The original Samsung Galaxy Ace was quite a popular phone, even though it wasn’t the best in the milky way. Now, Samsung has brought its cousin brother out for the Indian market. The Galaxy Ace Duos sports a dual SIM slot and comes with a 3 MP camera (the original had a 5 MP camera with LED flash) without LED flash. With these ‘features’, does the Galaxy Ace Duos justify its price tag? Let’s find out.
Design and Build Quality
There’s not much that has changed here – this phone has the exact same looks as the Ace with the addition of an extra button for dual SIM configuration. The same 3.5-inch screen has been retained with a pixel resolution of 320 x 480. The look and the feel is exactly like the S5830, so if you want more fodder in this section, you can head over to our Galaxy Ace review.
Looks the same as the original Ace
Features and Performance
With the addition of a second SIM card slot you get more icons on the top of your screen and some more settings in the connectivity options. But still the phone is powered by the same 800 MHz processor with 158 MB of internal storage and 278 MB RAM. It’s got Samsung’s TouchWiz UI onboard and is sadly one of the slower phones in the market at this price range. Not too impressive on the spec front, either, but in terms of plain usage, with time, the phone tends to get frustratingly slow making multitasking an absolute no brainer.
We put it through a few synthetic benchmark tests as well and here are the results. In AnTuTu, the Duos got a score of 1626 points, which puts it well below the HTC Explorer, but above the LG Optimus Net – two phones that are much cheaper than this one. In Linpack, we got a single thread score of 9.49 points and a multi thread score of 8.418 points.
The one thing we really loved about the Duos was the media department. The same interface look that we saw on the Wave Y Young is present on the Duos as well. Custom enhancements, 5.1 channel sound and a good pair of in-ear headphones means that you’ll be rocking to the tunes. Format support is limited, just like the original Ace, but you have third party apps to counter that problem. The Ace Duos was unable to play 720p videos, but that’s a limitation you’ll have to live with.
Here’s where the Galaxy Ace Duos stands out from the other Androids in the market. Err, did we just say stand out? This section more or less exposes the shortcomings of the Duos. Firstly, it’s got dual SIM card support, which means you can slot in a primary CDMA card and a secondary GSM or CDMA card slot.
Both SIMs can be active at the same time, so that’s good as well, but here’s the important part – there is no Internet access for the GSM SIM card. So, the only thing you can do with your secondary SIM card is make voice calls and send text messages. Downer, right? Yes, because that in itself greatly limits its target audience. Unless you’re going to be sticking to your CDMA card as your primary one, you don’t really have a valid reason to buy this device. It’s also important to note that though the other dual SIM phones (like the Spice Mi-350n) we reviewed didn’t support GSM + CDMA, they did have Internet access for both. Now, back to the regular stuff. The phone comes with Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and GPS. The dedicated dual SIM button let’s you quickly configure your network and SIM options.
No Internet for GSM!
If you’re using Internet on CDMA, though, you’ll be happy to know that the Duos comes with EVDO Rev A, which in English means 3G CDMA. Yes, it’s super fast on CDMA, but has no data connectivity on GSM. Another big problem we had with this phone was locking on to Wi-Fi signals. Just like the Sony Tablet P, the Duos had problems in staying connected to Wi-Fi from a set point, where other phones had absolutely no problem. In call quality is fairly loud and the loudspeaker does a good job as well. As far as browsing is concerned, you won’t be able to play flash content.
Samsung have bundled in a SIM/UIM Toolkit along with ThinkFree Office and Samsung Apps that let you get access to their Mobile TV application. Besides that, everything is pretty much stock Android.
Surprise, surprise! The original Galaxy Ace had a 5 mp with LED flash, but this one comes with a 3 mp shooter. The one thing that’s common is that like the previous shooter, this is equally bad in terms of quality. While low light snaps are an absolute no go, even outdoor shots are at best, average. Why the downgrade, Samsung? The video quality is limited to a meagre 320 x 240 resolution.
The Ace Duos comes with a 1650 mAh battery and under normal usage, your battery will last you about three fourths of a day. In our loop test with only one SIM card running, we managed to get eight hours of total usage, which is pretty average considering, other phones (like the Xperia Pro) came with a 1500 mAh battery and showed a better chart. Video playback clocked in at seven hours and forty minutes.
You'd rather look at other options
The Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos is priced at Rs.16,900 (MRP). This model is definitely targeted towards existing CDMA users. The drawbacks, include a not-so-quick-for-the-price-you’re-paying phone interface, no Internet for GSM card slot, Wi-Fi issues and a downgraded camera sans flash. At this price tag and with these drawbacks, the Ace Duos is just too expensively priced and we’d recommend you check out other options to cater to your CDMA smartphone needs.
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