Jan 26, 2012

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Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus continues the trend of its manufacturer; namely, to repackage and rebrand variants of a particular model to pervade different markets. Is it smart? Sure. Is it hard to keep track of Samsung’s myriad models? Certainly.

This model is aiming firmly at the mid-range market. While it has nifty features like a 3.65-inch HVGA touchscreen with 320*480 resolution, its 1GHz Qualcomm processor is hardly going to set the world on fire. That said, it does come with 3G HSDPA, and its download speeds are frankly impressive – particularly when you consider the price tag.

There’s also a 5MP camera to boast of. Call me crazy – old-fashioned even – but 5 MP or above in a camera phone and I’m pretty satisfied. Barring any glitchy handling or light issues and the camera – especially in a device as dainty as this one – gets an immediate thumbs up. Factor in the LED flash and autofocus, and it’s easily one of the best features on this neat little number.

Other highlights to count on with the Ace Plus include 3G connectivity, WiFi and GPS with Google Maps. Although the handset runs on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which is hardly the newest kid on the block, it the same as the OS featured on leading phones like the Galaxy S2 and Motorola RAZR. While this will be a problem for some, a greater many will be too busy browsing the thousands of apps on Android Market.

The handset itself has been widely praised for its appearance; at first glance, it resembles an iPhone with its metallic look, and in actual fact has a similar size and resolution display as Apple’s 3GS. Samsung’s inimitable TouchWiz 3.0 interface will remind you exactly which brand you have chosen however.

A little brother of sorts to the popular Samsung Galaxy S2, this mini version has a quick web browser, though the lack of support for Flash definitely lets it down, particularly if you are an experienced net user and are surfing dynamic sites with Flash embedded. Download speeds don’t trigger quite the same disappointment, though; with WiFi, BlueTooth and HSDPA, you can count on up to 7.2 Mbps.

The Ace’s screen isn’t quite on a par with the Super AMOLED Plus or Retina displays showcased by the likes of higher-end Samsungs and iPhones, though its TFT display isn’t too bad either; perhaps you will only notice the difference if you have used a Super AMOLED before, or want to view many pictures on the go. An amateur auteur, meanwhile, could lament the lack of HD recording on the camera.

Email and messaging is handled brilliantly by this mini Ace Plus, while the UI’s Social Hub integrates your contact lists with corresponding Facebook, Twitter and MySpace profiles, a useful tool for urbanites and socialites struggling to keep track of friends and enemies.

While the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus isn’t quite as impressive as the HTC Wildfire S, or even its big brother, the Samsung Galaxy S2, it is a smart-looking Android phone that will appeal to iPhone lovers unwilling to pay the steep price tag for their mobile phones. And with a brace of refreshing features, you won’t feel like you’re selling yourself short by opting for this sleek handset.

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