Smashing news, bargain hunters! Samsung's got a brand-new Galaxy Ace on the way, the Ace 3, and it's packing 4G. Wait, what? Yes, the follow-up to the phenomenally popular Galaxy Ace 2 -- famous for providing good Android times for under £200 -- will be able to use the .
4G isn't compulsory, of course, and it should get cheaper eventually, so the Ace 3 is just sensibly future-proofing itself. Out tomorrow, 5 October, the Ace 3 will be initially be available from EE, then from retailers such as Carphone and Tesco.
None of the retailers I contacted could give me any pricing or contract info, but I'd be surprised if the Ace 3 was more than £200 SIM-free when it goes on sale unlocked.
Stingey on the specs
That's because other than 4G it's pretty unambitious, specs-wise. Its screen is a tiny bit bigger than the Ace 2, at 4 inches, but it has the same mediocre 800x480-pixel resolution. If anything, stretching the same number of pixels over a larger area should reduce its sharpness. (It's down to 233 dots per inch from 246.)
Its 1.2GHz dual-core processor is nothing to write home about either, with even mid-range blowers packing four cores these days, but it is a boost from the Ace 2's 800MHz dual-core effort. Its cameras (5 megapixels on the back, abysmal 640x480 pixels on the front) are the same as last year, however, and are looking rather dated.
Inside is 1GB of RAM and just 8GB of space, which gets even more cramped when you learn only 5GB is free for you to use. Fortunately you can store photos and music on an external microSD card, up to 64GB.
The biggest upgrade from the original Ace 2 is that it comes with the pretty up to date Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, as well as Samsung's latest home-made apps, including the voice controller S Voice, the beginner-friendly Easy Mode and lots more.
If you can't wait for the Ace 3, the best value Android phone around right now is the ludicrously cheap. Just £60, and with very similar specs to the Ace 3 (including a virtually identical screen) its main problem is its meagre 1GB of space for apps.
Are you in the market for a budget Android? What did you make of the Ace 2? Let me know what you think in the comments, or on our reasonably priced Facebook page.