My housemate was given his first smartphone for Christmas. An entry-level device, it serves him well without having cost too much, but it didn’t stop us mocking the confused way in which his technophobic fingers learned to tap the screen. Those of us with an (un)healthy love of technology, I’ve realised, can often become too hung up on the flagship devices. So we decided to review an entry-level smartphone: the Samsung Galaxy Fame, for those who don’t perhaps take their hardware quite as seriously as I do.
The phone won’t set you back much, and taking the phone out on a sim-only deal is the best way to go in my experience. As a student you might want to avoid entering into long-term commitments as you can’t always know how financially secure you might be once the student loan is gone! Plus monthly contracts allow you to easily swap minutes for data or change handset when you want. The Galaxy Fame is an ideal candidate in this regard, for the student who wants a smartphone allow them to check email, social media and the internet without a hefty price tag or long-term commitment.
As for the handset itself, my first impression was how small it is. It’s really very light, and is 11cm x 6cm, with a 3.5” screen. The display isn’t that great, it’s pretty low resolution (165ppi, I’m told), and the colours aren’t especially dazzling. Battery life is actually OK, despite the low capacity of the battery, the small screen and low-end processor give the phone a reasonable operating time. This phone would be quite good to take travelling or to a festival for these reasons, and has all the standard bells and whistles regarding connectivity (although no 4g).
The camera is a simple 5 mp sensor, which does the job reasonably well. In well-lit conditions the camera provides decent-ish snaps with good contrast. The sensor is challenged by more difficult environments however, and easily overexposes on bright objects, leaving pictures lacking in detail or rich colours. The rear facing flash is surprisingly good at lighting up dark scenes, and doubles as a handy torch. On the front is another camera, which will take a nice selfie in decent light.
The Fame runs Android 4.1.2 modified by Samsung. This OS is tried and tested and works well, although you may, depending on how tech-savvy you are, wish for a more up to date version of Android like those that ship with higher-end or Google-made hardware.
In any case this is a solid budget phone. The camera will be ideal for Snapchat, but may be lacking if you want to take up serious photography. For the cheap price tag that’s available via sim-only deals today, if you would like the portability and battery life of a simpler handset, but need like some of the connectivity features of a very modern phone, the fame is a good choice.