Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Review

on Sunday, November 16, 2014
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 brings 4G speeds to the mid-range phone market. Its silver rim, single central home button and plain white backplate are essentially identical to numerous other Galaxy-branded handsets, but then it’s a proven formula from the best-selling smartphone maker on the planet.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Display

The Galaxy Ace 3 has a 4in display with a 480x800 resolution screen. It's a little smaller, and has less detail, than even budget rivals such as the mighty Motorola Moto G. Nonetheless, its compact dimensions will certainly suit many the phone users who are resisting the move towards bigger devices. The screen itself is pretty good for a device of its class. While not boasting the best brightness of phones we’ve tested, we found its colour accuracy to be acceptable and it performed fairly well in brightly lit conditions.

Strangely, there is no auto brightness setting on the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3. This means as you move from indoor to outdoor lighting conditions, you will have to adjust the screen brightness manually by pulling down the notification tray from the top of the screen. We tried third-party apps to add this to the phone, but to no avail as there simply isn't an ambient light sensor. It's an odd, and irritating, omission for a modern smartphone at this price.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Android

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 runs on heavily modified version Android 4.2.2 Jellybean. While Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface does divide opinion among consumers, the company has also included a number of unique software features which set it apart from the competition.
There are little options like Smart Alert, which vibrates the phone if you have missed notifications as soon as you pick it up, and a mono audio setting which is designed for the increasingly common practice of listening to music through a single earphone, or the mono speaker. There’s also a handy option which stops notifications from playing sounds when the screen is turned on. Then there are additions like Smart Stay, first seen on 2012’s Samsung Galaxy S3, which automatically dims the screen when the phone thinks you’re no longer looking at it. It works most of the time, but most of the time isn't good enough, so we still usually turn it off.

The inclusion of NFC is handy for quickly pairing the device with similarly-equipped cameras and camcorders. We're yet to see the spread of mobile-based payments in the UK, but we suppose they might finally take off within the lifetime of the handset
As usual with its smartphones, Samsung has included a selection of Samsung Hubs giving users the option of buying content like music, books and games from Samsung’s own stores instead of Google Play. We're yet to find much use for these, but at least you can hide them from the app drawer if desired. There are no word processing or spreadsheet apps included as standard, so you will have to download your own from the Google Play store.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3’s plastic shell houses a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. It’s not a great camera by anyone’s standards - images lack detail and higher contrast snaps don’t look at all vibrant - but it performs well enough in good lighting conditions.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Performance

The Galaxy Ace 3 is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Krait processor backed up by 1GB of memory. Its performance is very impressive, beating most of the other smartphones in its price range. It achieved 1,261ms in the SunSpider Javascript benchmark, which is faster than the Motorola Moto G, and was able to produce 17fps in the challenging 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmarking test. In real terms, this means the Galaxy Ace 3 is more than capable of running fairly advanced 3D games and loads web pages with relative ease. Browsing the web wasn’t quite as smooth as on the Alcatel One Touch Idol S (review coming soon), but it wasn’t far off.
Battery life was very good indeed; the Galaxy Ace 3 lasted 11 hours 46 minutes in our continuous video rundown test. This is an excellent result and puts it on a par with the more expensive, albeit more powerful devices such as the HTC One (M8) and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact.
The 4G version of the Galaxy Ace 3 comes with a reasonably generous 8GB of internal storage. However, those who have large music libraries or who like to watch TV and movies on their mobiles may need to invest in a microSD card; the Galaxy Ace 3 supports cards of up to 32GB in capacity, something the Moto G lacks.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 brings good performance and excellent battery life to buyers on a budget, but its screen resolution isn’t fantastic and some of its software additions are fairly superfluous. There are simply better handsets available, the Moto G is an obvious choice but it currently lacks 4G network support. However the Alcatel One Touch Idol S does have this, and still costs significantly less, which rather leaves the Galaxy Ace 3 between a rock and a hard place.


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