Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
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A fantastic smartphone
Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus
Member Name: sn0zb0z
Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus
Advantages: Great design and many features
Disadvantages: Poor battery if you're a heavy user
I've never been a big fan of touch screens but I wanted a new phone, or more importantly a smartphone, and most phones now are touchscreens. So after a lot of research I decided that a Samsung mobile would probably work best for me. With the Samsung Galaxy S2 being rather expensive I was leaning towards the Samsung Galaxy Ace, but the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus (or Ace 2) was released and covered all the points I was looking for in a phone; a touchscreen that would work even when my hands were cold, a decent processor, a good sized screen and a good price.
* 3.65" Screen
* 1GHz Processor
* 512mb RAM
* 2.7 GB User Memory
* Up to 32GB External Memory
* 1300mAh Battery Capacity
* Up to 670mins (2G) / Up to 440mins (3G)
* Up to 660hr (2G) / Up to 420hr (3G)
*114.7 x 62.5 x 11.2mm Dimension
* 114g Weight
* Megapixels Camera Resolution (Rear)
The Ace Plus has a simple, practical design and comes in a smart black colour and lovely white. It has a 3.65" screen with the Home button in the centre below it and the word Samsung at the top underneath the earpiece. Next to the home button is also the Menu Key and Back key, but you can't see these when the screen has gone off.
On the side is the power button on the right and ringer volume button on the left. This is the only real design flaw of the phone as they are both at the top and whenever I press the power button I always catch the ringer volume. If you are bringing up the menu for the power button it's not so bad as you can change the volume after but if you've just tapped the power button to lock the phone it means unlocking it again to change the volume or remembering to do it later which rarely happens.
On the back you then have the camera and speaker. Underneath the phone is the mini USB/charger port and on top is the headphone jack. The jack is a standard size so you can use any normal headphones/earphones with the phone, which is great in my opinion as every other phone I've owned has required the official earphones with the same connection as the charger. So for once I can actually listen to music through my phone when my MP3 battery dies on me!
Menus and Features:
The touchscreen very responsive which is a good start. You can easily flick through the menus and use apps.
The home screen is well set out, with a clock, google search, icons at the top and four main buttons at the bottom, which are call log, contacts, text messages and the menu button. There are 4 screens for apps from the Home screen and 7 screens from main screen where you can find all your pre-installed apps and any new ones that you download.
You can change your display and customise your phone. As well as being able to use your own photos there is also live wallpapers which are animated images. You can also select your own music to use for the ringtone rather than the pre-installed ringtones.
It is easy to insert a memory card and you can view the files on it under My Files. From there you can choose to set images as the display and music as your ringtone, play the music through the media player, or just view the files.
Unlocking the mobile is simple as you just swipe your finger across the screen to unlock it. There is also the option of adding a swipe pattern, pin or password. Locking the phone is just as easy as you can just tap the power button on the side. Holding the power button down brings up a menu allowing you to put the phone on silent mode, activate/deactivate the data network, turn flight mode on and off or turn the phone off.
Calls sound clear on the Ace Plus and you can turn up the volume fairly high. However, it is slightly annoying having to slide your finger from call accept/decline rather than just being able to press a button as sometimes it just doesn't seem to want to accept that you moved your finger. If you can't get to the phone straight away you worry you'll miss the call and trying to answer it quickly just doesn't work. When ending a call you can just tap the end call so I don't see why they couldn't do the same for answering.
One problem I did have was when phoning the network and having to select options. To do this should be simple as you just have to press the keypad button and select the number you want, but when I tried to get the screen to come on to select the keypad the screen kept flickering on and off and it took a few attempts to get it to stay on. It might just be my phone but using the keypad probably isn't something most people do often so it's not a massive problem.
Texting is simple. The 3.65" screen means there is a good size keyboard for when texting. If you find the keys too small then you can turn the phone on its side and the keyboard will automatically change, showing a keyboard with larger keys. However when you turn it to the side you cannot see previous texts like you can when it's the other way (assuming you haven't written too much). There are plenty of options/settings for texting. The default for the keyboard is qwerty but you can change it to a 3x4 keypad like older phones or use the handwriting option. You can make it predictive text and there are also options for that too so you can change when it starts predicting the word. Choosing the correct word is easy as they are all listed in a row between the message and the keyboard.
