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Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 10/28/2014

Now even cheaper. The price of the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is below 200 Euros (~$250), which is 70 Euros (~$88) cheaper than its predecessor. You still get LTE and even some improvements like a larger display. But is the Ace 4 only cheaper, or is it also better?

In Review: Samsung Galaxy Ace 4. Review sample courtesy of Cyberport.

For the original German review, see here.

We really liked the Galaxy Ace 3. The high build quality and the bright display were only two of the positive aspects. Now Samsung offers its successor, which is consequently called Samsung Galaxy Ace 4. The smartphone is now cheaper because the competition offers less expensive entry-level devices as well. Slightly thinner, a slightly larger battery, a textured back cover, but otherwise the changes are small. Is that enough for a good performance in the entry-level segment?

This segment is actually pretty crowded: For less than 200 Euros (~$250), and with 5-inch displays you can get the HTC Desire 510Desire 310LG L70Nokia Lumia 630Motorola Moto GSony Xperia E1 or the Huawei Ascend Y530.

Case

Nice, thin and with a removable battery.
Nice, thin and with a removable battery.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 basically has not changed compared to its predecessor. The standby button is now at a lower position, otherwise you can only see a difference when you look at the back: The back cover now has a textured stripe. This improves the grip and feels convenient. There is an additional silver manufacturer's logo for a sophisticated quality look. Speaker and flash have switched places and the camera is not squared with rounded edges anymore, but is round.

The case design still has rounded edges and a silver frame, which results in a sophisticated look. The color choice is limited to dark gray and white. The stability is very good: Pressure on the front and back does not result in picture distortions. You can still remove the back cover, which gives you access to the SD slot, SIM slot and the replaceable battery.

The device is now even thinner than its predecessor at 9.1 millimeters (~0.36 inches), but the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is slightly heavier than the Ace 3: The smartphone weighs 126 grams (~4.4 ounces).

Connectivity

The differences of the connectivity with its predecessor basically concern the SoC and the integrated graphics solution. The other specifications are identical: 1 GB of memory8 GB of storage, a micro USB 2.0 port at the bottom and a combined stereo jack at the top. You can get access to the micro SIM slot and the micro SD slot after you remove the back cover.

Left side: Volume rocker
Left side: Volume rocker
Right side: Standby
Right side: Standby
Bottom: USB 2.0
Bottom: USB 2.0
Top: Combined stereo jack
Top: Combined stereo jack
Under the cover: Battery, micro SIM slot, microSD slot
Under the cover: Battery, micro SIM slot, microSD slot

Software

The operating system was updated to Android 4.4, and like every other Galaxy model, you get the TouchWiz user interface. The latter is intuitive to operate, and offers numerous new or extended features, even though they are not as comprehensive compared to the more expensive Galaxy versions. At least you can still choose between different modes for the picture, there are numerous assistants for visually and hearing impaired users and the excellent ultra energy-saving mode, which can manage good runtimes with a weak battery.

Samsung does not include many apps, but you get several preinstalled apps from online shops, at least you can remove them without any problems.

Communication & GPS

The Galaxy Ace 4 is even more versatile with regard to connectivity than its predecessor. The latter already supported the fast LTE standard, and this has not changed in the successor. All mobile standards now support more bands, so you can make calls and browse the web in more countries all over the world. The transfer rates of the LTE module now meet the Cat. 4 standard, with up to 150 Mbps downstream and up to 50 Mbps upstream.

The WLAN module can establish a connection with 802.11 b/g/n networks. The signal quality with a distance of ten meters (~33 ft), and through three walls is average: The indicator varies between 3/4 and 1/2. Another two meters (~6.5 ft), and another wall, result in 1/4 up to 1/2, but web pages are already loaded noticeably slower. Another highlight of the Ace 4 is NFC, which can be used to establish connections to other devices in close proximity.

You quickly get a signal outdoors.
You quickly get a signal outdoors.
Indoors not so much.
Indoors not so much.

The GPS module also works with the Russian GLONASS network. It does find some satellites indoors, but the signal is too weak to locate our position. It only takes a couple of seconds before the first satellites are found outdoors, and our position is quickly located down to three meters (~9.8 ft).

We want to check the performance and take the smartphone on a bicycle ride in the forest. We use the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500 for a comparison. The Galaxy Ace 4 shows 400 meters less (~1312 ft) for the complete track, and the location dropped out at the bridge crossing, so it seems we are flying above the crossing street. The position in the forest is not correct, either.

