Carrying on our review of Samsung’s Galaxy range, today we have the Samsung Galaxy Ace to review. The Samsung Galaxy Ace houses an 800MHz ARM 11 processor and runs Android 2.2 (Froyo), which when combined certainly packs a punch and pushes this mid-range device higher up the ranks into the same category as devices such as the hugely popular Apple iPhone 4.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace and Apple iPhone 4, when laid next to each other, don’t actually look all that different. Both devices feature a 3.5-inch screen, are roughly the same size apart from the Galaxy Ace being 2mm thicker and 24g lighter, and both feature identical camera specifications.
Included with the Samsung Galaxy Ace is a USB charging cable, 2GB microSD card, headset, quick start guide and a replacement back cover. The replacement back cover is something I’ve not seen before. The replacement is a black cover instead of the standard glossy white that the Ace arrives with.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace features a high-quality 3.5-inch Gorilla Glass display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels.
There is only one physical button on the front of the Samsung Galaxy Ace, this is the home button. Both the in-app settings button and back button are situated on the left and right, respectively, and both are capacitive.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Ace does not feature a front-facing camera. We’re not quite sure why this is because, as a mid-range device, it seems like it’s lacking what is fairly standard nowadays.
You’ll notice the black bezel around the edge of the device, and since we’ve already mentioned the Apple iPhone 4, I’d just like to point out that, when placed together, the Galaxy Ace and iPhone 4 look remarkably similar. However, there’s only a limited amount of ways you could design the front of a phone at this point in time so there’s a high probability that some devices are going to look similar.
Buttons / Ports
As mentioned above, the front of the Galaxy Ace features a physical home button on the front as well as two capacitive buttons.
If we take a look at the left and right sides, we can see the volume controls, power button and microSD card slot.
The bottom features the microphone in the centre with the top housing the charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace features a 5-megapixel camera on the rear and unfortunately no front-facing camera, which is a shame, but I’m pretty sure most will be able to survive without.
Both the Apple iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Ace have a 5-megapixel (2592 x 1944 pixels) camera with Auto Focus and LED flash, and yet the picture quality is clearly noticeable between them both.
The picture on the left was taken by the Samsung Galaxy Ace and the picture on the right was taken using my iPhone 4.
Whilst the Galaxy Ace picture seems quite lifeless and grey, it does appear to be much more sharper compared with the iPhone picture. However, the colours in the iPhone picture are much more vibrant and the overall image has much more depth.
This baffles me a little seen as though both cameras are technically identical and therefore both should take identical pictures in terms of quality. Fair enough, the iPhone 4’s display is of a much higher quality, but even without the Retina display the Galaxy Ace picture shouldn’t be as grey and lifeless as it seems to be.
Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Ace can’t shoot 720p HD video.
In terms of audio quality, everything worked fine. Much like the Galaxy Fit audio quality, things began to get quite distorted at a higher volume level.
With the volume just above half, there seemed to be no problems at all though. One thing I’d like to see though is a bit more depth in terms of bass levels, everything sounded a little flat to be honest.
CPU, Memory and Storage
The Samsung Galaxy Ace features an 800MHz ARM 11 processor and Adreno 200 GPU, both of which enable the Galaxy Ace to run very smoothly and feature a very powerful and responsive user interface.
The Galaxy Ace managed to run a whole variety of applications with ease and didn’t really lag at all during testing even though it only comes with 278MB of RAM, which is well below standard for a smartphone of 2011. The only time it lagged a little was when we opened up some games as well as keeping everything else running as well.
Featuring no internal storage options, you’ll need to purchase a microSD card if you plan on storing a lot of music, pictures and video on here. However, if you don’t require much space, Samsung have bundled in a 2GB microSD card for you.
Battery life proved to be really good on the Samsung Galaxy Ace, with up to 640 hours (26 days) of stand-by and up to 11 hours of usage, which appeared to be correct after the testing of our review unit was complete.
Obviously, the more you do the faster it will go down, but if you’re just checking your messages occasionally, browsing the web and listening to some music then it will easily last just over 10 hours.