Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review
The Galaxy Ace was Samsung's strongest selling mid-range Android smartphone in 2011/2012, but it has always experienced troubles with an underpowered processor, small memory and poor battery life. So it's good to see a replacement.
Unlike the Galaxy Ace Plus, which didn't quite pull it off, the Ace 2 is a worthy successor to the Ace. It delivers everything we need from a mid-range Android phone.
The Ace 2 is slightly less boxy in its appearance than the Ace, and has added a couple of millimetres to its length and width. It doesn't feel large though, thanks to being just 10.5mm thick. It's rather plasticky in feel, like all Samsungs, but seems pretty robust and shouldn't be prone to scratches unless treated really badly. The additional few millimetres have been employed to good effect, increasing the screen size to a more respectable 3.8 inches. The number of pixels has tripled to 800 x 480, making the display much sharper and clearer, especially when reading text or viewing photos.
Inside lots has changed, and all for the better. A dual core 800MHz processor lifts the performance of the device considerably, although it can still lag at times. The memory has also increased dramatically to 4GB, with the option to add a microSD memory card for an additional 32GB. This increase in memory fixes one of the key issues with the original Ace.
Surprisingly the Ace 2 doesn't come with the very latest version of Android. Instead it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, although we anticipate that an upgrade to Android 4.0 will be forthcoming. Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 user interface runs on top of Android, giving you weather widgets and other live info on your home screen. It also makes available a lot of content through its Hubs. Social Hub integrates facebook and twitter with email, instant messaging and texts. Games Hub lets you download games (which look good on the hi-res screen and play well too with the new dual-core processor). Music Hub provides an alternative content source to iTunes.
The 5 megapixel camera is capable, with all the essential features you'd expect, including autofocus and a flash. There's a second front-facing camera enabled for video chat too. Photos and videos look good on the 3.8 inch screen, and the media player is capable of playing 720p HD videos. Audio quality is good via the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Ace 2 comes with Google Maps and is capable of receiving signals from both the GPS and GLONASS satellite navigation systems, so you'll be able to find your way quickly and reliably.
Connectivity is a star feature of the Ace 2. An addition to quadband GSM and dual-band 3G HSPA, the device is Wi-Fi enabled, for the fastest possible data access. It also comes with Bluetooth 3.0, USB and DLNA, and unusually it features the new NFC system for exchanging data wirelessly.
One area where modern smartphones often fail is battery power. The Ace 2 enjoys an enlarged 1500mAh battery, which seems more than adequate for a phone of this type. We're not saying it'll last for a week like phones used to in olden times, but you should get 2-3 days out of it between charges, which is pretty good going.
Phones designed for the middle price range (around £15 per month on contract) tend to play safe. You won't find cutting edge features at this price, but you'll hope to find everything you need without any nasty surprises. This is what the Ace 2 delivers. You might also consider the HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 features include:
- 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash and smile shot
- Video recording, 30 frames/second
- VGA front-facing video camera for video chat
- Display: TFT, 16 million colours, 480 x 800 pixels (3.8 inches) touchscreen with auto-rotate
- Media player (supports HD video playback)
- FM radio RDS
- MP3 ringtones / 64-voice polyphonic ringtones
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- Assisted GPS with Google Maps
- Personal organiser functions
- Processor: Dual core 800MHz
- Memory: 4GB plus microSD memory card slot
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, micro USB 2.0, NFC, DLNA, 3.5mm audio jack
- Internet: Android web browser, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSPA 7.2Mbps
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900), dual band 3G HSPA (900/2100)
- Size: 118 x 62 x 10.5 mm
- Weight: 119g
- Battery: 1500 mAh
- Talktime: 450 - 980 minutes
- Battery standby: 640 - 670 hours
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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 user reviews
Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it. This is a review site, not a forum, so please don't just ask questions. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!
Average rating from 33 reviews:
Reviewed by peter
from derbyshire gb
on 20th Jul 2014
Brill phone has only got 1130ma battery .bought anew one from battery
upgrad3300ma for £19.80 .e .com
Reviewed by Scott
from Northern Ireland
on 15th Jul 2014
got this phone last christmas to replace my blackberry 9320 which i
didn't like and i must say this phone beats the blackberry 100% better
app store and far faster while using the apps as well plus a 5mp
camera with a flash and a vga front camera which isn't bad either and
i've seen people on here saying about the phone freezing yea i had
that problem too a few weeks after i got mine but i done master reset
and it hasn't froze on me since then
Reviewed by Johnny
on 5th Jun 2014
got this phone 9 months ago to replace my broken original galaxy ace
and i must say this phone is way better, has a lot more memory and
better battery life and i like the front camera on it which the ace 1
Reviewed by Hassan
on 14th Feb 2014
I think overall rating should not be more than 3 stars.. However, to
get a good and smooth functional mobile depends on your luck .. I
believe out of every batch there is a certain percentage of defective
mobiles either from the hard or software side.
got one of those defective ACE2 mobile and when it was completely
frozen the company just reformat the device, but the issue is still
I would advise samsung to send those phones back to the
factory for overall repair and not to do these minor remedies for main
ting the company reputation!