GPS Galaxy Ace 4 – Complete
GPS Galaxy Ace 4 – Complete
GPS Galaxy Ace 4 – Bridge
GPS Galaxy Ace 4 – Bridge
GPS Galaxy Ace 4 – Forest
GPS Galaxy Ace 4 – Forest
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Complete
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Complete
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Forest
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Forest

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

The phone app is visually modified, but it is very similar to the standard Google app in terms of functions. You can add favorites and combine contacts in groups. Overall, this is pretty intuitive.

The voice quality is okay, but the other person complained about a slightly muffled sound and hissing sounds. The voice on our end is slightly tinny as well, and not as clear as high-end smartphones. The playback via the integrated speaker is good: The maximum volume is high, and the sound is clear.

Cameras & Multimedia

Like its predecessor, the camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels, but the front camera has received a small update to 1.3 megapixels. Now it is at least suited for fast selfies if you do not expect a very high quality.

Taking photos with the camera at the back, results in pretty average pictures, which shows the potential for improvement with regard to the depth of field and color reproduction in particular. The auto-focus is pretty slow too.

At least the software offers some modes like continuous shooting, panoramas or even a night mode. The latter brightens up the picture without the flash, but the exposure time is increased, which means you have to hold the smartphone very still to get a sharp picture. We did not manage that, despite several attempts. Full HD videos cannot be recorded, the highest possible resolution is 1,280x720 pixels and the quality is decent.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the zoom step. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories

Samsung provides a headset, a USB cable and a power adaptor with a permanently installed cable. This obviously has the disadvantage that you do not necessarily have a USB cable if you take the power adaptor with you and you have to think of two parts. Special accessories for the Galaxy Ace 4 are not available.

Warranty

Samsung offers a 24-month warranty for its smartphone.

Input Devices & Handling

We already know the virtual keyboard from other Galaxy devices; it has a simple and clear layout with sufficient spacing between the individual keys. You can only access the numbers if you switch to the symbols. Another option is to swipe over the keyboard  and you can then dictate via Google's voice input. Overall, the handling of the keyboard is reliable both in landscape and portrait mode.

The touchscreen supports inputs of up to 10 fingers simultaneously. It is precise up into the peripheral areas and does not have problems with multi-touch gestures. However, a very sensitive mode, which would allow the handling with gloves in the winter, is not available.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

Display

Look at the display, and you can quickly see a big difference with the Galaxy Ace 3: The successor is equipped with an AMOLED display, while the predecessor still used a standard LCD panel. However, the resolution has not changed: 800x480 pixels are still the maximum. This can result in slightly frayed fonts and the overall picture is not as sharp compared to higher-resolution screens. Still, the sharpness of the display is adequate.

AMOLED displays are known for rich colors and an infinite contrast ratio, because black pixels are actually not illuminated. LCD panels on the other hand, usually have an advantage in terms of brightness, which is the case here: The Galaxy Ace 4 only manages an average brightness of 339.2 cd/m² and therefore occupies the last place within our comparison. The brightness distribution is at least very even with 92%.

353
cd/m²
339
cd/m²
330
cd/m²
349
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
328
cd/m²
355
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 355 cd/m² Average: 339.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 336 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.19 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.75 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.36
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB SSD
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8930, 8 GB SSD
HTC Desire 510
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB SSD
LG L70
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Nokia Lumia 630
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB SSD
Screen
-36%
-108%
-34%
-22%
-10%
Brightness339430
27%
371
9%
339
0%
350
3%
417
23%
Brightness Distribution9286
-7%
80
-13%
91
-1%
91
-1%
89
-3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *5.197.02
-35%
12.13
-134%
7.17
-38%
7.19
-39%
4.83
7%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *3.758.63
-130%
14.77
-294%
7.42
-98%
5.63
-50%
6.2
-65%
Gamma *2.362.772.422.51.972.6
CCT7152 91%7355 88%17097 38%10363 63%6293 103%8364 78%
Black Level *0.490.370.520.730.54
Contrast935959665486817

* ... smaller is better

However, the AMOLED display actually scores with its contrast: In theory an infinite contrast ratio and a black value of 0.0 cd/m² make it possible. The results are glowing colors of the panel, and black areas really look like deep black without a gray film.

