on December 21, 2010
I'm pretty happy with the phone's hardware. It's durable, lightweight, and the screen looks fantastic. Battery time ranges from 8-24 hours, depending on how heavy your usage is.
The most pressing issue I've had with this phone is the lack of timely software upgrades from Samsung. I bought the phone in the summer of 2010. Samsung had insisted that they would upgrade the phone from 2.1 to 2.2. I (stupidly) assumed that they would follow thru with this. Every few months they promise an upgrade is just around the corner, but alas, there is no cake.
It's nearly 2011, and there's no update to Froyo in sight. Older phones, with older hardware, are running more up-to-date software thanks to companies who, relatively speaking, are on the ball (like HTC).
I'm quite disappointed in Samsung, and probably will not buy a phone supported by them in the future.
on November 5, 2010
The Samsung Vibrant is a great phone overall (besides the GPS).
- The screen is awesome. Great color, bright, and large. The phone has a setting that automatically adjusts the brightness according to the light in the room (there is a little sensor on the front of the phone at the top right of the screen). Once in a while this feature gets annoying, like when a shadow hits the sensor, but it can be turned off so you can manually control the brightness. The way things pop up and change screens is cool too, similar to what I've seen on an iPhone.
- The speed is awesome. This phone does everything fast.
- The battery life is good. As with any smartphone, it depends on how much stuff you have running in the background, and how much you use it. NOTE: The first Vibrant I received had an issue with the battery; it would only last about 6 hours without any use. I returned it and got a new one and the battery life was much better.
Another point worth mentioning is that the phone takes a while to charge, especially if you charge it using a USB port. The included charger puts out more juice and reduces the charge time a little. Buy a Samsung car charger for your vehicle. I found that a generic USB car charger did not put out enough power to charge the battery while using GPS (the charge % actually went down even though it was plugged in). I had a 1000 mA generic USB charger. The Samsung charger puts out 700mA, but for some reason it worked better.
- The charge port is on the top of the phone, which is a little weird if you're switching from a phone with the port on the bottom (I constantly tried using the phone upside down). This is something you'll get used to quick
-The wake/sleep button is on the right side of the phone and it's tiny. This is a button that you will constantly, and it was a little awkward for me. It's higher than my thumb normally holds the phone, and I often found myself using one hand to hold the phone and the other to press the button. This was one of the biggest annoyances.
- The charge port has a neat little door that closes to keep junk from getting in and make the phone look better.
- The main function keys (home, menu, back, and search) are not real button but touch controls at the bottom of the screen. They light up, but after you haven't touched the phone for a few seconds the light shuts off, so you have to remember where the keys are if its dark (or touch the main screen first).
- The user interface is nice. I liked the way the apps were organized sideways instead of up and down. You also have 7 home screens that you can configure anyway you please. It's plenty of room so you can have one page for each type of app. I had a page for web bookmarks, a page for games, a page for the most used apps, etc.
- There is an issue with Google contacts that have a birthdate attached to them. If the birthday does not include a year, you cannot open the contact (an error appears if you try to). I'm not sure if this is a Samsung issue or an Android issue.
- The speakerphone is average. Not the loudest I've heard, but not too quiet. It sounds clear. While on the speaker, I'll mention the annoying sound that plays every time you turn the phone on or off. It's a t-mobile jingle, and there is no way to disable it, but the way the speaker is designed you can hold your finger over it while power the phone on or off and it will be practically silent.
- The music player is not that great. It works, but I couldn't figure out a way to just make it play all the songs I have randomly. I somehow got the phone to do it, but I don't know how.
- GPS Navigation, the only really bad thing about the phone and the reason I returned it to get a myTouch 4G. The GPS will get a signal and lock on very quickly in most cases, but after that it never worked for more than 5 minutes before it started showing me on side streets near the highway (while I was on the highway). It would constantly re-calculate, and sometimes crash the phone making it reset. I went through 3 Vibrants trying to get one that worked, and it just doesn't. I got an update from T-mobile, which I assumed was for the GPS issue, and it didn't help. I travel for work and one of the great things about a smartphone is that you can look up restaurants or other locations, then click on the address and the phone guides you there. No such luck with the Vibrant. Personally, I think it's a hardware issue and that no amount of software updates will fix it.
