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Samsung Galaxy Ace rises above its class

The Samsung Galaxy Ace is a mid-range touchscreen Android phone released by Samsung sitting comfortably between the Galaxy S and the low-end cornucopia of Galaxy Fit, Mini and the Galaxy 5. It has some pretty decent specs that would put it into the high-end spectrum if it was launched a year ago so those who are looking for a bargain Android phone might want to consider this one.

Let’s get on with the review shall we?


Samsung Galaxy Ace

Looking at the Samsung Galaxy Ace from afar would make you think of Apple’s iPhone a few years back. It has the rounded edge, the chrome sidings, the slit of a speaker above the display and the sole physical button in front. No wonder Apple is suing Samsung from copying its design. Anyway, copied or not, the design works for the Galaxy Ace setting it apart from the designs of low-end Samsung Android phones.

samsung galaxy ace Samsung Galaxy Ace

The Galaxy Ace sports a 3.5″ Gorilla Glass display, similar size to that of the iPhone 3GS. Below the display is a sole physical button for Home and beside it are two dedicated touch panels for Menu and Back that illuminates when the phone is activated.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Samsung Galaxy Ace Samsung Galaxy Ace

On the left side you would only see the volume rocker. Top side is the earphone jack and the microUSB port with a sliding lid to for protection. Right side is the Power/Lock button where your thumb falls naturally when holding the phone and there’s also the microSD slot (2GB microSD included in the box). No dedicated camera button on this phone.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

At the back is a rubbery, textured panel housing the 5-megapixel camera lens and flash. I love how the back panel improves the grip and handling of this phone. There’s also a white version of the same rubbery panel included in the package by the way.

The phone lacks heft and should appeal to the ladies or those who doesn’t want a heavy phone. It doesn’t feel plasticky unlike the bigger Galaxy S thanks to its rubbery back panel.

Display and UI

As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy Ace has a respectable 3.5″ screen with an ordinary 320 x 480 screen resolution and 16 million colors. Looks good on its own but not as sharp as say for example, an HTC Desire S which has a slightly bigger 3.7″ screen but with a 480 x 800 resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

It uses Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0 UI which looks similar to the iOS with its 4 persistent icons at the bottom for Calls, Contacts, Messages and Apps. Samsung still doesn’t have useful widgets but as an Android user, you shouldn’t have a hard time looking for apps with their own widget from the Market.


The Galaxy Ace is powered by an 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor with Adreno 200 GPU. For a comparison, it’s slightly less powerful than the HTC Desire Z’s, 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 processor with Adreno 205 GPU. It still runs on Android 2.2 Froyo but is upgradeable to 2.3 Gingerbread which is currently in the works.

Here’s the benchmark result from Quadrant which ranks it above the 1GHz HTC Desire overall.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

Despite having Android 2.2 which supports Flash, the Galaxy Ace does not have it for web browsing. No Flash content nor Flash games for this phone. You can download Skyfire browser but it’s not an elegant solution.

It also does not have support for DivX/XviD videos natively. You can view HD videos however as long as it’s in MP4 format. I tried downloading a DivX player (QQPlayer) to play an AVI file but audio-video sync problems occur overtime. You’re better off sticking with MP4.


Samsung Galaxy Ace

This one’s a bit surprising since despite the 800MHz processor, I would still experience game stuttering. I played two games, Ninja Slice (Fruit Ninja rip-off) and Angry Birds Rio, pretty staple games for an Android phone. With the Galaxy Ace though, gameplay wasn’t as smooth as I hoped it would be. Although they are playable, you would feel the sluggishness from time to time.


The Galaxy Ace has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and various scene modes that you probably won’t use (just set it to Auto). There’s nothing special with the camera in terms of pre and post-processing effects available but you can download camera apps from the Market for free.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

Photos taken with the Galaxy Ace are quite good and looks sharp as long as you don’t blow it up. Here are some sample photos:

[nggallery id=13]

Video recording is disappointing at only QVGA @ 15fps so you might want to look somewhere else if you need to use your phone to capture videos.