The color presentation compared to the reference color space sRGB is pretty precise, which we can determine with the software CalMAN and a special measuring device. You can only see a minimum blue cast with brighter shades of gray, the average DeltaE deviation of the grayscale from the ideal value is 3.75, which is a very small value compared with the rivals. Based on our experiences, you can reduce this value even further if you choose one of the other settings that Samsung provides. Colors are a bit too rich in the adaptive mode, but we actually like that. The colors are less saturated in the "Simple" mode.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker

Even though the colors are very bright on the panel, the maximum luminance of the display is limited. This, combined with the reflective surface, can make it tricky to use the smartphone under bright sunlight. Cloudy days on the other hand, are no problem for the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4, and using it in bright indoor environments is no problem, either.

AMOLED displays usually have no issues with the viewing angle stability and the Galaxy Ace 4 also benefits from this: The viewing angles are perfect in every direction; the picture is perfectly visible even from very flat angles.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The SoC of the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is called Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 and consists of a dual-core processor with a clock of 1.2 GHz. This SoC is also used inside the HTC Desire 510. It provides a 64-bit architecture and a much better per-MHz performance than the SoCs from the comparison devices.

This is also visible in the synthetic benchmarks, where the HTC Desire 510 is on a similar level, but the other devices fall behind significantly. The performance advantage over the predecessor is clearly noticeable, and is sometimes over 70%.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
474 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
432 Points ∼9% -9%
HTC Desire 510
475 Points ∼10% 0%
LG L70
325 Points ∼7% -31%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
341 Points ∼7% -28%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
1413 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
788 Points ∼5% -44%
HTC Desire 510
1421 Points ∼9% +1%
LG L70
608 Points ∼4% -57%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
1169 Points ∼7% -17%
Linpack Android / IOS
Single Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
110 MFLOPS ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
25.251 MFLOPS ∼2% -77%
HTC Desire 510
105.717 MFLOPS ∼10% -4%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
88.432 MFLOPS ∼9% -20%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
219 MFLOPS ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
146.922 MFLOPS ∼5% -33%
HTC Desire 510
259.487 MFLOPS ∼9% +18%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
225.792 MFLOPS ∼8% +3%
Smartbench 2012
Productivity Index (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
6346 points ∼34%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
2599 points ∼14% -59%
HTC Desire 510
6053 points ∼32% -5%
Gaming Index (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
4266 points ∼93%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
3505 points ∼76% -18%
HTC Desire 510
4259 points ∼93% 0%
AnTuTu Benchmark v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
21404 Points ∼27%
HTC Desire 510
20041 Points ∼25% -6%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB SSD
 
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8930, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
HTC Desire 510 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB SSD
 
LG L70 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8210, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 630 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD

The situation is similar to the graphics solution Adreno 306, only the HTC Desire 510 with the same SoC can keep up. The other comparison devices clearly fall behind. We use the battery test of the benchmark GFX 3.0 to see if the SoC can maintain its performance over a longer period or if it throttles after prolonged periods of load: The GPU benchmark is repeated 30 times and the performance is monitored at the same time. The result of 15 frames per second is identical to a single run, so there should not be any problems with throttling under load. We also check the performance in different games in the section Gaming Performance.

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
4565 Points ∼2%
HTC Desire 510
4626 Points ∼2% +1%
LG L70
3687 Points ∼2% -19%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
4399 Points ∼2% -4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
3985 Points ∼1%
HTC Desire 510
4037 Points ∼1% +1%
LG L70
3545 Points ∼1% -11%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
4068 Points ∼1% +2%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
9304 Points ∼15%
HTC Desire 510
9458 Points ∼15% +2%
LG L70
4289 Points ∼7% -54%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
6150 Points ∼10% -34%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
15 fps ∼25%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
15 fps ∼25% 0%
LG L70
12.7 fps ∼21% -15%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
11 fps ∼18% -27%
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
5.3 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
5.5 fps ∼1% +4%
LG L70
4.3 fps ∼0% -19%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
5.7 fps ∼1% +8%
GFXBench 3.0
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
8.2 fps ∼11%
HTC Desire 510
8.4 fps ∼11% +2%
LG L70
5.9 fps ∼8% -28%
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
1.8 fps ∼0%
HTC Desire 510
1.8 fps ∼0% 0%
LG L70
1.3 fps ∼0% -28%

The performance situation is not as clear when you browse the web. The Galaxy Ace 4 can leave many devices behind in the synthetic benchmarks, but it loses against the other smartphones in the JavaScript benchmarks "Kraken" and "Sunspider". However, the Galaxy Ace 4 was always fast during everyday web browsing and we could not notice any problems with JavaScript-based pages or applications, either.

