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Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus Review

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I still remember holding a Samsung Galaxy Ace a few months back.  My immediate reaction upon holding the phone was it was very light, and not in a good way.  It was too light to the extent of being plasticky.  It didn’t feel like I was holding a real phone, but rather a toy phone.  The screen was also something I didn’t like.  The resolution was fine for a mid-range phone, but it had a very poor viewing angle.  I recall though, that I was amazed at how quick the phone was.

Samsung has now updated the Galaxy Ace.  It now has in its smartphone lineup the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus s7500.  I have to admit that I didn’t expect much from the “Plus” considering my impressions of the original “Ace”.  I thought Samsung would be introducing very minor updates and offer the handset at the same price range, without any real upgrade from the consumers’ standpoint.  I have used the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus for a couple of weeks now.  Read the rest of the review if you want to find out what I think about this smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus S7500 Specifications

  • 3.65-inch HVGA display (320 x 480 pixels)
  • 1GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 3GB internal memory (2GB of shared for multimedia, 1GB of direct storage for apps)
  • expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 5 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • TouchWiz
  • WiFi 802.11
  • HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • Li-ion 1,300 mAh battery
  • Dimensions 114.7 x 62.5 x 11.2 mm
  • 115 g
  • Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0
  • A-GPS
  • Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity
  • 3.5mm Ear Jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS

Hardware, Design, Display

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus gets a few spec bumps from its predecessor.  The older Galaxy Ace had a 800MHz CPU, a 3.5-inch screen, 158MB of internal storage and a 278MB RAM.  The Plus now has a faster 1GHz processor, a bigger 3GB internal memory, a faster 512MB of RAM and a bigger 3.65-inch display (although with the same 320 x 480 resolution).  The Galaxy Ace Plus still has a 5-megapixel camera and also runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz on top.

As far as hardware specs go, the Galaxy Ace Plus is pretty decent.  A combination of 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 3GB internal memory with microSD expansion, HSDPA connectivity, 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash, and Android 2.3 Gingerbread are good enough for running apps, games and multimedia, and even for shooting good quality photos.  It’s not the best set of specs and is definitely not the same level as the Samsung Galaxy S2  but for it’s mid-range price, they are reasonably sufficient.

Like I mentioned in my impressions post on the Galaxy Ace Plus, the handset is different from the Galaxy Ace.  The Plus is more rounded on the edges and it is more curved at the back.  It actually feels good in the hand and the curved back is ideal for long use. If the Galaxy Ace felt light and fragile, the Galaxy Ace Plus is decidedly more solid.  It has a good heft and you feel like the handset will be able to withstand some rough handling.  This is a far cry from the toy-like feel of the original Ace.

Overall, the Galaxy Ace Plus is more flashy, more refined, and more “premium” than the Galaxy Ace. The silver trimming on the edges of the Galaxy Ace Plus is now more pronounced compared to the older model. For fans of the iPhone 3GS, you will like the uncanny similarities between the Plus and Apple’s handset.  The back part screams iPhone, although the camera is positioned differently.

 

The Galaxy Ace Plus has a refined design philosophy, at least when compared to Samsung’s other mid-range handsets, and especially when compared to the Galaxy Ace.  The phone is predominantly black and the silver trimming around the handset acts as the design accent.  All the buttons are black, like the volume rocker on the left side and the power button on the right.  Incidentally, the location of the power button and the volume rocker are becoming more common on Samsung phones.  This is how these buttons are positioned in the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy Note, and also in a host of other recent handsets from Samsung.

On top of the device is the 3.5mm headphone jack and at the bottom is the micro USB slot.   At the back of the phone are the camera lens, flash and speaker grille. The back cover is made of glossy plastic.  It easily bends but it’s also quite sturdy.

The display on the Galaxy Ace Plus is much, much better than the display on the original Ace.  I mentioned that the older Ace had poor viewing angles and the colors seemed washed out.  The Galaxy Ace Plus thankfully has a better screen. It has the same resolution but the colors are better and the viewing angles have been improved.

