Samsung very recently and very quietly announced the existence of the Galaxy Ace 3 smartphone, the third in a line of very affordable Android phones with fairly good specs. While the company is perhaps better known for its S series of flagship Android models, the Ace line has been a very good jump-on point for people who want to own capable smartphones without breaking the bank.
The latest Ace marks a shift for the series, as it gets bumped down to entry-level status from the midrange. Let’s take a look back at the previous incarnations of the device, and see just how much the Samsung Galaxy Ace has evolved over the years.
Samsung Galaxy Ace : Humble Beginnings
The first Galaxy Ace, the S5830 model, was released in February of 2011. It came with a 3.5-inch screen that supported a 320×480 resolution, a mere 158MB of internal storage, 278MB RAM, and a 5MP camera. It ran on an 800MHz ARM 11 processor with an Adreno 200 graphics unit.
That was typical midrange fare back in 2011, with the likes of the LG Optimus One being popular around the same time. The Ace imitated the name of the Galaxy S, and it had the lower-end Galaxy Fit (and Galaxy Y for later versions) to make it stand out better against the influx of cheap Android handsets.
Success of the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2
In May 2012, Samsung released its follow-up to the Ace. The Ace 2 (I8160) featured some improvements upon the first: a bigger screen (3.8 inches) with higher resolution (480×800), much bigger storage (4GB internal), and a dual-core processor clocked at 800MHz. A month later, the Korean company launched a dual-SIM variant that took the form factor of the original Ace (albeit with 3GB internal storage, 512MB RAM, and a CPU with negligible improvement, clocked at 832MHz).
There was a bunch of other fringe Ace models over the past couple of years, including the Ace Plus, ACE II X, and the Ace Advance, all geared towards providing incremental improvements to the proud and fairly popular midrange line.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
There will be two variants of the Ace 3. The first is a 3G model powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, while the other comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and has LTE connectivity. That’s right—LTE in an entry-level device. We’re not sure how much of this has to do with the power creep in phone specs or with the inexorable advance of 4G LTE.
The rest of the spec sheet contains the following: a 4” display with 480×800 resolution, a 5MP camera, microSD expansion up to 64GB, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for the OS. Internal memory varies depending on model; the 3G unit comes with 4GB (1.77GB user-accessible), while the LTE unit has a more decent amount of storage at 8GB (5GB user-accessible).
If this is what’s considered “entry-level” these days, then it shows just how much mobile technology has improved in such a short span of time. Some sites are already saying the specs aren’t anything special, even though they’re pretty good for a low-end device. You have access to high-speed mobile Internet, there’s plenty of room in terms of storage, and the phone will flawlessly support most apps—from your mobile virtual PBX app to some of the more demanding games on the Play store. The phone can certainly handle anything you throw at it, except perhaps full HD multimedia consumption.
Anyway, you’ll be getting pretty decent hardware with what will certainly be a very affordable price tag—that’s exactly the same spiel the previous Ace variants give us. This is the latest and greatest Ace, and it’s not shabby at all. Only the screen resolution is a bit of a disappointment, considering the other display configurations at the midrange level, but there has to be a compromise somewhere.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace has come a long way since it first came out in 2011, and we won’t be surprised if this line of affordable but fairly powerful Android phones will have the same longevity as the flagship S series.