on July 22, 2010
I won't write about phone specs of what it can do since EVERYONE probably heard/read it enough about the 1ghz cpu, 5m camera, etc. Yes, it does NOT have a Front facing camera and flash but no big deal. I'll get down to review. Phone is beautiful, with glamorous display. It looks better in person than watching a youtube video review about the display. It's thin, but sometimes it gets kinda warm/hot and that's the trade off. It is very light to hold and doesn't feel that cheap plastic feel for me at least. Touchwiz has pros and cons. It's nice but sometimes, it can get a bit laggy. No big deal since 2.2 Froyo update will be coming up in August/September or soon. That'll make it 2-5x faster. Camera is gorgeous but it wastes tons of battery, I heard up to 20% per hour or so...so just take a picture, and then exit the camera application. I don't use widgets since it's a battery drainer. People complain about the no flash for camera but there's a "night mode" where it makes it great for taking pictures so that's a definite plus. Four buttons on the bottom of phone are very responsive w/ haptic feedback. Swype keyboard is also very useful and works 99% of the time. One thing it needs about keyboard is international keyboard like Korean for me. The Android market kinda sucks to be honest, coming from the Apple App store. App store feels way more polished and cheaper with lots of more games and higher quality. The games on Android are more expensive and aren't that fun, also lower quality. THe battery icon is kinda off for the phone so a "Battery Indicator" App is very useful. People complain about the GPS not working but I found a solution for that. I will post the link on the bottom. Navigation works perfect but GPS location doesn't work indoor like apartment, it's kinda off by few hundred feet or so but works very accurate outdoors. I get 12+ battery life with these following settings. Have email accounts manual sync with auto sync off. Turn Wifi, Blutooth, GPS off, use and turn on only when you need it. I also use automatic display sensor but some ppl turn the brightness down but I'd rather have it auto so it's brighter in the direct sunlight. Another tip, I used the Application killer app but after researching, Android 2.1 already efficiently kills unused app so that is completely unecessary. Also, it screwed up my phone where my Wi-Fi wouldn't work and it kept on saying "Unable to scan network" so after hours of researching, you have to Factory Reset it and then wifi works again. So, do not download task killers. One more thing, with the Google Navigation, it's still on after you press the menu key so make sure to press the settings button and press "Exit Navigation" so navigation doesn't run on the background and make sure to turn off GPS after using navigation. 3G speeds work very fast for me in LA and preloaded Avatar looks amazing with the Super AMOLED. Vibrant will be the fastest phone with the upcoming Android 2.2 Froyo update so overall, this phone is highly recommended.
P.S- I have an iPod touch with iTunes as my major music source. After doing research, I wanted to sync my Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant with iTunes and found an easy solution. It's almost like direct syncing with an iPod. For those of you having music on iTUnes and wanna sync it to Vibrant, here's a useful site. It takes like 2 min to set it up. Very easy.
MY OVERALL CONCLUSION/LAST WORDS:
Pros: 1Ghz Hummingbird Processor with 512mb RAM (I think)
5MP Camera with Night Mode and other Modes (720P Vid Record)
Thin/Sleek/Slim/Light Design with 4'inch Super AMOLED Display
Samsung Touchwiz 3.0 with Swype
Avatar/Gogo/Sims3/Other Preloaded Apps
16GB Onboard Internal Memory with Expansion Option for SD Card slot
Android 2.2 Froyo Update in Near Future
Cons: No Front Facing Camera
Touchwiz slightly buggy/laggy at times
Battery Icon not accurate
Not the Best Battery Life
GPS requires manual fix by owners for some people
Could've used Metal/Higher quality materials
Android Market kinda sucks/Needs to improve
Not an HSPA+ Enabled phone for FASTEST 3G. (Still pretty fast atm though)
GPS Fix Link:
iTunes Sync Link:
Hope I helped all of you Samsung Vibrant users! Definitely Recommended.
on January 17, 2011
The phone's hardware is amazing. The screen is beautiful and the camera/video recording are great. However, when one digs deeper, there are some major flaws with this phone that Samsung refuses to address. For many users, including myself, the GPS does not work properly. This was supposed to be addressed with the JI6 software update, which was a failure. It actually made my GPS more inconsistent. The volume buttons become loose after several uses. The beautiful screen has some serious flaws including a screen door effect. The company has also promised Android 2.2 repeatedly, stating that the update will come by the end of 2010. Well, 2010 has come and gone, yet there's been no update. The company only gives vague boiler plate responses - "Due to the complexity and unique functionality of each Galaxy S device, we are performing additional testing and are working to make the Android 2.2/Froyo upgrade available to all U.S. Galaxy S owners, including the Samsung Vibrant, as soon as possible." This statement is released, despite the fact that company has released the software update to all of its Galaxy S devices outside of the US. I'm sure it has nothing to due with the Vibrant + being released very soon. More like "due to the complexity of us releasing new, virtually identical phones with a higher markup, we won't keep your phone current." After this debacle, I will never buy another Samsung product. The company attempts to take advantage of open source software and treat it like closed source.
on January 16, 2011
Do not take me wrong. The Samsung Vibrant is a great phone. The screen is amazing, and CPU and GPU is wonderful, 13 GB space for data and 2 GB for apps. And so on. Samsung really know how to make good hardware. However their GPS and Digital compass is faulty most of the time.
