The Samsung Galaxy Ace may not be the newest or best smartphone on the market but for users on a budget there’s a lot to like about it.
The headline feature is the price, as it can be snatched up on contract from just £13 a month if you go with Three. That £13 gets you 100 minutes, 5000 texts and 250 MB of data and you don’t have to pay a penny extra for the handset. Or if that’s not enough data you can get unlimited for just £16 a month.
With just a 3.5 inch display it’s pretty dinky, but no smaller than the iPhone 4S, and while it only has 158 MB of internal storage it supports micro SD cards which can boost that up to 32 GB, which is a fairly decent amount. The 800 MHz processor isn’t terribly impressive, but for calls, texts, web browsing and socialising it works just fine. The only thing that you really need to be aware of is that it’s lumbered with Android 2.3, which is pretty dated these days.
The social hub is the beating heart of the Samsung Galaxy Ace. Essentially it’s one combined feed for all of your social networks. It supports Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn, email and calendars, allowing you to see all of your updates all in one place. You can control them all from one place too, for example you can update your status on all networks at the same time, or message anyone from any of your networks without leaving the hub. It even shows an unread message count on your homescreen, so you’ll never miss a thing.
If you let it, it will also add Facebook events to your calendar and Facebook friends to your contacts list (complete with their profile pictures). It’s incredibly well integrated and brings android a lot closer to the powerful native social features of Windows Phone 8.
These features really make the Samsung Galaxy Ace stand out above other budget phones. If you’re a social butterfly on a budget, you could do a lot worse than this. The price and social aspects also make it a great choice for children. There are a few things to bear in mind before taking the plunge though. For starters Android 2.3 is well past it’s best, with most new Android phones rocking versions of the OS that are several generations ahead, likewise the screen is only 320 x 480, which means that even though it’s only 3.5 inches it won’t be the sharpest display you’ve ever seen, but then it is a budget phone.
It’s also worth being aware that Samsung have since brought out a successor- the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2. It’s pretty similar, just with boosted specs and a newer version of Android. However those improvements make it a lot less budget friendly at around £22 a month.
The original Galaxy Ace may not be perfect, but if it’s your first smartphone and you like the sound of the social features then you won’t be disappointed.
By Simon Thomas on 19th February, 2013