To all of our young readers out there, good news: Samsung Philippines has just ushered in a slew of Galaxy smartphones made just for you! Last Wednesday (July 3), through their official Twitter page, the company disclosed that they are holding a media affair aptly named Galaxy of Fun.

samsung galaxy fame

During the event, Mr. Coco Domingo - Head of Samsung Product Marketing, announced four additional smartphones in the Galaxy lineup. These new batch of mobile devices are designed for young and budget-conscious consumers who live an active lifestyle. Four affordable Samsung smartphones which you may want to consider if you’re intent on finally getting your hands on your very first Android smartphone.

Let me introduce you first to the Samsung Galaxy Fame. The phone resembles a Samsung Galaxy S4 -- having a similar "nature-inspired" design and the same home button with 2 capacitive keys at the bottom of the screen. This one, however, has a smaller frame, smaller display, and more rounded corners.

samsung galaxy fame
Mark of TP: To me, it looks like a smaller Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, which in itself is a smaller Samsung Galaxy S3. So it's shrunken version of an already shrunken device.

An entry-level release, Samsung Galaxy Fame - as expected - has rather lackluster technical specs. The phone has but a 3.5-inch TFT display with 320 x 480 pixels resolution (165ppi), a 1 GHz single core proprietary processor, 5 MegaPixel camera with flash, and 4GB internal storage expandable via microSD slot. It's good though that it already runs Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 so users can at least enjoy 'buttery smooth' touch response and screen transitions.

What makes Samsung Galaxy Fame the top or most pricey device among the budget smartphones recently introduced is its connectivity options once present only in high-end Samsung mobile devices: NFC and S-Beam. For those unfamiliar, S-Beam is a software feature in Samsung devices which allows one to content via NFC and Wi-Fi Direct with a simple touch:

samsung galaxy fame

Sharing whole music playlists, videos, and pictures with the S-beam used to be available only to top-end Galaxy devices. NFC, on the other hand, is unheard of in this price range even for other brands.

This thing costs Php 7,490, which is not bad. But here's the thing: At the Php 5,000 to Php 10,000 price echelon, there are numerous locally-branded phones with larger high-res screens and faster processors. Even Nokia with the Lumia 510 and LG Optimus L5 could compete at this price level. But all these phones don’t have the NFC and S-Beam capabilities.

But just how important are these extra connectivity features to Pinoy consumers? At this point, frankly, the technology should be useful only for people surrounded with family and friends owning S-Beam capable smartphones. Obviously, NFC is hardly a mainstream technology for sharing files and making business transactions in the country.

Mark of TP: This release would have been more interesting had Samsung given it a 2,000 mAh battery pack -- or something close to it. 1,300 mAh, in my opinion, is just way too little for any smartphone running the specs-intensive Android operating system.

Author: TP Correspondent Mon Arguelles is still a die-hard Ateneo Blue Eagles fan who still believes they can reach the finals this UAAP season despite their shaky and questionable opening day performance.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Samsung Galaxy Fame
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Entry Level
Dimensions113.2 x 61.6 x 11.6 mm (4.46 x 2.43 x 0.46 in)
Weight 120.6 grams
Available Colors White, Blue
Operating System Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Display TFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors, 320 x 480 pixels, 3.5 inches (~165 ppi pixel density)
Processor 1 GHz
RAM 512 MB
Internal Storage 4 GB, expandable via microSD card slot
Camera 5 MegaPixels, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, VGA front camera
Video Capture VGA@25fps
Audio and Video Playback MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263 player MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player
Ports microUSB v2.0, TV-out (via MHL A/V link), 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
GPS Yes, with A-GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Proximity, Compass
Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
SIM Card Type Mini (Regular) SIM
Battery Li-Ion 1300 mAh battery
Uptime Standby Up to 420 h (2G) / Up to 380 h (3G) Talk time Up to 8 h 40 min (2G) / Up to 6 h 10 min (3G)
Value-Added Features NFC, S-Beam
Announcement July 2013
Availability Projected: July-August 2013
Price PhP 7,490