WebXPRT 2013
Overall Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ (Chrome 38)
201 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
152 Points ∼7% -24%
HTC Desire 510 (Chrome 35.0.1916.141)
200 Points ∼9% 0%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
150 Points ∼7% -25%
Nokia Lumia 630
138 Points ∼6% -31%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
188 Points ∼8% -6%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
1602.2 ms * ∼18%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
2332.9 ms * ∼26% -46%
HTC Desire 510
1423.2 ms * ∼16% +11%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
1970.3 ms * ∼22% -23%
Nokia Lumia 630
2075 ms * ∼23% -30%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
1699.8 ms * ∼19% -6%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
112.27 ms * ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
4950.4 ms * ∼41% -4309%
HTC Desire 510
3133.9 ms * ∼26% -2691%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
5098 ms * ∼42% -4441%
Nokia Lumia 630
5885 ms * ∼49% -5142%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
3045.7 ms * ∼25% -2613%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
2006.2 ms * ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
1798.7 ms * ∼48% +10%
HTC Desire 510
2080.3 ms * ∼56% -4%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
2379.1 ms * ∼64% -19%
Nokia Lumia 630
2429 ms * ∼65% -21%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
2218.7 ms * ∼59% -11%
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
1895 ms * ∼40%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
2723 ms * ∼57% -44%
HTC Desire 510
2016.4 ms * ∼42% -6%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
2484.7 ms * ∼52% -31%
Nokia Lumia 630
2738 ms * ∼57% -44%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
2074.4 ms * ∼43% -9%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ (Chrome 38)
1173.2 ms * ∼29%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R (1.0.2)
1233.8 ms * ∼31% -5%
HTC Desire 510 (Chrome 35.0.1916.141)
1264.8 ms * ∼31% -8%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
1169.8 ms * ∼29% -0%
Nokia Lumia 630
1412 ms * ∼35% -20%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
1413.8 ms * ∼35% -21%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
2555 Points ∼6%
HTC Desire 510 (Chrome 35.0.1916.141)
2717 Points ∼6% +6%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
1746 Points ∼4% -32%
Nokia Lumia 630
1085 Points ∼2% -58%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ (Chrome 38)
14555.4 ms * ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
18650.1 ms * ∼31% -28%
HTC Desire 510 (Chrome 35.0.1916.141)
14332.3 ms * ∼24% +2%
LG L70 (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
16461.2 ms * ∼28% -13%
Nokia Lumia 630
25790 ms * ∼43% -77%
Vellamo 3.x
Browser (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
1982 Points ∼26%
HTC Desire 510
2139 Points ∼28% +8%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
1234 Points ∼33%
HTC Desire 510
1226 Points ∼32% -1%
Metal (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
799 Points ∼22%
HTC Desire 510
767 Points ∼21% -4%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ (Chrome 38)
2798 Points ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
1561 Points ∼8% -44%
HTC Desire 510
2759 Points ∼14% -1%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
1641 Points ∼8% -41%

* ... smaller is better

Except for the very fast storage of the Motorola Moto G, none of the comparison devices can keep up with the Galaxy Ace 4 in terms of storage performance. It is also remarkable that it is consistent at the top in all four tests.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
96 MB/s ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
40.34 MB/s ∼8% -58%
HTC Desire 510
86.15 MB/s ∼18% -10%
LG L70
53.09 MB/s ∼11% -45%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
103.28 MB/s ∼21% +8%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
16 MB/s ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
2.99 MB/s ∼2% -81%
HTC Desire 510
7.29 MB/s ∼5% -54%
LG L70
6.82 MB/s ∼4% -57%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
12.54 MB/s ∼8% -22%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
11 MB/s ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
6.56 MB/s ∼5% -40%
HTC Desire 510
8.55 MB/s ∼6% -22%
LG L70
9.83 MB/s ∼7% -11%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
13.61 MB/s ∼10% +24%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
1.5 MB/s ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
0.31 MB/s ∼1% -79%
HTC Desire 510
1.05 MB/s ∼2% -30%
LG L70
0.63 MB/s ∼1% -58%
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
2.52 MB/s ∼5% +68%

Gaming Performance

GPU-demanding games are no problem.
GPU-demanding games are no problem.

