competitive prices. This is highlighted in my getting of the phone for just £13 a month. 'Orange Care', Orange's insurance policy will set you back £5-6 per month which isn't worth it, shop around for insurance through other sources if you feel it is needed. As for cases, I haven't bought a case for my Ace, though I would recommend it because despite the screens excellent strength it can scratch (and that goes for the body too).
Summary: A day-to-day blessing.
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