on February 26, 2013
I'm a long-time Verizon customer and have owned many phones throughout the years- ranging from the FIRST camera phone from LG in 2002, to the enV, the Dare, the original Motorola Droid (which was a great phone, by the way) to now owning the Samsung Droid Charge. You would think as technology improved, the phone would get better and the experience would get better, but this is not the case. If it were not for the fact that I'm locked into a two-year contract, I would switch from the Samsung Droid Charge. This piece of junk phone is the reason why I'm ready to either pay $500 for another phone on eBay or pay the early termination fee and break my contract to go to another carrier. The screen on my OG Moto Droid is broken, otherwise I'd go old school and use that!
I've owned this phone since December 2011, which is a little over a year now. I upgraded and renewed my 2-year contract because Amazon was advertising this phone for a penny. That was literally all I paid- a penny, but believe me, even a penny is overpaying for this piece of junk! It worked great the first few months I had it, but after that, I experienced many problems with this phone and it has gotten progressively worse. If you search on Verizon forums, you'll find that many others are experiencing the same exact problems. It is not a Verizon problem but is in fact a Samsung problem. Samsung put in a crappy radio receiver, and this is the cause of many problems with the phone.
Here are the problems I've personally experienced, and many others have also experienced as well:
-NO 4G SERVICE, only 3G: I live in Los Angeles, and even Verizon has told me I should be getting 4G. The 4G worked for a few months but stopped working after that, and I believe it's a result of the crappy, cheap radio Samsung put into this phone. I had to switch it to CDMA 3G mode instead of LTE just to be able to get data service, so I am paying for 4G service that I am not getting.
-LOSES DATA CONNECTION ALL THE TIME: Even though I switched it to 3G mode, several times throughout the day, I get ZERO DATA CONNECTION or a 1X CONNECTION (if you're lucky). Restarting the phone several times a day solves this problem. Again, linked to the crappy radio. Don't buy this phone if you need to have constant access to your emails or the internet.
-PHONE REBOOTS RANDOMLY: It will restart on its own for no reason.
-PHONE LOCKS UP: Trying to dial someone, it will take about 2 minutes before it actually dials. I have more faith in reaching someone using 2 soup cans and a whole bunch of string.
-PHONE RANDOMLY DIALS PEOPLE FROM CONTACTS: This has happened a few times the last few months.
Do yourself a favor and avoid this phone like you'd avoid a hooker with VDs. That's all I gotta say! I'm counting down until December 2013 when I can get a new phone!
on January 17, 2012
I wanted a phone with a good display, true 4G data, and lots of available apps. The Samsung Charge does that....for a few hours.
I can't understand the people on these reviews who are saying "good battery life". Perhaps they are barely using their phone. I am a very savvy techie; I have done *everything* one can do to get better battery life (e.g., turn off WiFi when not using it, kill unused tasks, use a short screen timeout, etc.), and I cannot imagine getting a full day from this phone. I end up living tethered to chargers...at home, in the car, etc. Right now, my Samsung Charge shows 50% battery after very light use for 6 hours. I have *NEVER* made it a full day....not once in 5 months.
Otherwise, it has a nice display, and most things on it work. Other complaints:
1. The jerks at Samsung loaded the thing with apps that you cannot remove (Golf? Buzzbox, Rhapsody, Rock Band, etc) and Verizon packed it with a few of their own. That's seriously annoying.
2. No LED to indicate calls/messages is seriously annoying. The answer is an app named NoLED...which consumes battery! :-(
3. The phone has "issues" w/ BlueTooth; not sure what triggers it, but sometimes it just will not connect to existing paired devices. The only cure then is to re-boot the phone.
4. The phone is *very* sensitive to chargers...one charger I have makes the touchscreen almost useless, another (in my car) puts a whine on the audio coming out of the headphone jack. Neither is a cheap charger, BTW...the car one is a Verizon charger.
All in all, this isn't the worst phone I've owned...but you can bet that I am looking forward to my contract expiring so I can get something else!
