Product Type: Samsung Smartphone
Newest Review: ... return function with one touch screen button on either side of the push button at the bottom of the touch screen has also been wisely ... more
A Smarter, Smoother, Faster Ace!
Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus
Member Name: Nar2
Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus
Advantages: Faster than original Ace; easy to use, quick to function, good quality, big internal memory, apps.
Disadvantages: Lower battery life.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Make & model: Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus S7500.
* 3.65" Super PLS LCD touch screen with one push button control.
* Small headphone socket, USB data combo charger cord & plug option.
* Expansion possibility to 32GB storage, micro SIM type SD card.
* 2.3 Gingerbread Android with 512MB ram & 1 GHz Cortex-A5 processor.
* GPS with digital compass & 5.0 megapixel camera, 3GB internal memory.
* Supports 2G, high speed 3G, Google Play Apps. Wi-Fi & Bluetooth enabled.
* Multi-format video and audio player.
* 11.3cm by 6cm by 1.14cm width, 114 grams weight.
* Earphones supplied (white).
* My price £130 from Vodafone UK on PAYG network, other prices range from £148 and upwards.
Samsung the brand, General Design & Quality
At the moment Samsung are on a roll; as they were when I bought my Ace in November 2012 in the UK, India seems to be the highest market at the moment for Samsung devices and the Ace Plus seemed to appeal to me for its range of features and a better equipped phone compared to the Ace Plus. India for example are being offered the Ace Duos, a phone that allows two SIM cards and though slightly smaller in size than the Ace Plus, I wasn't really that interested in the Ace Duos now with a defunct phone that Vodafone UK will have to sort out, and my latest newest baby in my hand, the Ace Plus. However, Samsung in Asia are also releasing a whole long range of "Galaxy" branded compact digital SLR cameras as well as other tagged items, so it remains to be seen whether the UK will be offered similar lines and the Note 2 and 3 has also been launched in Asia, but with a much bigger size compared to what I've seen in the UK.
Where general design and quality is concerned then, the Ace Plus is extremely similar to the Ace Smartphone. It is thin, glossy to the touch and feels like a quality item. It certainly retains an air of familiarity when it came to taking the phone out of the box, but I was disappointed to find that unlike my original Ace, there are no snap on colour option fascia backings enclosed and the design to this phone is slightly different with the camera and LED flash located in the middle top half of the phone at the rear compared to the lens at the side. The colour of black is what you get and what you'll have to settle for and the back is just as dimpled as the original Ace but feels very slippery as a comparison. It doesn't make any difference when in actual use, because I used my rubber silicone cover from my old phone to ensure the new Ace Plus doesn't get bumped but constantly had to take the phone out of the casing to take photos if I wanted to due to the new arrangement of the camera lens and flash location on the rear. One bonus that I found in the box however is a pair of white Apple like stereo earphones but I'd have still liked the option of a different coloured backing fascia as I did with my old phone. A quick start user manual is also enclosed and standard battery charger but there is no micro SD card included compared to the original.
At the front and sides, the Ace Plus retains the same buttons as with the old; so the volume control is on the left that also acts as the zoom control for the camera and the on button located to the right hand side. The central push button return function with one touch screen button on either side of the push button at the bottom of the touch screen has also been wisely retained. The familiar "Samsung" branding name in silver lettering is still at the top of the phone's screen and yet again Samsung have installed this phone with the promised "durable" Gorilla glass, that seems to have a slight increase of sealing to the fascia with closer gaps between the frame of the phone and the glass itself. Still flush and still very slim, only Samsung fans can tell the difference between the original Ace and the Ace Plus on look and quality; there's a slight hike here as well as a slightly bigger size.
I am however delighted to find that the SD Micro-card holder in this phone is just so much easier to install without the daft process of pulling out a blunt knife to get a fragile door open on the exterior sides. Cue the lack of the SD card in the box - no need here since Samsung have already added a 3GB memory to this phone, but I thought I would add my 16GB card any way if I want to add music and videos in time. There is none of the nonsense of sliding the card in like the rather fragile experience from the original Ace phone though! This time, Samsung have wisely added an open section to the left hand side at the back next to the battery and can only be accessed if the rear snap on fascia has been removed. Just like plenty of my old Nokia phones, the Ace Plus also has bottom jack fitted for the micro 2.0 battery charger or USB cord which doubles as a storage connection feed wire as opposed to the top of the phone with the original Ace. Those upgrading to this phone from the latter will find it easy to use, but there are some surprises in store, naturally.
General Performance & Downsides
One of the first aspects that I noticed straight away once my phone had been charged up is the fact that the Ace Plus comes loaded with more apps than the original phone and some apps that I won't necessarily use. "Chat-On," is a Samsung chat app that allows file sharing as well as treating names instead of phone numbers. Though not of great importance to me, it is a good boon to have. The one app that I do appreciate is the ACCUweather.com app that shows the daily temperature - not just crucial for India - but for other countries and for the fact that it can be changed fairly quickly on the front, "home" page screen on the Ace Plus. Infact for those use to similar weather apps with Apple's Macbook and other Apple systems, there is certainly an air of familiarity with the apps that Samsung have built into this phone. Everything seems to be a lot faster when selecting apps to texting, to making calls and the phone's boost of a much faster processor with larger expansion means I'm not having to put up with slow gestures as I have experienced with the old phone.