Reviewed by mark williams
from u.k (north-west)
on 22nd Jan 2014
I have had this phone since it first come out and i'am still well
impressed!Its a really good phone for the price!It was £180 when
i got it but will be cheaper now!I highly recomand to buy it i have
had no problems whatsoever! Its got a very good camera and videos film
really good quaility! The memory is good with 4GB and i have alot of
photos,videos,music so i now have a 32GB mem card in which will be o.k
forever now! I started with 8GB but filled it with 600 songs and 30
videos and 700photos. I'am on o2 which always gets a really good
signal but you only 500mb data. Which soon goes whrn watching videos!
It works excellent on wifi! I had a small samsung first and then just
an ace! But its worth paying the extra and buying this cause the
internal memory on the ace1 fills up way to quick so your always
deleting stuff and uninstalling apps!Basically the ace1 was a waste of
time and shud never of got it still set me bk £130 very
disappointing screen scratched really easy! anyway all i say about
phones is you get what you pay for. So don't bother buying cheap ones!
The ace2 a defo buy and would buy it again! All i neef need to do now
is update to jellybean! but alot of reveiws say it slows your phone
down so might leave it for now. This phone is alot better then most if
you buy it you won't be disapointed! go for it!!!!
Reviewed by Brian
on 3rd Jan 2014
Battery Life on my phone is dire, 24 hours with very little usage.
Screen option and legibility okay but keyboard is too small for my
fumbling fingers. This is my fourth Samsung Galaxy supplied under
guarantee, think I am just unlucky!
Generally I agree with the second review here. I have been advised
that I should go more 'up market' and I will!
Reviewed by Shawn
on 24th Dec 2013
Headphones were designed by a moron!!! Non adjustable and the Right
ear bud is 1/6 the length of the left ear bud... making the user look
like an idiot ... It is such a simple fix but Samsung decided to skip
over it. I'm changing phones, a company who cannot take 5 minutes to
fix earphones clearly does not value their customers.
Reviewed by Helen
on 9th Dec 2013
Had the Ace 2 just over a year and loved it... until I updated the
operating system! Now it constantly freezes, runs really slow and is a
complete pain. For example, I set the navigator before I set off, to
avoid distractions at the wheel by having to program it on the way. 2
min into the journey it froze then crashed - after trying to get it up
and runnnig again while stationary at lights etc, I arrived at my
destination before it started working again.
The battery now also doesn't last a day. It's full of a load of
pre-installed apps I can't remove, which uses up the memory space
preventing my from installing stuff I actually want. Very, very
Reviewed by M G Webley
on 24th Nov 2013
Have had my Ace 2 for nearly 2 years & it's ticked all the boxes for
me!! Never had any problems at all either!! I'm patiently awaiting the
official UK Jelly Bean upgrade......if it doesn't happen, I'll be
seriously considering an Ace 3 with 4G!!
Samsung products are all top quality in my opinion :-)
Reviewed by Sreejith
on 15th Oct 2013
Reviewed by Nathan from Ireland on 10th Sep 2013
got this phone just last week and i must say it's alot better than the orginal
galaxy ace "which i had before this phone" better battery life, better camera,
faster when using the internet and android 4.1 instead of 2.3
Reviewed by Mrslebon from UK on 5th Sep 2013
Bought to replace my broken Samsung galaxy s3 mini. Not disappointed. The upgrade
to jelly bean recently has slowed it up, despite doing a hard reset, which has
helped a little. Was better with previous version. Why do people keep saying
there's no zoom on camera?! Side key and on-screen zoom! Battery ok, not much
difference to s3 mini. A good phone for the price :-)
Reviewed by Mark from UK on 29th May 2013
Took my galaxy ace 2 phone back to 02 for refund.
* the phone has no light indicator showing a text message.
* the battery life is very poor.
* no zoom for camera.
Looking for a new smart phone....
Reply by Stephen from England on 4th Aug 2013
Battery life is okay for a smartphone if signal is good, but no indicator light
for fresh texts and email is stupid. As a left hander I am always hitting the
volume button especially at finish of calls. Why is the least needed button
the easiest to operate when you don't want to? Would not get one again. There
is zoom on camera, tap screen in camera mode and drag the bar.
