Skip navigation

My first android phone – Samsung Galaxy ACE S5830

I hope my review of Samsung galaxy ace will be helpful for many people. I bough this phone from ebay india and got the delivery very fast in Pune from Udaipur vendor. (He took only 2 days to ship the mobile and 1 day by the Blue Dart courier).
I went through lot of web sites before finalizing this phone. It’s a new budget phone from Samsung. I took this phone after comparing it with Motorola DEFY, LG Optimus One (waited for LG Chic for almost 3+ months) and compared it with HTC wildfire. Please remember this is not a highend phone and do not expect a premium features/hardware from this phones. I had a decent budget cap of indian Rs 15-16K (max $350 USD) and inside that budget cap I was looking for maximum features/facilities.
   Phone came with headphones, battery, additional white color plastic back, a charger and USB cable to connect it to computer, 2 GB MicroSD card, leather pouch and manual CD’s. I was wondering if I need to take a backup of my contacts from SIM, but after inserting my SIM android software quickly integrated everything. I installed facebook, twitter app and android identified correct people there numbers, facebook details and twitter details under one name!
    On most of the web sites incorrect information has been reported about memory. This phone has 278 MB of RAM and 181 MB of storage. Phones graphics quality is very neat, clean and crysp. The touch response is very smooth and fast as well. You don’t need to hard press to generate the required touch. Phone auto rotates the screen if you hold it horizontally. Phone really surprised me at first when the entire battery drained out in just 6 hrs. However googleing on how to improve the battery life of android phones and I found good links improve the same. I turned off the other GSM network search and only limited it to 2G. I have Idea sim card. I also installed a widget to enable/disable wifi, gprs, sync features in one tap. Reduced the brightness of the screen and in last 6 hrs I have only lost one battery bar! So I can assume it worked well.
I installed following apps: (Updated on 6 March 2011)
1. Opera browser – Far Better than default browser + Sync all bookmarks with desktop
2. Adobe acrobat reader – PDF file reader ( Better than ThinkOffice PDF reader)
3. barcode scanner – Scan any barcode and get info instantly
4. compass – Incase if you are lost
5. Google sky map – Visit universe from your mobile
6. twitter – For twitting from mobile
7. facebook – !!!
8. ASTRO file manager – Browser enter mobile file system
9. ConvertPad – Convert various formats to other formats
10. Air control light – I’m addicted to this game, land all airplanes on airstrip safely
11. skype – Call anyone over internet for free! ( Via wifi, your other contact needs to be on skype too!)
12. talking tom – My daughter loves playing with Tom
13. SeamanPlayer – Default player is good but this plays any format thrown at it!
14. Solitaire (With FreeCell) – Card games, just to kill time
15. Dropbox – Sync all files between desktop, laptop with mobile
16. Goggles – Identify/Search any product by just taking a photo of it!
17. xPiano – Play a piano on your mobile
18. KeePassDroid – I use this on desktop, laptop to store all passwords, works on linux, windows, mac and android one file on all platforms!
19. SoundHound – Search any song, details of it by just allowing it to listen for 15 sec!!!
20. GuitarTuner – Tune your guitar in case you have one!
21. Samsung IM – GTalk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo under one roof
22. Samsung EMail – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, MS Exchange email under on app
23. Raging Thunder – Car racing game
24. Weather Widgets – This shows weather of my home town (Pune)
25. Instant Heartbeat – Gives your current heartbeat
26. Solo Lite: Again a Guitar tuner and Chord position helper
27. Stopwatch & Timer
28. AndroidVNC – To remotely control my home computers from my mobile.
29. World Atlas – Gives information of country.
30. Sky.fm radio – Awesome radio with lot of English music from various Geners
31. Lookout – To secure my phone from viruses and to locate it in case it is lost/stolen
all the mentioned apps are free. I also noticed that I can edit doc,xls, ppt files in ThinkFree office suite that came pre installed with the phone. Phone supports multi touch, phone supports youtube but not the flash that is embedded into websites. Headphone are optimized for better voice quality during call so they dont give great quality sound when you are listining songs, however when I plugged in my creative earphones sound quality was amazing.
Samsung also has provided a software that converted various video formats into mp4 that can be easily played on mobile.
Over all I’m very happy with this phone, considering the budget cap I had.
Here are couple of external links:
Gorilla glass video demo of Ace: http://tinyurl.com/3d9kdxg
Gaming performance of Ace : http://tinyurl.com/3ny39bg
Details of hardware: http://tinyurl.com/4xo72tw
Update [7-Mar-2011]

