The all-plastic Samsung Galaxy Ace measures 112.4 x 59.9 x 11.5 mm and weighs 113 grams. It looks even slimmer than the numbers will tell you, because of its all-gloss black body and rounded edges.
Compared to the compact Star II though, it looks much bigger, but it’s still pocket-friendly.
Samsung has put no effort in experimenting with the Galaxy Ace design and there is nothing out of the ordinary. Quite the opposite though, after a quick look at the Ace you’ll notice the uncanny resemblance to the iPhone 4.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace screen is bright enough with vivid colors (for an LCD unit) and has decent viewing angles and okayish sunlight legibility. There’s no ambient light sensor so the brightness isn’t automatically adjusted – there’s no handy brightness toggle in the notification area either. Like most capacitive touchscreens, the Ace is tuned to register even the gentlest presses and we had no issues with its sensitivity.
Above the display, there is the proximity sensor, which blends well with the surrounding surface.
Below the display there are three keys only – the touch-sensitive menu and back buttons are on either side of a hardware home key. A long press on the menu key launches the search field, so in effect users have a dedicated search key. As usual, pressing and holding the home key activates the task switcher.
The only thing of interest on the left side of the Samsung Galaxy Ace is the volume rocker. It’s almost flush with the surrounding surface and is comfortable to use.
The power/lock key on the Samsung Galaxy Ace is placed high up on the right side of the handset. It is a bit hard to reach but Samsung has used this spot on many of their handsets, so it shouldn’t be much trouble for those who come from another Samsung smartphone.
The hot-swappable microSD card slot is also on the right, protected with a small plastic lid.
On the top side of the phone there’s the microUSB port (covered by a plastic lid) and the 3.5mm standard audio jack. As with any other Andrid smartphone, you can charge the handset over a USB connection.
The glossy black battery cover of our pre-release unit is subject to change as the just released press photos show a different back panel. It’s got a matte finish and some sort of patterned texture.
The 5-megapixel camera lens and its LED companion are on same spot though. The loudspeaker grill is just next to them.The camera on our test unit was malfunctioning, so we won’t be able to provide you with camera samples at this stage.
Below the battery cover is the SIM card slot bed and the 1350mAh Li-ion battery. It’s quoted at 640 hours of standby (in 2G, 420 h in 3G) and up to 11 hours of talk time (in 2G, 6 h 30 min in 3G). We haven’t had a chance to test its performance though.
Samsung Galaxy Ace is reasonably sized and remains pocket-friendly despite its 3.5-inch display. It’s well built and the tapered edges make it comfortable to hold in the hand. Aesthetically, the only thing that bothers us is that the Galaxy Ace looks a bit like a cheap iPhone knock-off, rather than a Samsung Galaxy member with a distinct styling of its own.
The galactic exploration of the Android OS starts right after the jump.