Samsung Galaxy Ace Android phone (preview)

Samsung Galaxy Ace: A mid-range Android smartphone that may be an ideal first step into the world of Android

Samsung's flagship Galaxy S II might steal all the headlines this year, but the company has not neglected its other Galaxy phones. The Samsung Galaxy Ace is the latest in the Galaxy range — it's a mid-range Android phone that has a 3.5in capacitive touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera.

Read our guide to the best upcoming smartphones in 2011 and see other top Samsung phones.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace aims to bring all the features and functions of Android to a compact handset at an affordable price. The Galaxy Ace runs the 2.2 'Froyo' version of Google's Android operating system, has a 3.5in capacitive touchscreen and features the now standard connectivity set of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G. The Samsung Galaxy Ace is a Telstra-exclusive, so it will obviously work on Telstra's 850MHz Next G network.

Mid-range Android phones like the Galaxy Ace will offer most of the functionality and features of flagship models like the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Atrix, with most of the cuts coming in the display, the processor and storage. However, the Galaxy Ace's 3.5in capacitive screen is nothing to sniff at, especially when you consider the screen is the same size as the iPhone 4, and although it has limited internal memory (158MB), the microSD card slot makes up for it. Its 800MHz processor is also no slouch — at least on paper. It obviously won't match the performance of this year's flagship dual-core Android phones, but it was never intended too.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace includes a number of pre-loaded apps such as Navigon's turn-by-turn GPS navigation app, Exchange Active Sync compatibility for corporate e-mail, and the Swype keyboard that allows you to draw your fingers over the letters you want to type in a single motion. The Galaxy Ace also comes with Samsung's Social Hub app that combines social networking, contacts, calendars and messaging activity into a single inbox.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace is available through Telstra stores or online. It will sell for $528 outright or can be purchased for $0 upfront on Telstra's $59 freedom connect plan. The plan includes $550 worth of calls, unlimited text messages and 1.5GB of data per month. The Galaxy Ace is also available on a range of Telstra business plans.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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