The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus had almost no issues with reception even in areas with poor coverage. Sound in the earpiece was crisp and fairly loud.
The dialer and call log have been integrated into the phonebook, each in a separate tab. Smart Dial is available and works like a charm - it searches names and numbers simultaneously.
Only one contact (with photo) is shown at a time in the Smart Dial suggestions. You can tap the down arrow to view the rest (a digit above the arrow indicates how many contacts have matched your query).
The dialer also offers quick shortcuts for making a video call or sending a message instead.
Thanks to the proximity sensor, your screen will automatically turn off during a call. The available options during a call include taking a note, using the keypad, muting or holding the call, or adding another call to the conversation.
The Call log is the tab next to the dial pad. It displays all the dialed, received and missed calls in one list, while sorting your call history by contacts.
We also performed our traditional loudspeaker test. The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus scored an Average mark. The vibration on the other hand is strong, which will alert you in case you don't hear the ringer in a loud environment. Here's how it stacks up against the competition.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overal score|
|Nokia Lumia 800||60.9||59.0||61.7||Below Average|
|Apple iPhone 4||65.9||66.5||67.3|
|Samsung S8600 Wave 3||68.0||65.8||69.7|
|Samsung Galaxy W I8150||69.6||66.6||67.0|
|Samsung I9103 Galaxy R||65.7||65.7||71.5|
|Samsung S7500 Galaxy Ace Plus||67.5||66.2||75.7|
|HTC Titan||75.8||66.2||82.7||Very Good|
The messaging interface is quite straightforward: there are no folders here, just a new message button. Under that button is a list of all your messages organized into threads.
Swiping on a message header will do exactly the same as in the phonebook - a left swipe starts a new message, while swiping to the right will start a call.
There's application-specific search that lets you quickly locate a message among all your stored SMS and MMS.
To add message recipients, just start typing the corresponding name or number and choose from the contacts offered.
When you add multimedia content to the message, it automatically turns into an MMS. You can either quickly add a photo or an audio file to go with the text, or compose an MMS using all the available features (like multiple slides, slide timing, layout, etc.). The multiple slides are all shown inside the compose box.
Moving on to email, the Gmail app supports batch operations, which allows multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted. Multiple Gmail accounts are also supported.
There is also a generic email app for all your other email accounts and it can support multiple POP or IMAP inboxes. You have access to the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.
It offers a combined inbox option, which color-codes emails from different accounts for easier sorting and viewing. Conversation layout is also available - it groups related emails into single entries with a number in parenthesis showing the number of emails grouped. A tap on that entry expands it to show a list of the individual messages.
Google Talk handles Instant Messaging. The G-Talk network is compatible with a variety of popular clients like Pidgin, Kopete, iChat and Ovi Contacts. Video chat support is also onboard here.
As far as text entry goes, you have the standard Samsung keyboard at your disposal, as well as XT9. Both are fairly comfortable, although the keys might feel a little cramped in portrait. The landscape keyboard should be good enough. There's handwriting recognition but no Swype.