Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830 review: Ace in the hole

GSMArena team, 23 February 2011.
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The gallery still downsizes the images

The Samsung Galaxy Ace comes with the stock Froyo gallery. It has good functionality, cool 3D looks and nice transition effects, but unfortunately (again) only shows a downsized version of your images.

Images and videos placed in different folders appear in different sub-galleries that automatically get the name of the folder, which is very convenient – just like a file manager.

The different albums appear as piles of photos which fall in neat grids once selected. If you have online albums over at Picasa those show up as separate stacks as well.

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The gallery certainly is a looker

Alternatively, you photos can be organized by date with the help of a button in the top right corner, which switches between grid and timeline view.

In grid view, there’s a date slider, which can also be used to find photos taken on a certain date.

If you are checking out a photo, you can use the tabs at the top of the screen to jump back to the main gallery screen, without having to go through its folder.

The gallery supports finger scrolling or panning so you can skip images without having to return to the default view. Just swipe to the left or right when viewing a photo in fullscreen mode and the previous/next image will appear.

Thanks to multi-touch support pinch zooming is also enabled on the Galaxy Ace but you can also double tap or use the +/- buttons.

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Looking at a single photo

There are tons of options for a picture – you can crop or rotate it directly in the gallery. The Send feature offers quick sharing via Picasa, Email apps, Bluetooth or MMS.

Basic video player

The player on the Samsung Galaxy Ace can handle 3GP and MP4 video files. DivX/XviD support is missing, but at least we had no problems playing videos at up to WVGA resolution.

720p videos wouldn’t play, but that’s overkill on a HVGA display anyway. But you’re not limited to the Galaxy Ace display. Thanks to DLNA you can view photos and videos on compatible hardware – like TVs or computers with the right software (the latest version of Windows Media player for example).

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The Galaxy Ace video player

The video player interface itself is as simple and as it could possibly be – there almost isn’t one. You can use the Gallery or the My Files app to browse videos. The on-screen controls boil down to play/pause and skip buttons as well as a scrollable progress bar.

TouchWiz music player

The Samsung Galaxy Ace has the TouchWiz music player. The sorting options are displayed in a tabbed interface: current playlist, all tracks, playlists and albums, artists and composers. You are free to remove some of the filters to make the interface easier to navigate.

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The music player has benefited greatly from the TouchWiz UI

In addition, Samsung have enabled equalizer presets on the Galaxy Ace along with DNSe.

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Now Playing view • Landscape mode • settings

The great feature that allows you to quickly look up a song on YouTube or via Google search is also available. The handset also prompts you to select whether to look up the artist, the song title or the album. What’s even better, the YouTube search results are loaded straight into the YouTube client.

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Quick search options • Equalizer and DNSe settings • the notification area shortcuts

The thing missing is the fancy Disc View from the Galaxy S lineup.

Good audio quality

Samsung S5830 did pretty well in our audio output quality test. The thing is great when used with an active external amplifier and decent when a pair of headphones is plugged in, which is better than its price tag suggests.

An active external amplifier lets the Galaxy Ace show its full potential and achieve great scores. Not only is the Samsung smartphone pretty loud, it also has no weak points whatsoever.

Unfortunately the degradation when headphones come into play is pretty severe. Loudness falls down dramatically and the stereo crosstalk raises notably. The intormodulation increases too and the general performance drops from impressive to average.

And here come the full results so you can see for yourselves:

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace+0.11, -0.47-84.986.80.0250.084-82.1
Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace (headphones attached)+0.82, -0.22-84.586.70.0830.628-42.3
LG Optimus One P500+0.17, -1.69-85.687.20.0210.301-86.2
LG Optimus One P500 (headphones attached)+0.19, -1.36-85.486.90.0210.643-46.5
HTC Aria+0.12, -0.58-84.586.90.0220.172-85.4
HTC Aria (headphones attached)+0.37, -0.15-87.090.40.0260.400-52.3
Nokia C6-01+0.07 -0.37-88.288.10.0073 0.017-89.4
Nokia C6-01 (headphones attached)+0.48 -0.25-88.187.80.016 0.362-71.7
Samsung S8530 Wave II+0.02 -0.04-90.990.90.017 0.026-92.3
Samsung S8530 Wave II (headphones attached)+1.21 -0.27-90.790.50.021 0.701-49.7

Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace
Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

FM Radio

The Samsung Galaxy Ace is equipped with an FM radio with RDS. The interface is simple – there’s a tuning dial and you can save as many as 4 stations as favorites. You can also play on the loudspeaker, but the headset still needs to be plugged in to act as an antenna.

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The FM radio app

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