2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2011
Please note this review has been heavily edited three times since its original posting.
The major flaws as I see them are:
1. The GPS is terrible on this phone,takes forever to lock and is always off by a good bit. Unreliable for driving.
2. TouchWiz 3.0 UI lags
3. There are far too many pre-installed apps
4. The 3G connectivity can get "stuck"
5. See edit notes: the Droid Charge will NOT be getting Android 2.3, so next update is a ways off and will be a jump to 2.4
I really don't know what the GPS's problem is. It all started sometime in October of 2011. The GPS, in my opinion, just doesn't work and the reports by almost every current Droid Charge owner is that GPS is completely unreliable on the phone. There are no words on a fix from Samsung. I am really hoping I can get Verizon to replace this phone with a new 4G phone.
TouchWiz 4.0, on other Samsung phones, is much snappier and I assume the Charge will see it when it gets Android 2.4 (see edit notes, due in Q4 2011). Alternately you can install a different launcher App from the market and get rid of TouchWiz 4.0.
For #3, the phone is simple enough to root and remove the unwanted apps (and simple enough to unroot back to stock)
#4 is a tough one. This phone does have problems with restoring connectivity whenever one of the data connections is shut off. This happens when:
a) you live on the border of a 4G area and constantly swap between 3G/4G
b) have an APP that turns the connections off (Juice Defender or other battery saving APPs being a main culprit)
c) do not have the phone set to "wake up" data connections upon data packets being sent
For A, this is something Verizon is aware of and working on. However, it is unknown if there is a fix. Switching to 3G only does seem to fix this (unless B or C are affecting you). Still I've had the phone seemingly lose data connection for no reason in 3G or 4G mode.
For B, there are no working battery-saving APPs that I am aware of that work well with the Droid Charge. Juice Defender will 100% make the phone not function as expected. Wouldn't be so bad if the battery didn't die so quickly with everything turned on.
For C, check under settings (don't have the phone on me to check exactly what it is called) to make sure to connect to mobile data whenever a data packet is sent.
Now that I'm past the bad points, there are some positives to this phone:
1. Its a 4G phone and 4G is amazingly fast in my area (Upstate SC)
2. Beautiful screen (it convinced me to buy this over the Thunderbolt)
3. 32 Gb storage (where else were they going to put all the bloatware?).
In conclusion, the Samsung Droid Charge is an acceptable 4G phone, but the buyer has to be aware of the possible data connectivity issues. Reading other reviews and doing A LOT of investigative work with my phone, I've all but eliminated the problem and realized in the long run had my phone been set up properly to begin with and had not had Juice Defender installed, I would not have had as many issues as I did.
My recommendations for anyone that does keep this phone:
1. If you live on the edge of a 4G area, turn off 4G. Constantly swapping from 3G to 4G will kill the battery and your patience.
2. Charge the phone to full every day
3. Consider rooting it and removing the bloatware
4. DO NOT install any battery saving Apps that turn off data
Edit 7/10/11: Through some research I found out the Droid Charge will NOT be getting Android 2.3. The next planned upgrade is straight to 2.4, which means any fix for the TouchWiz UI is unlikely. The 2.4 update probably won't be around until late Q4 2011. This is another strike against this phone. I've updated the review to reflect this.
Edit 7/12/11: I have resolved most of my worst issues and have moved this from a 1-star to a 4-star review as I like the phone and an unfortunate string of missteps lead me to hate it in the first place. Missteps that should have been avoided.
Edit 12/1/11: Back down to 2 stars. There are still data connectivity issues with this phone in 4G or 3G. It just stops working randomly even when the signal strength is excellent. Also the GPS, at some point, just stopped workind and from the notes of other Droid Charge owners, its a problem with the Droid Charge, not just my phone. GPS is completely unreliable.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2011
The phone is not bad. The Verizon data service where I live in a relatively large coastal NC city is unreliable and inadequate. That therefore makes this Verizon phone subpar. A $45. per month no contract Straight Talk phone had better data service than this phone.
Do not use much data- around two GB per month typically. Yet, the claimed 3G data connection is constantly slow, frequently intermittent or completely unavailable at times. Have five or four bar tower reception. That makes this device unreliable. It looks like I will need to carry another no contract phone in order to insure reliable data service which is what I must have when I need it for what I do.
The phone communication is reliable and works fine all the time. It has fair voice quality per Consumer Reports. Can deal with the weak voice quality but not the way data is unreliable or unavailable from the network for protracted periods.
Verizon apparently does not have the infastructure needed to meet the demand for data service for its paying customers in this area. Yet, it regularly pays large cash dividends to its shareholders. Those are twisted priorities there. Will likely change providers when my two year contract is up. Straight Talk had better and cheaper service than what I have now.
