• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

We’ve already seen some impressive devices from Samsung this year – the Note II and the Galaxy S II for a start. But, of course, those two were aimed at the high end of the market and those with enough cash to splash out. Happily for those of us who are not so well off, Samsung has come up with a budget mobile that still packs a punch and offers a decent set of features.

 

The touchscreen on the Galaxy Ace 2 is slightly bigger than that on most other budget devices at 3.8ins. It makes it easer to use the virtual keyboard, and with word prediction and a decent auto-correct facility, sending long emails and texts is easy. The screen proves responsive in use, offering a smooth experience for zooming into websites, and browsing the net. The screen boasts a 480 x 800 pixel resolution, so that if you zoom in on text it’s still easy to read. It’s good enough for watching HD films too, although obviously not up there with the big boys in the mobile market. 

 

Looking good

 

This device is about half the price of Samsung’s high-end smartphones, so corners have to be cut somewhere. The design is pretty unassuming – forget the curvy slimline chassis on the Galaxy S III and its ilk. The Ace 2 is a tad chunky, and has a plastic reverse. But against its budget rivals, such as the Sony Xperia Go and ZTE Grand X, it measures up pretty well.

 

Build quality is solid. There are touch-sensitive areas for Back and Menu sitting beneath the display. These light up when the handset is being used, which is useful in a dark room, plus there’s a physical Home key. The reverse panel snaps off to allow you to get to the battery and SIM card slot. You’ll find the MicroSD slot, which lets you expand the 4GB of onboard memory, hiding behind a flap on the phone’s left side.

 

Nice Touch

 

Samsung has its own user interface, dubbed TouchWiz, which has been overlaid on the rather out-of-date operating system Android Gingerbread. TouchWiz is really nice to use, and has some useful tweaks – we particularly like the power settings, placed on the notifications bar, which make it really easy to set up the handset as you wish. There are lots of widgets for you to choose from, and seven desktops to place them on. 

 

Surprising power

 

Nowadays, even phones costing less than £200 have dual-core chips and the Ace 2 is no exception. Okay, the processor only runs at 800MHz, but it can still handle most apps and games. Battery life is reasonable – you’ll get a good day out of a fully charged battery on moderate use, and about seven hours if you’re streaming media. Storage-wise, it’s a bit limited – just 4GB onboard, but you can expand this using the microSD slot.

 

Keen photographers will be pleased to see the five-megapixel snapper, a real bonus on a budget device, It even has auto-focus and LED flash and produces crisp shots, although it can take a while to get a good lock on the focus – so not great for action shots. However, other images came out well.

 

In fact we were surprised by the detail in our outdoor images when we looked at them on a TV. Colours are strong, although bright skies did result in softer images. Low-light pictures were a tad grainy, but the flash did a decent job and managed not to overexpose subjects that were close-up. There are plenty of camera features too, as well as video capture and a panoramic setting. Videos looked okay on a big screen, although they did suffer from sound distortion if taken in a noisy environment.

 

Our conclusion

 

There’s plenty on offer from the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, especially when you consider its low price. The dual-core chip can cope with most games and apps, and the 3-8in display is a good size for emails, texts and surfing the net. Throw in a decent five-megapixel snapper and this is a very decent budget handset.

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Specifications

Specifications

GENERAL

Type of device

Smartphone

Operating System

Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Dimensions

62.2x118.3x10.5mm

Weight

122g

Form factor

Touchscreen

Input

Touch Screen

Processor speed

800MHz

CPU

800MHz Dual-Core Processor

Graphic chipset

 

Announced

February 2012

Status

Coming Soon

DISPLAY

Screen size

3.8 inches

Screen type

PLS TFT

Resolution

480x800

Display type

WVGA

Memory

RAM

768MB

Internal storage

4GB

Memory card slot

 

Camera

Camera

5 megapixels

Secondary camera

N/A

Special camera features

Auto-focus and flash

Sound

3.5mm Jack

 

Music player

MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, FLAC, Vorbis

Audio recording

 

Radio

 

FM Radio description

Stereo FM Radio with RDS

Video

Video recording

 

Video player

Yes

Video calling

 

Video streaming

 

Additional Features

Browser

 

Games

Yes, downloadable

Voice control

 

Voice dailing

 

Other

Social Hub, Music Hub, Game Hub, accelerometer, digital compass, proximity, integrated messaging

Messaging

SMS

 

MMS

 

Email

 

IM

 

Connectivity

Band

Quad-band

Wi-Fi

 

Bluetooth

 

USB

 

NFC

 

GPS

GPS

Network

EDGE

 

GPRS

 

HSDPA

 

4G/LTE

 

Other

Colors (Standard)

Black and grey, black and yellow

Handsfree speaker phone

 

Customisable ringtones

 

What's in the box

 

Website

www.samsung.com/uk

Battery

Standby

N/A

Talktime

N/A

Battery life multimedia

N/A

 

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