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796 of 818 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Battery Life/Pretty Good Phone too!!
I've been watching the HTC Thunderbolt 4G phone and finally gave up on it due to all the bugs and horrible battery life. So after reading several reviews on the Samsung Droid Charge, I decided to take the plunge. Here's how my first few days with the new phone went - the good and the bad. First some qualifiers - I live in the Maryland suburbs outside DC where there is...
Published on May 18, 2011 by Todd

versus
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feedback
I just upgraded my Blackberry Storm to the Droid Charge. I like the phone. The battery life is much better than the Droid X or Droid 2, similar to the storm. Screen display is awesome; there are some quirks when it appears to have a mind of its own. My dislikes, dropped calls and spotty reception. I still carry my Blackberry with me and compare signal strengths and the...
Published on May 28, 2011 by William Powers


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Ready for Primetime, August 22, 2011
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
The Charge certainly has a lovely display, and LTE (Verizon's version of 4G) is definitely fast for a phone, but the phone has problems that need to be fixed:

There are plenty of reviews that deal with the phone's features, and with its good and bad points. This review is mainly about the problems that I had with the phone.

I'm not a newcomer to Android phones; I've had one or another since the G1 came out for T-Mobile. I know what to do in order to increase battery life, make the phone operate faster, etc.

DATA SPEED: 4G speed was in the 5-8 Mb/s range, while 3G clocked at 1.4-1.8 Mb/s. This was in a smaller metro area, population-wise. I'm told that LTE/4G speeds in large cities can be faster.

DISPLAY: The display looks good, although the colors didn't always seem to be correct. It also seemed to be over-saturated (the colors were unrealistically rich). I'm not a camera user, so I have no opinion on how that works.

Here are the problems:

INTERFACE: The Charge's TouchWiz is annoyingly slow. Screen-changing lags considerably until all of the many preinstalled widgets are removed; that helps speed things up a bit. Selecting a shortcut can take up to 45 seconds from the time the home-screen is pressed until all of the various menus. This can be alleviated somewhat by getting a different launcher (i.e. Go Launcher EX), but it still lags more than other phones I've had.

SCREEN BUG WHILE IN CALL: Don't plan on using the Charge for anything else while you're making a call, unless you have it on the home screen. Exiting via the Menu or Back buttons brings you to the home screen---and the phone's screen will then turn on and off, seemingly at will. Unlock the screen, and it will turn back off. Trying to slide to a different screen instantly turns it back off. I was able to exit to the main screen and QUICKLY choose an icon, but the screen still turned on and off.

LIGHT SENSOR BUGGED: The screen changed back and forth from dim to bright, even with the phone in a stationary location. This happened on many apps and long before the the screen timeout of 2 minutes was reached.

BATTERY LIFE IS HORRIBLE: After tweaking everything to conserve battery and even installing 2X Battery Saver to turn off the data connection when the screen was off, the phone still only lasted about 4 hours, this with very light usage. It may last longer than the Thunderbolt, but it certainly isn't acceptable to me. If you insist on getting this phone, you should consider buying an extended-life battery, carrying an extra battery (or two) around, or keeping a charger nearby.

GPS: The GPS took almost 2 minutes to find the satellites and get an exact fix, even standing outside in an open area.

The Charge doesn't quite seem ready for prime-time, a problem that seems to plague all Samsung
Android phones that I've seen.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Junk, August 17, 2011
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I had this phone for a week. Should have known when they provided extra battery with the dock. I killed one battery in one week. The phone constantly froze up. 4 g phones arent there yet. Gamers and kids are getting sucked in.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ex Droid X Lover, Loves This Phone, May 21, 2011
By 
George E. Love (Sandston, Va United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I am not a writer, but I do think I know cell phones, for I am a junkie. I eat and sleep cell phone news and when I became aware of this phone coming out, I went out to Verizon to check it out, with no intention of bringing it home. Once I saw how beautiful the display was and how fast it was, I decided to give it a try, making sure Verizon understood that I would bring it back within the 14 day period if I was not happy. Sound quality is very important to me, for I am hard of hearing, so I needed to be able to return it, if calls were not clear. To make a long story short, the display is out of this world, I can download or update 10 apps in the time it use to take me to do one on my Droid X, the sound quality is excellent (you really have to turn the speaker down when you which over to speaker for the sound becomes distorted), the phone must weight about a third of my Droid X. This phone is a keeper. Also, some how Samsung or Motorola has finally figured out how to put 50 or 60 apps on your phone and they aren't always crashing. Battery life is unreal and there is a larger battery if you want it. If you must have one complaint, it would be the speaker phone switch over volume - you really have to turn it down, but that is my only little complaint. Needless to say, I am keeping the phone :) Oh, I took advantage of Verizon's Trade In Program and got $96.00 for my old Droid X, which helps with the high price of the Charge.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Droid Charge **DON'T BUY**, November 24, 2011
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
This is the worst droid phone I have ever had. It is nothing but problems. a 4G phone thats usually in 3G and even looses that connection. You have to toggle the airport mode to get your data back working. Sometimes when you take a picture with the flash your phone will shut off. The Navigation takes forever and a day to calculate. I swear the droid one functioned better then this. I'm on my third one now. Turns out they are all afflicted with the same problems. Not worth the money and certainly not worth the aggravation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Phone I Have Ever Owned, November 19, 2011
By 
M. Poellinger (Naperville, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
This phone is all promise and no performance. The first few weeks were fine and i enjoyed the super fast LTE network speeds. Then things started to go awry. First the GPS lock seemed to take longer and longer until today (4 months later) if someone else has a smartphone we use theirs GPS as my Samsung Charge may or may not work, may or may not lock up, may or may not have a data connection.

