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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Samsung I8160 Galaxy Ace 2 Sim Free Mobile Phone
Colour: Black|Change
Price:£149.97+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 12 February 2013
I am a bit of a late adopter in the smart phone market. Kept hanging on and telling myself that I did not need one. What would I use it for? I hardly ever made phone calls on my previous mobile, let alone used the radio it had or the camera (actually, the camera was a useful feature).

Anyway, I eventually pursuaded myself to get a smartphone and then started the immense task of choosing one! There are so many. Thankfully, I did not want an iphone (price tag or status symbol). I also did not want one of these mini-tablet things that people seem to be getting nowadays. I also did not want the most basic version available. Hence, the options became more limited since I wanted a mid-range and mid-sized phone. Had to be Android (of course!), but not necessarily the latest version. I wanted a sim-free one so I could swap sim if abroad and so I could use my current sim here in the UK.

This phone ticked all the boxes. Samsung is a world leader in the electronics market and their phones have a very good reputation. This one has an upgraded screen, processor and memory relative to the original Ace. I also got a "nearly new" one from Amazon, which although it did not have the original box, came with leads and charger together with some basic instructions, together with a large discount! The phone itself looked like new. Not a mark on it.

I just love the good sized display, which is crystal clear and even very small text is easy to read. It has two cameras, GPS, wi-fi, bluetooth, etc, etc. The list of features is almost endless! I am finding new uses for its "smartness" all the time and I am soooo pleased to have decided to get it. The only problem I found so far is that I failed to answer the first call I got on it, since I did not realise I had to "swipe" the green button to answer. I kept prodding the virtual button with my finger and eventually the call was missed! I thought that there must be something wrong with the phone, but once I read the instructions, all became clear. It seems I am not as smart as the phone.... D'Oh...!!
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on 7 October 2012
This is a very good phone. Easy to use, even for a novice to smart phones. Inserting the SIM card was O.K. the phone takes an old large SIM card I removed from my old NOKIA phone. The menus are quite instinctive to use. On screen keyboard is easy to use with the finger, or the stylus I bought as a seperate accessory with the phone. Connection to the network was O.K. once I got used to scrolling the menu to the right item, because it was not showing on the screen at first. Signal has never dropped out in use. Sound quality is better than my old NOKIA. Early days yet but battery life seems good compared to my old NOKIA.
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on 21 December 2012
This is my third android phone, first was HTC Hero, then HTC Desire HD (which died after 1.5yr for no reason). I also considered the Samsung Galaxy S3, S3 mini and the Note 1&2 as well as the Nokia Lumia series. Even briefly considered an iPhone5 until I saw the Sim-free price and had a panic attack.
In my opinion, between 150 and 200 quid this is pretty much unbeatable. Had a good play with it and can't fault it much. Here are the positives as I see it:
1) Cheap for a sim-free android phone
2) Light and compact, unlike some gargantuan monsters available.
3) Very crisp and bright screen, I can't make out individual pixels so effectively "retina"
4) Very slick and responsive interface, no lag at all prob thanks to the dual-core processor
5) Takes a cheap microSD to store all your pics/video/music
6) Screen/phone size is great compromise between pocketability and useable real-estate (noticeably bigger than iPhone4)
7) Serious sized battery for enough juice on the go
8) Very compact charger (euro version)
9) Will receive an Android 4.1 upgrade in the new year courtesy of Samsung
10) Google android Play market trumps App store and Nokia/Windows for range of useable and low cost/free apps.
11) Google maps right out of the box unlike the ridiculous IOS6
12) Connectivity: Wifi-direct, Bluetooth, Wifi-hotspot
13) GPS chip and navigation
14) HD video playback is really decent and easy to copy over from a PC (unlike Apple stuff)
15) Camera is good enough for A4 document scans and has flash
16) Front facing camera for Skype etc
17) Looks well made and fairly premium
18) Plastic construction more likely to survive a drop and other punishment
19) Android OS allows you to access folders of files and doesn't cripple really useful apps like Dropbox unlike IOS.

1) no Near Field Comms chip
2) doesn't support Apple airplay
3) Comes with a few unnecessary apps you can't delete
4) No auto-brightness
5) Built-in speaker a bit feeble (for music etc)

Checked a few online reviews of this phone and it has been heavily scored down as it has an older Android version Gingerbread (2.3). This still actually works great and Samsung have in any case announced a 4.1 update for this phone in due course. The camera is not as superior as an iPhone4/5 but then this is less than 1/3 of the price!
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on 18 May 2017
Package was delivered by royal mail and was meant to be signed for, I found it outside my front door next to the rubbish bin not even a card through the door.
Now to the phone, If my girlfriend didn't need a phone so much I would have sent it back, the phone had been hacked to allow the addition of other appz which slowed the operation of the phone to a crawl, on many occasions the phone locked up solid because of the small amount of memory and the 150 plus appz running on the phone and this is how it came to me. I wont be buying one again as maybe sometimes its better to buy new.
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on 26 June 2012
I really like this phone, its fast and responsive to the touch. I use it for email, light browsing, some games, maps and of course as a phone. It is more than adequate for these things.