Extra Features

Just like other Samsung phones out there, the Galaxy Ace comes with some nice features. There’s the personal hotspot where you can share your mobile internet connection to other devices via WiFi. It also has a built-in file browser which you may not find in other phones (although there are apps available in the Market). Its music player app automatically scans and displays the MP3 files on the SD card including their tags, album art and even playlists. Swype text input, which is becoming a staple on Samsung phones, is also included here.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

I would like to point out though that you cannot simply connect this to any PC and expect to use it as a mass storage device unlike other phones including the Galaxy S which connects automatically. You need to install the included Samsung Kies application (think iTunes for Samsung) which installs the Samsung USB driver to your PC. An inconvenience if you need to plug your phone to different machines. UPDATE: Here’s the solution for this problem.


Battery life is average to good with the 1350mAh Li-Ion pack on the Galaxy Ace. You can get a whole day and more with wifi on and occasional SNS. Expect it to last shorter if you have mobile data turned on most of the time.


It’s easy to love the Samsung Galaxy Ace. The midrange price point and close to high-end specs (it looks like it has the best specs in its price range) makes it a top choice if you’re in the market for a phone that won’t break your wallet but won’t leave you with an un-upgradeable device as well.

Samsung Galaxy Ace

It does come with a few shortcomings that might be important for you. No Flash on browsers, no support for DivX and less than stellar performance when it comes to gaming. If you can live without those on your Android phone then you the Samsung Galaxy Ace might be just the right phone for you.

Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830 Specs:
800 MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset
Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo), upgradable to v2.3
3.5 inches Gorilla Glass display (320 x 480 pixels)
TouchWiz v3.0 UI
158 MB internal storage, microSD, up to 32GB, 2GB included
HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
QVGA Video recording @ 15fps
GPS with A-GPS support
Standard battery, Li-Ion 1350 mAh
113 g
SRP: Php14,000
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  • Anonymous

    I’m considering this phone but HTC lowered the price of the DESIRE. Kaso kulang ng front facing camera ang desire. Lg Optimus Black is a good choice too.
    Htc sense or Touchwiz?

    • Definitely HTC Sense if you’re only going to consider UI.

      • mark

        excuse po bossing.? ano po bang samsung phone ang dabest para sa games?? budget ko kz mga 13k lang eh.! salamat po,! ^_^

  • Ronah

    Which is better? Samsung Galaxy Ace or Nokia E72? Do they have push email?

    • both have push email. no clear cut on which is better since both uses different OS and have different input method (QWERTY vs touchpad). E72 still remains to be one of the popular phones during it’s time. it all depends on which phone will suit you more. if you’re not comfortable touch typing, E72 is more suitable for you.

  • Alan

    How can use the personal hotspot in Samsung galaxy ace? Can my ipad wifi use it to connect in the net? Please reply. Thanks

    • in the settings menu there’s a personal hotspot selection. use that to share your internet to your ipad.

  • aytum

    which of the samsung phone is better with games?

    • Galaxy S and S2 would do. bigger screen (4″ and up) is better for games.

  • ok na man sakin ung friut ninja ung angry birds naman mababawasan ung laggy kung mgnda sd card mo 16gb gmit ko tska ok na man tong phone na to sa gaming mga gameloft games hd working bsta hvga ung version gamit mo…pero kung gaming tlga galaxy s2 syempre pero if meron kana ace wag mawalan ng pag asa working mga gameloft games dito at marami na din custom rom ang ace meron na din siya GB 2.3.4 latest pwede mo din palakihin ung internal memory niya for unlimited apps na maiinstall mo i like the review eto hinhintay ko tnx clavin.

    • hi rj, thanks…. maybe it’s the microsd card nga. gamit kasi namin yung included eh.

      • Rei

        I also think the SD card has something to do with it as well as the Android version (my galaxy ace has the gingerbread firmware; UK region). Walang lag ang games kahit nakainstall sa SD card ko. May app din na nagpapabilis ng read/write speed ng SD cards pero di ko pa nasusubukan.