Games are no problem for the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4, even very GPU-demanding titles like "Asphalt 8" can be played smoothly. One reason for that is obviously the low resolution, so the GPU is not stressed that much. Simpler games are obviously no problem, either.

Emissions

Temperature

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 does not get as warm as the Galaxy Ace 3 under load with an average temperature of 32.4 °C vs. 36 °C (~90.32 °F vs. 96.8 °F) from its predecessor. A maximum warming of 34.8 °C (~95 °F) is also just barely perceptible. However, the idle temperature is slightly higher than the predecessor, but still far away from problematic with 31.9 °C (~89 °F) on average at the front. All in all, the temperature differences between load and idle are very low.

Max. Load
 32.1 °C33 °C31.9 °C 
 32.4 °C33.8 °C32.1 °C 
 31.5 °C33 °C32 °C 
Maximum: 33.8 °C
Average: 32.4 °C
32 °C34.2 °C32 °C
31.1 °C34.8 °C30.9 °C
32.5 °C34.7 °C29.8 °C
Maximum: 34.8 °C
Average: 32.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.1 °C | Room Temperature 22.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The small speaker at the back basically does a good job, but it suffers from its position: The sound is clearly muffled when the smartphone lies on a smooth surface. It also affects the sound quality when you hold the device in your hands.

You should not expect the excellent sound of the HTC One M8Galaxy S5 or Sony Xperia Z3 from the Galaxy Ace 4: Even though the speaker is decent for a smartphone, we miss a rich and powerful sound. High and medium tones are well balanced, even though the bass is pretty weak. All in all, it is sufficient for an occasional video, but enthusiasts should use headphones or a speaker via stereo jack.

The provided headset sounds good, but quite a lot of the ambient noise can be heard with higher volumes. It will still be the better choice for music and video files compared to the internal speaker.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Compared to the Galaxy Ace 3, the power consumption was significantly reduced. The high consumption when the device is turned off and during standby in particular is much lower. The idle consumption is slightly lower as well, but the Galaxy Ace 4 needs more power under load with up to 2.8 Watts because of its higher performance.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.3 / 0.8 / 1.2 Watt
Load midlight 1.8 / 2.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The battery runtimes are longer compared to the Ace 3. One reason for this is the slightly larger battery: 1,800 mAh of the Galaxy Ace 3 vs. 1,900 mAh for the Galaxy Ace 4. The power consumption was reduced too, so the smartphone manages 52 minutes more than its predecessor in the idle test. The runtimes under load and the more realistic WLAN test were slightly improved as well, but the results are only average within the comparison. The Nokia Lumia 630 or the Motorola Moto G in particular manage much longer battery runtimes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
24h 12min
WiFi Surfing
9h 54min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 23min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 41min
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB SSD
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275R
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8930, 8 GB SSD
HTC Desire 510
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB SSD
LG L70
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Nokia Lumia 630
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 1. Gen XT1032
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB SSD
Battery Runtime
-7%
8%
1%
17%
34%
Load221206
-7%
262
19%
255
15%
187
-15%
244
10%
WiFi594552
-7%
570
-4%
519
-13%
874
47%
930
57%
H.264623736
18%

Verdict

In Review: Samsung Galaxy Ace 4.
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Ace 4.

The Galaxy Ace 4 gets a lower rating than the Galaxy Ace 3 because of our revised rating system, but that does not change the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 is cheaper than its predecessor and better at the same time. It offers more performance, a good AMOLED display, a better front camera and the overall power consumption is reduced, so the battery lasts longer. For 199 Euros (~$250, or even less on the Internet), the Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 offers quite a lot, for example, the fast LTE Cat. 4 standard. Big differences to high-end devices are noticeable in terms of software and the low display resolution.

If you want a smartphone for less than 200 Euros (~$250), then you also have to live with the pretty average camera and the just acceptable speaker when you buy the Galaxy Ace 4. The voice quality is not as brilliant as the more expensive devices, either. However, the Galaxy Ace 4 is a good offer within this price range, not least because of the LTE connectivity and a lot of performance for the price.

This means it earned a purchase recommendation, especially when you consider that good speakers and great cameras are very, very rare in this price range anyway. You should get the Galaxy Ace 4 if you do not use your smartphone for pictures very often, and if you listen to music via headphones or at home. On the other hand, you get an AMOLED panel, which is unique in this price range, a lot of performance, and fast LTE. Sounds like a good offer, does it not?

