With no yellow back, bright silver rim around the face and a front camera peeping out at you, it's clear from minute one of man-to-phone encounter that the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 is a class above the super budget Mini 2 from the same company.
The 3.8-inch 800x480 display and 800MHz dual-core processor/768MB RAM power combo are nice and obvious from the minute you get your fingers on it. Simply put, it feels like a far better experience than the spec sheet suggests which, incidentally, has been something of a theme from Samsung's phones at Mobile World Congress.
It comes with Android 2.3, albeit with Samsung's UI over the top, but in that you do get several Samsung features such as ChatON and all the usual hubs. At the same time, you may wish to ditch much of the pre-installed bloat which is all very possible, thanks to Android's flexibility.
You get 4GB of internal memory, which won't set the world alight, but you can expand with another 32GB via the microSD card slot. Again, a significant step up from the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, you get all the normal connectivity technology including 14.4Mbps HSDPA, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n and all the sensors as well as a GPS and compass. It measures 62.2 x 118.3 x 10.5mm and weighs 122g and it's probably best thought of physically as the sort of size, shape and feel as something that would have been top of the line back in the days of the HTC Desire.
There is a 5-megapixel camera with flash around the back as well as that front-facing unit, and video capture comes in at 720p. The previous generation of device impressed us with its imaging capabilities and quick flick around the camera app was a familiar jaunt down photographic lane.
You do still get a proper Home key at the bottom, unlike some of the choices on other new Galaxy phones, and that's no bad thing from our view. The only possible complaint we could level so far is that the Ace 2 doesn't have anything that modern about it save, perhaps, that it's got Bluetooth 3.0. All the same, that's not really what this phone is supposed to be about. What it does offer is all your Android conveniences, with no obvious holes, at, hopefully, a convenient price to match. We'll find out in April.