Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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Samsung Galaxy ACE is a great little phone that is just what it says it is
Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace
Member Name: chrisc92
Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace
Date: 14/09/12, updated on 14/09/12 (202 review reads)
Advantages: A great little phone that has full android functionality that is not just for novices
Disadvantages: Internal memory is relatively small so you need to do a lot of housekeeping on your apps
There were only 3 days to go until we were jetting off to the sunnier climbs of Orlando for what would be a fantastic 2 weeks at Disney World. My wife had a Samsung Galaxy SII and our daughter was now using a Blackberry after changing her phone more often than her underwear.
I was using an old LG KC550 which was an amazing 3+ years old on pay as you go that I had purchased from my local Tesco and which used the Tesco mobile network. It had a failing keypad where quite often the left hand set of keys didn't register and although I used its calculator function it was far from ideal and couldn't handle decimals! I had lived with most of its failings but the last straw was when its 5Mp camera started to develop focusing problems. So bearing in mind that we were about to go off on the trip of a lifetime I needed reliability and a camera that would be as good as the LG for any photo shots that may arise on the odd occasion that we didn't have our digital camera.
I was quite taken by my wife's Galaxy SII and to be honest would probably have bought one if it wasn't £368 and then there was another phone that caught my eye - the HTC X One, but at £500 was too pricey for my liking. My wife had been using her phone for about 5 months which was on contract through O2 and at £21 per month for 2 years I really didn't want to be tied down to a phone that would probably lose appeal in the next 6 months especially with the SIII released and only £30 or so dearer or a few £'s a month extra for a contract. I visited most of the local supermarkets and decided that I would use my Tesco clubcard vouchers (was part of the double points exchange programme) to buy a phone, it was now just a choice as to which one.
I ruled out immediately Blackberry's and other similar qwerty key pads because I do not have the tiniest of fingers and would have been a waste of time, and I also ruled out any with sliding screens. I very quickly narrowed the phones down to about 6, including the Galaxy ACE, Galaxy Y and HTC Desire. After looking at the specifications of the phones in my price range the Galaxy ACE was by far the best choice available. It was about 7.30pm by the time I made my decision and was disappointed when the sales advisor informed me there were none in store and indeed they were on a waiting list! However, we asked if there were any in the other local stores and the sales advisor managed to reserve one at a store about 10 miles away, so expecting the phone shop to close at 8 we rushed back to the car and sped off up the road.
When we arrived at the other store we were worried the phone shop would be closed or they'd sold the phone but we needn't have worried, it was safely located in the stock room and after the sales advisor spent what seemed an age scanning in my clubcard vouchers I had my new Galaxy ACE. The phone had been on offer online for £139 but £150 in the store although at the time this too was an offer price.
There were lots of choices available, I could have stayed with Tesco and set up a contract for the phone and SIM on a variety of networks although at the time I would have had to contribute to the price of the phone and been tied in for 12 or 24 months. I decided however to continue using my new phone on pay as you go as I had only recently topped it up and knew that some of the SIM only contracts gave me a better package should I decide to opt for one.
The sales advisor was quite keen to point out the poor decision a previous customer had made by not getting a contract for minutes, texts and data but I would like to point out that this really depends on how you choose to use your phone. If like me you turn off the roaming 2 & 3G and instead only use the internet in free WiFi areas you won't pay a penny for your internet use. Without roaming charges my phone usage is exactly the same as before and topping up £15 per month can for me be top up one month and make use of the free £30 credit and use the next month or two to use the actual credit you'd paid for - SIMPLES (as my friend from Merecova would say).
I really didn't expect my phone to be so popular, but when I went in to work after our holiday I found that 2 other members of my team of 12 had them and only a week later (and without input from me) another member had one! I think 25% of the workforce is exceptionally high for a phone, yet not one of the Galaxy ACE's are the same! Our phones are all the same in terms of dimensions and fits rather tightly on its side in my shirt pocket but I can only assume we may have slightly different models and onscreen differences are because we are using a variety of network providers.