The Samsung Charge has a myriad of online GPS lock complaints. The GPS functionality has degraded to the point I have to use a stand alone device in the car because the Samsung Charge GPS is more nonfunctional than functional. Plus I want to avoid the frustration of painfully coaxing usability from my device.

Then came the data connection drops. The icon indicates a 4G network connection but the connection has dropped. It used to reset with a reboot, but now it may take several reboots and reacquiring a data connection is not alway possible. Again time to use someone else's phone.

Then came the messaging problems. I sent a picture MMS at 7:20 AM one day and it took until after 5 PM for the message to be received. I send messages that are never received or received even days later. There are times yet again that I have to use another phone to send a message.

Now I have a locking up problem that requires battery removal to reset. I hate this phone. It is the worst developed half baked software running on a suspected defective platform (Samsung Charge) and the users of this phone have to deal with Samsung and Verizon sticking their collective heads in the sand when asked to comment on an update road map or even when asked about the problems. Verizon is very inconsistent with their responses to these problems and reek of avoiding the truthful reality. There are some interesting screen captures of Verizon being all over the place on the Gingerbread OTA and giving different answers to the same complaints. I think it odd that many of the the tech support representatives I speak with seem to have a Samsung Charge that works 100% as expected. Well just Google: "Samsung Charge sucks" and standby for the pages of comments and complaints.

My phone is basically unusable as a smart phone. I have delayed a warranty replacement as I have read of folks getting multiple replacement Charges and the problems persist across multiple devices. Where was this phone Beta tested? Because I feel like an Alpha tester. How this phone made RTM I will never know. It sure shakes any confidence I had in Samsung and Verizon as technology companies. They are all marketing and service sellers, the devices are a necessary evil for their profitability which seems to trump customer satisfaction.

After another unusable Samsung Charge episode while traveling I finally broke down and accepted Verizon's offer to replace the phone under warranty. I am not very confident that the data connection problems are easily resolvable. It appears that the Verizon LTE roll out has network wide data connection problems going back to the first 4g device and the data connection issues are common across all 4G LTE phones. Droid Bionic the latest to experience the all too familiar data drops.

This is what happens when marketers run technology companies. All glitz and fancy ads and the actual technology and customer satisfaction is secondary to "winning."

Run, don't walk away from the Samsung Charge and read up on the Verizon LTE issues before buying into their 4G hype.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars drops signal, consumes battery, GPS takes 5 minutes, November 19, 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (Colorado Springs, Co) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I cannot say enough BAD things about this phone. I'm on my second phone, having replaced the first one, and both have the same problems. (1) This Phone/PDA can be sitting on the table while I reading news and it losses the tower. Phones switches from 4G to 1g then no signal. In a couple of minutes the signal comes back. Is this the service or the phone? I have seen this behavior in 5 locations across two states, so I'm thinking it's the phone. (2) While I have seen days where the battery is still 50% after 16 hours, at least 2 times a week, something will happen and the battery will loose 10% an hour. Best solution is to turn it off, back on, and recharge the battery. (3) I can leave the house or work for a jog, and it takes the GPS 5 to 10 minutes to figure out where I am. Once it's tracking me, it can still loose me for 5 minutes at a time. This has happened in 4 locations (home, work, 2 favorite parks) all at locations that my 2 year old Motorola Droid had no problems with. I cant imagine how bad this would be trying to use the GPS for driving instructions.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plain and Simple: The battery does not last my 8 working hours, October 14, 2011
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
It is a great phone... if you can plug it during the day. Otherwise you better have some additional batteries handy.

Seriously, even if were the best phone ever, what's the point if the battery does not last more than 5-6 hours with normal use.

