The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is a 4-inch mid-range Android smartphone that all of a sudden feels very insignificant next to the Motorola Moto G. Priced at £200 SIM-free, the Ace 3 is more expensive than the Moto G and has a less impressive specs list with exception of its 4G support, one of the few missing features on the Moto G. If you want a 4G phone but don't want to spend big, the Ace 3 is an affordable option. That aside, there's very few reasons to spend more to get a lot less.
Watch our Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 video review:
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The Ace 3 apes the design of the Samsung Galaxy S4, S4 Mini and so many other handsets in the Galaxy family with a familiar white glossy plastic body, silver metal band and thin bezel down the sides of the display is in place once again.
The home button is flanked by capacitive buttons below the screen with the chrome speaker up top alongside the microphone and sensors. You can whip the plastic back off by squeezing a fingernail in the groove alongside the headphone jack, where you’ll find room for the removable battery, Micro SIM and Micro SD card slot. Around the back you’ll find the small speaker, main camera and LED flash.
The Ace 3 weighs 120g so it’s lighter than the Moto G (143g), but heavier than the Galaxy S4 Mini (107g). At 9mm thick, it’s slimmer than the Moto handset and matches the S4 Mini in the slenderness department. Despite the slippery feel of the removable plastic back cover, the Ace 3 is comfortable to hold in one hand and slips easily into a jeans pocket.
The cheap, plastic body feels a little more acceptable for a phone at this price but there’s definitely a feeling that the Samsung Galaxy phone look is in desperate need of a refresh and even handsets like the HTC Desire 500 prove you can make a good-looking cheap phone.
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The Ace 3 has a 480 x 800 resolution screen squeezing in 233 pixels per inch (ppi), which is the same as the similarly priced HTC Desire 500. But both are eclipsed by Moto G hand its 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution, and it definitely falls short of the impressive image sharpness and clarity levels the Moto G offers.
Icons and text look particularly fuzzy around the edges, but it is a vibrant screen and viewing angles are good. Typically, this is another Samsung Galaxy phone that offers great colours and contrast making it a good place to watch movies. Maximum screen brightness would make it easier to use outdoors if the display wasn't so reflective.
We expected better from the screen in terms of responsiveness. It’s fine when you are swiping through homescreens and trying to launch apps, but a simple copy and paste is often a frustrating task. Ultimately, this is a screen that's not going to blow you away.