Samsung Galaxy Ace review – THE CONCLUSION

So we’ve looked the web and apps performance, the general Android 2.2 user interface and the phone’s camera – now it’s time to tidy up a few loose ends and complete our review of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Android phone.

There are two messages to take away from this. We really like the telephone. And we need to make our reviews much shorter.

samsung galaxy ace review 34 samsung galaxy ace review 35

Anyway. More screenshots of the Galaxy Ace in action. That’s what the music player looks like. It’s not very exciting visually, but then that’s not really the point of MUSIC.

samsung galaxy ace review 38

Video playback is sadly rather limited. The Galaxy Ace refused to play standard DivX AVI files, requiring everything to be in MP4 format. Which is a shame, as Samsung’s usually quite good at getting DivX Certification for its devices.

samsung galaxy ace review 36 samsung galaxy ace review 37

Standard Android photo gallery. Really doesn’t require two screenshots to show it off but we’ve sort of committed to putting two images in above every caption so we’d better keep it up.

samsung galaxy ace review 39 samsung galaxy ace review 40

Battery life was good. Better than our HTC Desire, which is our main frame of reference. Oh yes, and it also works as a telephone!

samsung galaxy ace review 41 samsung galaxy ace review 42

Definitely no Flash Player support. Needed to check that. Nice Notifications area.


We’ll stop now. We’re going to attempt to formalise the reviewing process, as our attempts thus far have always been a bit of a haphazard mess.

So here’s a summary, as found in proper reviews written by people who know what they’re doing:

The Galaxy Ace is a solid, slim phone, with reliable capacitive touch buttons and a responsive screen. The 5megapixel camera is good, it has a flash, plus it’s definitely the fastest phone we’ve yet encountered when it comes to reconnecting to wi-fi when you wake it up.

Samsung’s TouchWiz interface is only a minor visual tweak, with most Android functionality left as you’d find it in plain Android 2.2 phones. It’s a bit light on pre-loaded apps, but then we’d only complain it it was bogged down with stuff. Sadly it doesn’t support DivX movie files, which limits media performance.

The 800MHz processor does a good job of apps and web use, although we had a few weird visual glitches when using the actual web browser. We didn’t suffer any lock-ups of note, and it was generally swift in action.

A very nice phone for the money. A bigger screen than LG’s competing Optimus One, powerful enough to run everything we tried and with Android 2.2 out of the box. You could happily use this as your “main” phone and remain confident you’re getting the full Android experience. Apart from the lack of Flash Player support. That’s the only downer.

Thanks to Three UK for the loan of the phone. You can buy the thing from Three here if you suddenly feel like you want to. No pressure. You don’t have to make your mind up today.

If you have any questions, pop them up here or in Twitter or whatever and we’ll try to get back to you with a proper answer.

49 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. saurabh raye

     /  March 14, 2011


    Thanks for a very detailed review. I saw the phone yesterday and it does have a FM radio. i am in India, but am sure the handset features would remain the same?

    • Jags

       /  March 14, 2011

      Just bought this phone y’day in India, I guess I have made the right choice looking at your review. Thanks

      • John Holw

         /  June 17, 2011

        Hey your chocie good but cost is very high . so that wise samsung relase new phone that is ” samsung galaxy s2 mini ” at cost of 10,000/-( in indian rupees).

        • chris

           /  July 15, 2011

          really?how much does a galaxy ace cost in india? from what i know galaxy s2 mini has 3.7 inch display and SAMOLED. thats cheap, only 10,000 rupees?

    • Gary C

       /  March 14, 2011

      Yes, you’re right, it has an FM radio. I shouldn’t do reviews. These things are way too complicated.

  2. George

     /  March 14, 2011

    I bought this phone 2 weeks back and i found it a real good one. For weeks i was searching for a good smart phone, one that is easy to use, small enuf to hold in hand but big enuf to read websites, nice looking, and fits the pocket.. i would say Ace is just what i wanted… the dispay is good, processor is fast, net access is fast, touch is good… i found the swype keyboard very easy to use and fast to type.. the notification area is cool…

    now the negatives – video recording (may be its to much to ask for the price), battery life (the battery drains pretty fast, i mean if u use if fairly (some calls, net browsing, use of maps etc) in 16-20 hrs.. i dont know if thats ok, as i am not sure how other smart phones perform wen it comes to battery life… android market didnt work for me, but i dont its prob with the phone, there is some issue with the account, which i found everybody is complaining abt.. i couldn’t install flash player, so i think flash is not supported.. i donno if thats an issue though..

    overall – a real good phone, superb for the price…

    • Sekhar

       /  September 9, 2011

      Hi I bought Ace one week back, I found it is really good phone for 14000 rs but only problem is getting heat when you put some time in charging, don’t know about other Smart Phones. good phone to buy Flash works if you use Sky Fire browser with minimal coast (39 rupees) I think….Over all good phone to buy.

