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Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 review

With decent battery life, a bright screen and 4G the Ace 3 is a strong contender

When it comes to any device running Android, you're going to find a certain level of customisation. The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is no exception.

Anybody who has used any Samsung device, whether running Android or not, will be instantly familiar. It's understandable that Samsung is keen to have uniformity across all its devices, as it builds a tighter ecosystem, and it will help convince users to make the jump to Tizen, when that arrives next year.

Not everyone will be a fan of the overlay, but it is very easy to use, and intuitive. It is also a lot closer to the native stock Android, as opposed to HTC's Sense 5.0. There is definitely no BlinkFeed to be seen.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

On the hardware side of things, the Galaxy Ace 3 suffers a little. The dual-core 1.2GHz feels a little slow. On the whole, the handset chugged along nicely, but the Ace 3 stuttered enough times to demand comment. The quad-core power is noticeable on the HTC Desire 500.

Of course, though, every OS and UI should be intuitive. After all, what is a smartphone if it doesn't feel smart? Samsung has nailed this with TouchWiz, and every iteration takes it to the next step. The immediate comparison will always be to Sense, as it is the best known UI besides TouchWiz.

Something such as having quick settings in the Notifications bar as an example is a massive boost, to both usability and battery life. One key fault here, though, is the lack of any autobrightness feature, and it's hard to explain that omission.

There is access to both a quick settings page and Google's push to have a settings button via the notifications bar. On the Galaxy Ace 3, as with all Galaxy devices, it feels a little redundant.

Being Android Jelly Bean, the expandable and dismissable notifications are around, and this is an excellent feature. The top notification expands to show you more information, such as multiple messages from WhatsApp, or the ability to archive via Gmail.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

Swiping left or right also allows you to remove the notification from view, meaning that you don't have that text or email sat there bugging you all day. Voicemail messages, as ever, are still sat there until you call them.

The App drawer has taken a quick lick of paint, differentiating from the stock drawer in some pretty handy ways. The ability to sort your application list by date, alphabetically in a grid or list, or even hide apps that you don't want on there, is greatly appreciated.

As ever, folder creation isn't possible within the app drawer, which is a tad frustrating. It seems needlessly difficult on the home screens too, as there is no drag and drop. This could be due to patent litigations, or the desire to avoid them, but it's still disappointing.

The Koreans have also had another look at the lock screen. Widgets are possible, although the use for them is unclear, as you need to swipe about to alternate lock screens. Having preferred apps there is far better.

You can also add text to the lock screen, with the idea being that you can put your details on, so if you lose your phone it can be returned.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

The Android system is built very much around widgets, and that is continued on the Galaxy Ace 3. Widgets are accessed from a separate tab in the app drawer. A long press means you can drag and drop them to a home screen.

The most interesting are the assistive light (to turn your LED flash into a torch) and the clock. Just about every UI comes with a custom clock, and Samsung's is clean and effective, and fits in with the blockier nature of TouchWiz.

One particularly smart feature of Galaxy devices that makes a welcome reappearrance on the Galaxy Ace 3 is the smart suggestions when connecting headphones. It offers Music, Video, Phone, YouTube and Voice Recorder.

Samsung's UI remains impressive. The operation of the Galaxy Ace 3 is relatively smooth, although the dual-core processor struggled to keep up under a lot of strain.

TouchWiz still has its bright and attractive look. It will appeal to both new smartphone users and those who have used smartphones and Samsung devices before. Samsung has a history of good screens, and whilst the Super AMOLED technology isn't found on the Ace 3, the screen doesn't disappoint.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
SAR Value0.47 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Ace 3
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Product ModelGT-S7275
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)119.5 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerBroadcom
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density233 ppi
Front Camera Resolution300 Kilopixel
Height121.2 mm
Width62.7 mm
Depth10 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy Ace 3 GT-S7275 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Product LineGalaxy Ace 3
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-S7275HKABTU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Building on the success of the previous Galaxy Ace series, the Galaxy Ace 3 boasts powerful performance with a 1.2GHz dual core processor built to perform data-intensive tasks faster and more efficiently.

Powered by Android™ Jellybean 4.2, the larger 4.0 inch display offers a brilliant viewing experience while playing games and watching movies. The 5-megapixel camera is equipped with exciting features, including Sound & Shot, Best Photo, and Buddy Photo Share to fuel your creativity and allow easy sharing amongst friends.

To provide a more intuitive user experience, the Galaxy Ace 3 comes equipped with several smart features including:

  • 'S Translator': Gives instantaneous translations at any time, wherever you are
  • 'S Travel': Provides guides and travel information for your next trip
  • 'Smart Stay': Recognises when you are looking at the phone, and saves battery life when you look away by dimming the screen and powering down using advanced facial recognition
  • 'S Voice': Offers voice command functionality
  • Easy Mode': Brings a simple and intuitive homescreen mode for streamlined access to your top functions
Limited Warranty2 Year