Update 8/2012: I had the misfortune of having my phone partially fail, and I called Verizon to have it repaired...which, of course, actually meant that they shipped me a "new" one. Well, the new one was a re-furb, and it had its' own, severe problems. Back it went...and I got another refurb...which also was very seriously flawed....and back that one went....when I received the 3rd replacement, and it, too, was seriously flawed (I'm not being picky here: Wi-Fi didn;t work on it!), I went ballistic with Verizon and they offered me a different model phone. Thankfully, that Motorola Droid has turned out Ok. I'm reducing the phon e rating to 2-stars, for obvious terrible support and terrible QA.
on August 19, 2011
I've had my Droid Charge for about a month. The screen and interface are wonderful and the added memory (over my old original Motorola Droid) are greatly appreciated. There seems to be about 1.2Gb of memory allocated to applications and 328 Mb available for running applications. Even though the phone is large, it is very light and thin and doesn't feel as large as it might seem.
I have two complaints about it which lowers its score. The battery life seems fairly poor. It is similar to my old Motorola Droid which is good when one considers its screen and speed. I can get up to 10 hours on the battery but typically less. I'm a fairly hard user, so perhaps this isn't surprising, but I need to have a charger handy regularly or it won't last the day. This may get better as I get used to the phone. The other complaint is that it freezes up and/or reboots about once a day, for no apparent reason. It says it is running 2.2.1. I hope it gets the 2.3.4 upgrade soon and perhaps that will help.
I don't have 4g in my area, so I can't report on its performance, but the battery life I'm experience is without the additional drain of 4g.
(Update 9/6/11). I've had the phone for more than a month now and the freeze ups/reboots persist with typically 3-4 per day. As aggravating is that having it dial a number sometimes takes forever. I can request it to call a number in my contacts and it may be a minute later that it decides to make the call. This is very bad. Battery life is not improving at all and I have a spare battery and external charger to help me make it through the day. It really needs some system fixes.
(Update 9/12/11). I did a full reset on the phone and reloaded my applications. This time I did two things differently. I didn't put any applications on the SD card, and I didn't use "folder manager" to organize my apps. I simply used folders in the home pages. So far the phone is behaving much better. Battery life still isn't great, but I've had far less problems with sluggish response and with freezing up and rebooting. It hasn't stopped entirely, but is much, much better so far.
on August 13, 2011
You can get info about this phone from many other sources, so, I'll just say it's everything good that I read and hoped it would be. I want to focus this review on the buying experience I had with Amazon Wireless.
This was my first phone bought outside my provider, Verizon. I was able to get the Droid Charge for a much lower price than from either Verizon or Costco Wireless, but I was nervous about not getting it directly from Verizon. What if it didn't work and Amazon left me out on a limb, and what if Verizon wouldn't talk to me if I had problems with the plan? Well, I now know I had ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO WORRY!
Received the phone, charged it fully first, put the SIM card in and turned the phone on. It was supposed to automatically activate with Verizon, but was having trouble. Restarted it a couple of times. Then remember I had forgotten to turn off and remove battery from my old phone, a Blackberry. So did that, then did a hard reboot on the Charge--still no happiness in connecting and activating. So, I called Amazone Wireless and the Customer Service rep was simply outstanding. He told me no problem, and called Verizon for me to make sure everything was right on their end and after one more restart, instant success - and this was at about 8pm at night. Amazon also automatically came through with the $15.00 of credits, as promised,in their various online stores.
All I can say, is, if you can read and follow directions, you will have no problem getting your phone from Amazon and setting it up yourself. Even if you miss a step, as I did. After my initial experience dealing with Amazon Wireless Customer service, I feel confident that if I need anything else from them, they will come through. In fact, the customer service was SO much better than I've had from a Verizon employee for the past few years.
on August 19, 2011
The Good: Much faster than my Motorola Droid. Don't have 4G in my area yet so have not tested network speeds. Super huge OLED screen is bright enough to see in full sunlight, and large enough to be useful. Decent battery life so far but have only had the phone for a couple of days. 2GB of internal memory and factory-installed 32GB microSD gives you lots of space for apps, photos, music, etc. Good quality images from both 8MP main camera and 1.3MP front camera. I rarely use my phone as a phone so cannot comment on the quality of calls.
The Not So Good: Internal speaker volume is not loud enough. TONS of useless pre-installed bloatware which cannot be removed unless you root the phone, and even then, may not be able to uninstall. Thus far I have been unsucessful at all attempts at rooting using z4 Root or super one-touch with psneuter or GingerBreak, nor has adb using GingerBreak been able to do it. I specifically chose Samsung because of their supposed root-friendly attitude. Will keep trying, and WILL eventually succeed!