UI, Performance, Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.  There’s no word from Samsung if this will get Ice Cream Sandwich in the future but from the specs of the phone, it should be able to run ICS.  On top of the Gingerbread OS, you will see the TouchWiz skin running.   If you’re a Samsung phone user, you are already familiar with this interface which has not changed much since we saw in in the Galaxy S.   If you haven’t used a TouchWiz-running Samsung smartphone before, you will find this UI quite nice. It’s one of the best looking Android skins apart from HTC’s Sense.  TouchWiz is smooth, refined, and this version of the UI is the best from Samsung yet.  Here are screenshots of TouchWiz on the Galaxy Ace Plus.

   

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus a fast handset.  Running apps is a breeze thanks to the 1GHz CPU and the 512MB RAM.  It’s not all rosy of course as you will still experience the occasional stutter any Android handset experiences.  For most apps, using the phone is painless, really.  You just get a few hiccups when there’s too much apps running in the background.

Making calls and receiving on the Galaxy Ace Plus did not give me any problems.  Calls are reasonably loud and clear.  The 1300 mAh battery churns out a rather acceptable battery life.  It’s not too short to keep you charging all the time, and it’s also not long enough to make you satisfied.  Nowadays smartphones double as multimedia and entertainment device and a 1300 mAh battery will never feel sufficient.  Nonetheless, I didn’t get frustrated with the Galaxy Ace Plus’ battery.

Browsing on the Galaxy Ace Plus is a nice experience. The stock Android browser is one of the best mobile browsers, and in the Plus, it still delivers.  You get the usual double tap and pinch to zoom actions, along with a host of other features.  There’s Flash 11 support on the Plus so playing Flash games and watching YouTube videos shouldn’t cause any problems.  Even 720p videos run smoothly on the Plus.

If you want to know the benchmark scores of the Galaxy Ace Plus, check out these screenshots for the handset’s Quadrant and Antutu scores.

 

Camera

The advent of social networking has made cameras in phones somewhat necessary, so almost always, would-be purchasers of smartphones want to find out how good a phone’s camera is.   The Galaxy Ace Plus has a 5-megapixel rear camera that takes good quality photos. Really good I must say. I honestly did not expect quality photos from the Plus but when I uploaded the sample shots to my laptop, I was surprised at how good the shots were.  They were sharp and showed good color reproduction.

Taking quality shots is easy, thanks to the camera’s auto-focus and LED flash.  Auto-focus is a must if you want to get a sharp image, and the flash of course is important for low light settings.  The auto-focus on the Galaxy Ace Plus is good enough but like most auto-focus systems, it has a problem focusing under low light settings.  I don’t take this against the Galaxy Ace Plus as even some of the dedicated digital cameras have this issue.  Taking photos at bright conditions will normally give you good results.  For low light scenes, you’ll be better off using the phone’s built in LED flash.

Here are some sample photos from the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus. Click on the photo to see the bigger version.

 

Wrap-Up

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus is a worthy successor of the original Galaxy Ace.  It has a bigger screen, a faster processor, a bigger RAM and a bigger internal storage.  In terms of appearance, the Galaxy Ace Plus is more polished and more premium looking than its predecessor.  It has an SRP of P13,990, just about right for the specs and performance of the handset.

If you’re looking for a mid-range phone, the Galaxy Ace Plus is certainly a good option.  There are other choices in this price range but you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy Ace Plus.

Rating: 8.6/10

 

29 Comments

  1. MertevchelTevesCanete Reply

    Trending na talaga yung Samsung Android phones worldwide.

