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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review

Tackling the space between the entry- and mid-market handsets

A notable improvement on its predecessor on all fronts, the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 is an impressive device that challenges a number of its more illustrious rivals and pushes the expectations of a sub £200 handset.

It is, however, not without flaws; most notably its lack of Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. As we've noted, this is being skipped in favour of Android Jelly Bean soon, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider the fact you'll need to spend at least a short amount of time on an outdated OS.

We liked

With a sleek, stylish design that is closer to the build quality and appealing feel of the former market leading Samsung Galaxy S2 than the budget likes of the Galaxy Y, the Ace 2 impresses from the off with a curvaceous finish that leads the way to an impressive collection of features.

As the 800MHz dual-core processor runs the show with reality ease, the handset's inbuilt 5-megapixel camera is a surprising hit equally capable of producing high-end stills as it is impressive 720p HD video content. On top of this, the device is easy to use and intuitive to master.

We disliked

Although this ease of use is appealing, it is hard not to be disappointed in Samsung's decision to fill the Ace 2 with the now dated Android 2.3 OS. Although not a bad setup, the lack of ICS innards makes the device feel dated before it is in full flow, and you'll have to wait for Jelly Bean.

A largely impressive handset for the price, the Ace 2 could benefit from slightly speedier charge times and although microSD expansion is available, the internal storage capacity could be higher.

Verdict

A warning signal to its handset competitors, Samsung's reign of power is quickly moving away from the one-off flagship Galaxy S devices, with the Ace 2 firmly rooting itself as a mid-market challenger with a near budget price point that will appeal to many, and that price has become even more palatable with recent drops bringing it close to £150.

Not the most media savvy of devices on the market, the Ace 2 makes up for small niggles and limited features by mastering what it offers. Exceeding expectation on multiple fronts, the second-generation would be a wise buy for any first time or returning smartphone owner.

A big thanks to Three UK for sending us our review unit

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderOrange
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
SAR Value0.50 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Ace 2
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported2
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time16.30 Hour
Screen Size9.7 cm (3.8")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)118.5 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density246 ppi
Height118.3 mm
Width62.3 mm
Depth10.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time670 Hour
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy Ace 2
Processor Speed800 MHz
Processor TypeNovaThor
Product LineGalaxy Ace 2
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberORGGALAXYACE2BLK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Samsung GALAXY Ace 2

GALAXY Ace 2 showcases upgraded smartphone features and premium usabilities in a highly desirable device with massive appeal. Powerful dual core processor and faster HSPA-driven downloading facilitate higher performance to satisfy multimedia / web users and social networkers alike. Large 3.8" display and slim form factor in a stylishly minimalist, comfortably portable design. Huge 4GB memory capacity and powerful battery also support extensive and extended usage. Outfitted with Full TouchWiz 4.0 UI including Motion UX, GPS / GLONASS combo for full global coverage navigation and smart NFC-enabled contactless transactions - incredibly cutting edge but entirely accessible.

Limited Warranty2 Year