However the reason I can not and will never recommend a Samsung product is because Samsung does not support their hardware with their software. They kept promising the next Android to be release to the phone shortly after the phone came out, which was in July of 2010. Then they promised that the upgrade would come in October, November, and last promise was in the end of the year. We have not yet received the upgrade, and Froyo, which is Android 2.2 has some important business aspects as well as features that will make the phone an even more amazing piece of hardware.
Samsung DOES NOT SUPPORT their phones. So if you are happy with just getting bug fixes or critical fixes pushed to your phone, and let it be outdated as soon as it comes out, you can get a Samsung product, if you would rather buy a phone that will get support for the two years you have your contract with T-mobile, you should look for another brand like HTC, Motorola or LG to mention a few.
on March 8, 2011
When I first got the phone the actual phone part died within 2 days. I couldn't make any calls or get data. I had to send the phone back to get repaired. Then, when I got it back the GPS didn't work. This was the case before I sent it back, but they didn't fix it. Apparently there is a severe defect in the assembly of these phones with the GPS. There is a metal piece internally that does not contact the actual antenna, resulting in horrible GPS performance. I got tired of how difficult it was to get Samsung to recognize the problem existed and decided to fix it myself. After taking my phone apart I made a simple 2 second fix that should have been done at the factory. After that my GPS worked fine. Couple this with an outright fight by the Vibrant community to get Froyo months after it was promised and I can say I will never buy another Samsung phone after buy them for 4 of my last 5 phones.
on April 1, 2011
The Samsung Vibrant (Galaxy S) has been a necessary tool in my busy life! Between working, being a parent, going to school, and coaching, I need this phone to keep my life more organized and efficient. There are so many features I use my phone for besides just being able to talk to people. In a few minutes time I can check my voicemails, text messages, email, calendar, and even Facebook. I feel the thousands of apps available to me can be for entertainment purposes and useful tools. The calorie counter, GPS, weather channel, and dictionary are a few of the tools I use to be productive every day. For entertainment purposes, I can watch movies, download music, and play a multitude of different games. The phone also has a sleek look to it. The screen is clear, bright, and easy for me to read. I honestly cannot imagine not having my phone available to me. My life would be a little too chaotic without it!
on September 16, 2015
Had major operating system issues, slow phone and the refurbished phone had someone else's photos in it. The sellers return policy did not extend long enough before all the phone went haywire. Should have listened to reason and purchased new.
on December 30, 2010
-Best Screen at a Phone (Super AMOLED) Vibrant detail and very deep black kinda like Plasma vs LCD in TV comparing other phone. Much more vibrant details than Iphone, black level is very noticable.
-Light and Compact design, screen has gorilla scratch resist. My cat drop my phone ike 4 feet in hard wood floor it still no visible damage.
- Great sound, work flawless with buetooth stereo headset.
- Pack with Avatar whole film and Sims 3.
- Amazing Video Playback, especially with HD video.
- Catch good image and video for a phone, in good lighting like outdoor under good lighting condition it can cature some spectacular image and video.
- Screen resolutoin is lower than Iphone, not as sharp in text compare to Iphone, outdoor view bright sun viewis still not as good as LCD
- Not good battery life, had to charge every night. unless you not using the phone in anything just stanby, but stanby would die like 3 days if no charge.
- Still NO Update from Samsung in 2.2 not sure if T-Mobile delay or Samsung, Wish all Android phone get continous update like Nexus.
- Video playback not as good as the little brother Wave which has better video playback like support subtitle in MKV, the vibrant can't play many of MKV file which claim it can.
- GPS not working properly even after the restore appts, it still a big lag.
- Lack picture/video shuttle button, no camera flash.
- Lack Front Camera
This phone could easily be much better if just had this 3 feature such as front camera, back flash, and 2.2 out of the door.
on July 19, 2010
I got my phone on release day from my local T-Mobile store. All I can say is "awesome phone".
Phone runs android 2.1, and it's lightening fast. I have only lost reception once and that was in a known dead spot. I have been with Verizon for about 10 years, but got absolutely fed up with their high prices and poor customer service. Going over to T-Mobile has been a welcome change. On the day this phone came out, I rushed down to the store to check it out. I liked it, liked the open o/s standard of android and was ready to buy. I mentioned to the store manager that I had seen the phone here on Amazon the night before for $149.99 and to my surprise he offered to match the price (something Verizon would have never done...they wouldn't even match their own website's price the last time I renewed my service). The manager went and looked up the Amazon ad for his paperwork and found the price on Amazon had dropped to $99.99. He proceeded to actually mat h the new lower price than what we had agreed upon. All I can say to this is KUDOS T-Mobile!
Features are top notch (5/5)
Reception is good (4/5) (only because it loses a bar, sometimes two if you hold it in your left hand...still much better than iPhone's reception)
Internal memory is excellent 16gb (5/5)
Screen is crisp and bright (5/5)
Battery life has been very good so far (5/5)
T-Mobile service is much cheaper than Verizon or AT&T
Processor is extremely fast (5/5)
The loss of signal when in left hand