Samsung phones tend to have a very heavy media slant, and there is little about the Galaxy Ace 3 to suggest Samsung is taking a different tack here. The screen isn't geared to watching a lot of video, but is bright enough to watch shorter video clips.
When it comes to media features, the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 comes with many different features, including a well stocked Music player, a decent Video player and an FM radio.
The Galaxy Ace 3 rear speaker is loud, although sound quality is a little fuzzy when the volume is pushed right up. It isn't up to long listening sessions, but it is loud enough to cope with sharing YouTube clips.
It would be remiss not to mention the microSD slot here - somewhat necessary given that the internal storage leaves only about 5GB of space, once the OS and system apps have been installed. Samsung has graciously supported the Galaxy Ace 3 up to 64GB of extra space, large enough to cope with most media libraries.
Where to start with the music app? It comes with enough features to keep nigh-on every user happy, and sound reproduction via earphones is top notch.
A certain level of that has to be down to the headphones you choose. There were no problems with the bundled headset, but obviously those who want to listen a lot will prefer their own kit.
Obviously, sound volume can be changed by the rocker on the side, but there is also a little speaker icon in the top-right that brings up a little slider. This wouldn't be worth remarking on, apart from the presence of a little equalizer button underneath it.
This brings up a list of equalizer options, from the standard Auto mode, through to Bass Boost, Pop, Rock and the more interesting Tube amp effect and Virtual 7.1 ch. For less media savvy users, Auto mode is about all you'll ever need, but having the extra functions is never a bad thing.
In the opposite corner, the upper-left, there is also a small icon that, to some, may seem a little unfamiliar. This is for the DLNA streaming, a feature that felt a little disjointed on the Galaxy S3 Mini.
Thankfully, that is not the case here - tapping the icon brings up a list of media outlets that you can stream your music to.
Lyrics are supported, so all you karaoke fans can see the words that you're getting wrong, whilst you belt out your rendition of My Way. A word on that, though: you will need to make sure that you have the lyrics downloaded, as I couldn't find a way of downloading them.
Tapping the menu button also brings up settings, and Music view. It's an entirely novel feature and essentially useless feature, which seems to show a graph of the volume of the music being played.
AdaptSound is also present within the Music app. After following the setup wizard, and listening to a variety of beeps at varying frequencies, it will boost the music to suit your hearing range.
This is something that will probably have less effect on the younger audience, given that your hearing range narrows as you age.
Alongside all the usual ways of viewing your music, by artist, album, song, playlist or by folder, Samsung's Music square makes another appearance. This feature has yet to prove its value, but if you have a large enough media library, your Galaxy Ace 3 will go through and analyse and sort it, allowing you to choose your music based upon your mood.
The obvious play, pause, track skipping, shuffle and repeat buttons are also out in full force, but you would no less. As a music player app, it is extremely well stocked, and you're unlikely to need another one, but Google's Play Music app does also come installed if you're after something a little different, or there is always the Play store for a third-party app.
When it comes to video playing, the first thing anybody will comment on is the screen. It really doesn't matter how feature-stocked the player is, unless you are going to get a decent experience whilst watching it.
As I've said, the screen on the Galaxy Ace 3 is neither Super AMOLED nor HD, but the TFT screen is bright enough, and with a high enough contrast, that video watching is pleasant enough. For those after something more video intensive, a tablet would be a better choice.
After all that, the player is going to need to be decent. This is somewhere that the Korean brand has excelled, and that is something that has yet to change on the Galaxy Ace 3. Where to start? Let's try the beginning. Open up the video player and you are greeted with a very attractive grid of your videos.
The video player pulls in all your videos from your Dropbox account, as well as showing all the videos that you have on your Ace 3. This is something that gets a massive thumbs-up to, as it saves a lot of space, meaning that the 69GB you potentially had is greatly boosted. This will require a data connection, though.
Loading up the radio (with earphones connected), it immediately starts searching for stations. It didn't find every station I was after, but it found enough.
It also has the ability to record live radio for listening to later, as well as storing your four favourite stations for easy location. The little knob in the middle is also easy enough to use.
Samsung's gallery app is also very attractive, providing a grid of thumbnails from all the folders that have stored media.
The Galaxy Ace 3 will also pull in all your photos from your Dropbox account (with the Dropbox app also allowing you to instantly upload photos to the cloud), as well as those from your Google/Picasa account, and from your Facebook account.
Photo editing is also available, for images that you have saved on your device. There are so many to go through that it is impossible to list them all, but should you decide that you want to forgo editing on your desktop, Samsung has you more than covered.