My Samsung Vibrant Review


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  1. Marcel85

    Marcel85 Member This Topic's Starter

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    I have had my new Vibrant since Tuesday, September 21st. And I have had ample time to play around with it and explore alot of its nuances and quirks. So I believe I can give a pretty extensive and in-depth assessment of how it rates.

    Before I begin, I would like to point out a couple of things:
    1. My previous phone was a G1, which was my very 1st "smartphone". So the Vibrant is only my second. I point this out because I have no way to compare it to the MyTouch or Cliq or any other smartphone.
    2. To tie into the 1st point, people who are just realizing the awesomeness of a smartphone, or the Android OS in general, may find this review more enlightening than smartphone vets that have tried several others.
    3. Throughout this review, I will try and touch on some of the complaints that keep popping up on the forums (poor battery life, etc.)
    4. I apologize in advance for the length of this post! I will try to make it an interesting read.

    LET'S GET TO IT!!



    HARDWARE>>>

    WOW!!! This phone is super-lightweight. But it does NOT feel cheap or plasticky to me at all. I do admit that, for me, the power/lock button on the right side took some getting used to. Sometimes it's hard to press. The USB slot being placed on the top is different, but it is not something that will detract from enjoying the device. The volume rocker on the left side is a little tricky also for me, but that's just me.



    The infamous "camera with NO FLASH"... I have never had a camera with flash, but I can tell you that the pictures the Vibrant takes look pretty amazing to me! The colors are nice and vibrant, and the focus selection works very well. Low-light pics look very good also. Comparing the Vibrant's pictures to my regular camera's pics, the Vibrant's 5MPs get the job done comparatively very well. I say the camera is fantastic, and you will be proud to show off the pics it takes.



    The Swype "keyboard" is hardware, I suppose. So I will put that here. Swype is just about the coolest thing I have ever seen! Definitely the coolest thing I have ever seen on a mobile phone. Even when you TRY to make a mistake, Swype may STILL get your word right! It is hard to imagine without going into a store near you and trying it out like I did. Swype is not Vibrant exclusive. But I think it deserves special mention because of how it so drastically changes texting and whatnot, which of course is HUGE with the teenagers! (Me too, to be honest LOL)



    As far as the Super AMOLED screen. 5 words... UN-BE-LIE-VA-BLE. Movies, pictures, wallpapers. They all look stunning. I usually am a firm believer in screen protectors (my Zune HD, my old G1, my old PSP, etc.). But when I saw how much it reduced the quality of the Vibrant's gorgeous display, I yanked that sumbich off with the quickness!!! Trust me, the screen is a huge draw!



    CALL QUALITY>>>

    This is one area that I am truly surprised about. For me, my G1 had noticeably BETTER call quality than my Vibrant! I am still trying to figure out what may be the culprit, because I refuse to believe that this is supposed to be the case. Will update when I get some more insight on this matter...



    USER INTERFACE/GUI>>>

    As I stated from the beginning, this is only my 2nd smartphone. So I do not have experience with Blur or Sense or previous iterations of TouchWiz. Having said that, I found TouchWiz 3.0 to be quite intuitive and fun to use. Its behavior is very snappy, thanks to the Hummingbird 1ghz processor I'm sure. For the average user, it will make the Vibrant a very good experience.



    Now, having said THAT, I am a bit of a tinkerer and a personalization freak. So I downloaded LauncherPro and upgraded to Plus. I HIGHLY recommend this App for anyone who wants to make their Vibrant their own. And as far as I'm concerned, that should be everyone. An open source OS like Android is all about tweaking, isn't it? Isn't that one of the main reasons you chose this phone, and Android???



    BATTERY LIFE>>>

    If you are like me, and you researched on Internet forums, then you know that the battery life has been a very hot topic. Here's what I have found...


    Look up "conditioning battery". The Vibrant uses a Lithium-Ion battery. Conditioning is NOT a myth or a scam. It is 100% true and impressively effective! I conditioned it the 1st nite I had it, so I can't speak on the effects that had versus pre-conditioning. But I did notice some of the things others have spoken of in forums.
    1. Battery starts draining almost immediately after unplugging from a fresh full charge. Drops 5-10% in a matter of minutes.
    2. Battery indicator in notification bar is not accurate compared to readings in "Settings".



    For my 1st week, the battery life seemed to be ok. But I definitely had to be mindful of my settings (screen brightness, wireless settings, 2G vs. 3G, etc.). And that's just the way it is. You have to realize, THIS IS A HANDHELD COMPUTER!!! It just happens to make calls also! That's why you bought it, because it does everything your PC does, and more in some cases! It uses battery to do all of that awesome stuff.



    But not all hope is lost, I found. Last nite (Tuesday), a week after I first got my phone, I conditioned it again. It died COMPLETELY (MAKE SURE you keep powering it back on until it does not power on anymore; completely dead) at about midnite. It was fully charged about 3 AM, so appx. 3 hours with the supplied wall charger. I used it for about 3.5 hours, and left it plugged in during that time. Dramatic difference! Before, if I would have had my phone on constantly from 7 AM until now (almost 6 PM), it would most surely be plugged in somewhere.



    In these 11 hours, I have sent a couple of texts, made some phone calls, downloaded several apps from the Market, and played some games. I have even had Wi-Fi on, albeit briefly to download the Market apps. I am at 72% charge left, 10 hours 54 mins since unplugged. To me, that is a HUGE improvement! I will update this review when I condition it a 3rd time and run more accurate tests.