        By the way, nag increase na ang video recording resolution ng Galaxy Ace under gingerbread (640×480). Hindi HD quality pero at least it’s better than the stock Froyo resolution. And nag increase ng 20+MB yung usable RAM, pero baka iba iba ito depende sa region.

        • thanks for this info Rei! appreciate it!

          • galaxyaceuserhere

            sir bkit sakin naka GB 2.3.6 na pero dpa rin 480p ung video reso?anu po dpat ko gawen?

      • A

        yes it’s definitely the SD card ~ cause SD card have “Classes” more Class much faster transfer/read rate ~

    • khai

      how to upgrade the internal memory of galaxy ace??? thanks

      • you can’t. get a bigger microSD instead.

  • wow, samsung galaxy is so great! it looks like an iPhone…

  • Ian Garcia

    How does the Cherry Mobile Nova fare compared to Samsung Galaxy Ace?

    • no contest. ace has far superior specs.

  • Ferdie

    I have a problem regarding the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Ace that I just bought. Battery only lasts a day and I have to charge it every day which is a hassle on my part. I was expecting that the battery would last up to 3 days but it didn’t. I already turned off all apps and even the wifi and bluetooth as recommended in the forums. I also installed juice defender to increase battery life. Any suggestion on what to do to increase the battery life? I’d appreciate the help.

    • 1 day is normal for a touchscreen android phone.

      • JM

        What do you recommend na android phone, has fair or equal to Ace cpu speed, has atleast 3mp camera, with front facing camera, great with mid-games, has Flash in browser, and has long battery life? i want to buy the Ace, but when i read about the No Flash in browser, gives me a second though, can I video call on YM here?

      • JM

        What do you recommend na android phone, has fair or equal to Ace cpu speed, has atleast 3mp camera, with front facing camera, great with mid-games, has Flash in browser, and has long battery life? i want to buy the Ace, but when i read about the No Flash in browser, gives me a second though, can I video call on YM here?

        EDIT: and I forgot to include… with price ranging 15k below. Thanks!

        • no front cam on the Ace so no video chat. i don’t think there’s any with your price range. Sony Ericsson X10 is 16k while Samsung Galaxy S (SLCD version) is almost 17k.

          • JM

            Any alternatives that you can recommend? The most important things i want from a phone is:

            • Android 2.2 up
            • 3mp camera up
            • HSPDA(for mobile browsing)
            im not too much of a tech person, i experience EDGE, and its kinda slow, is this correct?
            • Great with mid-games
            • And Fair Battery Life

            Again Thanks!

          • Alternative to Galaxy Ace would be the HTC Wildfire S na. For your budget, games won’t play as smooth as you would want to. if you don’t care about games and want it more cheaper, there’s galaxy fit and the old lg optimus one.

    • Mike

      which is better, galaxy ace or lg optimus black?same ba sila ng price??

      • black is much better. cheaper by around 5k yung Ace.

        • love

          ung samsung galaxy ko medyo napakelaman ko ung horuizontal calibration…pano ko mababalik ung dati?kase nireset kona ung fone tapos bumalik nga sa dati pero ang bagal na nia ngaun at di na sya naglalandscape..any suggestion please..thanks

  • JM

    hi, samsung galaxy ace? or cherry mobile magnum?

    which is superior? in terms of functionality, lifespan, performance and design, etc?

    i need to know what unit im going to buy. i made up my mind on buying galaxy ace when i saw magnum hd, confuse i am.

    • functionality – magnum
      lifespan – samsung
      performance – magnum
      design – samsung

      if you don’t mind the brand and its rep get the cherry.

    • im using a CM Magnum at the moment. i experienced some hanging and slowness but it’s still in froyo. will try to update to gingerbread and compare.

      • JM

        Do you think it could be the froyo thats causing the hangups, my money will arrive in 2 to 4 days, well if your talking about the lifespan meaning its lifetime and not the battery. And yes, thank you in advance on trying it with gingerbread and while your at it, try to come up with a review, it will be helpful for those who want to consider buying the Magnum. Will be tuning in on this content.

        • magnum looks good with gingerbread so far. it’s still not buttery smooth but it seems faster. wala na yung mga animation pause during transitions.

