on November 27, 2011
Most of my comments will be in relation to my original Motorola Droid which I loved when I got it but it seemed to get slower and slower, I've even gone back to factory defaults to get it to run, finally rooted it and upped the clock speed which helped but it was having other problems too and needed to be replaced.
Before the review let me vent a little, I've been a Verizon customer over 10 years with two plans, one for my work so I could write it off separately from a family plan we have for my wife and kids. We pay them far too much every month! I'm still mad that a new customer can come in and get a new Razr Droid or Bionic phone for free via amazon and other places but for a long time existing customer who pays on two accounts for years has to pay nearly $300.00 to get the latest Droid or iPhone. If I jump carriers then I can get a free phone at some other company, I know people jump every two years because of this so LISTEN UP Verizon and everyone else, your loyalty programs is not working! Reward us for staying not for leaving!
Anyway I wanted to vent to a Verizon salesmen who stopped me at my local Sams Club on Black Friday and he told me about the $1.01 (after taxes) deal for a Droid X2 or a Samsung Charge. I did not want the Charge but it was a big improvement over my original Droid so I made the leap. So far I'm happy, here are my observations:
Its lighter than my old phone despite having a much larger screen.
The battery seems to last twice as long as my Motorola Droid did, even when it was new.
4G is super fast, although it's not everywhere I go, the 3G and wifi seem faster in rural areas because the phone is so much faster itself.
The screen is large, bright and super sharp. I watched a movie on it streaming and it looked great!
Skyping is great with the front camera and works very well.
I love the camera, its fast and the pictures look great! Surprisingly bright and clear.
A little thinner than my old phone.
Upgraded interface is nice too.
I love and hate the permanent dock that houses the phone and other icons. (see con below) It's a faster way to get to the phone (hey thats what I actually use mine for most of the time) and it loads faster than the main desktops so I really appreciate the speed up!
What were they thinking putting the power/lock button on the right side? I lock my phone constantly as it's exactly where your thumb hits. I'll get used to it but what a dumb design.
I hate the clicking return and home buttons, It's a little thing but its like hitting a button twice so it seems like a slower function than it was on my old phone.
Predictive typing slows me down. I type fast enough on the virtual keyboard, but the predictive typing is often wrong and a pain to override. I'll have to turn it off, this might not me this phone's problem as much as one of the version of the Android os (2.20)
Where is the camera button? I can't locate it, my old phone had a dedicated one, on this phone it much be from the screen I think.
Okay this is Verizon's fault but what a load of bloat wear! I mean there are more than a dozen apps they have pre-installed that you cannot delete, that are only usable if you pay for them! Sure I can root this phone, void the warranty and delete them. Most of them are bad apps anyway, that likely paid Verizon to force them on us. There is like 4 music players alone! So I've moved all the garbage to a folder and off the desktops to hide them but they are still there wasting my time and SC card space.
I love/hate the dock that holds the phone, contacts, messages, and applications icons. I also love it as it's faster to get to these, but I can't find a way to edit this dock to get rid of messages and applications which I rarely use and would rather replace them with Chomp and a browser icon. Great Idea, poorly executed.
All in all I think the Razr and Bionic are better and more refined phones but for the deal I go I'm happy. I still think service is over priced by 200%, and I am still mad that thy punish loyalty and reward fickle carrier jumping, and put a lot of junk on the phone they know most people don't use or want but as to the phone itself I'm happy with it and I'm sure I will like for 18 months and then hope I can finally find a deal on a new iPhone or Motorola that does not penalize me for loyalty.
on November 18, 2011
Overall this is a good phone, the biggest issue I have is the battery life which I think has more to do with the bloatware then the battery itself. It's ridiculous the amount of pre-installed apps that I cannot delete including games that I have no interest in. An LED to let you know of missed calls, texts, etc would have been nice. The size of the phone is nice and the screen is beautiful. The 4G speed is noticeably faster, but so is the battery drain.
The bootup screen has terrible long noisy crashing/ breaking glass sounds and this wouldn't be so much of a problem if it didn't just reboot itself from time to time. Also on the topic of horrible sounds, twice through each battery cycle, the phone has a full volume BEEP BEEP to alert you of low battery. There is no way to turn this off, adjust the volume or the sound. This even occurs if the phones is in silent or vibrate modes. I like to let my battery drain all the way down before charging and this is really annoying. Especially when in a meeting at work or SLEEPING and the alert occurs. I'm going to root this phone if for no other reason than to get rid of this sound.
The speakerphone is not very good. Voices get fuzzy even at the lowest setting and turned all the way up, it's practically inaudible. I like to use this while I'm driving, but it is basically worthless because the audio quality is so poor.