    VERDICT>>>

    I am a technophile. Technology, especially the newest and the greatest and the most advanced, excites me greatly. I do like to have the newest and shiniest toy on the block. And I can say this without pause..The Samsung Vibrant is one of the most exciting pieces of technology I have ever owned. Sure, it has a few quirks, and it takes some getting used to because of how powerful and versatile it is. But so does ANY piece of new technology, bar none. DO NOT make the mistake of giving this phone up if you get one that doesn't seem to perform very well. Do yourself a favor, and consider an exchange or something. STAY WITH THE VIBRANT!!! Check in the Market to see if an app can help you and your particular case or problem.



    I know I'm probably leaving some things out. When I think of them, I will add them in other posts in this thread. ENJOY YOUR NEW VIBRANT!!!!!



    Oh, and one last thing.....








    DO NOT USE A TASK KILLER!!!
     

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  2. robo21

    robo21 Well-Known Member

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    Nice review Marcel. I'm curious about your impressions of the call quality though. I enjoy the call quality on my Vibrant but then I didn't have a G1 to compare with.

    It's nice to read a positive review - especially by someone with some tech savvy, this forum seems to be overrun with bashers, bitchers and whiners and even the occasional troll at times. Like you said, sure it has quirks but I fully expect them to be ironed out in the upcoming fix.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

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    Hey hey hey...who you callin' a troll? [​IMG]
     
  4. Marcel85

    Marcel85 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thank you very much Robo21!!! Very kind of you!

    I am gonna have to do some testing with the call quality. So far, when I am in my apartment, it lacks compared to the quality my G1 gave me. It is a noticeable difference, unfortunately. I am very shocked by this, believe me!

    I do consider myself to be somewhat tech savvy. But over and above that, I want to help anybody that I can, using the knowledge that I have acquired. The Vibrant is truly a game-changer, IMO. All the whiners, bitchers, and haters will continue to indulge all those foolish enough to listen to them, regardless of anything else.

    And like you say...updates will be coming. I could have the best mechanic to ever walk this earth in my personal employ. Still, if I had a choice between buying a lemon, or buying a fully-loaded, pimped-out, music-blasting, chromed-out, sweet-a$$ luxury car. Guess which one I would rather buy? Every car will need a tune-up every now and then, know matter how nice it is. Is that right? :)
     
  5. robo21

    robo21 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] Yeah well buddy if the shoe fits!!! [​IMG] LMAO

    Just kidding WB, we can always count on you to liven it up around here!

    w_bovine --> [​IMG]
     
  6. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

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    Right on Marcel. Yeah, it's overall a great phone and one can do so much with it. It's just downright fun besides being useful.

    I've had no problems with call quality, though admittedly I don't spend a lot of time on the phone. At least as good as my previous phone, the BlackBerry Bold 9700.

    You like to tweak things, do you? Look into rooting, and consider Titanium Backup and ROM Manager. Also, check out a cool custom ROM, Bionix. Trust me, there's more fun to be had!

    ROM Manager - Android app on AppBrain

    Titanium Backup ? root - Android app on AppBrain

    [ROM] Bionix1.3 - 3 Flavors [Stock Kernel, Voodoo b4, KingKlick Kernel] *09/20/10* - xda-developers
     
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  7. robo21

    robo21 Well-Known Member

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    I'm with ya, top of the line all the way... And quite simply put, there really isn't any mobile device out there that can compete with the SGS at the moment IMO. And it's good enough that it will be at or near the top of the heap for quite awhile.
     
  8. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

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    Yeahyeah...I'm on to you with those emoticons!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Marcel85

    Marcel85 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Actually, I am not gonna root. I have researched it, and I don't see it serving a real purpose for me. The biggest thing it could possibly do for me is allow me to remove the bloatware. But I am truly not concerned about it being on my phone. No big deal to me.

    I do like to tweak things, but I should have used the word "customize" instead. To compare it to a PC...I have NEVER messed with the registry and such. From what I have read, rooting does appear to be relatively easy and painless. But still, not my cup of tea. Thanks though!!
     
  10. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

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    That's cool. I just know I've been having a great deal of fun with it all. :)
     
  11. melll

    melll Well-Known Member

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    Good review there Marcel. Good to see more people being honest with the phone. It aint perfect, but I sure would not trade it for anything else.

    The only thing I wish it could have more of is battery life. But not too much of a biggie since you can get real cheap batteries for a few bucks on ebay and use them as back up.

    Some people say 2.2 will improve battery life but I am not sure.
     
  12. Marcel85

    Marcel85 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Seriously, research battery conditioning. You will be amazed how it improves the battery! It recommends to do it initially for the 1st 3 charges you do. I kinda skimped on that and did my 1st full-from-dead charge last Tuesday. I did my 2nd one last nite. The difference is noticeably apparent! You have to try it, it will change things for you.
     
  13. melll

    melll Well-Known Member

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    I read about that. But to be honest, not that motivated to keep that conditioning up everyday. I just want to unplug my phone from wall outlet, use it, kill it, replace battery, and rinse and repeat.

    I think that conditioning is good to develop some OCD. Just saying.

    Too lazy to do all that work.

    On the plus side of things, I got 4 batteries from ebay, with 4 wall chargers.

    And I have enough outlets in my room to charge them all up at once. And store the batteries in my pocket.

    :)
     
  14. robo21

    robo21 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, I've never had a problem with battery life. First, I've conditioned my batteries. Second, I have a backup battery if needed. And third, I didn't expect much in the way of battery life given the speed of the processor and the size of the screen.

    As far as rooting goes, if I do root it will be after the update and Froyo. I don't see "lag" and I'm happy with the performance. If and when I need more performance/features rooting will be there. ;)
     
  15. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

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    Oh just ROOT already! Sheesh...I'll help you!

    [​IMG]

    Couldn't find a chicken. I liked this one. Nighty nite!
     
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  16. robo21

    robo21 Well-Known Member

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    I like that one too... I may take you up on that one of these days....
     

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