  • A

    hello po Calvin ~ im really enjoy reading your reviews and news ~ and now im planning on buying my 1st smartphone (android OS) ~ my price range is low 15k down ~ all i want is wifi, can play youtube (or flash vid much better) , good performance for its price and much wider video playback (h.264 , im a vid encoder want to test it on the phones) ~ my top choices ranging from my budget were
    Galaxy Ace , Galaxy Fit , X10 mini pro Xperia ~ any suggestions on what to get? (oh and if you have a phone to suggest it’s ok too)

    • i still think Ace is the one to beat on that price range. a close second would be the wildfire S. if you’re not picky with brands, the Cherry Mobile Magnum is also selling below 15k.

    • A

      checked magnum and it is definitely an awesome deal but currently is still at MAGNUM HD (₱18,999)~ i’ll settle for galaxy Ace ~ ahahha it’s still high price for me but it will be worth it ~ yay

  • mozart

    hi there sir calvin! just wanna ask, what android phone worth 15k and below that is good for gaming and texting as well, thanks in advance! ^_^

    • if you’re not picky with brands ok yung cherry mobile magnum hd, 14k lang. what you want for gaming kasi is at least 1GHz and a big screen. nireview ko yun recently ok sya for me kahit CM yung brand. of course can’t say much about longevity kasi 3 weeks ko lang nagamit.

      • mozart

        well said sir, how about when it comes to branded ones? between samsung, lg and htc? what will be the best gaming android phone that is worth below 15k? is the android market of the branded ones the same with the cherry mobile phones? thanks again.. ^_^

        • can’t really say about cherry mobile since saglit ko lang nagamit. pero based sa specs mas panggaming ang magnum hd under 15k.
          samsung galaxy ace and htc wildfire is not ideal for gaming pero pwede pa rin. get the ace because of bigger screen.

          • mozart

            thanks man! actually i was really considering to buy an ace but your review here says that its quite stuttering and sluggish at times when it comes to gaming thats why i asked your opinion onto the best gaming phone @ 15k max. and then i read the comments saying its about the sd card and the gingerbread upgrade. meron na po bang gingerbread upgrade here in phil? another thing sir, do sd card have different classes with regards to its speed especially concerning playing games? thanks again man.. ^_^

          • yes… sd card class matters for performance. class 4 would be sufficient. wala pang gingerbread ang ace as of now but it’s going to be available soon.

  • Goldenboy

    Sir, hindi ba nalalayo yung pagka touchscreen nito sa Iphone/Ipod touch? Ang ibig ko pong sabhin eh kung nag rerespond agad pag pindot. thanks po!

    • parehong capacitive and responsive din naman ito. if you want punta ka sa mga samsung store para matry mo kung reponsive sya for you.

      • Goldenboy

        ah ganon po ba, salamat po, ano po ba maiiadvice nyo saakin, Iphone 3gs o ito pong Samsung Galaxy ace? thanks po.

        • iba pa rin kalidad ng iphone, sa iphone na ako.

  • Xboy

    Sir, anu po ba mas maganda-Samsung Ace or HTC Sensation, gusto ko ung phone na ok lng sa games , wifi, front cam, plays video in HD, have microsoft for document editing, so anu pong pede nyong i recommend sa kin na magandang affordable android phone. Thank You in Advance.

    • Mas maganda HTC Sensation pero hindi sya ganun ka-affordable. walang microsoft app ang Android kasi kalaban although may mga document editors available sa market. basta based sa gusto mo mahirapan ka sa Samsung Ace kasi maliit screen. hanap ka ng may 4-inch screen pataas. Pinakamura is Cherry Mobile Magnum HD, tapos Samsung Galaxy SL then LG Optimus Black. Tapos Galaxy S and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. tapos yung mga bagong 4-inch phones na.

      • Swit

        Makakapag skype ba sa samsung galaxy Ace? or any idea pano magkakaroon ng skype ang galaxy ace?

        • yup kaya naman. just download skype from android market using your Ace.

