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Samsung Galaxy Fame review

Get ready young'uns - it's got NFC too

Samsung Galaxy Fame review
Fame! I'm going to live forever...etc, etc

Our Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Fame is a small, cheap phone aimed at younger users who want to connect to Facebook, and for those users it's fine. It struggles with anything more substantial, though, and the screen and camera are both pretty poor.


  • Small dimensions
  • Cheaper price
  • NFC support


  • Difficult texting
  • Low-res screen
  • Poor camera for 5MP

The Samsung Galaxy Fame is a phone that comes with a celebrity name, but certainly no celebrity price tag. Available SIM-free and unlocked from around £180/US$200 and free on UK contracts starting as low as £10 per month, the Samsung Galaxy Fame will certainly not drain your bank balance.

It is unsurprising that Samsung has the most prolific smartphone sales figures. With Galaxy devices as numerous as stars in the night sky spanning every corner of the market, from the highest end Samsung Galaxy S4 and announced Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, the super-sized Samsung Galaxy Note 2 right through to the ageing Samsung Galaxy S3 before hitting the lowest ends with the Samsung Galaxy Fame and the Samsung Galaxy Young.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

This puts it square in contention with the Samsung Galaxy Young, the ageing Samsung Galaxy Ace and Samsung Galaxy Y, as well as the newer LG Optimus L3 2 and Nokia Lumia 520.

Samsung has clearly got a design ethos in mind, one that has been apparent since the Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was far curvier than its predecessor, with its successor following very much in its footsteps.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

With the Samsung Galaxy brand all very much in line, the Samsung Galaxy Fame is positioned at the very bottom, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Young.

With vital statistics sitting at 113.2 x 61.6 x 11.6mm (4.46 x 2.43 x 0.46) in size and 120.6g (4.25oz) in weight, Samsung has created a handset that sits very comfortably in the hand, if a little heavier than expected.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

Clues to the smaller price tag are certainly evident from the off, the smaller 3.5-inch screen with a 320 x 480 HVGA resolution and plastic body being the biggest clues.

That said, Samsung has been a fan of using plastics on its devices since the off, with its appearance on its flagship smartphones always being a talking point. On the Samsung Galaxy Fame, the plastic feel fits the phone.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

Sticking with the design of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy Fame comes in two colours, our review model coming in white, with blue also being available.

A faux metallic band surrounds the bezel, which is noticeably thicker than on premium handsets. The curved back wraps tightly round the back of the Fame, offering a reassuringly snug fit.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

As with every modern smartphone, the screen dominates proceedings. The aforementioned HVGA resolution was always going to be a bit of a worry, but its diminutive size goes some way to helping.

Thankfully, the resolution doesn't greatly hinder the phone, since Samsung's screen tech keeping things vivid and a lot brighter than expected.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

Elsewhere on the front of the Samsung Galaxy Fame is the traditional Home button, sandwiched between the Menu and Return soft keys. At the opposite end is a metallic speaker, the VGA front-facing camera and a couple of sensors.

Underneath this, Samsung has powered the Galaxy Fame with a single core 1GHz processor, as well as 512MB of RAM. These sit alongside a VGA front-facing camera, 5MP rear snapper (with flash) and 4GB of internal storage, of which a mere 1.95GB is free.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

Externally, the Samsung Galaxy Fame comes with the standard micro USB port at the bottom, sat alongside the microphone, with the 3.5mm headphone jack at the top.

Unsurprisingly, the volume rocker is on the left and the Power/Lock button is directly opposite, on the right-hand side. Being such a small phone, every inch of the screen - as well as every button - was easy to hit one-handed, which is ideal for the younger generation that Samsung seems to be aiming the Galaxy Fame at.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

Behind the wrap-around back cover, which sits reassuringly tightly to the back of the Fame, the 1300mAh battery sits over the SIM slot. Thankfully, as with all Samsung Galaxy devices, the Samsung Galaxy Fame also comes equipped with a microSD slot, which even more thankfully is hot-swappable.

Samsung Galaxy Fame review

The Samsung Galaxy Fame shapes up to be an interesting prospect. The budget market has become increasingly packed with Android phones, with last year's flagship devices slipping down the price scales to sit alongside newly launched tech.

The question is, will the Samsung Galaxy Fame live forever? Or will it crash into the ground while learning to fly?