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on December 2, 2010
I've owned a Vibrant for about a month now, after owning several other Android devices. At first glance, this seems like a terrific phone - a large, beautiful screen, fast processor, and plenty of onboard storage, before you even get to your SD card. But there are a few things that really mar the experience.

GPS is terrible, even after Samsung's fixes. When using it to locate yourself, it's going to take a lot of patience and luck to get the GPS to locate you. The precision is way off, and this makes a lot of GPS related functionality, such as navigation, very unreliable.

A couple of LED's would have gone a long way on this phone. A front notification LED would have been nice for missed calls, SMS's, or emails. You can install noled from the market to help, but it's a poor solution. A rear LED would have helped with low light photos or videos. The camera is really very good, but the LED would have helped.

Shipping with Android 2.1 and not having 2.2 by today (December 2, 2010) is inexcusable. There is a lot of really neat software that simply won't show up in the market because you're on an outdated operating system.

No navigation pad/trackball - this might be forgiveable if it shipped with 2.2, as it has better support for text selection, but using 2.1 without a navigation aid, when you need to correct one word? Be prepared for a lot of frustration. I'm sure they omitted it to have the clean face presentation of the phone, but it sure is a sacrifice in functionality.

Besides those 4 things, which were really dealbreakers for me, the phone is really nice! I don't care for touchwiz, but that's alleviated by installing another launcher, such as launcher pro. And everything else about the phone is really nice. Just consider what you're getting yourself into, when you're lured in by the big beautiful screen - there are some flaws that really hold this phone back from what it could have been.
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on August 23, 2010
When my G1 died, I upgraded to the Vibrant. The honeymoon was short, but breathtaking. Slim, light, big and brilliant AMOLED screen, fast, seven home screens, Bluetooth stereo, a virtual keypad that made me forget the G1's slider, and Swipe! I had doubts about Swipe, but I quickly got the hang of it. You gotta try this!

The Vibrant promises to be all that a smartphone can be wrapped in a stylish and comfortable package. Memory, both on-board and flashcard, is staggeringly huge. Running a lot of background apps doesn't seem to slow it down. Coverage where I live and travel is good, but the G1 seemed to have a better antenna.

Problems surfaced. Battery life running background apps is a disappointment. I installed System Panel and now monitor and kill some apps when working unplugged. I tried to use GPS without success. Several reviews noted the same thing, along with magnetic compass problems. There's a fix promised with the release of 2.2 next month. Mounting the phone via USB to my PC is a nightmare. It seems confused about whether it's connected to a computer when I plug in the charger, resulting in aberrant touch screen behavior and a constantly flashing message, "USB connected" whether the phone is plugged into anything. Turning off the screen sends it into a coma requiring roboot. I need to call customer service to work this one out.

The docking accessories announced by Samsung earlier this month are unavailable. Production problems? Last-minute bugs? Vaporware?

So the jury is still out. I hope I can revise this review up to what should be an unqualified 5 stars. All things considered, I really want to love this phone, and as the man says, "Love is patient..." Up to a point.
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on August 27, 2010
First off, let me explain my title. The Vibrant is T-Mobile's official superphone because it is sold at T-Mobile whereas the Nexus One was being sold by Google. There you have it.

Let me start off by saying that I was an early follower of Android with the first T-Mobile G1. Android has definitely come a long way since then, in hardware and software.

I admit, I hated the G1's hardware so I sold it and moved on to the Blackberry Bold. With the Bold, I hated the software but loved the hardware. Unfortunately, my Bold's LCD cracked. I didn't want to purchase another phone yet, I was waiting out on all the new stuff that is suppose to come out such as the G2, Thunder (if it's TMO bound) and etc... I had no choice, I needed a phone so here I am with the Samsung Vibrant.

First, photos of this phone doesn't do this phone justice. I was a little wary at first because it has an iPhonesque shape to it (Maybe that's why they took off the physical home button from our many versions). After seeing it in the store, I fell in love with the phone. The design is wonderful. The phone is very light (actually too light for my taste but that's all about preference). Let's move on to Pros and Cons

Pros

-Nice screen size. 4 inches is perfect. It's not too big or too small.