          • elaine

            i just bought a new samsung galaxy ace and the battery was drained because i left the wi fi open, i charged the phone and it does not open at once was it because the new battery was drained and it needs a lot of charging before it opens

    • mozart

      hi there sir calvin, just wanna clarify whether android apps, games and the like can only be saved with your phone memory and not with the memory card? thanks

      • yup if the game and app supports save to SD then you can have it saved to SD. most updated apps can do that.

        • mozart

          so, there are certain apps or games that can only be saved thru phone memory? ty again

  • em

    Hi Calvin,

    Although Samsung galaxy Ace and galaxy SL both have 5mp camera, which do u think is better?

    • Galaxy SL.

      • Em

        Thanks, Calvin.

  • lee

    hello sir, just a trivial question, does the galaxy ace feature an alphanumeric keypad aside from the qwerty and swype keyboard for messaging? just thinking of my troubles with qwerty usage. many thanks!

    • yup, it has an alphanumeric keypad option

  • pit

    calvin, hello. galaxy ace or galaxy mini?

    • Ace!

      • nia nia

        -gud pm
        panu po pla mababalik pag nbura q ung messenger data s mismong manage application mababalik pa ba ung message q dati. tnx poh
        ngkamali kz q ng delete eh tnx….
        help me pls

  • John

    Wow, super sipag sumagot sa comments! 🙂

    • nia nia

      -gud pm
      panu po pla mababalik pag nbura q ung messange data s mismong manage application mababalik pa ba ung message phone memory q dati. tnx poh
      ngkamali kz q ng delete eh tnx….
      help me pls pls pls pls
      sna pde q p marestore wla pa nmn aq application n restore message.pls i’m using galaxy ace phone.tnx in advance mr.

  • nia nia

    -gud pm
    panu po pla mababalik pag nbura q ung messange data s mismong manage application mababalik pa ba ung message phone memory q dati. tnx poh
    ngkamali kz q ng delete eh tnx….
    help me pls pls pls pls
    sna pde q p marestore wla pa nmn aq application n restore message.pls i’m using galaxy ace phone.

    tnx in advance mr.

    • wala alam ko eh. sayang di ka nakagamit ng backup restore app. may ganun para isave sa sd yung messages. pag nabura mo na sa phone burado na talaga.

      • nia nia

        gnun ba???sayang nmn un…
        la n pla tlga haaay!!!
        cge tnx po mr calvin ^_^

      • nia nia

        hi mr calvin me tanung pa pla q.
        panu b malalaman kung ang app mu eh ng save
        s sd card or phone memory. sometimes kz my internal memory always full eh pag me bgo q download e d p nmn puno sd card q. bat gnun???
        and anung mgndang app pla s market restore msg s sd.
        tnx sir ^_^

        • check mo na lang sa applications. yung mga bagong install mo kung pwedeng ma move to SD.

  • George Anderson

    Ang galing talaga! Great post! I enjoy reading it.

  • anie

    is it posible to download THEMES for samsung galaxy ace?
    how can i have it? what website? is there any available THEMES for this phone? i really need responce thanks

    • try to download go launcher in the market. or zedge.

    • andrew

      sir pnu ko marerestore ung android market ko? nastop ko kc sa settings then dko na mgamit after nun dna rin ako mkapagdownload sa pc.

  • A

    does galaxy ace really have gorilla glass? cause i’ve been on android forums and samsung site and it does not tell if the ace has gorilla glass (and the box also said no such thing) im gonna get an ace soon and i just want to make sure ~ tnx calv

  • Bea Anne

    anu pong flash player and magandang i-install sa samsung ace?

  • Rich

    Hello po, im planning to buy Ace this weekend… Ask ko lng po kung makakapanood po b ng movies sa Ace? if pwede, pano po? and mkakapanood rin po b aq ng movies n may subtitle?

    Hoping for your reply po… Tnx po!

    • there are free apps in the market that you can download to watch all sorts of video files. problem is di ganun kalakas video chip ng ace to play them smoothly unless you convert your videos to a smaller resolution.

      • Rich

        Salamat po ng marami!