Based on request some more apps:
1. Smooth Calendar: – Calendar widget that syncs with google calendar
2. Aaj Tak Live – Live news on your android phone
3. Aldiko – eBook reader, manager
4. Angry Birds Rio – Full version of angry birds rio game
5. Android Status – Shows details of your android phone
6. Android Assistant – Shows details of process, cpu, memory, battery info with graphs
7. Blogger and WordPress – Blog directly from your android phone
8. ESPNF1 and F1.com 2011 – Formula 1 racing news, live updates
9. Wapedia – Much better looking Wikipedia for android phone
10. Pulse – Coolest news reader I’ve used
11. Dictionary – Dictionary and Thesaurus access from dictionary.com
12. Flashlight – Use your camera flash as a torch in emergency
13. LED Flash – A bright bulb that glows on screen so that it can be used in emergency
14. Smart Battery Monitor – Monitor the battery health
15. 3GWatchDog – Monitor your GPRS data download’s if you have limit on your plan (I have 2 Gb limit per month)

Update: 11-April-2011
Just upgraded my phone with the latest firmware. My earlier attempt failed when I did it from home. (Rather I should say I canceled it cause it was taking too much time and for my 64KB connection it was too much. so I did my firmware upgrade from office internet which is 12MB/s connection just took 15 min for entire process. )
First I updated my kies (Also imp I did the upgrade from my admin account as normal user failed to fetch and upgrade firmware) Connected the phone via USB and allowed kies to do the firmware upgrade. Attaching the couple of screenshots for everyone reference. At the moment I’ve no clue as to what new changes/fixes have been updated but I’ll update my blog once I’ve noticed it.
Unfortunately I forgot to note down my earlier firmware version number, however the new firmware version is now PDA:KC1 / PHONE:KC1 / CSC:KC1 (INU)
To check your current firmware version dial *#1234#
Before upgrade: (Make sure you have Kies 2.x updated and not 1.5)
Click Image To Zoom
Right after upgrade was complete:
Now Kies shows the updated firmware version on my phone:
Update: 12 April 2011
After the new firmware update so far I have noticed that
1. Earlier my phone used to occupy 191-195 MB of memory that has gone down to 171 MB.
2. Battery life seems slightly improved.
3. Not sure if GUI speed has improved… my GUI was very fast from first day
Update: 22 April 2011 Gingerbread update 2.3.3 is coming to Galaxy ACE and the ROM just leaked here is the news http://tinyurl.com/3vv8rhl
Added few more packages
1. SMS Backup+ – It back’s up your SMS on gmail account with label as SMS and can restore it back if you factory reset your mobile
2. Fontomizer – I changed default font of the phone to Ubuntu looks great and more attractive now!
3. CallTrack: Track all your call history to google calendar.
Update: 3 May 2011
Improving Battery life:
Since everyone is concern about battery life let me update the blog for the same.
To improve battery do following
1. Always charge 100% and discharge fully all the way upto 10% – if you are not sure how much battery is left use some decent battery monitoring tool like “Smart Battery Monitor” Do not rely on default battery indicator as it does not give exact value
2. Turn off GPS and wifi when you are not using it, to do so click on option button when at home screen then notification and quickly disable the wifi and gps
3. Turn off network discovery like 3G if you are using 2G network. To do so click on option button at home screen then click on settings then “Wireless and networks” then “Mobile networks” then check the “Use only 2G networks”
4. Reduce the screen brightness to do so click on option button at home screen then click on settings then “Display” then “Brightness”, set it to minimum as per your comfort.
5. Reduce running too many widgets on home screens they run in background all the time and can drain your battery
6. If you are using Facebook, Twitter, Skype or various email services, increase the time delay between the syncs like once in a day or twice in a day. Or in some cases do not run the auto sync instead rely on manual syncing.
7. Hold the center button for 3-4 seconds and start the task manager and close the running app if it is not in use ( ex: browser/radio/music player) tend to remain running even when you have stopped using it.
It’ll be good practice to always carry the USB cable with you that came with the box, you can charge your mobile by simply connecting it to music system in you car if your music system has USB port! Also you can charge your mobile via computer/laptop by connecting the same cable.
I guess this should drastically improve the battery life. My battery is now lasting for more than day inspite of moderate use of browser,email and phone calls. Remember one thing android phones tend to drain battery bit quicker but its our fault as well, as we tend to use it more or less like a computer!
Ace uptime

