on July 2, 2011
I'd had this phone for three days now after debating between this phone and the HTC Droid Incredible 2. The reason I decided to get the Samsung was the 32GB card, a slightly larger screen (.3 inches really), and the 4G. The HTC also had global capabilities, but I found that to be superfluous. Previously I had a LG enV Touch, a durable phone, but only a phone. I could not reach the internet easily or do anything with the phone. So having something as new and as pretty as the Samsung Droid Charge is amazing for me. So for all the people that have had an android phone before and I say something that has been on them all and is pretty obvious I apologize, I'm not used to androids yet.
The first day I had the phone I ran the battery down by 2 after turning it on at 8. I had to restart the phone multiple times and call the Amazon customer service for the device to activate it. So that ran the battery down quickly. I also downloaded multiple apps, which were downloaded quickly, faster than my friend's iPhone 4 with Verizon. So if I hadn't been using it as a toy for the first day then it would've last longer. It charged until 6 and then I played with it for the rest of the day, but was unable to completely wear the battery down. I can note though that on the puzzle screen it will tell you when to plug the device in.
The second day I had the phone the newness of it worn off by then, mostly, so I wasn't playing around with it as much. The phone battery finally died around 9 after I took it off the charger at 11. A convenient thing I noticed is that in the phone information under settings is that it will tell you what is eating up the battery and how much battery is left percentage wise, which I found very useful. When I called someone and asked about the call quality they told me that it sounded the same as my old phone, so I don't known it that's good or not really but I am happy with it.
The third day, today, I had some problems with it freezing on me for a bit but I took the battery out and restarted it and the phone worked just fine after it. I have no clue what caused it but its fine now. The battery is still going fine right now after being unplugged at 11, and I've used it minimally today.
Overall: I like the phone. The 4G is great, and you can change it from LTE to CDMA, which I'm pretty sure means 3G if you want to. It might make the battery last longer. For all those that knock the battery, stop treating the phone like its a toy and you'll be fine. The thing is a phone, not a laptop computer or something else like it. Everything I downloaded from online is soon on my phone, it took a second to download facebook. I'm happy with that. The camera is fun to mess with but it does not have a vertical mode, it can only be done horizontally, Which is not a big deal at all. Just something I noticed. It came with a bunch of junk already on the phone that I know I won't use but I'm pretty sure its some Samsung/Verizon thing for all of it to be on the phone. Swype is fun to use and makes texting someone that much faster. In general this is a nice phone and I like it.
on May 22, 2011
I purchased the Droid Charge the second day it was available for sale and so far I have been very impressed with the phone. First and foremost, the display is beautiful. Super AMOLED+ delivers vibrant and deep colors and is very easy to read outdoors. The camera is fantastic. For anyone who plans to take a lot of pictures, this phone should be given serious consideration. It has a 8 megapixel camera and 1.3 megapixel front facing camera. There are a ton of features such as auto-focus, zooming, panorama shots, smile detection, and touch to focus.
The phone and call quality is very good. For a big phone, it feels surprisingly light in the hands. LTE is FAST!!!
There are a few negatives. It is expensive! Also, despite all of the positive reviews on battery life, I have not found it to be that great. I can make it through about 6-7 hours with moderate usage. I bought the charging dock, which comes with a spare battery, and I am glad I have it (the spare battery) available. I have had to swap it almost every day! The phone does not have a lot of memory compared to some of the other phones available. I use it mainly for work, so it is not a problem, but it can definitely be laggy at times. If I go from an app to the home screen, I sometimes have to wait about 5-10 seconds before the icons refresh on the screen. I also think the lack of memory makes for a less than enjoyable Flash experience. This leads to my biggest question/concern about the phone: what will video calling be like on it? Hopefully, we will find out soon when Verizon releases Skype with video chat or Samsung updates the phones to Gingerbread (so we can use Google video chat) or both. I would also imagine that hardcore gamers would not like this phone, but as I do not play a lot of video games, so I will leave this subject for someone else to write about.
UPDATE 6/5: After using the phone for about 3 weeks now, I am happy to say I am still very pleased with the quality of the phone. I have adjusted screen brightness down to about 20%, which is still plenty bright indoors, and that helps with battery life quite a bit. That said, if you border on moderate to heavy of the phone, carrying a spare battery is definitely recommended. I have also switched to a custom launcher (Go Launcher EX), which is much better and faster than TouchWiz.
