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Samsung upgrades its Galaxy Ace and Mini with NFC and larger screens

Samsung Galaxy 2 and Mini 2

Announced just a week ahead of the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Samsung has added two sequel versions of their budget Android phones, the Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Mini 2, to its latest lineup. 

“The Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Mini have both been hugely successful handsets for us since they launched last year so we’re excited to be bringing our customers refreshed versions of both devices,” said Simon Stanford, head of Samsung’s UK & Ireland telecommunications and networks division.

The biggest upgrades to both devices are the addition of optional Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities and bigger displays, with the Galaxy Ace 2 bumping up to a 3.8-inch LCD screen from the original Ace’s 3.5-inch and the Mini 2’s 3.27-inch HVGA from a 3.14-inch QVGA screen. The Mini 2’s switch to HVGA adds a larger resolution despite the small screen size change, and will be powered by a single-core 800 MHz processor. Additional specs include 4GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, a 1,300 mAh battery, three-megapixel rear-facing camera, Samsung’s signature TouchWiz interface, and an update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

The Galaxy Ace 2, the more powerful of the two, will also run on Gingerbread with an 800 MHz dual core processor, 4GB of storage, 768MB of RAM, a 1,500 mAh battery, a five-megapixel rear camera, and a second VGA camera in the front. Both devices will enjoy traditional mobile technology such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, and a microSD card slot since their 4GB of included memory is on a rather economic range. The two devices will also have the ChatON messenger application pre-installed as well as a stylish case upgrade, as the Ace 2 will come equipped with a deep blue battery cover and the Mini 2 sporting a bright yellow back.

“Anyone who buys one of these new devices will benefit from even more functionality, including improved processing speeds so they can quickly connect to and browse the internet when they’re out shopping, traveling to work or out with friends,” said Stanford.

If you’re looking to try out the Android operating system or don’t want to spend the big bucks on higher end phones, both devices make for reasonable choices as an entry-level, budget Android phone especially now with improved specs. Though prices are not yet available, but we don’t anticipate it to exceed $300 at the maximum as their predecessors stand at approximately $150-$200 without contract. As a comparison, Samsung’s higher end models such as the Galaxy S II Skyrocket, which comes with a 4.5-inch display, 16GB of internal storage and an eight-megapixel camera among other superior specs, is priced at $600 without contract.

The Galaxy Ace 2 is expected to go on sale in the United Kingdom in April while the Galaxy Mini 2 will be available in France this March before both are introduced to the international market.