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Samsung Galaxy J2 Ace

Colours:
Gold
Features:
  • Supports Indian bands
  • VoLTE
  • 8 GB + 256 GB Expandable
  • Dual SIM: Micro + Nano (Hyb...
  • No Fingerprint sensor
  • FM Radio

Specifications

General
Launch DateJanuary 18, 2017 (Official)
BrandSamsung
ModelGalaxy J2 Ace
Operating SystemAndroid v6.0 (Marshmallow)
SIM Slot(s)Dual SIM, GSM+GSM
SIM SizeSIM1: Micro
Network4G: Available (supports Indian bands)
Fingerprint Sensor
Quick Charging
Design
Height144.8 mm
Width72.1 mm
Thickness8.9 mm
Weight160 grams
ColoursBlack, Gold, Silver
Display
Screen Size5.0 inches (12.7 cm)
Screen Resolution540 x 960 pixels
Pixel Density220 ppi
Display TypeTFT
Touch Screenyes
Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)65.86 %
Performance
ChipsetMediaTek MT6737
ProcessorQuad core, 1.4 GHz, Cortex A53
GraphicsMali-T720 MP2
RAM1.5 GB
Storage
Internal Memory8 GB
Expandable Memoryyes
User Available StorageUp to 3.3 GB
Camera
Resolution5 MP Front Camera
Autofocusyes
Physical ApertureF2.2
Flashyes
Image Resolution3264 x 2448 Pixels
Shooting ModesContinuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Camera FeaturesDigital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus
Video Recording1280x720 @ 30 fps
Battery
Capacity2600 mAh
TypeLi-ion
User Replaceableyes
Network & Connectivity
SIM SizeSIM1: Micro, SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)
Network Support4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
VoLTEyes
SIM 1
SIM 2
Wi-Fiyes
Wi-Fi FeaturesWi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot
Bluetoothyes
GPSyes
NFC
USB ConnectivitymicroUSB 2.0
Multimedia
FM Radioyes
Loudspeakeryes
Audio Jack3.5 mm
Special Features
Fingerprint Sensor
Other SensorsProximity sensor, Accelerometer
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Expert Review

Conclusion:

The Galaxy J-series has always been the first choice for consumers who are purchasing a smartphone offline, and with J2 (2016) going on to become the top selling model, it only brings more good to Samsung as a brand more than profits. But, sadly the J2 Ace doesn’t make up for the name and fame of the J-series smartphones. It comes with age old candy bar design of Samsung phones that we have been seeing for years now. And, the display quality and resolution are pathetic in day-to-day usage in today’s standards and an overall performance that is just optimal for first-time smartphone users. Finally, the camera which is capable of performing well only in good lighting conditions are few major let downs. But on the pro side, you will have access to exclusive features from Samsung like the S-bike Mode, Ultra data saving feature and battery optimizations that try to make up for the flaws the device carries.

Though Samsung’s intentions to stay active in all price segments needs to be appreciated, but the pricing strategy is what the company needs to think about. As the Galaxy J2 Ace feels like a smartphone that is overpriced for what it has to offer. So, if you are in the market looking out for a smartphone, do have a look at the competing smartphones from other brands like Xiaomi and Lenovo which offer a better value for money.

Introduction:

Samsung is the leading smartphone manufacturer in India followed by Xiaomi and other brands. The company’s J-series is a successful seller in India and the company has launched the cheapest J-series handset; the Galaxy J2 which rocks the smart Glow notification ring made by Samsung and according to the company, it is the best-selling smartphone in the country. Continuing the legacy set by the J2-series, Samsung has launched the Galaxy J2 Ace; a Made for India smartphone but seems like the company hasn’t put the level of effort and attention to detail that it did with the original Galaxy J2. As the Galaxy J2 Ace lacks the Smart Glow feature, skimps on the SUPER AMOLED display, and many more key features. Despite the criticism for not providing value for money smartphones in the budget segment, Samsung is still trying to stay relevant in the competitive budget segment markets in India. Let’s see how well the Galaxy J2 Ace fares for Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy J2 Ace sports a 5-inches (960 x 540 Pixels) PLS TFT display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6737T SoC clocked at 1.4GHz Quad-Core processor with Mali-T720 GPU. It packs 1.5GB RAM and 8GB internal memory with a microSD card slot for memory expansion up to 256GB. The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box.