Reviewed by simon from Northern Ireland on 25th Apr 2013
This is my first samsung and i have to say great phone.
If you want an easy to use phone this has got to be it.Does all that i want
from a phone.very good phone at the price.
Reviewed by yen from NW England on 12th Mar 2013
So, after a kit of reading and knowledge of phones now I got this, mostly on
the count of price value for the spec.
My old phone was a hTC Desire which was good in its day but lots have surpassed
it as,we all know.,
I've gained more memory,a few more features and a different shape.
I wasn't looking for a massive phone which is the only way to get good specs
- my pockets only so big; how about a really good phone in 4'3 size hehe manufacturers?
Some bad things things about the Ace 2;
Slippy to hold,
800 dual core may be good = 1ghz is better Samsung!,
I miss the button pointer from the Desire,
No zoom on camera is near criminal!
Other than these points its a good phone.
Reviewed by crailman from England on 5th Jan 2013
I got this phone after being fed up with the quirks of HTC Wildfire. It is much
quicker on wi-fi, but has different quirks. Very slow to move between screens
for calls, so not quick to dial out. Connection after dialing is slow. Predictive
text is weird, but switch it off and it does I in lower case every time, comma
is on 123 keyboard option.
Camera very slow, auto flash is not, camera reverts to no flash everyone you
close it. Too easy to hit ring volume button when putting phone away. Why are
these called smart phones? Other than that great***!*
Reviewed by mike waite from uk on 20th Dec 2012
Only had ace2 for 48hrs it wont let me answer calls.manager at everything everywhere
says I have a faulty thumb, its not phone fault. cust.svcs not interested, now
diverting all calls to PAYG is only way of answering but stuck in 2yr contract!
DO NOT DEAL WITH EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE/ORANGE THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED IF YOU
HAVE A FAULT. Please help if you can, email: email@example.com. Thanks
Reply by Chris from UK on 23rd Dec 2012
Isn't that an Orange issue as opposed to a phone one? Every product will be
faulty occasionally. Perhaps this site should look at differentiating between
Reviewed by Rosie Hibbs from UK on 12th Nov 2012
Have just got my Galaxy Ace 2, great phone, not as big as S3 or as featured
but fine for what I want, fits in my pocket too, and can access mail, facebook
and other web pages
Reviewed by Pete from UK on 5th Nov 2012
I used to have the Sony Xperia P which due to a daft accident on my part is
sadly no more. So i bought myself a quick replacement in the Ace 2. The only
things this beats the 'P' at are: expandable memory, and, er, thats it. The
camera is a big disappointment on the Ace 2 and i just cant get used to the
touchwiz UI, dont get me wrong, if i was used to a Samsung, this would be fine,
however i'm more used to Sony now and will go back to them first chance i get.
Add an extra star to my review if Samsung is more for you
Reviewed by Declan from Ireland on 26th Oct 2012
Downgraded from an SII to the Galaxy Ace 2 and so far I have no regrets. the
build quality is stronger, better signal, good call quality, plays music in
good quality once you use the right earphones or headphones. Got it for less
than £150 new and is great value for money. Get this one, you won't regret it.
Found out that there will be a upgrade to Jelly Bean soon so don't be put off
if it's on Gingerbread (which is still good). Also, I found that the battery
life is stronger compared to the SII.
Reviewed by Darius Saulenas from UK on 23rd Oct 2012
It's one of touch screen phones more affordable than other with the same specifications,
I would rate it between 3-4. It has android 2.3. which is slightly older than
android ginger, I guess samsung is saving money with renovations. Well I'm having
this phone for 6 months, and started having some small technical issues: 1)
android system brakes down quite often, so restart is needed 2) sometimes my
sim-card stops receiving the signal?? Some positive things: it has 5 mpx camera
which makes quite nice pictures 2) easy to upgrade memory 3) there is GPS quite
useful 4) price compare to other models Unfortunately the phone has just 800
MHz processor and it's quite slow for present standards
Reviewed by Ryan from England on 8th Oct 2012
Had this phone almost a week and love it. Very bright screen, excellent quality
pictures for a 5mp camera. Runs gingerbread instead of ICS but Samsung have
confirmed the Ace 2 will get Jelly Bean in the near future. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by mike amery from uk on 4th Oct 2012
what a great phone and it did nt break the bank to buy it it has everything
you could want in a phone and I have seen other phones which are a lot more
exspencive but not as good as this little bute I would recomend this phone to
anyone buying a smart phone it does the job and the battery is very good love
Reviewed by Declan from Ireland on 13th Sep 2012
Got this Sim Free. Everything you want in a phone. The screen is just as good
as the more expensive items. Reception is not an issue, battery life seems strong
enough, call quality is great. Music player is just as good as Apple's products.
