The Best Entry Level Phones – November 2012 (Part 3) - Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

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On paper one of the best spec sheets in the group, but you do have to pay a premium to get your hands on it...

Micro SD card slot

While the other devices in the group all feature a micro SD card slot as standard, the Samsung does benefit from the card slot being mounted to the side of the casing. This provides fast swap-out-and-play functionality

720p video recording

The 5-MP camera may lack the detail of the Sony in terms of camera shots, but it does provide the added benefit of a720p HD video recording option. Sadly the front facing camera can only handle VGA for video calls

Description: Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

Dual core processing

While the processor is only running with an 800Mhz rating, the Samsung does benefit from a dual-core variant and this allowed for ultra-smooth scrolling, ample streaming performance and a dream for playing some of the latest games

Jelly Bean

While the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 disappointingly comes with Gingerbread, sources have revealed that Samsung is likely to skip the ICS update and jump straight to Jelly Bean which is impressive for a low end smartphone to have this feature

The most expensive device in our test is the follow up to the mega selling original Ace, and leans closer to the mid-range than its rivals.

As a phone, the Galaxy Ace 2 fits comfortably in the palm of the hand and feels well built, with a nice hardened plastic black finish with enough weight behind it to outclass the cheaper Sony device.

It also benefits from a physical Android Home button beneath the larger 3.8-inch screen which has more reassuring feedback than its touch sensitive rivals. We also liked that the micro SD card slot was placed conveniently to the side of the phone.

Powering up the Samsung does reveal a less impressive Gingerbread OS, however, with reports that Samsung is looking to skip an ICS upgrade and jump straight to Jelly Bean. This certainly compensates for the initial disappointment.

Mind you, as it stands, the old operating system is masked anyway with the TouchWiz user interface, which is the same one found on some of the high-end Samsung phones (eg the Samsung Galaxy SII before the Ice Cream Sandwich update).

Description: Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

While not to everyone’s taste, the Ul is certainly better than the Motorola’s offering and it packs in a lot of useful apps such as a full document editing suite and some quality media apps (both the music and video player are enhanced by 5.1 surround support).

The larger screen also benefits from a beefier resolution which makes the on-screen icons crisper and the phone easier to type on (due to more screen real estate). Browsing and playing games was a dream thanks to its dual core CPU and 768MB of RAM.

Its five megapixel camera was a mixed bag of results. While you had 720p HD video recording, and there was a number of stand-out photos taken with the camera, the shot times were slow and several shots lacked the sharpness or detail of the Sony.

However, battery life topped the bill In terms of video playback life which is impressive given its larger screen and processor. Well recommended.

Head to head


A hardened black plastic finish certainly feels sturdy in the palm of the hand and the weight makes it feel better built than the Sony. It lacks the cosmetic touches though, but it has a handy micro SD card slot placed for easy access.


The Galaxy Ace 2 was not available on all major networks. But via 02 we found the cheapest price alongside its competitive $16 a month top up deals. With a choice of 75 mins, 500 texts and 100MB data, or 300 texts and 500MB of data.


Apart from the Gingerbread OS (Jelly Bean upgrade promised) and less impressive camera than we had hoped for, the phone’s feature set is a positive - a nice range of pre-installed apps, alongside ample performance and bigger screen.

Battery life

Despite the larger screen It outperformed the Sony by two per cent in our video test. In general heavy use the screen also managed to hold up and you should get a solid day’s use out of this smartphone.


The price is justified by great performance and battery life. If the OS upgrade takes place, this phone is future proof too


Price: $288

More information:

Technical specs

·         Operating system: Android 2.3.6

·         Processor: NovaThor U8500, dual core 800 MHz CPU, Mali-400MP GPU

·         Memory: 768MB RAM, 4GB storage(micro SD card expansion up to 32GB)

·         Dimensions: 1183 x 62.2 x 10.5 mm

·         Weight: 122g

·         Display: 3.8” PLS WI capacitive touchscreen, 480 x 800 pixels

·         Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.U b/gin, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA

·         Camera: 5-MP rear (LED flash), VGA front camera, 720p @3Ofps video


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