Happy Diwali !

Have A Great Time this Diwali !

This Diwali, may you be blessed with 
Good Fortune as long as Ganeshji's trunk, 
Wealth and Prosperity as big as his stomach, 
Happiness as sweet as his Laddoos and
Your Troubles be as small as his mouse ! 

Review : Samsung Galaxy Ace

Most of my friends know that I am a big fan of iPhone. So it may come as somewhat of a surprise that I ended up getting an Android phone. The Samsung Galaxy Ace to be exact. 

Lock screen on my Android

One of the main factors for going in for this phone was the cost - at a bit over 13K INR it is almost a third cheaper than the iPhone4s which is still not available in stores in India. Another factor was that I wanted to try out Android programming. 

The most often asked question that I get from people is how do I find the Android OS and the phone after having used the iPhone 3G over the last 3 years. Here is my review. 

My main criteria in looking for a new phone was as follows : 
- Android 2.3 as that is the current latest OS for phones available ( Samsung just launched with aOS4, but it is not yet available in India). 
- Within 15k INR
- Have a camera with a flash
- Be able to create a wifi-hotspot 

The ACE in my research came out to be good on all counts.

Now onto the actual review broken into categories. Comparisons are based on my experience with iOS4 on iPhone3G, iOS5 on my iPad, and Android OS 2.3.4 on the Galaxy ACE.

Notifications
Notifications on the Android rock ! The multitasking and background processing is phenomenal. Whether you are on gtalk, or twitter or facebook, any updates that you get are instantly displayed on the top notification bar. iOS5, with its new shiny notification system does not match up to Android in terms of notifications.

User Experience. 
Android still needs to go a long way in terms of user experience to match up with iOS5. The experience on my old iPhone is still better than the new phone. The screen transitions, the font rendering , the display of graphics is just so much better on iOS than aOS. Lets take the simple case of double tapping in a webpage. On the iOS it expands that table or div element to span the screen perfectly. Easy to read now. However, on the aOS, it just expands to what it thinks is a readable size which gets the lines to go out of the screen ! Horrible ! 

Battery Life
The 3 year old iPhone has better battery life than the few weeks old Ace. It is probably due to the fact that I can have multiple background services running, while the iPhone3 cannot multi task at all. the iPad has the most amazing battery life so far - i can get through a week with it.

This is my biggest pain point as of now. My current work involves me being on calls for quite a bit during the day, and I cannot get through a full work day on one charge alone . To be fair my work day is long - 10am -10pm kinds.

Edit : Battery life is horrible! 

Music quality 
Both are good. The speaker on the ACE is louder than the iPhone.

Camera
The Galaxy ACE wins hands down. the 5MP camera does great pic and video recording and also has a flash. However, the iPhone4s has an amazing camera which will beat the Galaxy Ace to pulp. 

Unprocessed pic of a view in Dehradun with Mussorie hills in the background. 

Earphones
Typically people do not pay much thought to it, but the default earphones with the Galaxy Ace actually hurt the ears. I need to get a new one. The default earphones with the iPhone on the other hand are very comfortable. 

Customization
The aOS allows for many customizations that you cannot even dream of in the iOS. For instance below is my home screen on the phone - the date and calendar widgets are down loaded from the app market. iPhone gives much better apps, but the screen layout by itself is limited. 

A customized home screen

App Store
Here, the apple's appstore is much better. The categorization and browsability - either throught the phone or itunes is much much better than Android. If you want to just browse apps in android, you will get lost. Its better to figure out what you want and then search for it. Also the quality of apps is much better on the iOS than on the aOS. Lets take the case of the facebook app - it is much better on iOS.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to price. If price is a constrainging factor, the android based phones - like this Galaxy ACE is total value for money , paisa vassol. If however, you are not constrained by money, then the iPhone4S is an amazing device to get.