Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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Member Name: thefifth
Samsung Galaxy Ace
Date: 30/06/12, updated on 30/06/12 (17 review reads)
Advantages: Lots of features, easy to use
Disadvantages: Battery life
The Samsung Galaxy Ace is a decent smartphone. With an Android operating system it gives you access to the Android marketplace and there's a good selection of Apps there. It has a nice camera, the facility to link your e-mail account, google maps pre-loaded, interface with social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook which all make it quite user friendly. The phone has WiFi connectivity and GPS. There's also a notification centre which will alert you if someone has posted to your Facebook page or retweeted you or if one of your apps has picked up on something.
I'll confess at this point, I'm not a fan of smartphones. My phone is on the O2 network and I totally wish I had never bothered with the data facility. Trying to view anything on the internet is slow, slow, slow and incredibly frustrating. Of course this is not really a problem with the phone but with the network, but as we're all being pushed down the route of smartphones you'd think they might make the interface a little slicker.
That being said, the phone itself is quite user friendly. It's intuitive to use, and very easy to navigate around the various apps. You can press and hold down to move or delete apps, and for more functionality there's a menu option on the bottom left. The phone looks smart and the slightly ridged cover on the back makes it easy to hold.
Problems with this phone: battery life. My goodness, left on standard settings it eats power like a starving man in a sausage factory. I found that some days it wasn't even lasting until I got home from work, and that was without making any calls or using games or, in fact, using the phone at all. It sat in my bag sucking down power and when I did need to use it, it was all worn out already. If you do get this phone I recommend switching off WiFi and GPS unless you need them, and there are a couple of good apps (Juice defender, Mobile Booster) which help you to get the best out of your battery.
I haven't used a lot of the functionality available in this phone. It has a music player, You Tube as standard, note book, FM radio, news and weather and voice recorder. As I have an iPod Touch, I tend to use that for those kind of functions so I can't really comment on whether it's any good for those or not. My concern would be that you'd drain your battery and be left without a phone, which is its primary function. I'm not convinced that most people need or want those extra facilities, but it does make the phone versitile.
There is a nagivator app in the phone, but I only used it once and nearly ended up stuck in a pile of mud outside a farmer's field, so don't entirely recommend that either. It also runs quite slowly. A separate GPS is probably prefereable.
This phone came free with my contract with O2. £13.50 per month including data. In that respect, I would say it is reasonably good value especially as we get £5 off the cost of Broadband because I have a contract. That being said, I am very likely to replace this and I don't think I'd really recommend the phone to a friend.
Just a couple of extra bits of info:
Swype - the keyboard uses swype which means that you wipe your finger across the board and it 'guesses' the word you're typing. It sounds great and is a lot of fun to begin with but soon becomes annoying and it will often have as its first guess a word that isn't actually a real word. I have found this function very frustrating and more hassle that it's worth. Outside of the swype function, the keyboard is quite tricky to use.
Restore - they really hide the reset function. I ended up having to search on the web to figure out how to do this. Not in the phone help, or the Kies software that comes with it.
Summary: A nice smartphone, but not brilliant
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