  3. Bob

     /  March 15, 2011

    On the Divx issue, part of the problem may be that Divx are moving strongly towards DRM in their video players which only annoys the user. Obviously they are under pressure, as the use of Divx increases, to comply with the movie industry. which is out of step with the web audience. h264 (Mp4) is more suitable phones anyway.

  4. delorean

     /  March 15, 2011

    I bought this phone 2 weeks ago, and I will give this phone an 8.5 STARS — Excellent, rating. The software, Touchwiz 3.0 UX, is awesome — the notifications area is more useful with 5 toggles, the SMS input box was widened to include the entire screen, The call interface is more user-friendly, there is a “leap view” added wherein you can view all the 7 homescreens in 1 page, and a built-in file manager was included, to manage the RAM use.

    The 5 mp camera and flash are what made me buy this phone — they are really superb. I have no regrets choosing this phone, over wildfire S or the Optimus one. I would even choose the Ace over the Galaxy S, coz the Ace has a camera flash, while the Galaxy S doesn’t. A camera without a flash is practically pointless, coz you don’t always get good lighting for your shots.

    My only wish is that they come out with the Galaxy Ace 2, and put in an improved 720p video recording, 512 mb RAM and 500 mb ROM, and perhaps a front-facing camera. That would make it perfect…

    • Gary C

       /  March 15, 2011

      It’s definitely much better at taking low light photos than my HTC Desire. Should’ve said that. But the moment’s passed now.

  5. Prabodh

     /  April 4, 2011

    Hi I would like to knw about flash player and Adobe run time support for galaxy Ace, please guide me so i can go for it


    • Gary C

       /  April 4, 2011

      GUIDANCE: There is no Flash Player. I’m not entirely sure what “Adobe run time support” is.

  6. vikas

     /  April 4, 2011

    Hey just wanted to know that we can store the apps in microsd card rite?since the internal memory of the fone is quite low.Another thing was tht it has good processor but low ram so how does it affect the fone?

  7. erwin

     /  April 22, 2011

    Hi from the Philippines… I bought this phone 3 days ago and I’m totally enjoying the features of the Samsung Galaxy Ace! I noticed in one of your screen caps that the phone’s batt lasted 3 days with you?… How did you do that? I’ve turned off the wifi-bluetooth-and adjusted the settings so that internet is not automatically available, and switched network to GSM as 3G is erratic here. So far, all I’ve done is played Angry birds for 2.5 hours, tried transferring 7 (doc and ppt) files that I need for my work via blue tooth and texted 10-15 messages but I get less than 24 hours. How did you extend the battery life that long?… Very nice and helpful review by the way.

  8. Lovely review . Am planning to buy this phone soon. But I wanted to know if the low RAM will affect the phone in any way ?

  9. RAM

     /  May 4, 2011

    I bought ACE a month back and find it very cool, feature-rich and fast. Battery life is a huge problem with ACE. Even after charing for more than 8 hours the battery drains in six to seven hours max. Also non availablity of flash and a front facing camera is a downer. But overall a good phone

  10. We did a review on this recently and thought it was a great phone, gave it an 8/10. It would have been a nine if it wasn’t for thinking the Galaxy S 2 was better and that the HTC range look and feel better. Well worth a buy if you are in the market for a new smartphone.

  11. Varung

     /  June 4, 2011

    I see the wifi Is very frail. It keeps getting disconnected. My iPhone shows much better signal at the same distance from the router. Is it just my hardware??? I just upgraded the firmware yesterday to no avail.

  12. philo

     /  June 4, 2011

    I brought a samsung ace 4 weeks ago – good functions but no flash player and battery life very poor. Poor purchase on my part!

  13. richard

     /  June 5, 2011

    since batt is such a prob, could it be possible to have an extra batt and replace the drained one alternately. wouldnt it cause damage or problems to the phone?