In the camera department, the device packs an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.2 aperture, 720p video recording and on the front, it has a 5-megapixel shooter with LED flash, f/2.2 aperture for better selfies and video calls. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS. A 2600mAh battery is on-board.

Design & Display:

Samsung is one of that brands who differentiates its smartphones with the pricing, the entry level segment, the budget offering, the midrange and the flagship. The budget offerings from Samsung always lack important features like the auto-brightness sensor, haptic feedback, backlit capacitive keys and more, but most of all, the biggest complaint is the cheap plastic build that Samsung comes out with its smartphones priced under the Rs. 15,000 range, sadly the Galaxy J2 Ace also falls in the same segment, and hence it comes with a plastic body that we have been seeing over the years. For starters, there isn’t any design change as

well; it packs the conventional age-old rectangle box design that only a first smartphone user might find it attractive. Either the front or the rear panel has undergone any design changes, but the back panel gets this new rugged finish which offers decent grip while holding in hands. We just wish Samsung had stuck with the soft-touch panel seen on the original J2 (2016), which not just gives it a decent in-hand feel, but would also help the ergonomics.

Up front, you have the 5-inch display, and above the screen, you find the 5-megapixel selfie shooter with LED flash, usual set of sensors, primary earpiece, and Samsung branding. Down below, the traditional psychical home button with back and menu buttons placed on the either sides. These buttons like always aren’t backlit nor offer any haptic feedback. The volume rockers are present on the left, while the right houses the power on/off button. On the rear, you find the 8-megapixel rear camera, LED flash, speaker grills, and Samsung branding. Up top, just the 3.5mm audio jack and while on the bottom, the microUSB port, and primary microphone. Strip opening the rear panel gives you access to SIM card slots, microSD card, and a 2600mAh removable battery. Overall, Samsung offers nothing new with the Galaxy J2 Ace regarding design and overall build quality and is certainly not the best of all designs we have seen in this price range.

As opposed to the original J2, the new Galaxy J2 Ace comes with a TFT display instead of the SUPER AMOLED panel. The Samsung Galaxy J2 ACE sports a 5-inches qHD (960 x 540 Pixels) TFT display. The quality of the display panel is strictly average with poor viewing angles and color reproduction. Since the pixel density is too low, text and pictures don’t look crisp compared to other smartphones with HD display in the similar price segment. The brightness levels are out right terrible, accessing the device under broad daylight will be a tough task even after cracking up the brightness to the maximum. The Galaxy J2 Ace also lack the ambient light sensor, meaning you will have to adjust the brightness levels all the time manually, but then again Samsung gives you an option to change the display mode to your liking.

The touch response also seems slow to respond, and we also notice accidental taps while scrolling. Maybe it could have been the sluggish OS optimization too, but the issue persists. Overall, right from the screen quality to the performance of the display, everything seems subpar, we sincerely wish Samsung had gone with the same SUPER AMOLED panel as it did with previous gen J-series phones.

Performance:

The Galaxy J2 Ace is powered by the MediaTek MT6737T SoC clocked at 1.4GHz Quad-Core processor with Mali T-720 GPU coupled with 1.5GB RAM. Not the best chipset and it is one of the most tried and tested chipset in this price segment. There is a visible lag in the U.I during regular day-to-day tasks, and with just default apps running in the background, the device can perform well in multitasking with occasional stutters in the U.I transitions. Also, one can notice a slight delay in opening and closing apps, as the device takes a second or two to respond to taps.

But the good part is that device doesn’t heat up much even after extensive usage. However, it comes with just 8GB internal storage out of which just 4.8GB is available for the user which quickly runs out after installing apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, MX Player and few essential apps. There is no way you can uninstall the default apps, so you are stuck with them taking up space.

Moving to gaming, we tried playing games like Subway Surfers, Need for Speed Run, Real Racing 3, Riptide GP 2 and these games were playable with graphics set to medium if not low. The gameplay wasn’t smooth with frequent frame drops and stutters all the time while we were in the game. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy J2 Ace is certainly not the best performing smartphone we have seen in this price segment, but this is something you have to make peace with if you wish to go with it.

Cameras:

In the camera department, we get an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera with LED flash. The performance of the camera is quite decent as the picture come out with a right amount of details and color saturation when clicked in favoring lighting conditions. We did notice the shutter speed is quite slow with macro and HDR shots and it even takes time to process the image post capturing as well. While in the dim and low-light conditions, the images are with full of noise and grains making it hard to get the required amount of details, however, you can enable the HDR mode to enhance the picture quality to some extent. The focusing is a bit slow to fix the lock, and it also takes the time to readjust once you move from the object.

