Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review: Flying high
Streamlined and feature-rich connectivity
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 has dual-band 3G and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support, with HSPA (14.4 Mbps downlink and 5.76 Mbps uplink).
Moving on, there's stereo Bluetooth 3.0 for fast local file transfers. Then there's Wi-Fi b/g/n support, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and a Wi-Fi hotspot option.
The AllShare app allows you to stream content to and from various devices (TV or computer) over DLNA.
NFC will be available in select models. For charging and file transfers there's a MicroUSB port and a microSD card extension.
Connect to a PC wirelessly with Kies Air
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 comes with Kies Air preloaded. The app connects to the local Wi-Fi network (or it can create a Wi-Fi hotspot) and gives you a URL to type into your computer's web browser.
From there you can manage just about anything on the phone - from contacts, messages (including composing messages), to browsing images, videos and other files straight in your desktop browser. You can grant or reject access to computers and see who's connected to the phone at any moment.
The cool thing is you can stream music with handy playback controls. It works for videos too.
Gingerbread browser is a little behind the ICS/JB curve
The interface of the Android web browser has hardly changed. Its user experience is, as always, flawless.
The browser supports both double tap and pinch zooming along with the new two-finger tilt zoom. There are niceties such as multiple tabs, text reflow, and find on page and so on. A neat trick is to pinch zoom out beyond the minimum - that opens up the tabs view.
Yet another neat trick is the browser-specific brightness setting. You can, for example, boost the brightness in the browser to comfortably view your web pages but keep the general brightness low to conserve battery.
There's Flash 11 support, which means you can watch YouTube videos right in the browser (videos up to 720p worked smoothly) and play Flash games too.
Samsung Hubs - games, Facebook and more
The Social hub we've seen before - it combines your email accounts with social networking (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and email accounts and shows all incoming messages on one list with handy shortcuts to reply, mark as favorite and so on. There's filtering by message source too, to help manage the inflow of incoming updates.
The Music Hub lets you browse music online (with search tools, charts, lists of new releases and so on). You can preview songs (30 seconds each) and buy tracks or whole albums.
Finally, there's the Game Hub, which will quickly become your go-to place for finding new games. The titles break down into Social and Premium, and there's a news section, too. You also get to try before you buy. The nice thing about that Hub is it includes the titles by Gameloft, which are otherwise not available on the Android Market.