The camera takes pretty nice pictures but what is up with not allowing you to use the camera when the battery is low. I don't care, that the battery is at 10%, I want to take a picture.
The battery is pretty bad. I know that it has a big screen and is a 4G phone, but even with the data antenna turned off and not using the screen at all, I often see huge chunks of my battery disappear even when I'm not using it and often with all antennas turned off. For example overnight with nothing running and no data antennas on, I usually lose 20% - 30% of my battery when I check it the next morning. I have tried every task killer and battery optimizer app out there and adjusted settings for optimal battery life with little change. Also, this thing charges pretty slow.
on August 13, 2015
This phone was ok but would tend to freeze a lot. I had to restart it several times before it could work. It would also get hot and the battery stopped working as the charging port of the phone stopped working.
on August 14, 2011
Let me start off by saying that I like the phone, its look, its large screen size with super amoled plus display, and so on. It is the LEAST flawed 4G LTE phone that Verizon currently has to offer.
* Better than the HTC Thunderbolt and the LG with battery life
* Awesome super amoled plus display
* Almost no random reboots compared to the HTC Thunderbolt
* MicroHDMI output works great
* Overall better than the other 4G LTE phones currently available from Verizon
* When 4G LTE connection is lost it usually never comes back without restarting the phone (airplane mode toggle trick usually doesn't work) - improvements seen with leaked Gingerbread 2.3.4
* When DATA all together (4G,3G,1X) is lost it will never come back on its own, a restart is required - improvements seen with leaked Gingerbread 2.3.4
* Sometimes the phone will stop charging when a notification is received such as an email or text message
* Using the flash on the camera immediately powers off the phone like a blackout without the shutdown process, just black screen completely off, a battery pull is required to turn it back on
* Sometimes you receive a 32gb Class 2 microSD card, sometimes you receive a 32gb Class 4 or 6 microSD card with it, luck of the draw I guess, poor quality control/marketing/packing/distribution/logistics I guess
* Bluetooth is buggy, Samsung uses their own bluetooth stack implementation and it doesn't play nice with all bluetooth devices out there, but what bluetooth does, but theirs is the bully on the playground
Some people speculate that the speed of the microSD card is why sometimes their phones shut off completely when attempting to take a picture. That's not true at all, it just takes longer to save the picture. The phone shuts down completely when using the camera flash. My thoughts on that are that the flash capacitors are drawing too much current, kind of when the lights in your car dim when you start it up.
-> Excerpt from my Samsung Droid Charge Dock review:
The volume controls on the dock are terrible. When pressing up or down on the volume it is not incremental. Pressing left (volume up) just once results in the volume rocketing to maximum. Pressing right (volume down) just once results in the volume rocketing to silent. I thought I was doing something wrong, how hard could it be to operate a volume control right? I called Samsung and they stated they have had reports of the issue and were working to correct them. The AC adapter that comes with it has less output (just 700ma) than the OEM Samsung AC USB Adapter (1000ma). First off, that is a 30% decrease in output which means that you will be charging the battery in your phone 30% slower than with the OEM Samsung AC USB Adapter that your phone came with, or at least the adapter that most of the Samsung phones came with. I have an Otterbox case and I was planning on being content with removing it to use the dock, but what a piece of junk. I returned my dock.
<- End Excerpt
The inconsistencies are extremely disturbing. Samsung's engineering is severely flawed. I could go on an on.
on March 29, 2012
This phone is the worst piece of trash I have ever owned. Other than the way it looks and feels there is nothing good about it.
I had 3 of these break down and was going on my 4th before I badgered Verizon into giving me something else. Here are just a few of the things that went wrong with my phones:
GPS didn't function well - often said I was miles away from my actual location; said I was moving when I was standing still; took 20 or more minutes to locate GPS.
Static - horrible static on my end of the phone only. I'm not talking here about just a poor connection. I mean static and buzzing so loud I had to terminate the call because the other person was inaudible.
Wouldn't connect to 4G for data transfer - made phone calls in 4G, but defaulted to 3G for data.
Ghost key pushing - often acted as though I was pushing keys when the phone when I wasn't touching it; it would open up apps, start functions, make emergency calls, etc. It was WIERD.
No amount of standing in line at Verizon Wireless stores or on the phone with tech support solved these problems. I bet I wasted 20-30 hours with tech support on calls and in person.
Do yourself a favor: do NOT take this phone even if it is FREE. Save yourself the headache and get something else.
on September 27, 2011
I would say this phone is 100% solid for many reasons but it is not an exceptional or particularly memorable phone. I've used it for 3 months now and have a pretty good idea about what I can expect from it from now on. So I'll break it down to what I like and do not like.