Overall, it has been a great experience using this phone. I was hoping to hold out getting a new phone until the Droid Bionic came out, but after playing with the phone at the Verizon Wireless store, I felt pretty comfortable going with it. If you need a new phone and want LTE now, go for it. I have no regrets buying it!
on July 28, 2011
Had the Charge for 3 weeks, at the same time my wife got a Droid incredible 2 so I had a chance to compare them side by side for a while.
Performance - win DINC2
The Charge seems a bit sluggish at times opening apps and flipping between screens. When that happens the phone is usually low on RAM and I have to kill some tasks. The DINC2 has 768 MB vs 512 MB on the Charge. That seems to make a big difference. The ton of bloatware on the Charge does not help either.
Screen - win Charge
The bigger Super-AMOLED on the Charge wins
Call quality - win Charge
My wife complains sometimes about low call quality on the DINC2, no such problem on the Charge
Data speeds - win Charge
LTE is indeed super fast. I live in the Dallas area and i get great LTE coverage. If you don't get LTE this is a tie.
Software - win DINC2
HTC Sense is more polished and easier to use then Samsungs TouchWiz. You get more usefull apps and widgets and less crapware. The incredible was updated to Android 2.3 while the Charge is stuck at 2.2. And if you care about it, the DINC2 is much easyer to root then the Charge.
Battery life - win DINC2
The DINC2 goes for 48 hrs or more with moderate to heavy use. The Charge goes about 20 hrs under the same load. I squeezed 34 hrs out of the Charge by turning down the screen brightness and turning off background data and auto-sync and carefully managing runing apps.
Price - win DINC2
Overall I would pick the Droid Incredible 2 over the Charge, especially if you don't care for, or can not get LTE. LTE is nice and fast but honestly I don't get much practical use out of the insane speeds. The stuttering interface and relativ low battery life however are realy annoying issues.
on June 30, 2011
I purchased a Droid Charge 4 weeks ago. I've never owned an Android device before.
Here are the 3 things I like most about the phone, in order of desirability:
#1. 4.3" Display.
The large, bright screen makes web browsing and using Android applications a relatively comfortable, even enjoyable experience. Turn your phone sideways (landscape) and set text to auto-fit the size of the viewable window when web browsing for a doable albeit somewhat compromised internet experience.
Additionally, colors are vibrant and touch sensitivity is perfect. Once you get used to the phone's touch interface, you'll hardly ever have to zoom in to click small buttons or links on webpages. Crisp colors and super brightness settings really help guide your finger in to touch the right spot on the screen, however small it may be.
#2. 4G Data.
4G is to cable internet what cable internet was to dial up in the 90s. 4G is your high speed home connection now, only faster, and it fits in your pocket.
Once you try 4G, 3G is like hearing finger nails scraping against a chalk board. 3G is only tolerable for GPS or for very light mission critical web browsing. Forget about Youtube or streaming music.
#3. Physical main menu keys
I really like how the main menu keys -- the single row of 4 buttons on the bottom of the phone -- don't occupy any virtual screen real estate. That means you get to squeeze every last centimeter out of the 4.3" display.
I also like the sense of security I get knowing that I can mash physical buttons in case an application locks up or gets bogged down. Having a physical home key button is sort of like having CTRL + ALT + DELETE keys on Windows; comes in very handy at the right times.
Here are the 3 things I like least about this phone, in order of mental anguish inflicted.
#1: Battery life.
This is a phone that must remain plugged in if you frequently use 4G internet, in which case you can expect around 3.5 hours of battery life.
But, if you aren't constantly on your phone, and you turn off mobile data, and GPS, and all of the apps you don't need, the battery lasts a long time. I routinely leave my phone on all night like this and wake up to it having 90% battery.
I think a large number of people were effectively tricked into purchasing the Droid Charge because it was rumored to have defeated the 4G battery issue. That's just not the case. It's got the same battery life problems as every other 4G phone, but when you turn off mobile data, the battery life significantly improves.