  14. Uday

     /  June 19, 2011

    Galaxy ace is a good phone. As for battery life, I’ve seen other smart phones too. they perform more or less the same in that area. Although i would like to know if there’s anything we can do to install an additional and more functional music player for it coz the standard one installed in it really sucks, BIG TIME.

    • saurabh

       /  July 24, 2011

      How much did you get if for in India? any problems apart from battery ?

  15. Great post with lots of imoptrnat stuff.

  16. nts

     /  July 1, 2011

    is the phone not supporting divx a big deal or i mean can’t we convert the video into the format it works and use it or is divx’s quality better than mp4 format. does anyone know anything about it. i am planning to buy it and i’m curious if this problem is small or not if it’s not a big deal. please anyone?

  17. northernsoul

     /  July 19, 2011

    Had the phone a while now, not very happy with it, the main problem is that i have to manually connect it every time to my hands free car kit, it will not pair automatically, all my other phones for the last 10 years have connected to my car kits, i have spoken to samsung about this and they told me that this phone does not pair automatically to car kits, not bad for a SMART phone, it took me 10 minutes the other day to connect, each time having to put the four number pass code in, kept telling me that the connection has failed, so if you want a phone that allows you to drive hands free this is NOT for you, worst phone i have ever had and i have had mobile phones since 1986, it’s going to be the last samsung i ever own, in my opinion it is rubbish

  18. Im frm india i bought it a month ago everyone is talkin abt its poor display n video but this is not the problem main problem is viewing youtube videos it plays video with long intervals i mean 2min. Video in 30 min. I have vodafone 2g sim which runs edge my previous phone samsung monte gts5620 which plays you tube video without any buffering :-(

  19. rashmi

     /  August 1, 2011

    I wanna buy this phone but in dilemma now..low RAM, no front facing cam, no FLASH…hmmmmmm..any other lows??
    I guess it costs around 14k INR.. Any suggestion 4 a better phone wit better features for this price wud b arreci8d..thanks

    • DTEG

       /  August 1, 2011

      Motorola Defy seems underrated for a small ARMv7 device with a decent screen, and it’s just had an Android 2.3 update if I remember rightly. No front camera, but available for about the same price as the Ace if you shop around.

    • lalith

       /  September 7, 2011

      hi rashmi, u can try htc wildfire S but it has 600MHZ processor, but it has android 2.3 out of d box, and it has betr battery management.. it also has flash support.. it is of d same cost.. if u want betr features, then go for galaxy SL, which costs 18K INR. Hope this helps for u.. :)

  20. triadwarfare

     /  August 11, 2011

    It’s been months now since I bought this phone. Everything’s nice but still, I can’t get the ‘full Android Experience’ you’re talking about.

    I’ve downloaded several games, Angry Birds, NFS: Shift, and Plants vs Zombies (Official app). However, my experience was too laggy.

    Choose what you install. Even if you have an extremely large memory card (Let’s say 32GB, that’s the maximum capacity the phone can support) your phone’s internal memory is limited. Even if you put everything in the memory card, apps require a portion of your internal memory. If you managed to fill that up, your phone will warn you that you need to erase some apps and the phone will start blocking everything that’s coming in the phone including incoming text messages. That’s a sign of poor storage management.

    If you love both recording and music, you’re gonna hate its built in music player because it doesn’t (and doesn’t give you an option to) discriminate music from other forms of media. Although you can create a .nomedia file (too technical for common users), you may have to view your recordings in the File explorer because creating it will prevent your recordings to be listed. Perhaps it’s Google’s fault for making a bad player and Samsung for not providing us a better one.

    Camera is crap. My 5 year old digital camera and HTC Wildfire takes better pictures than this one. I suggest turning off the flash if you want to take quality pictures. I just didn’t take the HTC since the Ace had a higher Megahertz than Wildfire and I’m on a limited budget. At least Wildfire S has a form of flash support.

    GPS… So-so – I downloaded offline GPS navigators in my phone but it takes so long to lock to my position. I turn off Packet Data because it can eat your prepaid load as the phone uses the internet without your permission. Probably that’s the nature of Assisted GPS, It requires an active data connection for you to get a fix. Although you can still get a fix without an internet connection, it will take a very long time. The shortest would be 5 min (if you don’t run into tunnels or anything that obstructs you from the sky) and the longest would be NEVER.