-Super AMOLED screen is beautiful and must be seen in person. Best screen I ever laid eyes on. If you are considering, go check it out in person. Again, pics and vids doesn't do it justice.

-Android!!!

-Battery not spectacular compared to my Bold but much better than the G1. Should last a good part of the day. (People state that the don't want to turn the brightness down from 100. I have mines on 50 and it's still beautiful, I don't think you need it that bright all day. Get a brightness widget and turn up when you need it)

-Camera. This is a great camera. I told myself that I wouldn't get a phone without flash after the G1 but this Vibrant camera is wonderful. Night mode feature is great and very useful, you wouldn't even think about flash anymore. Trust me, the camera has a lot of useful features and the 720p video recording is awesome.

-1Ghz Hummingbird processor. Very speedy and didn't notice any type of lag whatsoever.

Cons

-I don't like the placement of the Micro USB port on top on the phone. It just seems weird.

-The plastic battery plate. I mean it's nice and comes with a different style spare but seriously? I wished it was metal or something similar.

-Touchwiz UI. I don't like the iphonesque UI here. I wish it was stock Android but we could always change that later on......lol....

There you have it. I recommend this phone, that's why I wrote this review. If not, go into a T-Mobile store, you can buy it and try it for 14 days. You can always return it but with this being their best phone, I don't think you would have a similar alternative if you did exchange it.....
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on July 28, 2010
I have been hitting my very hard since the 14th and I can say that it's a pretty darn good phone. Perfect, no; you won't have any problems deciding to keep it. It might be worth noting that I had a iPhone and chose this over the iPhone.

Here are the Slam-Dunk items:
Display: The best. Really.
CPU: Nearly the best. Really./GPU - makes all the difference!
Storage: 16gb + whatever MicroSD you add. 2GB of app storage. 512MB Ram. Best-in-class.
Battery: Properly configured with moderate use it will run all day without charging.
Video Playback: All of my Non-DRM Handbrake/iPhone videos look better than ever.
Audio: Better EQ and effect options that you could ever hope to have on iPhone though not as loud.
Weight: Feels light in your hand. .5oz lighter than iPhone
Customizable: You can do literally anything to this phone. Thank you T-Mobile and Samsung for easy root access!

Minor Irritations:
Buttons: Excuse me for liking hardware buttons. I miss the ability to answer the phone by pressing an "Answer the Phone" button. Most new phones are going to soft buttons. The MyTouch 3g as bad as it is, has an excellent phone button.
Apps: The standard Android Apps are really quite good. Samsung replaces these with their own with mixed results. Some things are better, but some interactions are actually worse. Fortunately, you can bring back some of them.
The lack of a directional control: The original Galaxy S has a tiny little trackpad, this seems to be missing from all of the carrier versions. This makes tiny textbox edits a bit of a challenge.

Overall, this phone is a world unto itself. It's just so deep, you will never get bored.
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on August 13, 2010
The good:
- Amazon buying and out-of-box experience is fantastic. I was up and running minutes from opening the box. It's way better than going to the store.
- The screen is terrific as advertised, bigger and more colorful than iPhone 4 (though not quite as crisp)
- Calling functions, email, web browsing, wifi, google maps, etc. all work great

The really bad:
- Bought and installed 16GB microSD card, plugged in and loaded about 13GB of music. Immediately ran into a nasty issue in the music player - it barfs on artist sort or when searching, with the error "Not enough space in Music database" . Google that error message and you'll see that I'm hardly the only person having this problem. Some people suggest buying a paid music player from the Android Market, but that sort of misses the point, and from what I can tell there aren't any out there that are functionally equivalent to the built-in player. If you thought this was going to be a good replacement for your 16GB iPod (like I did) then you're in for a disappointment.

Ho hum:
- Camera pretty much useless indoor low light situations (works great outdoors)
- Battery life is pretty crappy (especially for someone coming from non-smartphones that run for a week on a charge). I've already ordered a second power/sync cable to keep one at the office and one at home.
- GPS works outdoors in clear conditions, not so much indoors or in obstructed areas. (haven't tried navigation in car)
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on July 17, 2010
I've had this phone for about a day, and so far I love it. Nice big screen, great, responsive, and easy to learn UI. The Android market appears to be pretty good too. Came with an extra (slightly different) battery/back cover and a decent headset.

