Samsung Galaxy S Front Facing Camera Does Not Work

I bought an older unlocked Samsung Galaxy S with no intention of connecting it to a cell phone plan. I got it for listening to music, podcasts, taking photos, social media; things that I can do with wifi. I have a company smartphone that is neither an iphone nor an Android phone and I want/needed an Android device for personal use. I decided to just buy a device and not sign up for a cell plan, just use it on wifi when wifi is available.

Here are the phone Specs:

Model: Samsung-SGH-I897

Firmware Version: 2.3.5

OS: Gingerbread.UCKK4

I use the camera a lot and periodically want to take a selfie with a friend, family or just of myself but I have not been able to figure out how to make the front facing camera work. It bugs me to have to hold the camera out in front of my face and wonder if I am tapping the screen in the right spot to take a photo. I’ve searched for help on this topic but the posts all refer to one of two really obvious things.

1. With the native camera app open, an an icon in the upper left corner which shows a camera with arrows around it indicating you can switch between front and rear facing cameras by selecting it. I don’t have that icon.

2. Again, from the native camera app in tap the white box in the left menu to open the “shooting mode” settings and select “Self Shot”. I don’t have a “Self Shot” option in the settings.

Here are a couple of shots of my camera to show you what the screen looks like.

Samsung S Shooting Mode Settings Page 1

Galaxy S Shooting Mode Settings Page 1

Galaxy S Shooting Mode settings page 2

Galaxy S Shooting Mode settings page 2

I have a timer button in the upper left hand corner and no self shot shooting mode.

 I’m wondering if it has something to do with the fact that the phone is unlocked and does not have an active sim card installed (no cell plan).

As I was typing this post it occurred to me I may not have been asking the right question. I googled “Samsung-SGH-I897” and quickly got to a page with a pretty detailed list of specs. Right there on the page one of the Cons of owning this phone: No Front Facing Camera! The little thing on the front of the phone that looks like a camera is a proximity sensor. So, fortunately or unfortunately the mystery is solved.

I’m not disappointed actually. When I bought the phone I didn’t pay much for it and I really did not know I would use the camera as much as I do. I’m starting to think about swapping this phone out for a slightly newer model and this time no front facing camera will be a deal breaker.