The front houses a 5-megapixel shooter with LED flash that does a fair job with the selfies and video chats. The level of detail is almost similar to the rear camera despite the lower resolution. Unless you zoom in and look for minutes details, the images look pretty good as long as you click them in good lighting conditions. It comes with gesture support when you can take a selfie by just holding your palm in front of the camera for a few seconds. Overall, the camera performance is strictly average with the quality of images vastly varying depending on the lighting conditions. Hope the company pushes an OTA update to fix some of the issues persisting with the camera.

Battery:

The Galaxy J2 Ace rocks a 2600mAh battery with Ultra power saving modes that Samsung has specially designed for its smartphones. For the most part, the battery lasted an entire day for me with casual use that includes social media updates, emails, a bunch of calls, text messages, streaming movies, listening songs and some occasional photo shoots. But with heavy use, the device could achieve a screen-on-time of just 3-4 hours. It takes around 3 hours for the battery to charge completely from 5-100% as it lacks any quick charging support.

We did our testing with Dual SIM’s popped in, so if you’re a single SIM user, you might get somewhat better battery life depending on the type of use. Additionally, the Galaxy J2 Ace comes with S-power planning feature that will enhance your battery performance when you are running out of juice. You get three modes in total, the Reserve battery for calls; which starts reserving your battery once it reaches the threshold level for calls and messages. Extend the battery time; which extends the battery life up to double the time and finally the forward calls when battery feature which forwards all your incoming calls to another number when you run out of battery.

The device also comes with Ultra power saving mode which bogs down all the smartphone features to basic functionalities like the calling, messaging and the internet. This feature comes in handy in case you want to save some battery life for the end of the day. Overall, for casual usage, the battery should last you an entire day without the need to charge it again, but for heavy users, the device battery performance isn’t up to the mark.

Audio & Video:

The Samsung Galaxy J2 Ace has its speaker located on the rear side beside the rear camera module. The sound quality via the speaker is decent, but it is not the loudest. However, the audio quality didn’t get distorted even after putting it at maximum, but the biggest problem is, as the loudspeaker is placed on the rear side, the sound tends to get muffled when placed on flat surface or if your fingers cover while holding it in landscape mode. The native music app supports various formats, and you can tweak the sound profiles within the music player.

Being a qHD display, playing 1080p videos was a problem considering the device had freezing and sync issues, but that said, 720p videos were playable for the most part unless you try to play the latest X265 format videos which were unplayable even with third-party video players. Overall, the audio video experience on the Galaxy J2 is quite decent, but the loudspeaker placement is not optimal.

Software & Ui:

The Galaxy J2 Ace runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with TouchWiz U.I on top and also with no guaranty to software updates in the future. Now TouchWiz U.I was once considered as the laggy interface on any smartphone, but the interface has evolved a lot over the years, and with the Galaxy J2 Ace, the user interface feels quite stock Android eliminating all the bloat features that were causing the lag.

The interface is still a two-level hierarchy with an app drawer present where all the apps are arranged vertically. It comes with four different themes pre-loaded, but no option to download one from Samsung’s theme store. Feels like a forced limitation considering other Samsung phones priced a little higher than the J2 Ace pack that particular feature. Apart from Google Apps, Microsoft apps come pre-installed as a result of Samsung-Microsoft partnership, and there is no way you can uninstall them if you wish to. Features like the S Bike mode, S Secure, Ultra data saving mode, S power planning are present on the J2 Ace as well; these are the features that aren’t available on other high-end Samsung phones. S Secure is a privacy based app where you can hide or lock apps and secure the Wi-Fi connection. The S-Bike mode is a feature which when enabled alerts the caller that you are driving, but the user can add exceptions too few contacts.

The device comes with 1.5GB RAM out of which around 800MB is available when just default apps are running in the background. As the available RAM is quite decent, multitasking was not a big issue, except for occasional lags and sluggishness visible while switching between apps. Given that the interface isn’t heavily themed, the general U.I transitions feels quite fast and responsive unless you put too much pressure by running too many apps in the background. Overall, the software experience of the Galaxy J2 Ace is good with nice little add-ons in the form of software level features.

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