Addendum: After lots of research and trial & error I was able to get root access on my Charge! For info on how to do it see the following URLs.
Please make sure to carefully follow all instructions on using Odin, but before flashing, remove the battery from the phone. Then once the phone is recognized by Odin, replace the battery and then flash. Please do not blame me if you damage your phone using this method. All I can say is that it worked for me. If you don't have much experience rooting Droids you may want to wait until a one-click method is developed for the EE4 build. Email me if you need more help. firstname.lastname@example.org
on July 10, 2011
I am a moderate user (I could be a heavy user, but barely brave enough to use the phone moderately! - More on this later). I like to check email, surf the net, download, upload, text, send messages, you name it (not much of a talker on the phone - but still important - it IS a phone!).
I LOVE this phone for the following reasons:
1. Absolutely user friendly
2. Fantastic call clarity - sometimes the person on the other end sounds like they are literally sitting on the ledge of my ear lobe and talking right in there. Crystal clear!
2b. No background noise or hiss (white noise) whatsoever on a call.
3. Even when I am on one bar signal strength - the call will not falter! Have not tried calling with a single bar.
4. Very intuitive typing - about 90% of the time, it correctly guesses the word (Had an HTC Inspire briefly - words always wrong!)
5. Touch screen is just sensitive enough so that when you move it or hover near it, it doesn't just launch off into something (HTC Inspire - you couldn't even tip it or apply pressure to the sides as in picking it up without it changing your whole display or opening up something.). Yet when you need it to be responsive - it is johnny-on-the-spot.
6. Great built in app manager
7. Highly customizable with a fantastic offering of Android Market apps.
8. Easy to hold and manipulate.
9. Absolutely beautiful and vibrant graphics - even on a 30% brightness setting. The full setting actually hurt my eyes!
10. Pretty descent speaker.
Now, What I DESPISE about this phone!!:
1. The battery life is absolutely hideous! Even when I leave the phone to sit on my desk - I have no battery life (or barely) by the end of my work day (unplug 6AM, leave work at 5PM). Maybe I am missing something - but these reports of 10 or 12 hours without a charge by other users must be by those who don't turn the phone on at all. LOL! j/k. But, seriously, if the Charge has the better battery life of the 4G SP's - I am truly scared to see how bad the Thunderbolt is (it is reportedly markedly worse)!
2. I don't like the plasticky feel of the phone (HTC's feel MUCH better constructed) - but I can live with that. The battery life is my biggest gripe.
3. Size. The HTC models definitely beat the Samsung Droid Charge on this one - this almost qualifies as HUGE!
As you can see my pros far out paced my cons. But even the cons have descent work-arounds. You can get great inductive charging covers/pads, or portable power packs, or an extra charger, or an extended battery (if you like the bulk) to manage your power needs. Smart phones in general have bad battery ratings - accept for the iPhone. As far as the plasticky feel of the construction - a nice phone cover takes care of that problem. You forget you had the issue!
In short - this phone is worthy of your consideration.
on June 17, 2011
I have had the Droid Charge for a week now. One of the most impressive features is the Super Amoled Plus display - on auto-brightness level - the display is beautiful and adjusts well to all ambient lighting levels. Sometimes, just to show it off, I'll take it off of auto-level and crank it up to full brightness just to blow people away. The clarity, contrast ratio, color fidelity - everything is incredibly good. It is at this time, the most stunning display in it's size class in the world. And yes, you can read it in direct sunlight.
The User interface is also excellent - animation rates are good. swipe scrolling is very smooth - my iphone co-workers now say that the UI is just up to par with their iPhones (they still think the iPhone scrolling is slightly smoother - but no longer enough that they think it's a discriminator).
The 4G performance is also incredible. In both the Anaheim area (down to Irvine) and east San Gabriel Valley areas, I typically measure mid-teens (~16Mbps) down and 7-10Mbps up. I was blown away yesterday morning when I got a speed test result in Tustin, CA of 26Mbps down and 10Mbps up. Had to run the test twice to confirm! . These numbers are better than my FIOS service!
