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Handset is not long-awaited iPhone competitor in the small size slot, instead targets budget markets

The iPhone 4/4S by Apple, Inc. (AAPL) may be trailing the barrage of high-end Android phones in cumulative sales, but it has earned high marks for its Retina display (960x640 pixel; 326 ppi).  Nonetheless, HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) Rezound smartphone recently passed the iPhone 4S in pixel density and resolution with its WVGA (wide VGA) 720x1280 pixel 342 ppi display.  In other words, if you're buying a smartphone purely on a hardware basis, there's no reason to buy an iPhone, unless, that is you're in the market for a petite phone.

However, if you want a more petite design, that’s where the Galaxy Ace by Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) comes in.  The original Galaxy Ace was Samsung's most direct shot at the iPhone yet.  A slight 3.5-inch design, the phone was a Galaxy S shrunk to iPhone size.  But the phone was hampered by a MSM 7227 800 MHz CPU from Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) and a mediocre 320x480 HVGA (half-VGA) screen.

Samsung has just pulled the wraps off its follow-up effort the Galaxy Ace Plus.  And while it packs a bit more power, it's still pretty weak in terms of offering competition hardware-wise to the similar-sized iPhone.

It fails to improve on the HVGA screen resolution, although it increases the screen size slightly to 3.65-inches.  It bumps internal storage from 2 GB to 3 GB.  The camera logic is also slightly improved.  While the resolution stays at 5 MP, the improved processor allows for 30 frames per second (fps) WVGA (480x800) video, where as the original model only allowed 15 fps QVGA (240x320).

Galaxy Ace Plus
The Galaxy Ace Plus is a bit bigger than its predecessor, but not much more powerful.
[Image Source: Samsung]

The processor receives a slight bump to 1 GHz -- Samsung did not clarify whether it's a new Qualcomm design or a proprietary model.  Memory remains unchanged at 512 MB and weight/size stay about the same, as well.

The Galaxy Ace Plus joins the similarly named, QWERTY keyboard-equipped Galaxy Ace Plus.

Samsung is giving a bit of a mixed message when it comes to the target audience.  On the one hand its press release plugs the phone's strong performance as a phone for the "trendy...busy and sociable young professional" crowd (the iPhone crowd), it also brags about the "affordably-sized" screen (appearing to target the non-iPhone budget crowd).

Sadly Samsung still hasn't been able to produce a decent iPhone competitor in the petite size slot.  But the Galaxy Ace at least could make a splash in the budget market.  Evidence that Samsung realizes the phone's proper place as a budget entrant is found in the fact that the company has announced no plans to release it in the high-end thirsty U.S. market, but is starting its roll out in the budget-driven Russian and Chinese markets, along with other smaller markets like Africa and Latin America.

Source: Samsung Mobile





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