The natural "light and swipe," gestures of fingers accessing different pages and functions of this phone have also been carried over from the original Ace, but at times I find the functions can get too fast for their own liking. Like the original, it took me a week to get around the whole phone's features though and within a day after a full charge of 8 hours, I was able to access online Internet and sync up my emails - though word of warning if you have Yahoo or other external email servers - DON'T choose the option to have contacts synced up, as they will get added to the phone book in the phone and if you have a lot of contacts recorded in your email server, the phone wont necessarily separate the email address and names. The Ace Plus seems to be able to list separate info though when the function is accessed compared to the Ace, so its good to have this feature if you have additional email addresses you need to add to certain contacts.
Where texting is concerned however, the Ace Plus moves the game on a little more and with better precision. The same quick to task accessing the QWERTY keyboard screen is still available as an option and there's even a fun voice control like the original phone that allows you to speak and the phone will start texting. Predictive T9 texting is also available and the phone's main feature is that it is simple to type text on the touch screen without problem. Compared to the last where I found I had to use my pinkie finger to get the letters and words that I wanted when manually typing, the Ace Plus accepts my other fingers with more precision with less time spent going back on words or letters that have either been put wrongly by the phone or if I haven't used as much control and precision to do so at the time!
Where speech clarity is concerned and when making a call is concerned, the whole process is a lot faster too and more controlling for the user. Clarity is excellent as is sound quality. The process to accept a call by swiping the screen with the green or red circular touch screen buttons that come up still appear on this phone but I'm very pleased to find that it doesn't slow the Ace Plus down, able to receive a call's actual function with far more instant accessibility than the original. Speakerphone wording has been replaced with "headset," though the function is still the same and as before you can mute the call, put it into standby holding and other default features. After receiving a call for example, the Ace Plus uses the same call alert audible jingle to show that the call has ended, a further feature that I'm not used to my original Ace and though the same drop down menu is available on the front home screen, there's a further addition of "silent mode," which is easier and faster to action than having to go through the whole phone to mute the phone completely or manually press the volume control buttons to the side of the phone. These features are really basic but they've lifted my expectations of the Samsung Galaxy Ace experience and certainly add a touch of class!
Where battery life is concerned, Samsung have fitted this phone with a shorter statistic life battery (1350mAh to 1300mAh) and I've already noticed the difference with a bit of a surprise - the battery with this phone seems to last longer than the one on my Ace. With a full charge, the Ace Plus is able to sustain life for about three to four days, but this is only if the phone is used as a phone and not for constant Internet or other features like listening to music.
The phone's online battery life seems to mimic the original Ace, with about two days use before the phone requires to be charged. In certain applications then, especially for travelling and you require constant online access, the instant downside to this phone is that it will require a charge every two days for a full battery. However, drip feeding, or just allowing some charge to the phone in this kind of context seems to work better with the Ace Plus than against it.
Now I'm back home the phone doesn't require that much of a charge since I have home Internet access, but it may be an off-putting downside to anyone who expects this phone to act as a secondary mini Internet hand held/palm phone first and a mobile phone, second unless they have access to a mains source where the phone can be charged ad-hoc during use. Although slightly weaker compared to the original Ace phone, it is the light proximity sensor that I've noticed this phone seems to activate to save the battery from any other usage, and with the light/brightness setting set at one quarter before the final, highest setting, I find the phone is bright enough without adding more.
There are quite a few more advantages to the Ace Plus though. This phone's pixels have been upgraded from 240 by 300 pixels to 320 by 480 pixels. So far when it comes to photo shots or watching videos, I find the clarity is much better and more precise than before and the screen has a built in light proximity sensor that relieves the phone of more power usage. The built in multi format video and music player is still the same, so the formats range from MP3, AAC, WMA, and WAV amongst other AAC types. Where videos are concerned, MPEG4, H.263 & 264 and WMV are offered. The video player still features the excellent You Tube feature whilst the same FM radio has 4 presets radio also features RDS and full stereo playback. However, this phone doesn't have a front facing camera, but it does have a more controllable rotational slide function if the phone is held pilar box style to shoot photos or play games. It isn't as quick to rotate the screen around the other way - a problem I found with the previous Ace.
If you are looking for an upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy Ace, the Ace Plus is definitely a winner, despite a lower battery life. Quicker to function and with much more memory built in that will allow you to add apps or games to this phone other than what it comes with as standard, the Ace Plus is pretty to look at whilst being smoother and faster with its applications and general use. Though it lacks versatile extra video and music formats that the present Ace 2 now enjoys, the Ace Plus is more definitely the middle phone that sits up from the Ace and below Ace 2. Is £30 to £50 worth the added value from the original Ace? I'd say so, but it all comes down to a phone that is faster to process, easier to control and far more versatile with the apps it offers. For the price, it is hard to beat and more in tune with a phone user who likes the advantage of using the Internet some of the time but prefers a mobile phone for actual calling or texting. If you require more Internet time from a stronger, longer lasting battery, the Ace 2 is the next step up! Thanks for reading. İNar2 2013.
Summary: A step up from the original Ace if memory is required and faster to use too!