Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review: Flying high

Flying high

GSMArena team, 13 July 2012.


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.

Samsung I8160 Galaxy Ace 2
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 official photo

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?

Key features

  • 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

Main disadvantages

  • 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.

Samsung I8160 Galaxy Ace 2 Samsung I8160 Galaxy Ace 2 Samsung I8160 Galaxy Ace 2
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 at ours

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.

Reader comments

  • cj

of course not, i'd kill it

Stuck on 2.3.6. Not upgradeable.

  • Ayesha fatima

Please remake this mobile because this phone is very best of the best.