AVOID!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mildly dated superphone; gorgeous display, July 9, 2011
By 
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
I joined the rush to get in on at least two years of unlimited LTE data and made the switch to Verizon by ordering a Charge for myself and an HTC DROID INCREDIBLE 2 Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) for my wife. We're both switching from an AT&T Iphone 3g and use the phone as our only personal phones. I've used a T-Mobile G2 with Google Android Phone (T-Mobile) as my work phone for the past 8 months or so.

Overview: The high end Android phone ecosystem moves very fast, and at this point the Charge has some minor shortcomings already pointed out in other reviews, namely it's lack of RAM and "dated" single core processor. This has not impacted me yet, and games like Plants vs. Zombies and Fieldrunners both play smoothly; every day phone UI navigation is as snappy as you could want. Additionally, the phone is still shipping with Android 2.2 which is a definite step back in terms of functionality and speed compared to 2.3, though some of these shortcomings are covered by Touchwiz, the UI layer Samsung puts on their phone (toggles in notification bar, etc).

Size: The charge is a big phone, make no mistake. That said, I was surprised to put my iPhone 3g and the incredible 2 next to it. It's bigger in most dimensions, but not noticeably so. I expected to need a belt holster (fashion faux-pax or not), and may still buy one, but it's certainly pocketable (at least with the relatively baggy khaki's I wear to work). It feels good in the hand, though it's a little bit slippery. I would prefer capacitive buttons, but the physical buttons are growing on me, and my phone seems well put together.

Display: The display is the reason to buy this phone. Absolutely stunning blacks and just a beautiful screen. Readable at nearly any angle and in bright, direct sunlight, it's by far the best display I've ever had on a phone. The display justifies the purchase to me completely.

Software: As mentioned above, to this date the phone is still running 2.2, which I find a little ridiculous for a flagship LTE phone, but enterprise software development is what it is. This is my first Touchwiz phone and I don't mind it, though Sense seems to have a better collection of default widgets. I switched to Go Launcher immediately. Verizon has positively stuffed this phone with bloatware. There is plenty of space available, but no way to remove all the vcast apps, verizon navigation, or other bundled junk. While I understand an alarming percentage of smartphone customers never load their own apps, there is a much better way to do this -- put stubs in so that on first launch the app is installed, and make those stubs removable/hideable.

Performance: I've only had the phone for a short while at this point, but it's snappy and responsive with only occasional lag after lots of app start/stops and navigation, mostly seen while first customizing the phone. Battery life seems acceptable and I'm sure I'll get through at least a long day (which includes some time without service in subway tunnels, during which I'm probably playing a graphically intense game, an hour or so playing podcasts or music, and an average number of data widgets running).

Network: I haven't traveled far yet, but I'm switching from AT&T (and use a T-Mobile HSPA+ phone for work). I live in the NYC area. So far the coverage is living up to it's reputation, lasting longer into subway platforms, stronger inside buildings, and quicker to acquire a signal when coming in from poor coverage. The 4G/LTE network is blazing fast and absolutely worth the premium verizon charges for their plans.

Misc: I had some trouble with the order and activation process. Amazon shipped very quickly and we were porting numbers. The phones could not be activated until the day after they were received because the port request had been held. I understand the reasoning, but it was a bit inconvenient. Unfortunately once I did get the phone activated I ran into my next problem -- everything worked flawlessly, except the _phone_. I can place and receive calls, but there is no audio for either party. Verizon support confirmed this was a hardware problem and sent me to the store; the store redid all the troubleshooting and reached the same conclusion, only to tell me because I'd purchased from Amazon I couldn't in fact get a replacement from them. Reasonable enough, but the phone support should have been able to tell me that. Amazon customer service was fast and efficient, overnighting a replacement phone.

Conclusion: Early: At this point having passed the unlimited data cut-off, I would strongly consider waiting on the Galaxy SII, which should have at least as good a display and slightly updated hardware and software. That said, if you need something today (as I did trying to beat the data limit clause) this phone is worth the discounted price Amazon is selling it for. I'm relatively confident I can live with it happily for two years, though if updates remain slow I may be rooting it to keep up on the software side.

I will update this review after living with the phone for a week or two.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK phone, but DO NOT use Juice Defender/battery saving apps that will break the phone's data, July 9, 2011
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
Please note this review has been heavily edited three times since its original posting.

The major flaws as I see them are:

1. The GPS is terrible on this phone,takes forever to lock and is always off by a good bit. Unreliable for driving.
2. TouchWiz 3.0 UI lags
3. There are far too many pre-installed apps
4. The 3G connectivity can get "stuck"
5. See edit notes: the Droid Charge will NOT be getting Android 2.3, so next update is a ways off and will be a jump to 2.4

I really don't know what the GPS's problem is. It all started sometime in October of 2011. The GPS, in my opinion, just doesn't work and the reports by almost every current Droid Charge owner is that GPS is completely unreliable on the phone. There are no words on a fix from Samsung. I am really hoping I can get Verizon to replace this phone with a new 4G phone.

