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Ace Plus and Defy XT: brothers in specs, rivals on shelves

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August 1, 2012

Samsung officially launched the Galaxy Ace Plus in India in March 2012, offering a new, attractive choice to millions of consumers looking for smartphones in the INR 15,000 category. Success inevitably followed; so did competition. Motorola checked into the same price range in June 2012 with its Defy XT, a model very similar in specifications to the Ace Plus, with a few significant distinctions. It is appropriate to compare these two phones and mark the categories where they score over one another. Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus price is Rs 14,000 while Motorola Defy XT is priced at Rs 14,671.  What device should excite the consumer more? Let us take a detailed look.

  • Design and build: Both, the Ace Plus and the Defy XT have the touch candy bar form factor, with the latter being narrower by 4 mm and thicker by about seven-tenths of a millimeter, both of which hardly qualify as advantages or otherwise. The phones weigh nearly the same (~ 115 g), and are both available in black. Where the Defy XT scores over its rival is its ruggedness. This model is IP67-certified to be dust resistant and waterproof up to 1 m for 30 minutes.
  • Display: Both have 3.7-inch screens (3.65 for the Ace Plus, for nitpickers), and feature 16M colors rendered on TFT LCD. However, the Defy XT grabs the honors in this category by virtue of its far superior screen resolution of 854×480 pixels, compared to the Ace Plus’ surprisingly paltry 480×320. In addition, the XT’s display is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass, immunizing it against dust and scratches and enhancing its overall ruggedness.
  • Connectivity: Both the phones offer 3G, EDGE, and GPRS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, with the Ace Plus featuring the newer Bluetooth 3.0. GPS functionality aided by Google Maps and an e-Compass are also common. The Ace Plus, with 7.2 Mbps HSDPA capability, has been reported to function faster than the Defy XT on a 3G network.
  • Camera: The Ace Plus offers a 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, and so does the Defy XT. The XT has an additional front facing VGA camera that makes video calling and chatting convenient. Also, the XT’s main camera has 4x digital zoom, a touch above the Ace Plus’ 3x zoom.
  • Software:  Android v2.3 (Gingerbread) is the common OS, laid over in the Defy XT by the MotoBlur UI, which allows switching between work and personal modes, and in the Ace Plus by Samsung’s universal TouchWiz UI. Both phones have the standard Android features like the Android Browser, Google Play (which used to be called as Android Market at the time of the Ace Plus’s launch) and Adobe Flash Player. The Ace Plus wins the battle here courtesy its better collection of apps, including Social Hub for integrated social networking, Samsung ChatON messenger and Picasa.
  • Music and video: Nothing much separates the phones in the music section, with featured support for most common formats, including MP3, WMA, AAC, MIDI and AMR. Both have 3.5 mm audio jacks, and provide earphones as accessories. The Defy XT offers the Android Music Player by default. As for video, both allow recording @ 30 fps and streaming. Both the phones support video messaging as well as playback most of the video formats. This deficiency of playing other file formats other than the supported ones can be easily dealt with though, by installing pertinent third party app such as MX Video Player. One progressive feature of the Ace Plus that the XT lacks is its implementation of 3D sound technology.
  • Hardware and battery: Both the Ace Plus and the Defy XT are driven by 1GHz, single-core processors and 512MB RAM but the processor in Dexy XT is better in performance due to newer architecture. The Ace Plus offers higher built-in memory at 2.7 GB (compared to the XT’s 1 GB), but they are both microSD-expandable up to 32 GB. The Defy XT boasts of a 1650 mAh battery, beating the Ace Plus’ 1300 mAh specimen of the same variety. The battery lives, however, have been found be to similar (around 9 hours on normal 2G usage).

It is easy to judge by the frequent use of the term ‘both’ in all these comparisons that the Galaxy Ace Plus and the Defy XT sport extremely similar features. Depending on the user’s requirements or preferences, one or the other may be opted for. For instance, a person looking for on-the-go social networking will find the Ace Plus more up to speed, while someone working in an industrial environment where damage and wear-and-tear are likely will prefer the Defy XT. Users who keep a rich, high-resolution display high on their priority lists will also find the Defy XT a much better bargain. On the other hand, those who similarly value high-quality sound will be better served by the Ace Plus. All things considered, at around INR 15,000, the hardware, battery life, connectivity and multimedia features of both these phones, Motorola Defy XT is a better choice as it offers better screen and performance for the same price.

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