Samsung Galaxy Fit 3 Stars

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Smartphones are very desirable, but they do come at a price. If you’re after the benefits of a smart device, without splashing out too much, there are some options available – and the Galaxy Fit is one of them, benefiting as it does from both a small stature and a small price.

Design features

Pick up the Galaxy Fit and you’ll find it feels quite solid in the hand, even though it is light in weight. It looks pretty good, with its glossy black frame around the screen and simple styling. The back cover has a subtle texture to it, which feels nice when you’re holding it.

On the front is a central direction pad, while two back buttons offer access to menu and back. The display has no frame and sits flush to the chassis, offering a rather tactile feel to the phone’s experience. It all works towards giving the phone a luxury, expensive feel.

Wake-up time

Those classy looks are sadly spoiled when the screen is turned on. To wake up the device, you press the home button, which can be found near the top of the handset on the right (the usual place for Samsung phones). This wakes up the low-res screen, which is a disappointment.

Another disappointment is that the virtual buttons don’t have a backlight – so if you try to access the menu when you’re in a dark room, you’ll have to find your way by touch – pretty annoying to say the least.

 

Screen play

It’s not a surprise that at this price it was clear that Samsung would have to cut a few corners – you’ll find other budget Android phones don’t have Wi-Fi or feature resistive screens. Here, Samsung has decided to keep costs down by using a low-res, but capacitive screen, along with a really sluggish chip. The 600Mhz processor has a serious affect on the phone’s performance speed unfortunately.

Fair enough, Samsung is not expecting too much of the Galaxy Fit – for instance it is not able to cope with lots of animated wallpapers, which you may see on more expensive Android phones, so only one has been included, which is a good idea.

Taking pictures

We were pleasantly surprised, though, to see that despite the budget price the phone does include a five-megapixel camera. Sure, there’s no flash, but Samsung has made the right decision, rather than including a feeble flash and a low-res snapper. Images taken in decent light are fine – just don’t expect to be impressed by any taken in low light. Having said that, few camera phones manage to produce good snaps in those conditions, even with flash.

Operating system

If you’ve seen the Android OS running on a really decent screen, such as one of the Samsung AMOLED displays, you’ll feel badly let down when you see it on the Galaxy Fit’s display. But, on the plus side, it is one of the pretty recent versions – Froyo. Okay, it’s not the latest Gingerbread release, but that doesn’t really matter as the Galaxy Fit doesn’t have the hardware to cope with many of its advanced features, such as NFC support.

Slow performance

Between the low-res display and the slow chip, it might be enough to put you off the Android OS altogether! Samsung has not tried very hard to add its own mark to the Android experience (unlike HTC, for example), and it hasn’t put much effort into its apps either – you’ll be disappointed by the Samsung App Store.

However, at the end of the day this is a smartphone at a budget price, so you can’t expect the Galaxy fit to compete with the high-end phones – even so, there are similar-priced phones (such as the HTC Wildfire S), which perform better.

Our conclusion

As we have already mentioned, you can’t expect the Fit to stand up to high-end rivals, but it is a compact device at a decent price. It works well and looks good, although it can be sluggish in performance. If you have a basic phone and are planning to upgrade, the Galaxy Fit may be worth looking at if you want a small device at a small price. But if you can afford a little more, you’ll get yourself a better device with a higher-res screen.

Pros:
Stylish look and feel; good price.
Cons:
Sluggish processor; disappointing display.
Rating:
  • Look and Feel 5 Stars
  • Ease of use 2 Stars
  • Features 3 Stars
  • Performance 2 Stars
  • Battery life 3 Stars

Final verdict: 3 Stars

Review by Mobile Choice