The Galaxy Fame’s browser is limited, unappealing and – like the rest of the phone – sluggish. It’s always playing catch up with your demands – it’s slow to respond with bookmark menus and opening separate tabs is a chore. There’s no text reflow, so you have to zoom in massively to comfortably view text and overcome the low-grade, pixelated text. Smartphones ought to excel at web browsing, but the Fame doesn’t.
Call quality is satisfactory. There’s no noise isolation, but in normal conditions are clear and crisp, even if the earpiece could be a shade louder. Signal strength doesn’t match other Galaxy-branded phones we’ve tested, but this did not result in any dropped calls during our time with the it.
The Samsung Galaxy Fame camera is a minor highlight on an otherwise disappointing phone. A 5-megapixel rear-mounted camera has autofocus and an integrated LED flash, and more than holds its own compared to similar price rivals.
It’s a little slow to startup – it takes a full four seconds to spring to life – and colours are a little muted, but it takes decent, shareable shots more often than not. The inbuilt LED flash is a welcome addition, but can be a little overpowering, leading to some overexposed indoor shots.
Again, the VGA forward-facing snapper is an acceptable offering. It’s far from anything special, but it’s adequate for low quality video.
There’s video shooting, too, but at a lowled 640 x 480 resolution. The identically priced Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 shoots at 720p – a much more impressive option.
The Samsung Galaxy Fame is not a true multimedia phone. With the combination of a single-core 1GHz processor and 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display, the Fame lacks the ability to run demanding games or offer absorbing video playback. We gave up trying to watch a film after five minutes as it was slow and pixelated.
Onto apps and gaming and the Samsung Galaxy Fame once again struggles. You can forget the likes of Real Racing 3 – it took 15 minutes to load and then decided it wouldn’t work. The Fame fares little better with more basic games. Stick Tennis, a simple game took close to a minute to kick into life. Once active, gameplay was laggy with the ball jittering rather than flowing across the screen.
Although claiming to feature 4GB of internal storage, just half of this is actually available given the demands of Android and Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay. Fortunately the Samsung Galaxy Fame adds microSD card expansion up to 64GB, which is a small bonus. No headphones are included, though there is a headphone jack to use your own.