Samsung Galaxy Fame review
|Review: June 2013|
In a nutshell: The Samsung Galaxy Fame is a cute and compact smartphone running Android Jelly Bean. A small battery and a sluggish processor are the only downsides.
The Samsung Galaxy Fame looks very much like a miniaturised version of the popular Galaxy S3 Mini, and that's no surprise because that's exactly what it is. This is no bad thing of course, because who wouldn't want a cheap smartphone that's based on such a successful formula? If some of that Galaxy S3 magic can rub off on the Galaxy Fame, then Samsung looks set to have another winning Android smartphone, unless the drive for ever increasing profitability has led to too many shortcuts ...
Super compact design
The Fame is certainly a compact handset, and has a kind of cute look to it with its heavily rounded corners. It's quite thick though, and heavier than many similarly-sized phones, but that adds to its chunky charm.
The 3.5 inch screen is average for this price level, and is big enough to run most Android apps without a problem. It's the same size screen as the iPhone 4S, but really we wouldn't want to go any smaller than this. The pixel resolution is typical for an entry-level phone at 320 x 480 pixels, and it's not the brightest screen, missing out on the AMOLED magic of the S3 Mini and higher-end Samsung phones. Instead it's a TFT LCD display.
The screen is not the only thing that has been cut back to save costs. The processor is also a lot slower than that of the S3 Mini, being a single-core Cortex A9 1GHz Processor. That's a shame, since dual-core processors are now starting to appear in the budget smartphone sector. We fear that in a year or two, the Fame is going to start feeling rather slow, especially since it has only 512MB of RAM available.
The built-in storage of 4GB is more like what we expect though, especially since this can be increased very cheaply with a microSD memory card, adding up to 32GB extra memory.
Android Jelly Bean
We're pleased to see that the phone runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean straight out of the box, so you have access to the latest software with no messing about waiting for an update. Jelly Bean now has something like 700,000 apps available on Google Play - many of them free - and the Galaxy Fame is a low-cost way to start trying these out.
The phone comes with two cameras. A front-facing camera can be used for video calls or self-shots, and the main rear-facing camera can take higher quality stills and record video. The main camera uses a 5 megapixel sensor and has autofocus and an LED flash. It's capable of taking some decent shots, although it can't compete with a dedicated camera or a high-end smartphone.
We're impressed by the connectivity of the Galaxy Fame. First up, it's a 3G-capable phone with HSPA giving download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. Wi-Fi gives even faster data access, and the phone supports Wi-Fi Direct.
You'll also find Bluetooth and a micro-USB connector, plus a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones. But the feature that sets the Galaxy Fame apart from many of its peers is NFC connectivity, which few phones yet offer at this price point.
The Galaxy Fame has a 1300mAh battery, which is smaller than we'd like, especially considering the relatively high weight and thickness of the phone. The battery is even smaller than the Galaxy Ace, which generated a record number of user complaints about poor battery life, so that really isn't a good sign.
Conclusion - hmm ...
The Galaxy Fame certainly has the looks, and it's priced well. But does it have what it takes to offer real value?
As is so often the case, there are positives and negatives here. Let's get the negatives out of the way first. The number-one complaint is probably the battery life, which looks set to be below average. The 3.5 inch screen doesn't wow us, although we've seen a lot worse. The processor too failed to blow us away, but for everyday smartphone tasks it's probably up to the job.
So, what did we like? Well, there's the cuteness of the phone, which is definitely good-looking and nicely-sized. Android Jelly Bean puts in a welcome appearance, because having an up-to-date version of the operating system is always a smart move. The phone is very well connected, with fast HSPA and Wi-Fi for data munching, plus the bonus of NFC support and Wi-Fi Direct. The cameras are pretty good too, and there's plenty of memory available for storing music, videos and apps.