+4G LTE capable.
You should know about this already. 4G LTE is the premiere wireless network. It's faster than my home internet and is worth the price of admission (limiting data plans or what have you). Really. If you have 3g and you "think" that's good enough, it's really not. It's the difference between streaming video or not. Go ahead and kid yourself and say that it's not that big of a deal. . .
You should know that every 4G LTE phone is not going to have a great battery life. As it stands now, the technology that powers these radios just eats battery life. This phone has decent battery life until you get in to heavy browsing. Expect to charge your phone daily.
The screen on this phone is terrific. It is bright and sharp and the colors really pop out. Samsung's Super AMOLED screen is one of the best out there, and is up there with Apple's Retina display. I don't think it's *as* great but the 4.3" screen is a nice bonus. I do not want to draw straight comparisons, but I would take the Super AMOLED with 4.3" over a 3.5" Retina display. Turn down the brightness to get the most out of your battery, because keeping it 100% bright is both excessive and a resource drain.
I think this phone has pretty exceptional build quality. I drop my phones and this one stands up to each drop. I do not like the physical buttons, however. It's something that can break in the future. I'm already starting to have slight difficulties with mine and I doubt they will keep up after years of use.
The hardware of the phone is lacking. I have about 250mbs of RAM to deal with after the phone is done hogging the bloatware it insists on running. If I run task manager, I have 5-10 programs I have no interest in *ever* running. If I shut them down, you can bet money on them popping up a minute later.
The processor is *ok* but it is not zippy. It's not sluggish either, it's just mediocre.
The style of the phone is sort of a turn off to me. It's relatively slender, I just down like the rounded top and bottom. The Motorolla Bionic is my ideal phone design. Perhaps a petty complaint.
The phone gets hot if I stream video with LTE. I can still handle the phone fine and it does not "overheat" (unless the screen is 100% bright) but I do not think this is a good recipe to have your phone last for 2 years. Just a heads up.
The bloatware on this phone really hinders the performance on this phone. It doesn't run as fast as it could because of all the trash that needs to run. This can be said for just about any phone I'm sure.
I'm sure you know about 4G LTE speeds, camera, gorilla glass screen, etc etc. so I won't harp on that much.
Yes, this phone is fast, yes, I'd settle for this phone over a Galaxy S2 or whatever spiffy phone that is still slugging with 3g.
Overall, I think this phone is pretty decent. It's not a 3 star phone, but it's not a 5 star phone either. It works and it works well, but it doesn't pop and it's not something you would brag about. It does it's job just well enough to get by and that's it. I don't think you will hate this phone but you won't love it either.
If you have any questions, just ask and I'd be happy to answer. I have no used iPhones or many other Android phones extensively, so keep that in mind.
on May 18, 2012
(1) The battery life is terrible. After minimal use over 6 hours (a few phone calls, sending a few texts, maybe use the internet, but for no more than 5 minutes total), the battery will be almost completely drained (10% or less left). So basically after an afternoon away from a charger, you have to run home to recharge, or else you've got a dead phone for the rest of the evening. This isn't a rare event, either. Every time I take it off the charger I have a problem with the battery life, even when I don't use the internet. This alone makes me want to get a new one.
(2) The 4G network is spotty. I live in a major metropolitan area, and the phone does not always get 4G coverage. Sometimes it doesn't even get 3G coverage. I bought this phone for the faster network and so I could use the LTE network while talking on the phone. At least half of the time, however, that's not an option.
(3) Audio is bad. Often when I'm talking on the phone I get a loud static sound over the line. The people on the other end of the call don't hear it, so it's not a network problem. I also never had this problem on my previous phone.
(4) Sometimes there are dead patches on the screen. This is especially problematic when I am trying to swipe through the security feature. I have honestly been locked out because I had 5 failed attempts, when really the phone's screen was not responsive.
I have owned this phone for 11 months. I'm ready to buy a different phone at full retail price just to get rid of this one. Overall, if I could buy this phone again, I definitely wouldn't.
on November 19, 2011
This phone is all promise and no performance. The first few weeks were fine and i enjoyed the super fast LTE network speeds. Then things started to go awry. First the GPS lock seemed to take longer and longer until today (4 months later) if someone else has a smartphone we use theirs GPS as my Samsung Charge may or may not work, may or may not lock up, may or may not have a data connection.
The Samsung Charge has a myriad of online GPS lock complaints. The GPS functionality has degraded to the point I have to use a stand alone device in the car because the Samsung Charge GPS is more nonfunctional than functional. Plus I want to avoid the frustration of painfully coaxing usability from my device.
