A smart design, colourful screen and decent camera make the Ace an attractive phone, but it lacks room for apps and a big screen.
Android 2.2, 3.5in 320×480 display
While all eyes may be on Samsung’s impressive dual-core Galaxy S2, the Galaxy stable has been rounded out with a new budget entry. The Ace looks similar to the S2, but it’s about a centimetre shorter and 5mm narrower, as well as being slightly thicker. It lacks the front-facing camera of the S2, but retains a similar texture on the rear of the case that makes it easy to grip.
Despite its similar looks, it specification shows it to be a much more modest beast. It uses an 800MHz, single-core processor and has a 3.2in TFT screen with a 320×480 resolution. It’s not a patch on the S2’s AMOLED display, but it’s still bright and colourful. Its 5-megapixel camera also has an LED flash, and we found snaps taken with the Ace’s camera to be as sharp as the S2’s, although it’s not capable of capturing 1080p video. We preferred the Ace’s microSDHC card slot, which is mounted on the side of the phone behind a flap rather than under the back cover, and a flap also protects the microUSB slot from dust.
The Ace has less software installed as standard, which makes sense as its smaller screen isn’t ideal for reading ebooks, watching movies or playing games. It’s a shame it doesn’t come with Samsung’s Kies Air app, which lets you access your phone’s contents remotely through a browser – instead, you’ll need to download the 74MB Kies application for Windows if you want a PC sync tool. We prefer simply using Google’s cloud synchronisation, which is half the reason for buying an Android phone in the first place.
|Main display size
|CCD effective megapixels
|Video recording format
|Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
|Memory card support
|Memory card included
|GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
|Microsoft Office compatibility
|Audio format support
|MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG
|Video playback formats
|MPEG4, H.263, H.264
|headset, data cable, charger
|Tested battery life (MP3 playback)
|Price on contract
|£20-per-month, 18-month contract