  • kobe

    hi. i had tried this phone once. the screen display is very crappy. parang china phone. idk, brightness settings lang kaya yun? okay ba RAM nito? compared to HTC Wildfire S or LG Optimus One, standout ba ang Galaxy Ace? I’m planning to buy this for the sole reason na mukha syang iPhone. hahaha! Pero other than that, I would really like to know kung gano ka sulit internet nya. Say, WAP browsing wise, okay ba sya? Yung screed display, medyo may pagka-HD ba or sobrang entry level (think of Samsung champ)? Ganun. Please help me!!! xxoo

    • nope… don’t expect high quality display here… kulang sa colors. pero ganun din naman wildfire s and lg optimus one. what you want here is the screen size and decent power.

  • Ryan

    Sir, pwede po bang mag-chat dito sa Samsung Galaxy Ace sa Facebook?

    • pwede naman. download ka lang ng FB app.

      • Ryan

        What is the best app sir this phone para sa FB chat?

  • Hi! My wife just had Galaxy Ace as her new cellphone.
    After a couple days of testing, I’m not sure if the battery has poor performance, or the phone is just power hungry. Battery drains pretty fast, and charging is on a daily basis. The only thing I noticed was that much unknown applications are running in the background. I’ve stopped most of them and will have to see if there is any improvement.

    • that’s normal for an android phone. you will need to charge it daily.

    • schroeder

      To save battery, turn off Background data in Settings, set to GSM mode/disable 3G, lower brightness and disable wifi.

      my galaxy ace runs for more than 24 hours after heavy gaming (angry birds, NFS shift, Fruit Ninja), playing music and whatever i can do with it.

      also, root your ace and get any battery saving app.

  • inhighdefinition

    Just bought this like three weeks ago and it is good. One thing that kinda bothers me though is the battery life. I am constantly turning off the unnecessary applications and it still only lasts less than a day or so (without switching off the unit) and only used for some texts and calls. Is this normal?

    • inhighdefinition

      and btw, i didn’t charge it initially for like six hours (which some phones ask you to)after the first battery drain. could this harm my phone?

      • nope. that was before and not current mobile batteries. maybe you have wifi always on? or 3G? having 3G always on drains battery quickly.

        • inhighdefinition

          Yeah, that’s it! It always has the 3g on the upper center side. Where can I find the button to turn it on/off? Thank you very much in advance!

          • yikes… don’t be surprised to see a amount on your next bill unless you’re subscribed to unli data. go to settings > wireless network > uncheck mobile network.

          • inhighdefinition

            Just unchecked it and visited a few sites as well. What is packet data if I may ask?

            And when should I use 3g? Does it turn itself on automatically when an application needs it?

            And oh btw, don’t worry about the bill, I use my Sun Cellular Unlimited sim for this one so it does not have load. Maybe that’s why when I first inserted my globe prepaid sim, I was surprised to see my load decrease significantly.

          • packet data is also internet data which your phone consume every time it connects to the net using your 3G.

            Only use 3G when you need it. There are apps running on the background that regularly connects to the internet if it’s available. It won’t turn itself on when an app needs it as long as it’s unchecked on your settings.

          • avidfan

            Sir tanung ko lng po bakit hindi pa 480p ung resolution ng video recording ng sg ace ko kahit gingerbread na xa tska bat po kahit nasa sd card nkalagay ung apps ko nababawasan pa rin ung internal memory ko salamat po =)

    • inhighdefinition

      yeah, just did so. thank you very much for the prompt feedback!


  • jobelle

    hello po ask ko lang if which is best to buy Optimus one or Galaxy ace.. ok po ba ang cam ng ace compare sa optimus one?? how bout the speed in internet browsing, mas mabilis po ba ang galaxy ace if o.s. po ng optimus one ay gingerbread na??

    • ace is gingerbread na rin. you can’t go wrong with any of the two. same class lang sila ng camera.

      • jobelle

        ah so if binili ko po yung ace nka upgrade na po siya sa gingerbread.. e para po sa inyo which is best to buy galaxy ace(gingernread) or optimus one(gingerbread)

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