Top critical review
20 people found this helpful
Great experience, but a few fatal flaws
on August 20, 2010
- Screen: The 800x480 Super AMOLED screen is huge and beautiful.
- Android 2.1: The best mobile OS out there except for Android 2.2, which is promised to be coming to this phone soon.
- Battery Life: My phone would be unplugged from 7am to 10pm every day, with moderate use throughout the day, and would never drop below 40% by the end of the day (though don't trust their notification bar icon -- its only possible levels are 100%, 70%, and 10%).
- The Form Factor: Surprisingly light and slim for such a powerful phone, especially one with such a large screen and long battery life.
- GPS: Most users (myself included) have noticed a VERY long time to sync to GPS. Samsung has promised a software fix in September, but if you use your phone for navigation frequently, you'll likely be out of luck until then.
- Compass: Any app that needs to know which way you're facing (Google Street Maps, Layar, Google Sky Map, Wikitude, etc.) just plain does not work. The compass is painfully slow to respond and inaccurate when it finally does. As with GPS, Samsung has promised a software fix, but if the problems stem from hardware it may not be much of an improvement. Only time will tell.
- TouchWiz 3.0: This is Samsung's skin on top of Android. They've replaced the home screen and notification bar, and their associated icons, as well as many of the stock Google apps (contacts, calendar, etc). I find everything about TouchWiz uniformly ugly. The icons are garishly colored. The tab layout of their stock apps is ridiculous - they take up an inordinate amount of the screen's height and are an ugly metallic blue color that clashes with just about everything else. The stock apps also leave out several features: for instance, you can't change the alarm noise for calendar alerts.
TouchWiz does has ONE nice feature: they include a power management widget in the notification bar, allowing easy access to changing these frequently tweaked settings from any app, without having to bail to the home screen every time.
Ultimately, if your personal aesthetic sense happens to be less offended by TouchWiz (or if you can find suitable replacement apps (I recommend LauncherPro for the home sreen)), and if you don't care about GPS or Compass, the Vibrant is an outstanding phone.
For me, though, the GPS and Compass were dealbreakers, and I personally don't have an optimistic view on the promised software fix. Maybe I'll try it out again when that's out -- though the G2 may be out by then, and it will have HSPA+.