    Updates from this phone is very slow. The slightly slower Wildfire S got 2.3. I’m stuck with 2.2

    It does also have it’s own advantages however. I have downloaded a flashlight app to make it’s LED flash to work as a flashlight. Plus it has a widget so I can turn on the flashlight faster.

    I love the pattern unlock. It makes it unique and better than the default sliding unlock and sliding+unlock code from the iPhone. However I don’t like its answer key. iPhone doesn’t use a sliding answer key and why is Samsung trying so hard to pretend they’re not trying to copy the iPhone by making the sliding thing a standard feature?

    I do have some network tools here that goes well with my computer. I have Wake-on-Lan so that all I have to do is to plug in the WiFi and computer and turn it on remotely (I’m using a Servo Motor AVR. It takes several minutes to warm up before it’s ready.) And the best one would be the Remote Desktop Client so that I can use my cellphone as a remote control of my computer. Remote Desktop is not for games, but at least I still could check the progress of my downloads while I’m in bed without having to stand up and all.

    I love that I can download torrents on my cellphone, however, you cannot download torrents with files larger than 2GB. But if the files are broken into pieces, as long as one file is no larger than 2GB, there will be no problem downloading.

    Although, I still like this phone, I feel like there’s something missing. I may have to sell this phone for me to buy a higher end model but it would be a waste of money since I’m gonna buy the PS Vita at its launch and it may fill the missing gaps in my phone.

  21. Sahil

     /  September 5, 2011

    I just bought the samsung galaxy ace. Good phone in this range. 5 megapixel with led flash auto focus, 800 mhz processor, good touch screen, good colours. battery life is not very good, but thats the case with almost all the smart phones. Other phones in this range are wave 2, htc wildfire s, htc salsa. HTC

  22. I love the way reviews are written here… seriously… please never change that…

  23. Sharad

     /  September 25, 2011

    I was confuse among trio Wildfire, Xperia mini pro and Galaxy Ace, but now I am sure to get Ace. And yes, even in i-Phone battery hardly run for 48 hrs. So, with only 13000(Yes, Latest price in Gujarat, India) its awesome, great phone.

  24. Roberto

     /  October 7, 2011

    Olá, gostaria de deixa aqui minha insatisfação com a marca SAMSUNG!
    Fui a loja hoje em juiz de fora MG,compra um Samsung galaxy ace,e por incrível que pareça 2 aparelhos apresentaram defeito na hora da compra! Acabei voltando pra casa sem fazer a compra! NÂO RECOMENTO A NINQUEM A COMPRA O GALAXY ACE DA SAMSUNG NEM PELA METADE DO PREÇO!

  25. Flash player 11.1 for galaxy ace working with video preview download now link copy n paste it to adress bar (:

  26. Flash player 11.1 for galaxy ace working with video preview download now link copy n paste it to address bar (: For all roms

  27. rajesh

     /  October 19, 2011

    got this phone recently.
    its a good one .
    good features value to our money

  28. sanji

     /  October 29, 2011

    I bought tgis phone about 3 months ago here in the uk.
    You can play .avi files if you download an app from the android market called mmx.

  29. Stusan

     /  November 10, 2011

    I bought this phone 2 weeks ago, it was my first smartphone. I am addicted to it already. The battery is an issue as I need to charge it every night and I am only a light user but other than that it fantastic. I was surprised that there wasnt a manual in the box but have now downloaded one.

    For a child or light user I would definately recommend this phone. If I can use it anyone can.

  30. Avinash

     /  November 21, 2011

    I have bought samsung galaxy ace two days before. Please anyone help me for the issue:
    I am not able to receive any calls or SMS when i am using internet connect. Please anyone help me how to avoid this issue.

    1. Why we are buying smart phones with 3G?
    Answer will be like: We can use internet connection as well as calls and fast access of all applications.

    But here the problem i facing with galaxy ace is when i am using internet connect with 2g on android 2.3.4(ginger bird). I am not able receive any calls or messages. Earlier i have used NOKIA and micromax mobiles. Even if i use internet also i am able to receive calls. Even the small company micromax is good with this. Why samsung is not concentrated on this. Is there any settings or any option is have this facility. Please help me ASAP.

    I there is no way to get calls when we are coneected to internet then dont buy this phone. Instead of this we can use one phone and TAB.

  31. mitchell theobald

     /  December 4, 2011

    come back to me when you have a review with this device on gingerbread. soo much better

  32. its battery life sucks…… but it is a good phone over all

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