TouchWiz 4.0, on other Samsung phones, is much snappier and I assume the Charge will see it when it gets Android 2.4 (see edit notes, due in Q4 2011). Alternately you can install a different launcher App from the market and get rid of TouchWiz 4.0.

For #3, the phone is simple enough to root and remove the unwanted apps (and simple enough to unroot back to stock)

#4 is a tough one. This phone does have problems with restoring connectivity whenever one of the data connections is shut off. This happens when:

a) you live on the border of a 4G area and constantly swap between 3G/4G
b) have an APP that turns the connections off (Juice Defender or other battery saving APPs being a main culprit)
c) do not have the phone set to "wake up" data connections upon data packets being sent

For A, this is something Verizon is aware of and working on. However, it is unknown if there is a fix. Switching to 3G only does seem to fix this (unless B or C are affecting you). Still I've had the phone seemingly lose data connection for no reason in 3G or 4G mode.

For B, there are no working battery-saving APPs that I am aware of that work well with the Droid Charge. Juice Defender will 100% make the phone not function as expected. Wouldn't be so bad if the battery didn't die so quickly with everything turned on.

For C, check under settings (don't have the phone on me to check exactly what it is called) to make sure to connect to mobile data whenever a data packet is sent.

Now that I'm past the bad points, there are some positives to this phone:

1. Its a 4G phone and 4G is amazingly fast in my area (Upstate SC)
2. Beautiful screen (it convinced me to buy this over the Thunderbolt)
3. 32 Gb storage (where else were they going to put all the bloatware?).

In conclusion, the Samsung Droid Charge is an acceptable 4G phone, but the buyer has to be aware of the possible data connectivity issues. Reading other reviews and doing A LOT of investigative work with my phone, I've all but eliminated the problem and realized in the long run had my phone been set up properly to begin with and had not had Juice Defender installed, I would not have had as many issues as I did.

My recommendations for anyone that does keep this phone:

1. If you live on the edge of a 4G area, turn off 4G. Constantly swapping from 3G to 4G will kill the battery and your patience.
2. Charge the phone to full every day
3. Consider rooting it and removing the bloatware
4. DO NOT install any battery saving Apps that turn off data

Edit 7/10/11: Through some research I found out the Droid Charge will NOT be getting Android 2.3. The next planned upgrade is straight to 2.4, which means any fix for the TouchWiz UI is unlikely. The 2.4 update probably won't be around until late Q4 2011. This is another strike against this phone. I've updated the review to reflect this.

Edit 7/12/11: I have resolved most of my worst issues and have moved this from a 1-star to a 4-star review as I like the phone and an unfortunate string of missteps lead me to hate it in the first place. Missteps that should have been avoided.

Edit 12/1/11: Back down to 2 stars. There are still data connectivity issues with this phone in 4G or 3G. It just stops working randomly even when the signal strength is excellent. Also the GPS, at some point, just stopped workind and from the notes of other Droid Charge owners, its a problem with the Droid Charge, not just my phone. GPS is completely unreliable.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OK phone, unreliable data network, July 4, 2011
This review is from: Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) (Wireless Phone)
The phone is not bad. The Verizon data service where I live in a relatively large coastal NC city is unreliable and inadequate. That therefore makes this Verizon phone subpar. A $45. per month no contract Straight Talk phone had better data service than this phone.

Do not use much data- around two GB per month typically. Yet, the claimed 3G data connection is constantly slow, frequently intermittent or completely unavailable at times. Have five or four bar tower reception. That makes this device unreliable. It looks like I will need to carry another no contract phone in order to insure reliable data service which is what I must have when I need it for what I do.

The phone communication is reliable and works fine all the time. It has fair voice quality per Consumer Reports. Can deal with the weak voice quality but not the way data is unreliable or unavailable from the network for protracted periods.

Verizon apparently does not have the infastructure needed to meet the demand for data service for its paying customers in this area. Yet, it regularly pays large cash dividends to its shareholders. Those are twisted priorities there. Will likely change providers when my two year contract is up. Straight Talk had better and cheaper service than what I have now.

July 6, 2012: Have to restart the phone frequently sometimes. Whith a battery removal restart now and then. Otherwise the phone works pretty good when Verizon is not throttling its data service. They clain to have 4G service here now. It is still the same old subpar data service as before. If I used a lot of data, could understand it but I don't.
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