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I am using Samsung Galaxy ACE with Android 2.3. Since I have too many email contacts in google I do not want to sync everything to my phone and consume the precious phone memory. Also syncing so many contacts will make them slow, tough I would not even ever call them

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You can manage My Contacts (it's a system group, it should be there by default, you can create a new one also) in your GMail contacts, and then select those only you want to sync with phone, move everything else to other Groups.

When you will add the Google account to your device, go to contacts and select display options, and choose the My Contacts group only. (or whatever you created)

This will limit the contacts appearing in the contacts list.

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Right this will only limit the contacts appearing in the contacts list, I wanted them not to sync at all to save phone memory. –  AstroNeil Apr 22 '12 at 8:46
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AFAIK, You can't selectively sync the contacts. Only select an option to not show them in contacts list. See here - Google Groups - Contact Sync Issue –  Sameer Sharma Apr 22 '12 at 11:42

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