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Monday, March 19, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus Review

Need a new phone? Don’t want to spend more than 25T on a new iPhone or Galaxy S2? For the average user who just needs to simply check email, Skype and do a little Facebook or Twitter, the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus might just be what you need. While there are a ton of Android phones in the market today, looking for a decent mid-range one is actually pretty difficult. Most people fall into the trap of either getting an entry level phone or end up spending more for a high end model. The sweet spot would be between the 10T-15T peso range.

The Galaxy Ace Plus is the replacement for last year’s model, the Galaxy Ace. The biggest complaint with the old model was it’s cheap plastic construction and the low resolution screen. Looking at the design of this new model you can tell right away that Samsung made an effort to give it a more high end look, especially this white model. It’s uncanny how similar the size and design is with the iPhone 3GS. In fact you can actually fit a 3GS case into the Ace Plus (except that the holes for the camera and ports are not aligned). As for the screen, Samsung for some strange reason decided to stick with the same HVGA (320x480) screen. However, they did improve the viewing angle and the colors are much brighter and with better saturation. This seems to help quite a bit because after using it for a few hours you forget about the low-resolution screen. They also increased the screen size to 3.65 inches. This might not seem like much but it makes typing just a little bit easier.
The white looks a lot better than the black

Very easy to accidentally press the unlock and volume buttons

Under the hood, it now has a 1Ghz processor with 512MB RAM and 3GB internal storage with Micro SD expansion. Performance is actually quite good and snappy. It’s running Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread with TouchWiz and technically it should be able to run Android 4 ICS, but there is still no official word from Samsung if you can upgrade. It also has a 5 Megapixel camera with LED flash. I was actually impressed with the outdoor photos, but as for the indoor, let’s just say its ok and try not to use the LED flash. My biggest disappointment is the video. It only records VGA. I still can’t understand why Samsung decided to do this. The processor and RAM should be able to handle 720p. Also, it has no front camera. Why Samsung? Why? Check out the sample photos.

Battery life is surprisingly quite good, despite having only a 1300mAh battery.  You can go for about 2 days before having to recharge. However, using WiFi and 3G and you will probably need to charge at the end of the day. Overall, I have to say the Ace Plus is actually quite a decent phone. Its performance is quite responsive and for about 12-13T pesos, I think the average user will be very happy as long as one doesn’t mind the screen resolution and not being able to record HD video. If you are more of a power user, you might want to check out the Sony Xperia Neo V, LG Optimus Black or wait for the newly announced Galaxy Ace 2.

The Good:

- Snappy performance with the 1GHz Processor/512MB RAM
- 5MP Camera
- Design and build quality

The Bad:

- HVGA Screen
- VGA video recording
- No front camera
- Galaxy Ace 2 will be out soon

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