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In Review: Samsung Galaxy Ace 4. Review sample courtesy of Cyberport.
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Ace 4. Review sample courtesy of Cyberport.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.3 inch 16:9, 800x480 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, Super AMOLED, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB SSD, 8 GB 
, 5 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: microSD (up to 64 GB), Sensors: Position sensor, GPS, Glonass, NFC
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, Quadro-band GSM (DCS 1800 MHz, PCS 1900 MHz, GSM 850 MHz, GSM 900 MHz), Tri-band UMTS (B5 (850), B1 (2100), B8 (900), Penta-band LTE (B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B3(1800), B1(2100).
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.1 x 128.9 x 65.8 ( = 0.36 x 5.07 x 2.59 in)
Battery
7 Wh Lithium-Ion, 1900 mAh, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 53 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: Back: 5.0 Megapixels, LED flash, Auto-focus. Front: 1.3 Megapixels
Additional features
Speakers: Speaker at the back, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
126 g ( = 4.44 oz / 0.28 pounds), Power Supply: 42 g ( = 1.48 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
199 Euro

 

Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 with a nice and sturdy chassis
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 with a nice and sturdy chassis
The back has a grippy pattern.
The back has a grippy pattern.
The silhouette is slightly thinner.
The silhouette is slightly thinner.
Compared to the predecessor, many things have been improved, even though the price is lower.
Compared to the predecessor, many things have been improved, even though the price is lower.
The camera at the front, for instance, has a higher resolution.
The camera at the front, for instance, has a higher resolution.
Everything stayed the same at the back: Sensor with 5 MP.
Everything stayed the same at the back: Sensor with 5 MP.
The camera takes average pictures with a low sharpness in the details.
The camera takes average pictures with a low sharpness in the details.
The situation is not much better at the front.
The situation is not much better at the front.
The display on the other hand was replaced by an AMOLED panel, which results in a great color representation.
The display on the other hand was replaced by an AMOLED panel, which results in a great color representation.
The contrast is infinitely high in theory.
The contrast is infinitely high in theory.
The software is already familiar from other Samsung devices.
The software is already familiar from other Samsung devices.
However, the number of features is smaller compared to the more expensive versions.
However, the number of features is smaller compared to the more expensive versions.
You still get the Ultra Energy-Saving mode...
You still get the Ultra Energy-Saving mode...
... and different display modes.
... and different display modes.
Unfortunately, some advertisement links are preloaded as well.
Unfortunately, some advertisement links are preloaded as well.
There are also numerous settings for the keyboard.
There are also numerous settings for the keyboard.
There are additional assistants for handicapped users.
There are additional assistants for handicapped users.
The calendar called "S Planner" includes a lot of features.
The calendar called "S Planner" includes a lot of features.
You can download more apps from the special store.
You can download more apps from the special store.
You can use an FM radio when you attach headphones.
You can use an FM radio when you attach headphones.
The performance is good, even complex games can be played.
The performance is good, even complex games can be played.

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Pro

+Fast LTE module
+High performance
+Good AMOLED display
+Very sturdy case
+Restrained yet nice design
+Low power consumption
+Thin silhouette
+Stays cool all the time
+Replaceable battery
+Good software
 

Cons

-Comparatively low display resolution
-Sometimes inaccurate GPS
-Voice quality just average
-Camera pictures with low depth of focus
-Slow auto-focus
-Mediocre speaker

Shortcut

What we like

The consistent improvement over the predecessor, the AMOLED display and the fast LTE module.

What we'd like to see

Better cameras and speakers would be nice in this product class in general.

What surprises us

That Samsung is able to build a better smartphone compared to the predecessor, despite the significant price cut.

The competition

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, HTC Desire 510, HTC Desire 310, LG L70, Nokia Lumia 630, Motorola Moto G, Sony Xperia E1, Huawei Ascend Y530.

Rating

Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ - 10/19/2014 v4(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
60 / 75 → 80%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
45 / 61 → 74%
Weight
94%
Battery
93%
Display
83%
Games Performance
54 / 57 → 95%
Application Performance
29 / 65 → 45%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
54 / 91 → 59%
Camera
49%
Average
72%
83%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 SM-G357FZ Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2014-10-28 (Update: 2014-11- 2)