Only downside is, yes, the battery life. In my first day of playing with it heavily - I wiped out the battery by early afternoon. Probably being a new battery didn't help. After a week, I'm typically down to one bar by 5-6pm (still playing with it a Lot). So, I bought a dock for my desk at work, a mount/charger for my car, and another dock for my desk at home. Problem solved. I also bought an extra battery - mainly for a travel backup.
So all-in-all - I am extremely happy with this phone. At this time, the trade-off seemed to be between a Verizon droid with dual 1Ghz processors and 3G, or a 1Ghz processor with 4G and the Super AMOLED Display. I believe the 4G performance and stunning display far outweigh the dual processor. Of course, it won't be long, I'm sure, before somebody will have both 4G and the dual-processor - but Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus display is going to be a tough act to follow.
on May 29, 2011
I was dying for the Samsung Galaxy S II, but reading online it doesn't look like thats coming to the US until at least this fall, if not later. I have been using and iPhone 4 with ATT, but I am so tired of not being able to use my phone because ATT charges $25 for 2 measly GB of data. Also I desired to go back to Android since it is a much more useful phone os.
So I saw the Droid charge was coming out, and I do love Verizons network, and I kept hearing about how amazing LTE is and that this is the future. So I went and played with the Thunderbolt, which was awful, the screen is ugly, the phone is extremely chunky and heavy, and it was just all around bad. Then next to it was this beautiful screen, and it was the Droid Charge. This is the same screen as the Galaxy S II, and the same Camera as well. The phone is great, I actually really like the design, its like a Lamborghini and a Transformer had a phone baby.
Sure Toughwiz is ugly, but all you need to do is download Launcher Pro and things are all good from there. The phone is fast enough, though not as amazing as the dual core offerings right now. Only problem is there is no good dual core phone on a network with a good fast unlimited internet service. So in my opinion, at the moment, for the all around package, the Droid Charge is king.
Also now I am on Verizon with unlimited LTE, so when Apple decides to make a phone with at least a 4" screen and a less childlike OS and adds LTE, I will be all set to jump back into an iPhone.
Or if and when the S II comes to Verizon maybe I will sell my Charge and grab one of those, because that is truly the king of phones right now.
on September 2, 2011
The Samsung Droid 4G Charge phone by Verizon Wireless is a worthless piece of electonic junk. This gem turns your 4g experience into a living nightmare. Let me count the ways it sucks: 1.) It is always dropping calls. 2.) it is always losing the 4g network and sometimes it won't connect to the 3g network. 3.) Sometimes it gets very slow and can take up to 10 seconds to back to your home page. Sometimes it never makes it there. '4.) Apps will hang up regulary, requiring a reboot. 5.) The voice recognition is terrible. I will often dial a number in your phone book that doesn't even remotely sound like what you said. 6.) The blue tooth connection is always dropping off. 7.) The bluetooth connection doesn't want to connect at times until you turn it off and on a number of times, or reboot. 8.) The battery is anemic and can ony handle 2.5 hours of continuous use. On a regular day I will get around half a day's use out of it. 9.) The battery will overheat if you try to use it while using a car charger, i.e., GPS while driving. and lastly, 10.) today it send some messages on its own in triplicate. I sent two messages after that and they were also in triplicate. Who designed this thing, Microsoft???? Stay away from the Samsung Charge. This is my second Charge already (the first one was even worse so they replaced it) and I'm ready to chunk it out the window!!!! Unfortunately, I waited too long to complain and Verizon will not replace it with a different brand. They'll only replace it with another Charge. Why go through the trouble when I know the problem is with the model and not this particular phone. I am stuck with the Charge and Verizon for another two years. When my contract is up I guarantee you I will be heading for another provider FAST!!! Are you listening Verizon and Samsung???!!!
I REALLY wish I had read the reviews.
Here is what I have noticed in the first week:
The phone needs charging at least 2xs a day. And this is with NO data use (I just took 3 calls, with a bluetooth and was down to the red zone in battery life).
Any call I've made that is over a few minutes has durations of inaudibility. Either it fades out completely (and continues to show a call in progress) or it has these really loud clicking noises that make it impossible for the other party to hear.
I haven't even begun to experiment with the phone and its data capability. I just wanted to have a phone that would work and would also allow me to use it for driving directions and some occasional music listening. This one has to be CONSTANTLY connected to a charger, and I can't even imagine using it to listen to music and having it last more than a couple of songs. Trust me, buy another phone if you want to make more than 3 calls per day.