06.01.2011Personal Tech

Samsung Droid Charge

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Ben Crawford from the Indianapolis Gadgets Examiner shares his impression of the Samsung DROID Charge.

I finally got a chance to try a Verizon 4G device that actually worked with the little bit of 4G coverage we have in downtown Indianapolis. The Samsung Droid Charge is a fully capable, brand new 4G phone from Verizon, and I think Samsung’s (note: not Verizon’s) newest phone beats the Thunderbolt.

Casing/Form - I really like the casing of the Charge, much more than that of the Thunderbolt. Even though the Thunderbolt was made of metal and had a very solid feel, the Charge is a lot easier to hold in your hand and a lot lighter. Yes, it’s because of the cheaper plastic, but it just about rivals my Fascinate in terms of weight. So, hard buttons, a 4G radio, and an extra 0.3” screen real estate for a imperceptible weight gain, yes please. The standard buttons around the phone are all there including a mini-HDMI slot which is always welcome. I even like the look of the Droid “eye” for the camera. Very subtle curves help accentuate the design to anyone who picks up the phone. I only had two problems with the casing (I know, some people dislike the plastic, cheap feel, but it’s much easier to hold for longer periods. I wouldn’t want my PS3 controllers to be made of metal). The first problem isn’t really a problem, just something I don’t understand. What is the bottom bump for Samsung? The Charge has a similar “ledge” on the bottom back part of the phone as the Nexus S, and I just don’t get it. It doesn’t lie flat when it’s put down (annoying), it doesn’t make the phone more comfortable to hold up to your ear; what’s this contraption for? My second problem is the bottom of the phone that comes to a “V” shape. Yes, it makes the phone standout a little, but it’s also where the battery door has a small cutout so you can take the door off. That small slit can dully cut into your pinky finger while you hold the phone up to look at it or take a call. It’s not much of a gripe, but it is a small annoyance that won’t go away. I’ve never had hard buttons on a phone, but I’ve found that I really like them. They are big enough and have a nice little click to them. Very satisfying. It feels like you can control the phone even when it freaks compared to mashing capacitive buttons to no effect.

Screen/Camera - The camera is a nice 8MP step-up from my Fascinate, and the Charge takes quality pictures. I’m not much of a picture buff, but 8MP is a small, nice upgrade by Samsung to show they tried* not to cut corners with this phone. The front-facing camera works as you would expect one to. Nothing spectacular, but if you need a mug shot, it will do the trick. Now, Samsung’s shining star with mobile devices: the Super AMOLED Plus screen with Gorilla Glass. If you haven’t seen Gorilla Glass stress tests in action, I’ll wait. I absolutely love it on my Fascinate, and it’s no less awesome on the Charge. The Super AMOLED Plus is just as amazing. It hands-down beats any other phone I’ve seen. I can’t explain it better. Although it only has avaerage resolution, it’s simply the best screen (we’ll see the showdown between SGS2 and HTC Sensation in a few months). Overall, the screen and camera are two of the biggest highlights of the Charge. With great pictures and an unbreakable, vibrant screen to view them on, what more could you ask for?

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