On balance, it's not a bad little smartphone at all, and you could do a lot worse than choose the Galaxy Fame. At the same time, we'd just bring to your attention the Nokia Lumia 520, which is a superb Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Vodafone Smart 3, which is a cheap Android phone with a bigger screen, and the Sony Xperia U, another Android phone with a dual-core processor and high quality display.
Samsung Galaxy Fame features include:
- Operating system: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus, video recording
- VGA front video camera
- Display: TFT, 262k colours, 320 x 480 pixels (3.5 inches) capacitive touchscreen
- Music player
- Integrated handsfree speaker
- AGPS and GLONASS with Google Maps
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- Personal organiser functions
- Processor: 1GHz single core
- Memory: 4GB plus microSD memory card slot (up to 32GB), 512MB RAM
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900), 3G HSDPA 7.2, HSUPA 5.76Mbps
- Size: 113 x 62 x 11.6 mm
- Weight: 121g
- Battery: 1300mAh battery
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Samsung Galaxy Fame user reviews
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Average rating from 38 reviews:
Reviewed by Roy
on 1st Feb 2016
Worst phone I have ever had: Slow, Freezes, switches off, contacts keep freezing. Has been returned under warranty still the same. The first and the last Samsung phone I will own!
Reviewed by sw
on 9th Nov 2015
Nice phone but SLOW beyond belief.
Reviewed by rachel
on 6th Oct 2015
I have the samsung galaxy fame and got a memory card but the games they just keeps on crashing why.
Reviewed by steve
on 2nd Sep 2015
Without doubt the worst phone I have ever had, still can't work out what its doing half the time,but whatever it does it does it slowly!
gave it one star because you are not allowed to give it minus stars on this site.
Reviewed by Aimee
on 19th Aug 2015
It is absolutely awful, it takes 30 seconds minimum to open up the camera app and texts rarely come through and when I have sent texts people they said they were never recieved. My contract ends in December I will deffinately get a different phone. It is by far the worst phone I have ever had and would not recomend it to enyone.
Reviewed by Tony
on 2nd Aug 2015
This cheap phone is a very poor performer. It's slow, the screen is too small, texting, using the installed keyboard is hopeless unless you have hands the size of a child and internet connectivity and speed is next to useless. Only six months to go on my contract, when I will be going back to the far superior Nokia range!
Reviewed by king dinerling
on 31st Jul 2015
i had this a year and can't figure out how to save apps to the memory sd card can anybody help its forstrating couse it only has 4gb memory on the device not a good phone to buy if you wanna store apps
Reviewed by Jane
on 15th Jun 2015
this phone is rubbish..... I have nothing good to say about it. I am glad to be rid of the blasted thing.
Reviewed by Chitra
on 25th May 2015
I have had this phone on contract for a year now. It is the worst phone I have ever had. In an emergency, I can not make a call as it is ever so slow loading and freezes up. I uninstalled some of the apps hoping it would speed up, but to all in vain. I regret very much for not keeping my Samsung galaxy ace after two year contract. Looks like I am stuck with this for another year before I can upgrade. This is really money down the drain.
Reviewed by Jackey
on 3rd May 2015
I love everything about this phone apart from the fact that it keeps crashing if I try to play games like Candy Crush Saga. I am not too sure if I can do anything about this.
Reviewed by Sheena
on 28th Apr 2015
Worst phone I've ever had. Firstly it's pretty slow. Have only had it 6 months but have problems with it turning itself off even when fully charged, and not being able to turn it back on again- the only solution has been to plug it in and hopefully after a while it will reboot.
Currently screen will not time out even though it is set to 15 seconds, and this runs the battery down really quickly. It also has a mystery notification sound - it's not a sound I've set in the notifications as they're all turned to silent, but it still vibrates! I've done a factory reset which has not resolved any of these problems. I've even deleted most of the apps.
It does have a mind of it's own and the battery life is rubbish. All updates etc are up to date but I just cannot be dealing with the aggro of sending it back to Samsung.
