Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review: Flying high
With the Galaxy S III busy grabbing the headlines, a midrange smartphone has been making its way to a number of markets without much fanfare. But you can bet the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 won't settle for the role of just another sequel. It has a chance to prove the Galaxy S III is not the only superhot smartphone Samsung has released this season.
And it's going to use it. Aiming to deliver 90% of the benefits of its extremely popular sibling for a fraction of the price, the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 plays to the company's strengths and might turn out to be one of the unsung heroes of the year.
Dual-core might not be top-dog material in the Android realm any more, but it's enough to run virtually all apps and give you a nice smooth sailing around the interface. The entrance of ST-Ericsson in the smartphone race has enabled Android OEMs to make sub-€250 smartphones, with specs that would be considered high-end on any other platform. Now who would say no to a bargain like that?
- Quad-band GSM /GPRS/EDGE support
- 3G with 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
- 3.8" 16M-color capacitive LED-backlit PLS TFT touchscreen of WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels)
- Android OS v2.3.7 Gingerbread, planned Android 4.0 ICS update
- Dual-core 800 MHz Cortex-A9 CPU, 768MB RAM, Mali-400 GPU, NovaThor U8500 chipset
- 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash and geotagging, Multi Angle shot
- 720p video recording @ 30fps
- VGA front-facing camera
- Wi-Fi b/g/n and DLNA
- Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS
- NFC connectivity
- 4GB built-in storage expandable through the microSD card slot
- microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Voice dialing
- Adobe Flash 11 support
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- No Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box
- All plastic construction
- NovaThor U8500 is the least powerful of the dual-core offerings on the market
- No screen and capacitive key haptics
The recent crop of inexpensive but reasonably powered droids also answers another criticism Android has been facing lately - that it fails to offer performance in a compact package. Sony was first to up the ante with the Xperia U and now Samsung is ready to rise to the challenge.
The Koreans have stepped up the pricing of their smartphone a bit, but they are willing to throw in a larger screen and expandable storage, so it's going to be a pretty tough pick between those two. Let's waste no more time then and get down to testing - the answers should be coming as the review unfolds.