Samsung Galaxy Ace; is this a card worthwhile?

The Samsung Galaxy Ace measures 112.4 x 59.9 x 11.5 mm and the all-plastic handset weighs 113 grams. The edges are curved, which slims down the phone, and
the build-quality is good.

 

The phone is pretty compact and I especially like the rubbery textured back, something that is missing on quite a number of phones.

 

Speech can be installed on the phone but, the issue is the same as with the Galaxy Gio; and that is that I wasn’t able to get around the obstacle of how to get TalkBack’s virtual navigation tool to be activated.  Something somewhere is preventing it from being activated.  So, this phone is a no-no for totally blind people but, people with a little vision that would like the speech as a backup will enjoy this phone.

 

The specs of the Samsung Galaxy Ace are good enough without being top of the line, which is exactly how a mid-range phone should be.

The screen is big enough for a partially sighted person at 3.5”
without making the phone unmanageable. The resolution is sufficient for reading text but not too high as to drive the price sky high and strain the hardware.

 

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
  • 7.2 Mbps HSDPA support
  • 3.5″ 16M-color TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen of HVGA (320 x 480 pixels) resolution
  • 800MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset; 278MB of RAM available to the user
  • Android OS v2.2 (Froyo) with TouchWiz 3.0 UI customization
  • Swype text input
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash; Geo-tagging, face and smile detection
  • QVGA@15fps video
  • microSD slot (up to 32GB, 2GB in box)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity; Digital compass
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • DNSe sound enhancement
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Document editor
  • File manager preinstalled
  • Samsung Apps brings a few nice apps for free
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor

Main disadvantages

  • Dismal QVGA video recording @15fps
  • No shutter key for the camera
  • No support for Adobe Flash in the web browser
  • No ambient light sensor
  • No DivX/Xvid video support out of the box

 

The phone felt nice and solid when holding it and responded just fine when I was using the touch screen.  As mentioned at the beginning, it is only the issue with the virtual arrow keys that I am having a gripe with and this nullifies the usefulness of the device to those of us that are blind.

 

The Ace is not a bad midrange phone and although there are some drawbacks, that is unfortunately part of the deal when you are shopping around for midrange phones.

 

Personally, I wish that we’ve had the Samsung Galaxy 551 available over here in SA, Also known as Samsung I5510 or the Samsung Callisto.

 

The 551 is a QWERTY messenger that would have been priced in the same range as the Galaxy Ace if it was available here.

 

Though it is betting on a somewhat smaller screen with a lower WQVGA resolution, downgraded camera and processor, it comes with a full hardware QWERTY keyboard, which would have been appreciated by heavy texters and especially some blind folk.

 

As always, I’d like to thank Samsung for having made this phone available to us for testing.

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