Reviewed by Andrew France
on 15th Apr 2015
Undoubtedly the worst phone I have ever had. Riddled with faults and unreliable . Biggest fault is charging .When charged it locks up so when battery runs down you cannot charge it unless you take the battery out and reboot it . Battery life is very low about half a day .Also comes up with unable to connect to network so have to reboot it by taking battery out .Has a mind of its own with regard to settings and will turn sound off or wifi etc .A total load of junk .
Reviewed by adnan wafa
on 27th Mar 2015
I hate this phone.
Reviewed by Julie
on 8th Mar 2015
Worst phone ever for all of the below reasons stated by others ....mine has just been lobbed across the room because I am so fed up with it. I would never recommend a Samsung to anyone. Any of my friends who have had Samsung phones or tablets have experienced similar problems. Total waste of time !
Reviewed by Sandra Joy
from Northern Ireland
on 14th Feb 2015
Worst phone ever! Wouldn't recommend this phone to anyone! Constantly needs charged as battery life is the shortest life spam on any phone that i have ever owned. Wont be buying a Samsung in a hurry again... Unfortunately i have to stick with this very, very poor quality of a phone as my contract doesn't end until September'15'......... Can't hardly download many apps as there is not enough storage space. Constantly freezes & someone screen disapears & goes blank.....
Reviewed by Lorenzo
on 2nd Feb 2015
I am using the fame right now anx it is lagging everytime I type or move around the screen. It is way to slow and it freezes. Don't buy. It is not cute it is just ugly and the screen is rubbish.
Reviewed by Buju
on 22nd Jan 2015
This phone is rubbish! Too slow for my liking and i would not recommend someone who would have used a better phone like HTC One or Nokia 1020!
Reviewed by H fae Cody
on 9th Dec 2014
I like the phone, can sometimes be a little over complex. But after all its featutes and my lack of memory I sometimes wonder whete it can help me out
Following basic instruction I still cant get the phone to operate as it should.
Reviewed by Dianne Buckley
on 15th Nov 2014
Love the look ,nice size just abit slow.
Reviewed by mick. w
on 2nd Nov 2014
had this phone 6 months and finally decided to throw in in the back of the drawer, had nothing but hassle, screen freezing,press for contacts have to wait and wait for the list to appear, screen goes blank, battery will not last the day with nominal usage without internet access, I would not even mark out of ten
Reviewed by Charles
from South Africa
on 18th Oct 2014
S.. L.. O.. W..
Reviewed by Michael
on 20th Sep 2014
It was slow to start with and went back for repair after about three months. However no faster after and gets slower by the day - sometimes freezing and needing a reboot. And the battery does not last a day if you make a phone call... Rubbish...
Reviewed by Kim
from South Africa
on 16th Sep 2014
Lovely phone overall but soooooooooooo slow!!!!!!! I could go mad. Can anyone suggest something to make it faster? I do all my updates etc
Reviewed by JOHN
on 2nd Sep 2014
i got this phone on a deal with talk talk, and have never had such a rubbish phone in all my life.
you carnt see the display in the slightest of daylight, the battery lasts a day if your lucky.
the ringtones are rubbish, and the internet is irritatingly slow. itsa only a cheap phone comarped to most but that reflects on its perfomance. avoid this phone if you dont want to get irritated, RUBBISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reviewed by Jamal shelleh
on 25th Aug 2014
This Samsung Fame is not a good mobile at all it's rubbish phone and it does not work properly at all it's like kids toy. Even kids toys are better than this phone.
Reviewed by James
on 22nd Aug 2014
Handed this a a work phone a few months ago and I have nothing positive to say about it other than its small and light.
30-45 seconds to open an email and if it's got an attachment you might as well put the kettle on. Even trying to make a phone call is painful, the pause between you pressing a button and it actioning it is so long you press it twice then it almost crashes under the strain..
I went back to using my 4 year old iPhone4 which is significantly faster in every possible way.