  2. been reading alot of Samsung products and everything now comes in big sizes

  3. Samsung is becoming a name in Mobile world. the competition are always sets high.

  4. Alvin Hartin Reply

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  5.  I think it is good user friendly resource for current generation…I like it’s all feature and by this headset we can easily connecting with our friend on any time….Please any body tell me how much exact price it in usa…Thanks 

  6. Hmmm… So basically, this is better than the Galaxy Mini? I have the Mini from 1 year ago and it slows down, they don’t update the firmware and easily runs out of space…

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  8. AnaIvanovic2 Reply

    I’m surprised you actually gave this phone a good rating. At Php 13,990, there are FAR better phones out there. The lowly 480×320 screen alone should scream “SCAM!!!” given the price. And the terrible ARM11-based SOC it uses… This isn’t much faster than the Galaxy Y! Can you imagine a hollowed-out Toyota Camry with an engine from a Vios being sold at the real Camry’s price? That’s the Galaxy Ace Plus, just like the old Galaxy Ace.

    If you ever get to review the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini which costs around Php 10K, you’d realize how much of a fail the Galaxy Ace Plus is. It has a 480×320 screen that’s of better quality and has a much faster processor. The Mini has a Snapdragon S2 QSD8255 (Cortex A8 + Adreno 205) while the Ace Plus has a pathetic unnamed Snapdragon S1 (ARM11 + Adreno 200). Also, the HTC Explorer is another HVGA device that will clobber the Ace Plus at a lower price — it has an unnamed Snapdragon S2 SOC (albeit Cortex A5-based, and is slower than the one on the Mini, but much faster than the Ace Plus).

    Hmm… What else can be had at around 14K Php? *points at a bunch of phones with WVGA screens and Cortex A8-based processors*

  9. It is not that good of a phone, okay, it’s an android phone but you could get the same specs but a smaller screen on a galaxy Y, and its way cheaper too, I was actually thinking about getting an ace but for its price it wasn’t worth it

  10. Sana po may comparison kayo side by side ng Ace Plus at Ace 2? I am so confuse with that two. Samsung is just making a lot of phones, leaving there buyer very confuse and troubled. Napakarami na nilang unit nilalabas every month, ang binili mo ng 16k last month, will just worth 8k after 2 or 3 mos. That very disappointing. 

    • i’ll post a review on the galaxy w soon. i’ll be able to give you a more informed answer after the review 🙂

    • this is actually a complicated question. dual core ought to be “faster” since there are two cores doing the task. it’s therefore ideal for multi-tasking and playing games or watching HD videos. For apps built for the dual core structure, processing should be faster.  For apps that need only a single core processor, meaning it will disregard the dual-core nature of the CPU, a single core with higher clock speed would be ideal. For overall use, i’d go for 800MHz dual core since with two cores, the overall speed could almost duplicate the 1.4GHz of the single core.  

    • AnaIvanovic2 Reply

      The Ace Plus IS NOT dual-core. In addition, the Ace Plus uses an chip that’s ARM11-based. The current crop of mid-range phones like the Galaxy W, Xperia Neo V, iPhone 4, etc. all use Cortex A8-based chips. The high-end phones like the Xperia S, Galaxy S II, iPhone 4S, HTC Sensation, etc. all use Cortex A9-based chips.

      In simple words, the Ace Plus is A LOT slower than the Galaxy W. If you want something fast for the same price, get the Huawei Honor. It has the same Snapdragon QSD8255T on the Galaxy W @ Php 14K SRP.

      • nnamdi kalu Reply

        analvaoic2 its not obvious becuase of how he wrote it but hes saying the samung galaxy ace 2 not ace plus has a dual core 800mhz processor. and look it up the samsung galaxy ace 2 has a dual core 800 mhz (cortex a9 cpu)with 768 mb of ram. (it uses the novathor from sony erricsonss new line of cpu’s)…

  11. Adrian Maaliw Reply

    confused ako about sa ace plus and sa ace 2(in gsmarena)
    ace 2 screen res is 800×480, 800mhz dual core, 1500mah bat, 5mp

  12. great looking phone. available na ba to? kelan available sa cebu?

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