on April 23, 2013
The battery life is awful. It only lasts a couple of hours. The phone freezes all the time. The only way to get it restarted is to turn the power off and restart it. I would give it 0 stars, if that was possible.
on July 16, 2011
I have owned a computer company for 25 years so I guess you could say that I have some experience with technology. When the Blackberry Storm came out I stood in line at a Verizon store at 5:00 am in order to be one of the 1st to own one. I sold it on craigslist.com a month later. I did not like the phone. I reactivated my previous phone. After a friend was raving about his iPhone, I decided to try another upgrade so I visited a Verizon store again. I met with a very patient Verizon representative who spent 2 hours with me picking out a phone. I read Internet reviews on her computer in the store. I chose the Charge for 3 important reasons. The memory chip and battery are user replaceable and the display is awesome. I wanted the freedom to swap memory chips and the ability to change the battery myself.
The first thing that I did was download the user manual from the Samsung Web site. I took it into Kinkos and had them duplex print it (print on both sides of the page) and also bind the manual. The manual is 159 pages long and much more comprehensive than the user book that comes in the box with the phone.
A couple times a week, the phone gets buggy. I mean like 2 times a week. I reboot and everything is cool. I have XMradio in the house and for a very small monthly fee I am able to get it on the phone paired with my home unit. My auto radio has an input for a stereo miniplug and I can play XM from the phone through my car stereo. You don't need to buy the Verizon cable. Any stereo miniplug cable will work. The service can be a little erratic but I rate it very good.
I have read lots of negative comments about the battery life. However, I find it to be very good. I am not an App nut so I can't comment on that. The camera is pretty cool and even has some SLR kinds of adjustments. It's nice to be able to take a pic and upload it to Facebook immediately. It also shoots video and does an acceptable job. The speaker phone is very good and the phone has some pretty intuitive software making it very usable. I often use the speech to text feature when driving and it's surprisingly accurate.
I highly recommend the phone.
on July 10, 2011
Have had this Charge for a few weeks and being new to Droid the biggest adjusment has been battery life. Not in a 4G area so set to cdma. Have found that juice defender, at least for me, isn't working properly- 3g connectivity doesn't happen or takes 5 min. or more to come up. I continue to wait for them to fix with the Charge. Have the screen brightness at 15-20%..So, after a couple nights out and having my battery run dry after 3-4 hours, have been determined to figure out how people are saying they get 10+ hours of life. Here's what I've learned..unless you are using wifi, blue tooth, gps, google location, mobile data, shut them all off. It requires actively using and monitoring the drop down menu, the power widget, settings, and I use spare parts to check battery status (instead of taking an extra step within settings.) You'll receive calls and texts, but if you want to see if you've got email, use certain apps, surf the web, use location services, just turn them all on and off as needed. Now my phone doesn't die quickly with very little use if away from a charger.
Now that I've gotten to know the phone better (and developed above habits), my initial review seems a little harsh/extreme. To be clearer, I have wifi in my apt and at work and can leave it connected all day long and think I'd get close to 10 hours of life with moderate use. But if I see it drop to 70% battery level, I'll charge it, just so I'm prepared with adequate life when I head out. I think my experience with the battery draining quickly had to do with leaving mobile data on (and maybe gps and google location, too- not sure if that eats battery when not being used or not.) Anyway, I'm very happy with the phone and the battery life isn't as much of an issue for me now.
Recommend getting the Samsung desktop dock- charges the phone, plus an additional battery. There are some days where you're going to want that extra charged battery to take along with you. Nice also as serves as travel clock/alarm..can attach portable speakers for music or watching video.
on June 1, 2011
Having now purchased the Thunderbolt and the Charge during the first week each phone was on the market, I have a sense for the pros and cons of each phone. Below, find my observations of each phone:
Screen - The Charge has both a brighter and more distinctive screen. It is easier to see in direct sunlight (but neither phone is a pleasure to use outside.) However, both screens are more than adequate and even pleasing.
Speed - Once again, both phones are quite fast, with the edge going to the Thunderbolt. I use the phone in a 4G area, and 3G speeds quickly become annoying once you have had the benefit of 4g. One MAJOR difference between the Thunderbolt and the Charge can be found in their respective abilities to connect to 4G in buildings. I never had a problem with the Thunderbolt in my office or restaurants. However, the Charge quickly reverts to 3G inside. Perhaps I have a defective Charge, and Verizon has agreed to send a new unit, so I will let you know if it is the Charge or just my phone.
