Look and feel
The Galaxy Fame’s near-identical twin, the Samsung Galaxy Young is miniature enough to suit even tiny, dainty hands, and slip into almost any pocket or purse. It feels solid enough to withstand some abuse, and sports typical Samsung style.
Ease of Use
That piddly 3.27-inch screen makes web browsing and similar activities a bit of a chore. The virtual keyboard will only suit users with slender fingers as it’s properly cramped.
Slashing the NFC support and front-facing camera of the Galaxy Fame leaves the Galaxy Young with little to speak of. The screen is disappointingly low-res with poor viewing angles, but the three megapixel camera does take great outdoor snaps.
That single-core processor struggles on occasion, even when trying to type out emails and other basic tasks.
The Galaxy Young can survive for a couple of days with basic use, or five hours when streaming movies.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,2/12/2013 11:56:39 AM
Ease of use
Good budget camera;
Compact, durable design
Expensive for what you get;
Occasionally jerky performance
Samsung’s Galaxy Young was launched at the same time as the Galaxy Fame, and to the untrained eye they might appear to be twins. After all, they’re both compact glossy Android smartphones rocking single-core processors and low-resolution displays, retailing for not much over the £100 mark. However, the Galaxy Young is a stripped-back model lacking some key features such as a front-facing camera and NFC, making it suitable only for smartphone newbies with basic needs.
Know which is which? The Galaxy Young is the one on the left, with the button markings and no front-facing camera...
Red, red wine
Although the Galaxy Young is a little chunkier than the Fame, it’s almost identical in every other respect, down to the glassy front panel, silver edging and shiny plastic rear. Once again it’s hefty enough to not feel cheap (a common problem with compact phones), but it won’t drag your pockets down either. The only major change is below the screen, where the touch-sensitive back and menu buttons are actually marked on the surface (on the Fame, the icons lit up instead when pushed). The Fame looks a little cleaner without the markings, but at least the buttons are clear on the Young.
As with the Fame, you can snap the back off to access the removable battery, SIM card slot and a Micro SD memory card slot. Purchasing a memory card is essential too, if you want to take lots of photos, carry music around or download apps: the Galaxy Young comes with just over 1GB of usable storage, a rather paltry effort. Our review model was the white version, but the Galaxy Young also comes in Metallic Silver, Wine Red and Deep Blue.
After switching on the Galaxy Young, we were hit with yet more déjà vu. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean looks exactly the same here as it did on the Galaxy Fame, reduced to fit the compact 3.27-inch screen. It’s another low-resolution panel that suffers from poor viewing angles, while the size of it makes browsing the web a slow, jerky affair. That dinky display also means the virtual keyboard has even less space to work with, and you’ll need very dainty hands and a slow typing speed to keep from constantly making mistakes. Thankfully the auto-correct does help if you have it turned on, but bear in mind that you can get similarly priced starter smartphones such as the LG Optimus L5 II and Huawei Ascend G510, which have larger and sharper screens.
Unfortunately the Galaxy Young regularly crawls to a halt, as the 1GHz single-core processor struggles to keep up with you. Occasionally we’d type out a sentence of an email or a web address and it would take a few seconds for the words to actually appear on-screen. Running games such as Vector and Temple Run are playable, but jump and stutter frequently. You’re best off playing simple puzzle games such as Bejewelled, which doesn’t rely on reactions.
Battery life is about standard for a compact mid-range mobile. You’ll get a couple of days of regular use between charges, although streaming video knocks it dead in just over five hours. Thankfully the Young charges quickly, so you can plug it in for half an hour before dashing for your bus and get enough power to last you a good few hours.
The Galaxy Fame’s five megapixel camera has been slashed to a three megapixel effort, but we found that performance was much on par. Some of our indoor shots appeared grainy when viewed back on a larger screen, especially in dim light (and this time there’s no flash to help out). However, our outdoor snaps looked great. Images were sharp and colours captured near perfectly. Our only issue came when shooting close-up photos as you can’t manually focus the lens, leading to a lot of blurry reject shots.
You get almost the same set of camera features, including Panorama, Smile Shot, a couple of filters, various scene modes and GPS tagging. Editing options are simple (crop and rotate) and you get the usual selection of ways to share your photos with friends and family. A major cut from the Galaxy Fame is the front-facing lens, which is missing from the Galaxy Young. If you’re planning on video chatting with buddies over Skype, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Another feature that’s been slashed is NFC. While the Galaxy Fame supported S Beam for sharing files and other bits with other smartphones, the Galaxy Young has to rely on good old fashioned Bluetooth. It’s not a deal breaker for us, but considering the Young isn’t much cheaper than the Fame, it seems a real shame that all of these features are missing.
We fully expected Samsung’s Galaxy Young to be under a hundred pounds thanks to its single-core processor, low-res display and basic features. For that price it would have made a decent smartphone for kids or newbies, but at over £120 we have to recommend rivals such as the Huawei Ascend G510 or LG Optimus L5 instead.