Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos review: Pocket rockets
This sure looks like a pair of ducks but a good player can play it as an ace. And it's got nothing to do with luck. You cannot always hold the best cards but you can try and make the best of the cards you're dealt. And they may as well be SIM cards.
While the popularity and practicality of dual-SIM devices can vary, there are certain markets where single-carrier coverage is incomplete, making the use of two SIM cards almost a necessity. Not to mention the money that can be saved by combining different plans.
The ever-popular Galaxy line from Samsung is one of the most versatile ever, offering devices which range across all sorts of specs and sizes. It offers more and more dual-SIM handsets too, keeping with the Samsung strategy to cover every segment of the market. In the past few years the Koreans have cooked up a dual-SIM solution for almost every taste but it's dual-SIM smartphones that have shown big potential for growth.
We are now looking at the dual-SIM version of the Galaxy Ace, while the entry level Galaxy Y line has two of those already. Even the premium Galaxy S series will soon enlist a dual-SIM, so Samsung must be serious about two-in-one smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos builds on the Galaxy Y Duos but tries to keep within budget. Here it is at a glance:
- Dual-SIM, calls received on both cards, simultaneous calls and data
- Quad-Band GSM (both SIMs) and dual-band 3G support (only one SIM at a time)
- 7.2 Mbps HSDPA
- 3.5" 256K-color HVGA TFT touchscreen
- ARMv6 832MHz processor, 512MB RAM
- Android OS v2.3 (Gingerbread) with TouchWiz v3.0 UI
- 3GB internal storage, hot-swappable MicroSD slot
- 5 MP auto-focus camera with VGA videos @ 30fps
- GPS receiver with A-GPS
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Document editor
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Swype text input
- MicroUSB v2.0
- Stereo Bluetooth 3.0
- Good audio quality
- Sub-par ARMv6 CPU limits performance and choice of apps
- Mediocre display
- No hardware shutter key, no flash
- No secondary video-call camera
- No HD video recording
- Abysmal video codec support
A look at the spec sheet tells us that the Ace Duos is marketed towards a budget-minded crowd. It looks to convert yet more of those die-hard featurephone enthusiasts into the smartphone game, with a device that provides the functionality they're used to (in this case, two SIM cards simultaneously), without the monetary burden of a premium device.
Let's take a look at how this lower-midrange dual-SIM smartphone from Samsung handles. The unboxing and hardware inspection start on the next page.