July 6, 2012: Have to restart the phone frequently sometimes. Whith a battery removal restart now and then. Otherwise the phone works pretty good when Verizon is not throttling its data service. They clain to have 4G service here now. It is still the same old subpar data service as before. If I used a lot of data, could understand it but I don't.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
First Android phone and I have no complaints. Came over from ATT and an iphone 3gs. One disclaimer-I bought the phone from a Verizon store (paying more) but have had zero problems with it. They checked it out and set it up prior to leaving the store. I am not implying that saving money on Amazon is a bad idea, I almost did it, but it seems that some of the people that have had poor reviews may have faired better getting the phone direct from the source. Battery life is what you would expect from a phone of this caliber. The phone does many things, and if you run it intensely, you will run down the battery. The maps and navigation function replaces the need for a Garmin. Phone feels lightweight, but does not feel cheap as some have noted with the plastic backing. Camera is great. Enjoy the ability to customize the phone function, unlike my iPhone. I also find the Samsung UI to be intuitive and similar to iOS. Seen some Android purists complain about it, but I could care less. 4G LTE where I live and the phone flies when I use it. No complaints so far, solid phone.
on July 13, 2014
Purchased because of great consumer reports rating and quickly became disappointed. Verizon launched this instead of the galaxy s2, big mistake. over the course of 20 months I had it replaced four times.
Battery life is aweful, I highly recommend an extended battery
It has android 3.7 if I recall and the software is just atrocious
The worse flaw in the phone is the amount of ram on it! Similar phones from the same period had about 7 times the ram
The one good feature was the 8 megapixel camera, but that too was ruined by bad software
on May 12, 2014
I had high hopes for this phone as it was my first smart phone and my hopes were quickly dashed when I started using this piece of junk from Samsung. The battery can barely last a few hours and if you take photos with the phone, it will drain from 100% to 0% in just a few hours. The sound quallity is ok for phone calls, but battery life is awful. Not sure what Samsung was thinking when they released this phone. Please don't buy this phone.
on August 6, 2013
While this is no longer a new phone, nor is it the biggest or best, the 8 megapixel camera still produces brilliant photos, the android os still works like a champ despite the fact that it is an older version, the 32GB micro card holds everything I ever wanted to store on a mobile device and the phone quality & speakerphone are excellent. No one will probably want a phone like this, so you could surely get it cheap if available and the carrier supports LTE/CDMA. I would recommend it.
on May 13, 2013
This phone has a poorly constructed USB charger port, it cracks easily and doesn't take a charge. I sent it to Samsung for repairs, for which they charged $70. When the phone got back, HDMI port no longer worked. They acknowledged that an OS upgrade they did when repairing the phone caused the HDMI port to fail. They refused to reflash the phone with the original OS to fix the HDMI port problem, or to refund their repair charge. In addition, a few months after the repair, the USB charger port is broken again.
I strongly recommend against the purchase of any Samsung products, because of their irresponsible and unresponsive repair practices and policies.
on May 12, 2013
still use the phone and works as good as the day i got it (almost two years ago). sure it may freeze on occasion but it still runs pretty well for a smart phone that has been dropped in puddles, and on concrete/hard floors. overall i am impressed with the quality of the phone and plan to keep it as a back up once i finally upgrade.
on May 4, 2013
After this phone I'm done with both Samsung and Verizon. The battery life has always been terrible, the updates (the few that I got) were slow, and the phone came loaded with both Verizon and Samsung bloat ware.
For my next phone I'll be looking to get one straight from Google or perhaps switch over to Apple. At least with them you know the phone will be updated and they don't allow carriers to load the phones down with useless apps.
on April 20, 2013
Ahh, where to begin with this hunk of junk.
Let's start with the beginning almost 2 years ago. Within only a few days, the phone was noticeably slower. But, whatever, I figured that happens with all phones. Over the next 2 years, a laundry list of problems has developed that has made me despise my phone to the point that I want to go "Office Space" on it once my upgrade comes in about 2 months.
-Let's see, I would say about 1/2 of the times I use the flash on the camera, it freezes the phone entirely, forcing me to pull the battery out to get it restarted.
-It constantly locks up and restarts itself.
-I would say... 80% of the phone calls I try to make freezes the "Dialer". Whenever it freezes the Dialer, 1 of 2 things happens. Either, it makes a phone call to the number I was trying to reach and gave up on about 5-10 minutes later and I only notice once I hear voices coming from my pocket, or it never makes any call at all. Pick your poison on that one.
-Forget trying to connect it to the PC to transfer files... it doesn't even get recognized anymore. Don't know at what point that problem started.
-Lately, texts from friends aren't coming through. I'll get texts from friends asking why I'm not responding to them, if I'm mad at them, or why I'm ignoring them? That's quite frustrating when your gf send you a list of groceries to pick up on the way home and you never get it and immediately get yelled at after walking in from work. Thanks Samsung...
-Opening any app slows the thing down to a crawl.
-I have 2 games on the thing (I figured keeping it light would make it work better), but the one freezes about half of the time, so I just have to get rid of that now too.
-The keyboard doesn't seem to want to work the majority of the time. It'll recognize me touching the letters, it just won't input them into the message bar. The only way to fix that is to lock it, wait about 5 minutes and try again. Good times.
So... there's more, I just don't feel like typing anymore. All-in-all, I'd say the Droid Charge the droid charge isn't just the worst phone I've ever owned, it's one of the worst electronic devices I've ever owned, period. Good riddance...