In any case, it's a non-issue if you're geek enough to take your phone charger with you when you're out. I personally have a pure sine wave inverter for my car Samlex PST -15S -12A 150 Watt DC-AC Pure Sine Wave Inverter - 12V, and take my regular power cord with me if I know I'm going to do virtual work on my phone for several hours.
#2. The plastic coating.
This is a very slippery phone. I have a bad record of dropping phones on concrete; this phone's exterior finish doesn't help in the slightest. This phone feels like it wants to slide out of my own hand half the time I'm holding it, let alone any surface it might be perched on temporarily. I intend to solve this by purchasing an Otterbox Defender.
#3. The price.
At $250 on Amazon with contract, it's not inexpensive. But with the power of 4G and the productivity of Android in mind, the price is justifiable -- for the time being, e.g. the next 4-6 weeks from the date of this review.
I like it, but the phone leaves much to be desired. It will probably be obsolete in very short order, and will lose most of its appeal at that point. There's nothing special to see here. If you're comfortable with taking power cables with you everywhere and you love 4G internet, this phone is as good as any.
on June 9, 2011
I left Verizon go to go AT&T just for the iPhone4. After three iPhone4's in less than 11 months due to signal issues, I decided to sell the iPhone and go back to Verizon. I didn't want to take another chance on an iPhone so I looked into DROID. I wanted the option to customize, and make the phone truly mine. Thus the desire for a droid.
After reading the reviews here, reading tech reviews, and asking friends about their older DROID's I decided this Samsung Charge would be the one I wanted. I went to a Verizon Store and played with the phone for 3 1/2 hours, talking to the staff, doing Speed Tests on this one and other Droids along with my iPhone to see how 4G compared. I was impressed, and knowing it was Verizon I knew my dropped call issue would go away as well. So here I am.
The phone is very light weight, and the screen clarity is BETTER than my old phone, IMO. When my fingerprints are cleaned off, the phone is fine in sunlight on full brightness. I keep it quite dim to help with battery life, and it's still very bright indoors.
Typing on it I think is WAY easier than my old phone. The smart type text this one has seems "smarter" and there's less of those "oops what did I say" texts.
The fact there's SO MANY apps you can download for this, along with color options, full capability to make and use ringtones right from the phone, and an 8 mega pixel camera, I'm very impressed with the features.
Battery life is a different story. An iPhone with heavy usage can go from the time I unplug it, at 8am, until 11pm (15 hours) right before bed. So far I have gone 10 hours with this phone after doing heavy research on what can help the battery. There are some MUST-HAVE apps out there to assist with this.
Bluetooth audio: I have to learn more about the settings but when I'm playing music via BT in my car which is BT audio ONLY, every now and then the sound cuts out for a split 1/4 of a second and comes back on. I think it's when alerts come to the phone. This is very annoying but I think it's something I can work with. I'll know more after my trip to Vegas this week coming up where I'll be using a BT headset the entire time.
APPS and APP Screens: Another I have to research thing, but at night I power off the phone..... mostly because it's better for your battery to be charged when turned off, but if I do leave it on and charge it over night, I end up having to reboot in the morning anyway since it get super slow if I don't. I have my app screen (not the home pages but the app listings pages) sorted: phone settings on screen 1, social media and email communications screen 2, customizations like ringtone makers and walls on page 3, etc etc. Once in a while these pages get all garbled up and several apps are on the wrong screen even though they were in their organized place moments before. Not sure why this happens.
So the PROS:
- screen clarity and colors are supurb
- easy to use
- completely customizable
- sound quality on calls and music is good and crisp
- a cross between an iPhone and a Blackberry in handling
- battery life is less than of my previous phone but there are apps to help
with that. You just have to learn. I am getting more battery each day! I
think part of it is cache files. As you use it the phone doesn't have to
work as hard to access files, so it uses less battery.
- randomly needs a reboot. No battery pulls yet thankfully
- randomly moves app icons around my app screen pages
In Conclusion: I am VERY happy with my purchase. Also using Amazon Wireless was super easy and simple.