Battery - By now you have all heard about the Thunderbolt battery issues. I returned my Thunderbolt for just this reason. The Charge was reported to be much better. However, it is only marginally better. You will need either a second battery or a charger for either phone if you rely on the phone for internet access. Fortunately, I found a great option. The Trent iCruiser IMP1000 11000mAh External Battery Pack and Charger is the savior of the 4G smartphone. It has about 6 or 7 times the capacity of the internal battery. It will both power and charge the phone and is about the size of a small external drive. There are smaller versions both from this manufacturer and others. The benefit of the external battery is that you can still use protective cases and other accessories which are not usable with the extended internal battery.
Size - The Charge is bigger than the Thunderbolt (but not as heavy). These phones are fast approaching the size of a small tablet. They both fit in my shirt pocket, but the days of the compact pants pocket phone are gone.
Other issues - My Charge has turned itself off twice in the past five days. I do not know what has caused this problem, but if you are relying on the phone for an important call and find it has turned itself off, you may long for the days of the old flip phone. With respect to the Thunderbolt, I was constantly pressing the volume control button while holding the phone. Also, the kickstand being installed upside down (you cannot use the stand and charge the phone at the same time), was indicative lack of forethought, at least as to small issues.
Summary - I am afraid that the current 4G phones are not quite ready for prime time. Nonetheless, I am hooked and am not willing to wait for Verizon to implement their tiered pricing plan before getting the "perfect" phone. I will keep the Charge and live with the issues I have described above (as long as the new replacement phone does not turn itself off as well). For me, the better screen, the more ergonomic layout of the buttons (including real push buttons rather than touch sensor buttons), and the better phone performance (both in terms of hearing the caller and the clarity of the message to the person being called) were the deciding factors. However, you can get a better deal on the Thunderbolt and at least for now there are more (and cheaper) accessories for the Thunderbolt, including cases.
"You pays your money and you takes your chances." Good Luck!
on June 16, 2012
I got this phone as a replacement for my HTC Incredible 2.
This phone is not as bad as the HTC, but it does have its own problems.
1.) Battery life is bad. 4g is more battery intensive, but it's still annoying when your phone is always needing a charge, and a car charger barely keeps it at the current level let alone charging it.
2.) phone "forgets" my ringtones. Weird, because if I have an MP3 as a default ringer, it will still play that, though not the custom tone I have set for a contact.
3.) Interface, holy crap is it slow, it takes forever to bring up the app list, phone, contacts, or even return to home screen.
4.) Music app is horrible.
5.) Memory usage is terrible. Why would a phone running higher than android 2.0 have to include a factory task killer? Oh, because it sucks at managing memory.
6.) the default weatherbug clock/weather widget does not have the option to show a digital clock. I know, small complaint, but why the heck isn't that an option? If I want a digital clock and a weather widget, I have to install 2 additional apps on the phone? every other manufacturer has a digital clock with weather, it's like including a rotary dial for the phone.
Really wish I kept my original droidx.
on June 27, 2011
I nearly made a big mistake. I had decided based on specs and reviews to get this phone, but when we went to the store to check it out, the web access on their display model was very glitchy. So my wife and I decided to get iphones. Couple of days later, I went into a different store to take a 2nd look at the iphone, and ended up looking at the Droid Charge again.
Awesome! I compared picture and video quality and found both on the Charge to be superior to the IPhone. Web access was also smooth and fast.
We've had the phones now for a couple of days and I'm excited as a kid on Christmas morning every time I use it. (Confession: I'm new to smartphones, so that may account for some it.) The screen is beautiful, big, crystal clear and bright- what more could you ask for? I live in Vegas and we have 4G coverage, so it's fast. Just made my first call and was pleased to find that the call quality was crisp and clear. (Seems like that would be a no-brainer, but from some of the reviews I've read, apparently it's not.)
It's a bit large, the small price you pay for that big screen, but the shell/hoslter combo (by Verizon, with a kickstand!)that I got to hold it works perfectly. I don't know how practical it would be to try and carry it in my pocket, and I've always worn phones on my belt, so this works exactly like every other phone I've carried- only 10,000,000 times better, of course...
Verizon wanted $350 for the phone. AmazonWirelss sells it for $180. Hello....? Very happy with AmazonWirelss and ecstatic with the phone.
on October 1, 2011
I updated from motorola droid: the hardware on this phone is far superior
-> Super AMOLED screen is great
-> phone is reasonably faster
-> In NYC, the voice and data quality is great
-> 4G tethering is very fast
The not so good
-> Verizon has crippled the phone with out of date software. This phone does not have gingerbread even a year after it was released to the rest of the world. I guess they like spending the $$ on marketing rather than updating good phones. Unlike apple, samsung has allowed them to fiddle with software, and this out of date software is the unfortunate outcome
-> poor battery life because of old software: the outdated software causes the fully charged phone to drain in 8 hours if you are running apps (I have 8 or so apps running: facebook, latitude, etc), Battery dies in 2 hours of google maps gps navigation.
