The Galaxy Fame is a cheap way to get Jelly Bean
BARCELONA, Spain--It's not easy to be on the cutting edge when your wallet's a little on the light side. Fortunately the Samsung Galaxy Fame gives you the latest Android Jelly Bean software without breaking the bank -- but in other respects, you can't escape how cheap this phone is.
The Galaxy Fame launches alongside the Samsung Galaxy Young. Both phones have Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean software on board, making them a wallet-friendly way to put what is pretty much the latest software in your pocket.
The Fame is powered by a 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage for movies, music, and pictures. The processor is powerful enough to deal with the basics, but I found that it struggled with a relatively simple air hockey game, slowing down and not registering my finger movement, and lagging noticeably.
Combine that with the relatively low-resolution 480x320-pixel screen, and you're reminded that this is a cheap phone every time you pull it out of your pocket. There are loads of great-looking games, videos, and apps that can be downloaded through Android, but don't expect the Fame to be able to cope with them.
It has a 1,300mAh battery, which should be enough to get you through the day. But you'll need to charge regularly if you watch a lot of video, play plenty of games, or spend time with other battery-busting tasks.
On the photography front, the Fame boasts a 5-megapixel camera, which is a reasonable spec for a budget phone. Don't expect to replace your compact camera, though, especially in low-light situations such as at a party or even just indoors.
The Fame and Young look identical. They have a home button at the bottom, flanked by light-up Android soft keys set into the face, to launch the multitasking menu or go back. The light-up keys stay dark when not in use, which means you have to either press once to wake them up and then press again, or just remember which key is which when they're not lit up.
Rounded corners give the Fame a cute look, with a silver band around the edge adding a touch of class -- until it gets covered in fingerprints, which takes about five seconds. The back is glossy plastic in a range of colors, depending on which country you live in.
The standby button and the volume buttons are on the sides of the phone, and I found when holding it one-handed that I sometimes pressed them by accident as I tried to press the button on the other side, an issue that doesn't come up when the standby button is at the top.
There are dual-SIM versions of both the Fame and Young that allow you to keep two SIM cards in the phone at the same time, so you can receive and make calls from both numbers without having to carry two phones.
The Samsung Galaxy Fame is a budget phone, efficiently done. It's well-made and packs the latest software, but the screen and processor hold it back from the more cutting-edge delights of Android.