Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus review: Aces wild
The unremarkable retail package
Inside the box you'll find the manual alongside a microUSB cable and A/C adapter. Unlike the original Galaxy Ace S5830, there's no complimentary 2 GB microSD card in the bundle, but then again it's not as badly needed. The Ace Plus has 3GB of internal storage, which is enough to get you going. The original had the dismal 158 MB.
Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus S7500 360-degree spin
The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus measures 114.5 x 62.5 x 11.2 mm and the all-plastic handset weighs 115 grams, which are virtually the same dimensions as the original Ace.
The edges are curved, which makes the phone appear slimmer, and the build-quality is good.
Design and build quality
The front of the device features the slightly larger screen, 3.65 inches compared to 3.5 to be exact, which forces the minutely larger overall dimensions. Not that the extra millimeter here and there makes any noticeable difference. The increased screen real estate mostly comes at the expense of the bezel.
Unfortunately, the bigger screen features the same HVGA (320x480) resolution, which makes for a slightly lower ppi ratio than the Ace.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus S7500 has an average LCD screen. The brightness and contrast are okay, but the colors are quite dull. Viewing angles are far from perfect and sunlight legibility leaves a lot to be desired.
Here are the results of our display test on the Ace Plus alongside several other devices for reference.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|HTC Sensation XE||0.23||172||761||0.64||484||752|
|LG Prada 3.0||0.19||184||993||0.81||835||1031|
|Samsung S7500 Galaxy Ace Plus||0.27||239||873||0.6||528||888|
|LG Optimus Black||0.27||332||1228||0.65||749||1161|
|Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc||0.03||34||1078||0.33||394||1207|
|Apple iPhone 4S||0.14||205||1463||0.52||654||1261|
|Samsung Galaxy Nexus||0||112||∞||0||247||∞|
|Motorola RAZR XT910||0||215||∞||0||361||∞|
|Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II||0||231||∞||0||362||∞|
|Samsung Galaxy Note||0||287||∞||0||429||∞|
As far as touchscreen sensitivity goes we have no complaints - the screen is responsive enough but not overly so (a feature that can be annoying since it often results in unwanted taps).
Above the display, there is the proximity sensor, which blends well with the surrounding surface. There's no ambient light sensor though, so the display brightness cannot be adjusted automatically.
Below the display there's an arrangement of three keys, typical for Samsung. The hardware home key is central, with two capacitive buttons on either side - Menu and Back. The latter two are only visible when backlit - with the backlighting off, they disappear.
On the left side of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus S7500 there's the lanyard eyelet and the volume rocker. The volume rocker is quite thin, but prominent just enough to use comfortably.
The Power/Lock key is on the right (as it is on many Samsung phones), which makes it accessible with both the thumb of the right hand or the index finger of the left, depending on which hand you're holding it with. This positioning can be uncomfortable for some though.
Unlike the Ace S5830, the microSD slot is no longer side-mounted, but is instead under the battery cover.
On the top side of the phone is the 3.5mm standard audio jack, as well as the small crevice for removing the back panel.
The bottom of the phone features the USB port and the mic pinhole. The microUSB port is used for both data and charging.
The back of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus has changed since the early version we used in our pre-release preview and we like the new look and feel better. The new back panel takes after the original Galaxy S with a subtle chin. The textured pattern, which is pleasant to touch, we last saw in the Galaxy S Advance.
Unlike the original panel from our preview, it is also practically impervious to fingerprints.
The 5MP camera lens is centrally placed near the top of the back panel, along with the LED flash. Just like in the original Ace, the lens is exposed and vulnerable to scratches so you'll have to take care not to damage it.
The back also features the loudspeaker grille, which has a small nub that keeps the speaker from getting muffled when you place the phone down on a level surface.
Underneath the battery cover is the SIM card slot and the battery. This is also where you can access the microSD slot. Located on the right edge of the phone, it's perfectly hot-swappable. On 2G networks, the 1300 mAh battery is quoted at 670 hours of standby (420 h in 3G) and up to 11 hours of talk time (7 h 20 min in 3G).
All things considered, the hardware package keeps its target audience in mind; a consumer who may be upgrading from a feature phone or an entry-level smartphone, who wouldn't pay a fortune, but doesn't want to scrape the bottom of the barrel either.
Taken by itself, the addition of a slightly bigger screen is a moot point. On one hand, 3.6 inches at HVGA is hardly the best there is. The pixel density is below average, which makes the UI look somewhat grainy at times. On the other hand, the low resolution puts no strain on the processor and helps to increase performance. And as we said at the beginning, the 1 GHz processor runs the software without skipping a beat.
Up next is our tour of the Android-powered TouchWiz-skinned Galaxy Ace Plus.