->Phone is bloated with verizon ware such as "verizon navigator" which you cannot remove
-> Skype front camera not available with out of date android software
Verizon has no ETA for software release. I do not recommend the phone with the old software. It cannot compete with iphone 5 (slated for oct 5 release) with this old software.
on July 30, 2011
I recently purchased Samsung Charge from amazon wireless. The local verizon store tried to scare me from making my purchase through amazon. They said the warranty was different and no one would get my contacts into my new phone. After checking a bit further on the phone, verizon does in fact back up the manufacturer warranty for 1 year. So first 30 days the issue is handled by amazon, and the other 11 months it is handled by verizon. Saving contacts and loading them into the new phone was easy. Activation the device was very easy.
I am learning the new device and like it so far. One thing I find difficult is if you are outside in the sunlight is is hard to see the screen.
The data plan requirements is not so easy to figure out. The phone is promoted as having the capability to download TV shows and movies, etc. but a 2 hours movie is about 2 GB of storage and if you have a 2GB data plan from Verizon it is shot with one movie. So that part isn't clear BEFORE you buy the device. You have to be committed to spending a boatload on the data plan from verizon to be able to download movies. This part is a real bummer and wish I knew it before I purchased the phone.
on November 21, 2011
Unfortunately I signed a 2 year contract to get this phone. I went in to the verizon store and asked for the latest greatest. This is the phone they suggested. I had the first one replaced under warranty. The second isn't much better. I have so many complaints, I don't know where to begin. I actually miss my blackberry. The most basic functionality is a problem. It's great for games and video but I use my phone for work. For some reason it won't remember my email password. After trying to download my emails for sometimes hours it finally gives up and gives me a message that I need to re-enter my password. When trying to retreive my voice mails, it won't let me dial my PIN unless the phone is sitting on a hard flat surface. After one digit the screen goes black. I shake the phone to light it up again but it says incorrect password. After 3 tries it says I made too many attempts and cuts me off. When I dial it back I have to listen to a message about how somebody has made several attempts to access my voicemail and it recites my own cell phone number!!!! I want to kill myself!!!!!
on August 22, 2011
The Charge certainly has a lovely display, and LTE (Verizon's version of 4G) is definitely fast for a phone, but the phone has problems that need to be fixed:
There are plenty of reviews that deal with the phone's features, and with its good and bad points. This review is mainly about the problems that I had with the phone.
I'm not a newcomer to Android phones; I've had one or another since the G1 came out for T-Mobile. I know what to do in order to increase battery life, make the phone operate faster, etc.
DATA SPEED: 4G speed was in the 5-8 Mb/s range, while 3G clocked at 1.4-1.8 Mb/s. This was in a smaller metro area, population-wise. I'm told that LTE/4G speeds in large cities can be faster.
DISPLAY: The display looks good, although the colors didn't always seem to be correct. It also seemed to be over-saturated (the colors were unrealistically rich). I'm not a camera user, so I have no opinion on how that works.
Here are the problems:
INTERFACE: The Charge's TouchWiz is annoyingly slow. Screen-changing lags considerably until all of the many preinstalled widgets are removed; that helps speed things up a bit. Selecting a shortcut can take up to 45 seconds from the time the home-screen is pressed until all of the various menus. This can be alleviated somewhat by getting a different launcher (i.e. Go Launcher EX), but it still lags more than other phones I've had.
SCREEN BUG WHILE IN CALL: Don't plan on using the Charge for anything else while you're making a call, unless you have it on the home screen. Exiting via the Menu or Back buttons brings you to the home screen---and the phone's screen will then turn on and off, seemingly at will. Unlock the screen, and it will turn back off. Trying to slide to a different screen instantly turns it back off. I was able to exit to the main screen and QUICKLY choose an icon, but the screen still turned on and off.
LIGHT SENSOR BUGGED: The screen changed back and forth from dim to bright, even with the phone in a stationary location. This happened on many apps and long before the the screen timeout of 2 minutes was reached.
BATTERY LIFE IS HORRIBLE: After tweaking everything to conserve battery and even installing 2X Battery Saver to turn off the data connection when the screen was off, the phone still only lasted about 4 hours, this with very light usage. It may last longer than the Thunderbolt, but it certainly isn't acceptable to me. If you insist on getting this phone, you should consider buying an extended-life battery, carrying an extra battery (or two) around, or keeping a charger nearby.
GPS: The GPS took almost 2 minutes to find the satellites and get an exact fix, even standing outside in an open area.
The Charge doesn't quite seem ready for prime-time, a problem that seems to plague all Samsung
Android phones that I've seen.