Samsung Galaxy Ace review

Is the little brother in the Galaxy range an Ace up Samsung's sleeve?

Samsung Galaxy Ace GT- S5830
The definitive Samsung Galaxy Ace GT- S5830 review

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Samsung galaxy ace

We're going to re-write the verdict to this phone - it's now under £90 in the shops, is being touted as THE budget phone to buy and bundled with a lot of tablets, so it's only right that users get the proper decision on a phone that launched in January 2011.

Is it a good phone? No. It was a poor phone when it launched, and hasn't got any better.

We liked

A comfortable fit in the hand, the Samsung Galaxy Ace is still a well-designed piece of kit that, and thanks to its interchangeable black and white back panels, offers a design that will appeal to a wide range of users.

Simple to use, the use of an older version of Android isn't the handicap it should be, and the price is just brilliant for a smartphone full stop on contract.

We disliked

Sluggish to exit sleep mode, the Samsung Galaxy Ace never really gets into its stride, with an unresponsive and low resolution TFT display lacking the pop and wow factor that has come to be expected from Samsung-branded smartphones.

Poor on the camera front, the Samsung Galaxy Ace is filled with the software required to become an all-round media hub but fails to back this up with accompanying hardware, since the handset's audio and visual abilities fall below the expectations of such an offer.

A laggy interface doesn't bring confidence to the user, and if you're a first time smartphone user then you'll be disappointed if you think this is how all smartphones run.

Final verdict

Would we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Ace? No, in most cases. There will be some people desperate to get their hands on a smartphone on a budget, but this is still not the phone to do such a thing. There are others out there that are cheaper and more powerful, and were brought out more recently too.

The Android software from years ago may not be the biggest issue now, but consumers are being tricked into thinking this will be a relevant smartphone for two years, which simply isn't the case.

If you're still using the Galaxy Ace in 2015, you'll be really, really disappointed in what's in your pocket when you see your friends using an iPhone 7 or Galaxy S6 which can probably hover or something.

Samsung has already seemingly given up on software upgrades for this phone, and it will be woefully behind the times in a few months already, let alone two years. The processor couldn't keep up in January 2011, and now it struggles even more as apps become more data and CPU-intensive.

The screen is last gen and the pre-installed apps, Google Maps aside, are a relic from the days when Samsung was still trying to 'make it' in the smartphone market.

It's not a terrible choice, but with the plethora of deals being foisted on consumers (the chance to have an older tablet and the Galaxy Ace for £15, for instance) will lead to a lot of gadget apathy. True, you get what you pay for, and having a tablet and phone for that price is always going to be attractive, but there's a lot better out there for those that don't get sucked onto a contract and are smart enough to buy outright with a SIM only deal on top.

In short: the Samsung Galaxy Ace is a phone from an era where Android was still formative, so newer apps won't run as well on it. The internals are last gen, the software isn't anywhere near cutting edge so we suggest you steer clear of it unless you're desperate to pay very little.

It's not Samsung's fault... the Ace should be at the end of its product cycle now, where it was discontinued a year ago, but for some reason it pervades; we just suggest it should be bought with a lot of research first.