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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review

 Review: May 2012  

Last updated April 2013

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 is an impressive mid-range phone, delivering the power of Android without any major compromises.

Today's best buy: Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 (i8160 ... from Amazon (£0)



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:

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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 (i8160 ...
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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 (i8160) ...
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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 user reviews

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Average rating from 36 reviews:

Reviewed by mohamed from india on 7th Aug 2015
I have installed samurai 2 vengeance game on my samsung galaxy ace 2 but when i start the game it quit and gave a notification that the game has un expectedly stoped please give me a solution.

Reviewed by P. Snook from UK on 20th Jul 2015
Purchased my Galaxy Ace 2 years ago. Phone works OK but the Photos will no longer transfer from Galaxy Ace to my Computer. Why, what can be done to fix this.

Reviewed by Anna from Scotland on 23rd Nov 2014
I have owned this mobile for just over a year now, and has lasted well looks wise. I have dropped it many times and the screen has been totally fine, proving that this phone is very hardcore. It worked fine when I first got it, but shortly after it started playing up... it become increasingly glitchy, kept freezing, and apps would often crash. I had a friend with the same phone, and the same problems, yet mine were 10 times worse. I phoned up the samsung repair, and they recommended factory data reset, and that worked at first, but after a couple days became just like it had done before. factory data reseted it once again, and it did nothing. So I sent the phone away to be repaired, and when it came back, a letter came with it saying the problem had been fixed. But it was clear within minutes that the same problems were still present. The problems have now got worse and worse, and I find it hard to work the phone now, and i'm not willing to send the phone away again. Will be looking into getting a replacement.

Reply by Matt from England on 27th Dec 2014
I know exactly what you mean. My Ace 2 was perfectly functional until it did an Android systems update in January 2014. Since then Apps freeze, the App widget says there's apps open when they shouldn't be. Google Play opens on it's own when I don't use it, sending texts can take some time (sometimes it can take up to 15mins for a sent text to reach the recipient). I went to the Samsung shop, who did a data flash on the phone, this cured it for about 2 days. I've returned it to O2 for repair twice and again, it was fine for a few days then back to the same thing. It's a good phone but the intermittent problems are a pain. I like Samsung phones and I will get another when I upgrade in 2015. I beginning to think it might have something to do with SD card. So I might get a new card and see if that resolves the issue.

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 from England 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 didn't have

Reviewed by Hassan from Canada 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.
Unfortunately, I got one of those defective ACE2 mobile and when it was completely frozen the company just reformat the device, but the issue is still there!
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 from UK 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 from Canada 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 from England 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 disappointed.

Reviewed by M G Webley from England 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 from pathanamthitta(kerala) 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: m.waite27@ntlworld.com. Thanks Mike

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 the two.

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 it".

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 really good

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 2012
Thank you - you're right. We've corrected the spec now.

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