Then came the data connection drops. The icon indicates a 4G network connection but the connection has dropped. It used to reset with a reboot, but now it may take several reboots and reacquiring a data connection is not alway possible. Again time to use someone else's phone.
Then came the messaging problems. I sent a picture MMS at 7:20 AM one day and it took until after 5 PM for the message to be received. I send messages that are never received or received even days later. There are times yet again that I have to use another phone to send a message.
Now I have a locking up problem that requires battery removal to reset. I hate this phone. It is the worst developed half baked software running on a suspected defective platform (Samsung Charge) and the users of this phone have to deal with Samsung and Verizon sticking their collective heads in the sand when asked to comment on an update road map or even when asked about the problems. Verizon is very inconsistent with their responses to these problems and reek of avoiding the truthful reality. There are some interesting screen captures of Verizon being all over the place on the Gingerbread OTA and giving different answers to the same complaints. I think it odd that many of the the tech support representatives I speak with seem to have a Samsung Charge that works 100% as expected. Well just Google: "Samsung Charge sucks" and standby for the pages of comments and complaints.
My phone is basically unusable as a smart phone. I have delayed a warranty replacement as I have read of folks getting multiple replacement Charges and the problems persist across multiple devices. Where was this phone Beta tested? Because I feel like an Alpha tester. How this phone made RTM I will never know. It sure shakes any confidence I had in Samsung and Verizon as technology companies. They are all marketing and service sellers, the devices are a necessary evil for their profitability which seems to trump customer satisfaction.
After another unusable Samsung Charge episode while traveling I finally broke down and accepted Verizon's offer to replace the phone under warranty. I am not very confident that the data connection problems are easily resolvable. It appears that the Verizon LTE roll out has network wide data connection problems going back to the first 4g device and the data connection issues are common across all 4G LTE phones. Droid Bionic the latest to experience the all too familiar data drops.
This is what happens when marketers run technology companies. All glitz and fancy ads and the actual technology and customer satisfaction is secondary to "winning."
Run, don't walk away from the Samsung Charge and read up on the Verizon LTE issues before buying into their 4G hype.
on December 16, 2011
I got this phone black friday weekend this year (2011) Ive had blackberry curve pearl and Motorola Droid (the first one) and my fiance has samsung fascinate. The Droid Charge blows them all away! The screen is gorgeous it processes well, and the battery life is good especially for the screen size. The antenna is better than any other phone Ive had too. The phone feels sturdy and solid in my hand. Overall I am in love with this phone.
A few days after I got it there was an update and it is now running on 2.3 gingerbread which is an added bonus. I didn't care for droids or android after the first droid I had but this has completely changed how I feel. It has 4g which isn't available in my area yet but should be in a yr so I feel like I got a somewhat future proof phone(I'm stuck with it now for two yrs!)
There are some good apps that make getting your itunes synced up easy now which was one of my main concerns going for another non apple phone. The 32gb card that comes with the phone is really a nice touch and I have been able to pack ALL of my music and pics off of my computer and I still have 14gb left!
I highly recommend this phone. I know everyone can find things to complain about on any device but if youre looking for a nice device that runs smooth, has a beautiful screen, adequate battery life, and storage for all of your media this is definately worth a look for you- especially considering the price. (I paid $99 at wal-mart and instantly got a $100 wal-mart gift card so basically I paid tax $5 on phone thats it!) Oh and btw the 8 mp camera takes amazing pics too. I couldn't be happier with my phone.
on August 16, 2012
All I can say is if anyone has seen the Terminator movie, when machines are in control, this phone would make you believe that one day it could happen. The phone starts apps by itself, makes calls by itself, rearranges contact names & phone numbers by itself, and shuts off by itself. This is one of the weirdest phones I have ever had. It was funny when it started but now I am completely frustrated and can't wait until the new Iphone arrives. I will never buy a droid product again. The battery life is terrible. If you actually use the phone & make calls the phone will last maybe 5 hours if your lucky. If you use the internet cut that to 3-4 hours. No car charger will actually charge this phone. It will only keep the battery from further draining. I bought this phone because I'm in the car a lot and even though I heard the battery life wasn't good I thought that I would be charging the battery in the car. Wrong!! I bought the extended battery but don't waste your money, it's just as bad. The only plus about this phone is that the battery cover is easy to take off so that I can turn this damn phone off quickly!! So if you're looking for a laugh or two, & just carry a phone in your pocket all day without using it, this phone is perfect for you. But if you actually need a phone to talk to people, or need to use the internet and email DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE!!