Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos review: Pocket rockets

GSMArena team, 07 August 2012.
Pages: 123456789

Gingerbread with TouchWiz topping

The Galaxy Ace Duos S6802 runs on the rather outdated Android Gingerbread 2.3.6 and has Samsung's custom TouchWiz launcher. The Broadcom processor is clocked at 832 MHz, and there's 512 MB of RAM onboard. While this is a common range among most Samsung droids in the lower end of the spectrum, Samsung usually opt for a CPU of the Scorpion variety. And with ample reason - the Broadcom BCM21553 has a noticeably difficult time keeping up with what you're trying to do.

Perhaps this is due to the extra manufacturing costs imposed by the additional SIM card, but it seems that Samsung have opted for a cheaper processor to keep the price low, and this has cost them in terms of performance. You can see for yourself in our brief video of the device in action:

The lockscreen of the Ace Duos has the usual integration of missed events with shortcuts to the relevant apps. Missed calls and incoming texts are displayed but not emails. The lockscreen can be removed by swiping in any direction. Pressing the power/lock button brings up the lockscreen in about 2-3 seconds, taking so long as to make you unsure of whether or not you've pressed it, which can get aggravating.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos S6802 Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos S6802
The standard Gingerbread lockscreen

The homescreen accommodates tons of widgets with lots of functionality. You can have up to 7 homescreen panes, each identified by numbered dots which appear when side-scrolling. A pinch on the homescreen zooms out to an aggregate view of all active panes, which can then be rearranged, deleted or added.

Widgets, shortcuts or folders are added by a press and hold on an empty spot on the homescreen, or by hitting on the contextual menu key and selecting the Add option. Here, you can select which of the above categories to add via onscreen menus. No widget previews are given, and you cannot resize widgets either.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos S6802 Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos S6802 Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos S6802 Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos S6802
The Galaxy Ace Duos homescreen Editing the homescreens Adding widgets

The app launcher lets you rearrange apps however you like, but you cannot filter by downloaded apps or favorites, and there's no list view. You cannot create additional folders or pages either.

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The app launcher Rearranging an app

There are four shortcuts docked at the bottom of the screen that are visible from both the homescreen and the app launcher. From left to right they are Phone, Contacts, Messaging and Applications. A press and hold lets you drag any of them to the homescreen.

The task switcher on the Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos is launched by a long press of the Home key. It has a shortcut to a custom task manager, which not only lets you kill apps one-by-one and in bulk, but offers plenty of stats on installations, RAM usage and storage.

The Task Manager comes with a handy Program Monitor widget, which shows you the number of active applications right on the homescreen.

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The Android task manager

Most of the time, Android does really well when it comes to managing apps by itself (in fact, some claim that using a task manager is detrimental to the performance of a phone), so you should only need the task manager to occasionally kill a buggy app.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos runs on a single-core 832 MHz Broadcom BCM21553 processor with integrated GPU and has 512 MB worth of RAM. The device itself performs most touch-based tasks with a delay of about a second, which can be annoying, particularly if you're used to a faster smartphone.

Linpack tests pure processing speed and, as expected, the Ace Duos struggled to match, let alone outperform devices in its class. The two devices it did beat, the Galaxy Y Duos and Galaxy Ace, both came out in 2011.

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    19.9
  • HTC Explorer
    15.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    10.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    10.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    10.3
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    9.9

In a class where poor 3D performance is almost a given, the Galaxy Ace Duos hits rock bottom. NenaMark 2 tests the GPU speed, and 11 frames per second means that apps and games with intensive 3D graphics are going run terribly on the Ace Duos.

NenaMark 2

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    15.4
  • HTC Explorer
    15.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    13.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    12.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    11

In SunSpider and BrowserMark, our two browser tests, the Ace Duos again managed a poor score. Browsing is noticeably laggy while webpages are loading, and Flash content is a no-go, due to the outdated ARMv6 CPU.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    5911
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    9061
  • HTC Explorer
    10784
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    11966
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    11996
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    12105

BrowserMark

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    33994
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
    27844
  • HTC Explorer
    22464
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    22085
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    20338
  • Samsung Galaxy Y Duos
    19634

The performance of the Ace Duos leaves much to be desired, and we attribute much of this to the Broadcom BCM21553 processor. The Galaxy Pocket and Galaxy Y Duos also share the BCM21553, and their poor showing backs up our theory.

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