I'll update this as I learn more too!
on May 15, 2011
I got this phone recently. Very good battery life, no lagging whatsoever (except right after booting while things are initializing, same with all smartphones), AMAZING screen. the Samsung interface is different than what I'm used to, but it is easily changed to other things (I'm a fan of Go launcher). very bright and detailed, and I'm grateful for the built-in Swype. Been using it for awhile, Swype is definitely one of (if not THE) best input methods, and the large screen and smooth operation make it really fantastic.
The 1GHz processor does well, it's not dual core, but that doesn't really matter in all of the multitasking I've done so far. (1GHz processor for a phone is kind of insane, we've come really far). Front and rear facing cameras are nice, and the LED flash for the rear facing works well.
I haven't used the 4G yet (but will soon), so I can't comment on 4G data speeds, but 3G is pretty fast so far. I've heard talk that Verizon will start removing their unlimited data plans (possibly when the Verizon Iphone hits), and it is good to be locked into a 2-year unlimited data plan. Other Verizon smartphones might be a bit nicer in the future, but this phone doesn't need anything else, and if you wait for another phone, you run the risk of not getting in on the unlimited data plan.
The phone is fairly large, but it is lightweight and still operable. I can operate it with one hand standing up, but if I am laying down I use two hands. If that is relevant to anyone..
on May 26, 2011
This is a solid device, all the way through.
Reasons why I bought this phone:
HDMI out / HD Mirror mode, Front-facing camera, 4G, 4.3 inch screen, Above avg battery (for android). RESULTS: For all the reasons I bought the phone, I'm pleased with. The 4G (I'm in the DC Metro region) is amazingly fast, tested side-by-side with an iPhone over their AT&T 3g:
iPhone .47 kbps
DROID Charge 10.5 kbps
The screen is indeed beautiful. The phone is very light (you will want to buy a case). It's pretty responsive, minimal lag. Camera is terrific.
The CONS: Verizon loaded this thing down with applications that you can't delete. Here's the upside to that: You have plenty of memory on this with the 32gb sd card. I installed launcherpro which you can use as a homescreen replacement, it also gives you a new app drawer, in the settings you can "hide" applications you won't ever use. Now you don't have to scroll through it all.
All in all, this is solid choice and you won't be disappointed. If you're shopping to use your upgrade for verizon, you are most likely looking between this and the thunderbolt. I'll say you can't go wrong with either, and I can't say that this device is better, but it's certainly no worse. I haven't had any problems with sync'ing with our corporate exchange either.
on May 24, 2011
I rarely give bad reviews, and in fact I had posted on here before that the Samsung Charge was a good phone with 5 stars. I take all that back after living with it for a few months. I have had this phone replaced under warranty 3 times and still have the same lag issues, have to pull the battery. Last time I did a master reset I only put in my email, no other apps, after a few days the lag came back, so I'm pulling the battery a few times a day. even going into the phone menu, scrolling the contacts there is 5-10 second delay. I have two Charge's that my coworkers use with the same issues. Save you money and get a nexus, RAZR, or bionic. Please skip this phone.
on July 28, 2011
I've owned this phone since june and love it.Display is awesome,sounds are clear and have no problems with phone calls, bluetooth or reception like I'm seeing people complain about it.Its never crashed but it has lagged a little bit but thats only because I was multitasking and switching programs and pages too fast.Battery life is pretty good,it just depends on how much you're using it and what you're doing with it.I bought the desk cradle and it comes with an extra battery which can be charged while your phone is in cradle..As far as the 4g goes its amazingly fast and it only goes to 3g if I'm in a bad area,garages,in heavily wooded areas,etc..I recommend buying this phone and dismiss the people that are giving it bad reviews because they either don't know how to use it or are living in crappy areas of the country,sorry folks..If you want to talk about a crappy phone then you all should be talking about Iphone,my mother got Iphone 4 when I got the droid charge and I hate that phone it's a P.O.S. and it's harder to do anything on it compared to the charge..
on July 22, 2011
Got sick of waiting for iPhone5 and upgraded to Droid Charge. What a great phone - it has everything I need and more. Beautiful bright screen, overall great options, tons of features that are easy to use and customize. Battery life is okay - on average day it lasts me about a day, day-and-half, but coming from BlackBerry Storm it's fine with me. Purchased an extra charger and a car charger, which should take care of things. So far so good!