Update 15-May-2011:

Screenshot:
To take screenshot of your phone simply hold on back button and then click middle button, your screenshots will be stored into SD card under folder called screencapture

You always need not have to goto Market from your android phone, if your phone has wifi, 3G or GPRS connection on then simply goto http://market.android.com from your computer and make sure you are logged in with your gmail account. Select/Search application and click on install. App will get installed on your android phone!

Here is a cool apps that I found:
If you have always on internet connection and have a large music collection that you would like to access from your android phone simply goto your PC and signup to audiogalaxy.com and install the audiogalaxy app from market to your android phone. Now access your entire music collection from your android phone over wifi, 3G or GPRS.

Here is a very interesting article on New Android users and Battery complain:
http://cnet.co/jZZxvp

Update 2-Sep-2011: Gingerbread

Finally Gingerbread upgrade is available via Kies in India. I just upgraded my phones firmware to Gingerbread via Kies from Froyo. Not a major noticeable change. Found a new default wallpaper, new ringtones. More input method. Samsung EMail and IM is now not available via Samsung apps. However default Email program in ACE can now be configured for Microsoft Exchange/BPOS, Calendar.
NOTE: If you have taken 2G (GPRS) plan and not 3G then you should now select GSM in mobile networks, if you have taken 3G then select WCDMA. Those who have taken both can select Auto mode so that as per area and network mobile will switch between 2G and 3G.
Lot of people asked me that their upgrades have failed in past with low disk space error. Just stumble on a link that clearly says that in order to perform upgrade you must have 3 GB disk space on computer.
Also found one puzzling thing:
Kernel Version: 2.6.35.7-pref-CL518855
root@DELL142#1
Build number:
GINGERBREAD.DDKQ5
Don’t know why it says DELL142!!!!

Here are detail steps available on this blog that you can refer to upgrade your phone from Froyo to Gingerbread. Click here to goto the detail steps.

Click the image to enlarger it:

Update 18-Oct-2011: A new update on gingerbread is now available via Kies. Please update your phones firmware. It is not known what changes/fixes are gone in this update.

Android verion: 2.3.4
Kernel Vesrion: 2.6.35.7-pref-CL561540 
root@DELL148 #1
Build Number: GINGERBREAD.DDKQ6

Update: 16-Dec-2011: I flashed custom ROM on my ACE a month ago but I was pretty busy to even update my blog. Here are some screenshots.
Custom ROM’s: FirstUA

Please find below images of my newly flashed CustomROM (FirstUA) on Samsung Galaxy Ace. Lot of people asked me if internal storage can be expanded. I’ve rooted my Galaxy ACE and have flashed custom rom on it. Also I have truly moved all apps, data on SDCard by formatting a small 2 GB ext4 partition on my SDCard.




Update 22-Jan-2012: Android 2.3.6 will be soon released for Galaxy ACE which is further optimized to give more free memory. Also people have reported that exchange mail client now donot leak memory anymore. Update your phones as soon as update is released via Kies.

Update 4-Feb-2012: This is the beauty of android phone, you can customize them quickly. Following screenshots shows Sony xperia theme on Galaxy ACE. Here is a link from where I got this… Take me there…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: