Monday, February 14, 2011

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HVGA Android devices are the rage in the budget and mid-range smartphone market in India currently. You just can’t argue with the price and the useability of an HVGA Android phone. Yet, somehow, Samsung manages to sell quite a number of it’s QVGA and WQVGA (Galaxy 5 and Galaxy 3 phones). To add to the misery, the company recently released the QVGA-based Galaxy Pop S5570 as an upgrade to the Galaxy 5, while the QWERTY-keypad toting Galaxy 551 looks to one-up the Galaxy 3’s 240x400 WQVGA form factor with a slide-out QWERTY-keyboard. None of these releases look either promising or interesting. They’re all nice; but they’re all tiny and low-resolutioned. The problem with the low resolution on an Android phone (sorry for repeating this yet again) is that most of the Apps from the Android Market would not run on it. Heck, they won’t even show up for download from the Market. And the whole point of Android is the Market with it’s bucket-load of Apps, right? So click on through to find the basic details and the press photos of this new entrant for Android from Samsung, the Galaxy Ace S5830, which seems to slot in at the high-end of the budget Android market.

Samsung Ace S5830 – Press photos:

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Anyways, soothe the wounds caused by Samsung’s uninteresting releases for budget Android phones, ye pained geeks. Samsung recently announced the Galaxy Ace S5830 for India. If you weren’t able to guess from the title of this post, then yeah - this is Samsung’s first 320x480 HVGA-based Android phone. Right off the bat, the plus points are it’s processor - a Qualcomm chipset humming along at 800 Mhz, with that really good Adreno 200 GPU. The screen size is 3.5 inch (we imagine that Samsung picked up all the old and aging iPhone screens, now that the iPhone has that high-resolution Retina display. For the uninformed, all previous iPhones and iPod Touches have had a 3.5 inch 320x480 HVGA display) which does not bode well for geeks who are enthusiastic about pixel density. Hey - Dell’s got the XCD 35 with a 3.5 inch 480x800 WVGA display. But we aren’t complaining. The only thing is - we don’t know the amount of RAM on this phone. Neither Samsung’s website, nor the GSMArena’s specifications page for this phone lists the available RAM. If this baby has 512 MB of RAM, then the LG Optimus One P500 has met it’s superior, although the Galaxy Ace is slightly costlier at around Rs. 15,000/- But, that’s for the better processor and graphics capabilities. Wouldn’t you pay a few more thousands for that? We know we would.

4 comments:

Samuel Schwartz said...

I have a Samsung Galaxy 551. Though the resolution is low, the usability factor has been excellent. None of the Android Apps on the market have failed (I download a lot!). Have rooted the mobile and installed Live Wallpapers and they run smoothly (on 256 mb RAM). NFS Shift works like a charm (Assassin's Creed HD failed to install though, probably due to the hardware). GPS is spot on and takes only a few secs to show my location. Browsing is hassle free! The pinch and zoom feature has been incorporated well. Touch is too good! The keypad is simply awesome and I bought this model mainly for that. Typing is definitely faster compared to the hunt and peck system of the touch keypads. Not prejudiced because I have one, but the Galaxy 551 performs well in spite of the low resolution.

The Indian Geek said...

Hey Samuel,

Nice to hear from you again! Thank you for your feedback regarding the Galaxy 551. Sorry that we keep harping about the usability of the budget Samsung Android phones. Once you're used to HVGA or WVGA based phones, these QVGA and WQVGA phones are a little difficult to use.

Having said that, we'd like to add that this Galaxy Ace seems to be one of the best budget Android phones ever.

Thanks, again.

vjani said...

Nice review and looks a really great phone for 15k. Please update this post when you do come to know about the RAM, since that is the only area which is stopping me from buying this one. People online are reporting various numbers 158MB(ridiculous I know!), 278MB, 384MB and of course 512MB. Don't know which one is the correct number..

The Indian Geek said...

Thanks for your comments, Vjani. We're glad you stopped by our site.

Yes - the RAM is ultimately game-changing on an Android phone, with it's haphazard multi-tasking. That's one reason that we highly recommended the LG Optimus One P500 in our review (http://www.theindiangeek.com/2011/01/lg-optimus-one-p500-full-review.html); it has 512 MB of RAM, which is the same amount as the current crop of high-end Android smartphones on the market (except the HTC Desire HD with it's whopping 768 MB of RAM).

To try and clarify a bit about the possible RAM capacity - it can't be anything other than 128/256/384/512 (Although the only Android phone with 384 MB of RAM that we know of is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10). The confusion arises because the diagnostic tools such as ASI (Android System Info) report only the useable RAM; for example, most devices with 256 MB of RAM have about 160-180 MB of useable RAM, while smartphones with 512 MB of RAM have about 390-440 MB of useable RAM.

And yes, we'll definitely update this post when we learn of the amount of RAM. If we can get our hands on one of these, rest assured that we'll give it a full drubbing down in one of our Full Reviews.

Thank you.

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