Some of you may recall the Samsung Galaxy Ace phone that was released way back in 2006 when you first heard about this phone. Well the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus is actually an upgrade to this phone, hence the name. Boasting a much better 1GHz CPU when compared to its predecessor this phone doesn’t exactly aim to be the top of the line in terms of specs or even in the design sense of things. Its aim is to be a smartphone that will woo the users by being a solid runner in the value for money category. Although we are not sure how keeping the same old HVGA resolution screen will help the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus in the way of making it a front runner, but let’s dig in deeper if it has some tricks under its sleeves.

As mentioned a little earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus is far from being a smartphone that was designed to win accolades for its design. Having said that, we must say that the design is by no means appalling or anything of that sort but it is just that common design we have become accustomed to with smartphones. It is another phone with the black plastic design. Although it’s a common sight, we are obliged to talk about it and so we should probably mention its tapered back which is made of shiny black plastic. Apart from that, there was nothing else that caught our eye in this phone that’s worth a mention. However, this glossy plastic design makes the phone quite slippery so you should probably take some caution while using it.

This phone measures in at 4.52 x 2.46 x 0.44 inches so its size makes up for the slippery back as it fits well in your palm. Since the screen is just 3.65 inches big, you will be able to handle the phone with just one hand too. Speaking of the screen it only has a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels thus making it feel like it’s a thing from the past. Moving on to the buttons around the phone, we find the usual suspects made available to us. On the right side of the phone is the power key while on the top is the standard audio jack. Meanwhile on the left of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus phone is your volume rocker. The fact that the buttons were not flush with the chassis of the phone was a good thing. Apart from that, on the back of the phone is a 5MP camera that comes with LED flash as well as the speaker grill.

So as we talked about earlier, this phone has been given an upgrade in terms of sheer performance when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Ace with its 1GHz processor. Of course that’s a really small number these days but the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus performed well without any lags probably thanks to the tiny screen resolution. There is also 512MB worth of RAM thrown in to make the experience a more pleasant one. In terms of memory, you get 3GB of internal memory and you can increase that with a microSD card that can go up to 32GB.

The smartphone runs on the Android v2.3 Gingerbread with the graphic user interface being Samsung’s very own TouchWiz 4.0. Some may question the choice of the OS since it’s the age of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, but Samsung isn’t giving away much when asked about the possibility of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus getting an upgrade on that front.  Some of the noticeable features would be how the contacts list actually integrates all your buddies from both Facebook and LinkedIn. Samsung’s ChatON cross-platform messaging service is also made available out of the box with this phone. As always, Samsung has blessed this phone with the usual list of apps that comes together with TouchWiz which includes a file browser. The Social Hub is there as well to put all your social networking updates in one place for you to stay connected at all times. Speaking a little about the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus’ music player, it is quite straightforward. However you do get some features like equalizer presets and also faux surround sound mode.

Moving on the screen of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, this is probably the most disappointing part of this phone. It is surprising how the predecessor shares the same screen as this one which means Samsung just decided not to upgrade the screen. The 3.65 inch screen is of HVGA (320 x 480 pixels) resolution making it produce a pixel density of only 158ppi. On a literally brighter note, the phone is still legible even when you are out on a sunny day. You also get some good colors plus the viewing angles were not too bad either. However, you lose a lot in terms of details with this display.

The camera on the back of the phone is a 5MP one that comes with LED flash as well. It does produce some decent shots but it lacks details just like the screen. The color reproduction was good and so was the contrast. It’s good to note that the camera interface actually offers modes like Panorama and Continuous shooting among others. Video recording isn’t top of the line as it records at VGA quality only but the 30 fps rate at least makes the video bearable as it runs without any glitches.
We were let down a little with the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus’ browser as it doesn’t load pages too well. This is really apparent when you try to zoom in as this would bring about many checkered boxes. However, it’s good that it runs Flash even though it won’t be a smooth ride. In terms of connectivity options, it has the usual stuff like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS as well as DLNA.

On a phone that doesn’t aim to excel with its specs but rather focuses to provide value for money, it goes without saying that we expect it to perform well with call quality. However, the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus produced some muffled voices in the earpiece with low volume levels as well. However, it made up for it to a certain extent as our friends on the line could hear us well. This phone ships with a 1300mAh battery and we reckon it should keep you going for up to a day and a half with average use, and with the screen size, you might be able to squeeze two days out of the phone.


Pros and Cons
The graphic user interface on the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus was smooth and up for the task. Picture quality was also decent.

The screen was a major downer as it sported a really low resolution. Meanwhile for the CPU, albeit getting an upgrade, it felt rather insignificant when compared to its predecessor.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus in our opinion didn’t hit the spot with its aim to be a value for money phone as it doesn’t offer the right specs for the price it’s going for. There are much better phones out there for almost the same price or probably slightly more that you could look at rather than this one.

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