I'm using it as a Sat Nav and get a good GPS signal also. Worth getting, once
you're not fussy that it doesn't have ICS.
Reviewed by declan delaney from UK on 5th Sep 2012
Had the S2, but sold it. Bought this instead. The screen is clear, good in call
volume and reception. Found that battery life is stronger. Tried the video recorder
and the picture and sound quality were better than expected. Music player is
fantastic and won't let you down. No need to fork out £400 plus on other phones.
This is a great all rounder.
Reviewed by Vinny from U,K on 30th Jul 2012
I bought the Ace 2 on O2 PAYG, and it is a fantastic smart phone. It feels really
solid and you can easily navigate through the menus with one hand. I manage
to get 2 days out of the battery and that's with using the internet, listening
to music and playing games. The music player is great, and games look really
good on the screen.
If your looking for a smart phone that can do all the the latest stuff, then
look no further. Get the Galaxy Ace 2. Best phone I've ever had.
Plus, Ice Cream Sandwich will be rolling out pretty soon too.
Reply by Ryan from England on 8th Oct 2012
Ace 2 won't be getting ICS its moving straight onto Jelly Bean so even better.
Reviewed by Andrew from UK on 18th Jul 2012
Had the Ace 2 for a couple of weeks now and on the whole I'm very happy with
it. Fancied a change from my iPhone 4 and am enjoying the move to Android. The
one issue I have is disappointing battery life. I could get over 2 days with
the iPhone 4 but I struggle to get through a day on a full charge with the Ace
2 despite having some features (bluetooth, wi-fi etc) only switched on when
necessary. That apart it's a great phone for the money (sold my iPhone on ebay
to pay for this and nearly made £100 profit!)
Reviewed by jon herbert from uk on 7th Jul 2012
Got the ace 2 two weeks ago, haf to get it replaced due to a dead picel on the
screen, only had replacement two days and same thing again ..... Not impressed
going to have to call again to get replaced... It is a shame as the phone is
Reviewed by Isobel from Preston on 30th Jun 2012
Just bought an Ace 2, and to say I'm impressed is an understatement. My husband
has always been a fan of Samsung phones, but I've always been a bit apprehensive.
Well I'm not anymore. It responds amazingly quick, and the swype texting is
so easy to use. I don't recommend gadgets easily but I'd highly recommend this
phone, its outstanding. Go out and get it!!!
Reviewed by bethan from UK on 30th Jun 2012
I ordered this phone from 3 on contract and its really good, the screen dims
when Im running out of battery so it can squeeze out the last bit of battery
power, but still allowing you to see!Gingerbread software is good and better
than the aces' also it is faster than the ace and the design is possibly more
robust, I would really reccomend this phone, you can get a £13/p/month contract
for the ace so I rang up and instead 3 gave me the ace 2 for the same deal,
with A.C.E data, 5000 texts, I cant remember how many minutes? but the phone
is great, I would really recommend it, because it has everything you need plus
great deals and it isnt going to break the bank! lol :D
Reviewed by jayne from england on 20th Jun 2012
I have just purchased this phone and love it. but can anyone till me if there
is a zoom on the camera cause I can find it lol
Reply by katie from scotland on 2nd Jul 2012
u zoom in using ur fingers. put 2 fingers together on the touch screen and open
them that should zoom out. to zoom in again just close ur fingers back together
Reviewed by Jon from UK on 8th Jun 2012
I notice on Samsung's web-site that NFC is listed as an option...
Will the O2 supplied versions of the Ace 2 definitely ship with NFC hardware?
Reply by c128 from UK on 11th Jun 2012
To answer my own question: I've just received a Galaxy Ace II from O2 and NFC
is either not present or its disabled somehow... I'd understand that from a
contactless payments point of view, if the carrier doesn't support it, but you
can't use the NFC ability of the phone in any other way either (tag readers
etc. don't work) :-( . I guess this might be sorted by an OS tweak, or maybe
a custom ROM, if the hardware really is there, but that's not something I want
to be doing with my new phone. I mention this just in case anyone else buys
it PAYG from O2 and expects NFC to be working out of the box.
Reviewed by Annon from UK on 1st Jun 2012
Spec is incorrect. The Ace 2 has no digital zoom.
Reply by Mobile Phones UK from UK on 2nd Jun
Thank you - you're right. We've corrected the spec now.