Reviewed by Nabeel
on 19th Jul 2014
I am using this set , it is realy bad phone , it runs very slow, i have just uninstalled all my apps except the necessary ones, but still it runs too slow, it hangs often,application even FB app doesnt work smoothly , a worst product from Samsung
Reviewed by Shirley
on 9th Jun 2014
I have had the fame for a few months not as good as my last HTC, but the capital key has totally disappeared, so I am not that happy with it.
Reviewed by Keith
on 17th May 2014
Super phone but the battery goes flat quike
Reviewed by Theresa
on 8th Apr 2014
Iv had many expensive mobile phones and up to a week ago I had the latist iphone I felt was slow and sluggish and I was not happy with my partner has a samsung fame which bought me buy one for my self this is a lovley little phone nicee size good size screen and nice and easy-to-use im very impressed with my fame muuch better then the iphone
Reviewed by D miller
on 31st Mar 2014
The phone is relatively great however does at times take nanny fits and decides to black out and the battery life is shocking, but over all a great wee phone
Reviewed by noel
on 28th Mar 2014
Very good phone dryyyyyyyyyyyy!
Reviewed by eny
on 27th Mar 2014
Samsung is Great,,,and I Love it
Reviewed by dave
on 22nd Mar 2014
Had an HTC Wildfire before this phone which was much quicker I find the Fame slow to do just about anything wouldn't recommend it
Reviewed by ryan
on 14th Mar 2014
WORST PHONE IN THE WORLD!!!!!
Do not get this phone. I bought this as a cheap replacement as my usual phone broke and I was highly disappointed!
Let's start wiv the positives as there aren't many.
Firstly it is small and compact and decent looking. Has 2 cameras. Those are the only positives. Now the negatives.
OK...first off..the battery lasts for about 6 hours if u
You never use it, but as most people actually use their phone, good luck getting 4 hours use out of it, and this is when it is only a month old.
Also, this phones has to be the slowest phone in the history of android phones. If u want to call someone, it will take about 30 seconds. If u hit the call button, the next screen will not show up until about 10 seconds later. The cameras are awful at best. There is no point using the internet as it is painfully slow and it would be quicker if
You called a friend and asked them to search for you.
Lastly the signal is poor. You will not get reception.
Save yourself the daily frustration and get a different phone.
Reviewed by robbie
on 11th Jan 2014
I got this phone on a contract it does everything I want it to but it does frustrated me when I can get a signal which is quite offten
Reviewed by Robert
on 28th Dec 2013
Bough this phone for my mum, it works great as a first smartphone. The speed of the phone is fast and responsive. The screen is big enough to access the internet and write texts fine.
The screen resolution could be better, but it is a entry level phone after all so considering the price its perfect.
For my mum who uses the phone to text, call and browse the internet the battery is lasting great. With Wifi, data and gps turned on it lasts about 3 days.
As an entry level smartphone I can't fault it!
Reviewed by Amin
on 4th Nov 2013
WORST PHONE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I bought this phone for myself thinking that it was cheap and light and I could take it anywhere but when I started to use it I found out that it has only 2gb of memory and only let me download two applications befor it started to say that there was low memory so I had to delete one of the applications and I have to now use it on my iPod and all I do on my phone now is whatsapp texting and calling nothing else
Reply by HiM
on 19th Dec 2013
I disagree this is better than iphone i think i brought this i have downloaded about 10 apps from Skype to what app and games i luv this phone i got it cheap and it's really good i am thankful that I didn't waste my money and got the right phone if ur thinking to buy this i would 10/10 ask u to buy iy
Reply by kkk
on 3rd Jan 2014
Reply by Natalie Ireland
on 1st Jun 2014
I think that this is an amazing phone, it has two cameras that work very well. It also has very good added features like the design. I think that you need to buy a memory card to save more items like music, images and other downloads. Overall a very good phone + its easy to use and lightweight.