I had a Nokia E71 previously, and was concerned about the lack of a physical keyboard, but the Vibrant works great (vertical & horizontal on-screen typing and Swype all work great). I have the Vibrant syncing against GMail and my work Exchange account (email and calendar)--both were a snap to setup--and it's nice to be able to see both calendars at the same time on the phone (appointments are different colors).

Only minor complaints so far are that the battery life kind of sucks (which I knew before I purchased) and the web browser sometime crashes (I was using Opera (not Mini) on the E71, but the built-in one for the Vibrant works great). I don't care so much about the battery life because I plan on buying a $5 charger from eBay to leave at work. Oh, and I've heard that some sort of "Task Kill" application for Android phones is a must, so I've taken the advice and downloaded one from the Market...

No regrets with the switch from the E71 or the purchase itself.

** Update: I've had this for about a week now. The battery life actually seems just fine (I was not used to the standards for "smartphones".) eBay has good deals on OEM (Samsung) chargers (car/home).
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on November 4, 2011
When I bought this phone, I was very excited to experience the amoled screen, and the snapdragon processor. The Samsung UI and Android OS are nearly incompatible. The responsiveness of the phone is unbelievably slow, programs regularly stop working and need to be forced close (including messaging and contacts). Save yourself the pain, go for an LG or HTC that doesn't have the communication errors associated with this phone.
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on December 9, 2010
I've had my Vibrant for several months now and while the phone itself is very nice and has an amazing screen, I can't recommend it to anyone as thanks to Samsung, it will obsolete long before most peoples contracts expire. The hardware itself is great, good battery life, great screen, and very slim. The main problem though is that Samsung crippled it with a deliberately bad filesystem (RFS) which makes it laggy at times. They have also failed to update it to the latest version of Android for over 6 months and it took months for them to try out a series of iffy fixes for GPS issues. Now with Gingerbread coming out the Vibrant will be 2 versions of Android behind and Samsung hasn't given any indication that they're interested in updating the Galaxy S line to Gingerbread. It seems they would rather keep forcing you to buy new phones rather than supporting their existing phones so I would recommend sticking with a vendor who will stand by their products and continue to support them throughout the life of the product.
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on August 2, 2010
I picked up the phone 4 days ago. I upgraded from the Motorola Cliq (and G1 before that). This is by far the best of the Androids. My biggest fear was going from slide keyboard to all touch screen. I took the quick swype tutorual.....(now I'm saying, "what keyboard?"). I don't miss it at all! The phone is fast and I love the video/movie clarity. The sound is great (with headphones).

I have however had a few problems. The headphones are not good at all for talking. I've tried using them about 5 times and every time, the person on the other end complained that they couldn't hear me (the speaker phone works great though). Also, all of my 300+ contacts copied over from Google when I logged in; however, I can't save any into groups nor can I assign ring tones (the work around T-Mobile gave didn't work). Also, I somehow erased Avatar from my SD card. The process is to have Samsung send a new one.

Overall, there is far more good to this phone than bad. If you're on the fence; buy it! Samsung Vibrant Android Phone (T-Mobile)
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on January 25, 2011
There is nothing that I can add to this review that is not already known by anyone that owns or is thinking about owning a Galaxy S phone or Vibrant specifically. The one thing I can comment on it the fact that T-Mobile and Samsung has released the Android 2.2 OS over mini Kies. This has turn this phone into a monster that rivals everything else on the market. This cures all the aforementioned woes of all the other reviews before mine. Here are a few features added.
Voice commands mainly the Voice to Text feature
Wireless AP turns the phone into a wireless Hotspot
Flash 10.1 for superb web browsing.
Wi-Fi calling
GPS photo tagging (location added to the date and time stamp)

These are a few features added that I can think of off the top of my head. The one gripe I have is the battery life. So rather than complain I found a replacement. Seek out a 3500maH batter and your woes are over. T-mobile and Samsung have renewed my faith in their ability to deliver a phone that goes toe to toe with the best phones on the market, in my opinion win.
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