The Galaxy ACE I have is model GT-S5830i and dimensions are 112.4mm high x 59.9mm wide x 11.5mm deep, and weighs 113.0g. In comparison to my old phone it is slightly wider and taller although the weight is similar. However, in true comparison it's like moving from the stone age to the modern era without a gap in the middle.
The Galaxy ACE is an android phone built on the Gingerbread operating system. It is possible to update the software to the latest provided by Samsung but you cannot update the operating system. (Well you can update to Ice Cream Sandwich - details can be found online by using 3rd party software but whether it works or not, it is not a legitimate Samsung upgrade and if it doesn't work or you hate the new layout I'm not sure how easy it would be to return to the original one. (There are no internet postings to say it worked or that they loved the new operating system)
It comes with a 5Mp camera and although the Galaxy SII has a zoom facility and camera on front and back the one I have is pretty good. You can zoom in on photos you have taken and there are various shots / modes you can use - such as its panoramic mode where you can add up to 8 pictures to make a really wide image which gives you a true landscape option! It also has firework, party / indoor, sports, night, dawn, sunset, beach / snow and text settings amongst others.
The Galaxy ACE has Bluetooth functionality, has record and play video facilities, built in FM radio and MP3 player, voice dialling, handsfree speakerphone and expandable memory. My phone has a black back and inside the box was a white back, usb cable, 2 Gb micro sd card (and adapter to allow you to use elsewhere), headphones and a Tesco pay as you go SIM card, and of course the phone, quick start quide and charger. As I had both a SIM and 4Gb micro sd card both remain in the box. I did find it surprising however that the phone does not have a manual and it is left for you to go online to view it. Maximum memory on sd card is 32Gb. The phone also has WiFi capabilities which I used whilst on holiday and like bluetooth can be turned on / off by pressing and scrolling down from the top of the screen. My experience of WiFi at Disney World and since being back in the UK is that the phone doesn't have the best receiver as apart from when being at home it can drop out without notice.
On the phone are a variety of apps and standard features - camera, e-mail & g-mail (before using some features you will need to set up a g-mail (google+ account), internet, calculator, play store (where you can download apps), Thinkfree Office, task manager which allows you to free memory or uninstall programmes or find out what internal / external memory is available, voice recorder and a range of internet shortcuts to google maps, Samsung apps, news and weather and navigation that acts in a similar way to a sat nav.
Since I have had the phone I have downloaded a number of free apps including redlaser which is a barcode scanner which allows you to compare shop prices online or in local shops, Barclays Pingit, Kies Air which allows you to access files wired or wirelessly from your pc / laptop (by entering the phones unique ip address), Google Sky Map (which details all stars, planets etc by pointing your phone into the air in whatever direction you like), a torch app which uses the phone camera flash as a flashlight and a few games. I also installed Facebook as an app for staying in touch with my family whilst we were on holiday. After installing Facebook the app required an extensive update which caused significant difficulties and gave me the first indication as to its limitations. The most important app that I have installed however is juice defender which substantially increases battery life. There are thousands of apps - many of them are free and apart from the more demanding games this phone can handle everything the SII can.
The Galaxy ACE like the SII and SIII stores at least part of the majority of apps in its internal memory. In the case of the ACE this is only 290Mb whereas the SII has 1Gb internal memory and 16Gb of internal mass storage. In the case of the SIII this can be up to 4 times that of the SII. Unlike my old phone the ACE has an 800Mhz processor, whereas the SII and SIII have a 1.2GHz dual core and a quad core 1.4GHz processor respectively. I have also discovered that although you can use apps such as Kies Air which can read your texts and locate pictures etc from your phone there doesn't seem to be a way of importing your old messages.
Since buying my phone Tesco are now selling it on Pay As You Go for £135 and the Galaxy ACE is now available free on contract from a number of networks for as little as £7.50 per month. Now that I have my phone I have to admit I love it and would certainly not want to be without it. It does exactly what I want and as I have found is a very popular phone which I can certainly recommend to anyone new to android. The one thing I would say if you do get the phone is to put a screen protector on before use - they are really cheap and will save your phone from scratches etc.
Summary: The Galaxy ACE is a very popular android phone for everyone and capable of running most SII apps