The only niggles I have are:
1. I keep pressing the volume bar and changing the sound whenever I click the power button (which are on opposite ends of the phone), or use the camera. I would have liked the power button to be on the top of the phone.
2. The battery is only ok. It will last two days on very light use or 1 day if you use it often. I suggest disabling the wifi, and data network when you are not using the phone.
3. The details for the phone state is has 4GB internal storage and 768 Mb RAM, however when I go to the memory settings, I can see only 2GB (1 GB system storage and 1GB USB storage) and RAM shows as 555MB.
4. This one is not an issue with the phone but with Android apps. Most apps you download either want to access your phone details (status, id, number and who is calling), your contact list, calendar, your location, or all of the above even when the app is just a game like solitaire. So far I have resisted installing any of those apps and only choose the ones that need the most basic rights. It would be good if you could prevent apps from accessing your personal data unless you authorise them.

The reasons I bought this particular phone as opposed to all the other mid range ones out there:
1. It was the only phone I could find that had front side camera for under £250 and was a newly released phone. I thought this would be standard on most phones but it's not.
2. The video promo for the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 shows it will be Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) upgradable.
3. Memory upgradable. I bought a 32Gb micro SD card for £20 and now have all my music on there with huge amount of room to spare.

The front side camera is important not only for video calling, but because of Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). That upgrade will allow you to unlock the camera using facial recognition, so you can just look at the phone and it will unlock. Also software exists to prevent the screen from going into screen save mode when you are looking at it (eg, reading a book or watching a video).

Apart from the face recognition, the ICS upgrade provides for full encryption of your phone. This means I don't have to worry about personal data if someone steals the phone. There are other features that ICS brings which improve the usablility of the camera and from what I've seen the interface is more slick.

I'm still waiting on ICS so I hope I'm not disappointed.

It bothered me that my phone specs were different to what Samsung and Amazon has on their website so I contacted Samsung support and this is what I have learnt so far and my progress in getting an answer:

1. I've learnt that Samsung support is one of the worst I have encountered.
2. 28th June - I contacted email support with the simple question about memory specs of the Galaxy Ace 2.
3. Samsung asked for more info. I raised another web ticket with the required info.
4. 6th July - Samsung emailed with response to contact mobile support number.
5. 9th July - 20 minutes on call . . . could not answer my question. They would call back.
6. 11 July - Called Samsung support as I never received return call. 20 more minutes of futility.
7. 12 July - Decided to snail mail them using a first class stamp.
8. Nothing so far. . . Still waiting for an answer. . .
9. 11 Sept - Surprisingly out of nowhere got a call about the phone from Samsung. Had to go through the whole thing again. They said that there could be hidden memory used by the OS which is why half the memory is not shown. The support person mentioned that NFC was available but probably needed a software upgrade (ICS). Also, that sometimes phone specs are different for each region. So basically, I don't believe I got a proper answer. If a phone company is selling its phone based on its specifications, then those specs should be verifiable.

UPDATE 2 : JUNE 2013
Finally (after 1 year) the phone firmware has got an update. It's bypassed ICS and gone straight to Jelly Bean OS. v4.1.2. Feels like a new phone.

Notes on the update:
- You will need to install Samsung Kies software on your PC and connect your phone via the usb cable.
- Ensure that the software is fully patched and updated. The first few attempts to update the firmware of the phone failed until the Samsung software fully updated itself.

After updating the firmware to Jelly Bean there were a few things I notice:
- I had to reconnect to all my WiFi connections again (put in passwords again).
- My screen layouts were reset.
- I used the mini notes widget on gingerbread, but this doesn't appear to be part of jellybean, so I lost my sticky notes.
- I also noticed email doesn't update every thirty minutes (as specified in my sync settings). I have to manually refresh to check for new emails. Still googling for answers on that one (I tried deleting email accounts and re-adding them to no avail).
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on 21 June 2015
there was a few more scratches than was led to belive but the phone works as new so happywith it
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on 12 August 2017
Product received in acceptable condition. Functioning well after almost a year.
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on 24 March 2015
brill my sons second one loves it
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on 13 October 2017
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on 8 October 2013
When it came to upgrading my phone I ditched the blackberry and went for the Ace 2, feeling slightly smug as my wife went for the iphone and paid more a month on contract for the privileged. That was 15 months ago, now she's the one feeling smug as my Ace 2 has become the most useless bit of kit I own. All was reasonably well until the Jellybean upgrade was issued, within hours of installing the phone became slow, unresponsive and failed to perform the most basic of tasks, like keep running without crashing. After lots of hunting on the net it became apparent that I was not alone in the experience. The problem appears to be that the Ace 2 was never built to take jellybean, it just cant cope. No official way back to Gingerbread and of course nothing that Samsung could do to help. After a a few weeks of these issues an update was released and this released some memory but its still pretty dire. The phone needs to be reset daily and if you want to watch a video or more recently take a video then a reset beforehand is essential to getting it to work. Since upgrade it also can no longer cope well with my multi access point wifi setup and needs to be signed in to each one as I move around the house, before Jellybean no problem and of course the iphone just laughs at my Samsungs inability. To summarise not a day goes by in our house without me swearing at my Ace 2, would I buy another Samsung - No, next time Apple gets my money because whatever you do with my wife's iPhone it just keeps working. It would appear there is a very good reason why things with the fruit on cost more....they work.
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