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Verizon Wireless Samsung Droid Charge Review

by The Review CrewSeptember 12, 2011

The Verizon Wireless Samsung Droid Charge is a pretty nice phone.  It has a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display screen.  I’m sure most of you are wondering what the heck that is.  So I’m going to take a small segment here to tell you!

Super AMOLED Plus screen:

So what this is or what it stands for is “Super Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode”.  If you can say that 3 times fast you can have a bozo button! A few years ago the AMOLED screens came out this is the “Super” version which means the screen is brighter, has less reflection and reduced power consumption (that’s a lot like having your cake and eating it to right?)

The Plus part (don’t forget the plus!) is where the PenTile RGBG pixel matrix is replaced with a common RGB subpixel arrangement which lets it go from 8 to 12 subpixels in a group.  What that means to you is… a finer looking pic with more detail. This also makes the screen tech brighter, thinner and 18% more energy efficient.

So why is this a big deal?  Well it is basically Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Retina Display.  It is nice, sharp, crystal clear, and side by side:

Samsung-Droid-Charge-Apple-iPhone-4

I can’t tell a difference, but I don’t know… maybe you can?  To be honest I think the Samsung Charge has it by a nose.

So let’s get down to brass tacks here, the specs:

  • Operating System: Android 2.2 (Froyo)
  • Interface: Samsung TouchWiz
  • Network: 4G LTE
  • Processor: 1GHz samsung4g
  • Display: 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED (800 x 480)
  • Rear Camera: 8MP, HD Video Capture, LED Flash
  • Front Camera: 1.3MP
  • Memory: 2GB Internal
  • RAM/ROM: 512MB
  • Expandable Memory: 32GB MicroSD
  • Text Input: Virtual QWERTY, Swype, Voice to Text
  • Flash Support
  • DLNA Support
  • VCast Music with Rhapsody
  • Mobile Hotspotting w/ up to 10 Devices
  • Video on Demand (Media Hub, YouTube, VCast, BlockBuster)
  • Video Calling
  • VZ Navigator Capable

 

One bone I have to pick with Verizon Wireless.  The operating systems.  They just don’t update them fast enough and so you really need to watch out when you are selecting a phone.  To date, to the best of my knowledge (VZW’s PR firm did not get back to me with an answer) there is no Official Gingerbread update for the Charge.  Considering Gingerbread was available well before the launch of the Droid Charge this is unacceptable.

The only other problem is battery life, but with the Juice Defender app (available on the market and its free) you can extend your like 2x on average and did I mention it was free?  When we first got the phone the battery lasted about 8 hours of regular use (checking emails, surfing the web, calling, texting, etc…) after about 2 months it goes down to about 6 hours and stays there.  If you use Juice Defender you are looking at 16 hours when you first get it and after about 2 months you are looking at about 13.5 hours of real world use.  Really not bad at all.

The Samsung Droid Charge is responsive, peppy, and it’s kind of sexy looking.  The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is still screaming fast and MUCH faster than the AT&T, T-Mobile and SPRINT 4G solutions we have tested.  To date the fastest benchmark we have is with a Verizon Wireless Revolution it got 17 Mbit down and 7 Mbit out.  That’s incredible, and frankly it’s as fast as my Comcast Cable Connection!

All in all the Droid Charge gives a very satisfying experience.  I’d give it a 3 out of 5 star ranking.  (I have to subtract the two stars, 1 for No Gingerbread on Launch and the 2nd star for no Gingerbread to date).  For those of you wondering the Verizon Wireless Samsung Charge was launched on May 14th, 2011.  Android Gingerbread SDK was released December 6th, 2010.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.