There are two handwriting options, one with four boxes to separate each letter and one that is just one big box where you can type full words. The handwriting option works much better than I expected it to and it shows you the letters like it does the predicative text so if you've done a capital letter and want a lower case letter you can simply tap the letter. I'm not sure it would make writing a text any faster and it's probably not an option I'll ever use but it does work well if you do choose to use it.
If you click settings on the keypad you can scroll down and select Voice Input which gives you the option of pressing a mic symbol on the keypad so you can then tell your phone what you want to type. This should solve time, but it's not quite as good as it should be, especially not with names. It often misses words or just types something entirely different and it doesn't include any punctuation. For example, saying "Hey, how are you? Hope you're having a good day" first came out as "How are you hope you're having a good". Next it just said "good" and the third attempt was just "yep." Perhaps that time it was answering my question? I wasn't saying it very fast, but to get it to eventually go right, with the exception of it saying hi not hey, I had to speak almost robotically. You also need to be using data or have the wi-fi on for it to work. It's a nice feature to have, but not one I use often.
There are plenty of apps for the Ace Plus and it's really easy to find what you want and download them. Not only is there the Play Store (Android Market) but there is Samsung Apps as well. Both of these give you the option of searching as well as viewing featured, popular and new apps. Best of all most of the Android apps are free to download.
Once you've found an app you want getting it is simple as you just click the download (or Get on Samsung Apps) button and it will install it to your phone.
As with other smartphones the phone comes preloaded with some apps including things such as a calculator, voice search, voice recorder, alarm and a calendar.
The Internet is fast and easy to use. So far I've not had any problems viewing any sites and you can easily use pinch zooming to zoom in on any page. The wi-fi works fine and connects very quickly so you can switch that on and click the Internet icon and it will load instantly.
No software comes with the phone so to transfer files to your computer using the USB cable means downloading Samsung Kies.
When I first tried to connect my phone it asked for disk, but it doesn't come with a disk. So I downloaded Kies but I got no response until I unplugged the phone. once I'd done this and then plugged it back in it took a couple of minutes to connect but after that the program worked fine and I could easily transfer my files from the mobile to the computer.
The Ace Plus has a good quality 5MP camera with plenty of options, including Flash, and video. You can use the volume button to zoom in up to x3. When you've taken the picture you can easily zoom in and out by pinching the screen.
There is an icon for the battery which always looks about half full and is really useless for showing how much battery you have left. Luckily you can view the percentage under the status, along with all the other information about your phone (such as your phone number and network).
The battery life on most smartphones are poor so I wasn't expecting this to be any different. Obviously the more you text, call, use apps and the internet the quicker it will drain the battery. I'm not a heavy user but I probably charge the phone every couple of days or so. If you are a heavy user you'll probably find yourself charging this every day. When you do have to charge the battery it charges fast which is good.
The phone doesn't come with a proper manual, just a quick start guide which tells you how to get the back off the phone, put the sim in, the buttons/ports on the phone and very brief explanations of the very basics of the phone (e.g. making calls). Under settings there is a system tutorial. This is only very basic though and teaches you how to use the onscreen keyboard. I had only very briefly used a couple of smartphones before but I had no problems in using the phone. There were a couple of things in the settings that I didn't really know much about or found after using the phone a little while and if I'd had a manual I probably would have known more about them or found them things sooner.
Not having a manual saves on paper which is a good thing but it would be nice to have a full manual on the phone. As I got the phone right after it was released there was nothing online to start with, although there is now a full manual on the Samsung website. For those who can't always access the internet you can download the manual to print it out.
The Ace Plus comes with a charger and a USB cable to connect it to the computer.
You can get the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus Sim Free for £215 from Amazon which is a great price for this.
Overall this a great mobile that has all the features I wanted and does everything quickly. If you can't afford a Galaxy S2 or S3 then the Ace Plus is a great option to go for. Highly recommended.
Summary: The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus is a must have smartphone!
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