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Phone Upgrade Time! Thoughts on Charge?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by itadakimasu, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. itadakimasu

    itadakimasu Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hey everyone, long time reader first time poster here...

    Its come to that bi-annual time where I need to upgrade, and I'm taking the plunge from my abysmal Storm 2 into the Android world. To be completely honest, I was really looking to snag the Galaxy S2 when it came out, but after the news that came out this weekend I've started to (grudgingly) look at other options. (I'll wait until after Samsung's press release tomorrow night to make my decision, but my hopes aren't high)

    So I've basically narrowed it down to three- the upcoming Droid Bionic, the Xperia Play, and the Droid Charge.

    I'm nervous about the droid bionic, just because the combination of dual cores and lte is something that has never been tested and I feel like the battery life won't hold up very well. On top of that word that its been sent back to the drawing board because of overheating hasn't done much to calm my mind about it either. And from what I've used of MotoBlur I really dislike it, but I assume that could be taken care of with a launcher.

    The Xperia Play really interests me because I'm an avid gamer, but I don't see the benefits to having a game pad outweighing the benefits of having 4g. I would use the Play mostly for emulation if I went that route, but still I think the vanilla gingerbread experience would be a good point of entry for me into the android fold. My main gripe with this one is the outdated-in-two-months-hardware, because when I'm not playing on emulators I'd like my phone to be as snappy and responsive as possible for the whole two years.

    And then we have the Charge. I posted this in the Charge forums because right now it's looking like the best option, but I still have a lot of concerns about it (which I'll list below). Basically I'd love to hear from some of you Charge users that have had the phone for a while, and how it's holding up for you in your day-to-day. Pretty much, if you love it, sell me this phone, and if you don't, give me a reason to hate it. Nothing is too critical, because I'm literally straddling the fence right now and I have no idea what to do.

    Here's why I'm nervous about it-
    -Price: Paying $300 for this phone is ridiculous, and I can't believe Verizon stores actually move any at that price. I would use Amazon Wireless, but even then $180 seems a lot for a phone that I know will be outdated in three weeks.

    -Lag: The ones I've played with in the store have had noticeable stutters when switching screens with TouchWiz. I've heard LauncherPro or something similar will take care of this, and it's probably because the phones in the store have tons of stuff running in the background. Do you guys mostly use custom launchers, or does TouchWiz run a lot smoother out of the box?

    -Internal Memory: RAM is low on the phone, have any of you noticed significant performance dips from this? This also plays into my next concern....

    -Hardware: Similar to the Xperia Play, I feel funny buying this when I know new things are just around the corner. The one major pitfall of being an educated consumer I guess. One thing I like about it is that the hardware is tested, and I wouldn't be the 'sheep out to slaughter' per se, but I still can't justify paying $180, and I flat out balk at paying $300 for this. Any thoughts on this are welcome.

    -General Freezes/Restarts/etc.: A lot of the reviews I'm reading online have people complaining about freezing and restarts. This is the least of my worries because, of course, its basically a computer and needs to be treated similar to one, but still it is a concern because there's nothing worse than a frozen phone- especially when you need to send that important email or text on the road. Have you guys seen anything like this?

    -Rooting: I've read that people have bumped performance up significantly by rooting. As my first android phone, I don't know how comfortable I'd be with rooting right away. To those of you who have rooted- is it terribly difficult, and do the performance gains outweigh the possibility of a bricked phone?


    Like I said above, I'm still holding out with my fingers crossed for the Galaxy S2 LTE to come down the Verizon pipeline, but I'd like to be prepared for anything and everything. So fire away, and thanks for reading this tl;dr post
     



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  2. Bozz5384

    Bozz5384 Well-Known Member

    I just realized I don't know how to multi-quote, so here are my thoughts on your various points:

    - Price -- Its not the cheapest, but buying online will get you a decent phone for $180. Considering what this thing is, not a bad deal IMHO. Verizon is crazy charging what they Charge for it (no pun intended).

    - Lag -- I rarely experience lag, only when doing something heavy duty and something else taxing happens... ie: tonight I was using Facebook (which is a slow pig anyway) and a call came in... I didn't get the screen right away to answer - it took about 4-5 seconds before I could answer the call. Most of the lag went away when I stopped using the stock Touchwiz interface.

    Internal Ram -- Not sure I have experienced any real problems from this. Like any computer type device, if you have tons of stuff going on you will see a decrease in performance. I haven't seen a pattern of problems I would relate to RAM.

    Hardware -- Not sure of the concern here with the Charge? The screen is second to none and that is a big feature. The thin form factor is nice even though the 4.3" screen makes it large. If you mean processor -- I wish it had a dual core processor but it doesn't.

    Freezes/Restarts -- Mine does neither, can't comment. Had an issue with the phone shutting off for a couple days. Turns out it was right after it dropped out of my case on my belt and hit the metal floor of the Jeep while off-roading. Re-seated my SIM and memory card and all has been well since.

    Rooting -- I've considered it, mainly to get rid of the pages and pages of bloatware Verizon loads on it. I'm no technology dummy and have had a hard time figuring out a way to go with this... all the ROM's have good/bad to them from what I can see. I might just do a basic root to rid myself of the bloatware and do the lagfix to speed up the file system.

    All in all, I really like this Droid Charge... it does so much and most of it well that I am happy with my purchase. The screen is to die for, and so far sounds good, looks good, and functions well for me.
     
  3. greenmunky

    greenmunky Android Enthusiast

    -Price: I got mine free, so can't really attest to this.

    -Lag: Rooting and applying Voodoo lagfix solved this problem.

    -Internal Memory: This really only affects the device's ability to multitask efficiently. I have yet to download a game this phone couldn't handle. However it slows down a bit if you're trying to run too many things at once.

    -Hardware: I feel ya on this one... I think I might jump ship to the Nexus Prime (or whatever it ends up being called) closer to the holidays.

    -General Freezes/Restarts/etc.: Haven't really had these problems.

    -Rooting: I rooted my Charge as soon as I got the battery charged fully. If you go to forums.xda.com and find the Charge developer forums you will find a cornucopia of valuable information. I've only run GummyCharge ROMs so far. Started with Froyo and a custom kernel, now running Gingerbread. The process is quite easy, just uses a program called Odin which will root and install all pertinent software in one step.


    Overall I'm happy with the device... battery life could be better but 4G is pretty amazing if you're in a good coverage area. It'll definitely hold me over until a Verizon Nexus device with ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) is available.
     
  4. Amrov

    Amrov Well-Known Member

    I upgraded from the Moto Droid, which I had rooted and was running various custom ROMs. I am loving the Charge! Huge improvement.

    Things I really love:

    --Screen is huge, bright and gorgeous.
    --I really, really prefer the hard keys at the bottom instead of touch keys. This was a big factor for me personally.
    --Camera is great and not buggy like mine was on the Moto Droid.

    Other notes:

    --I have not experienced any significant lagging (running Launcher Pro).
    --Although I had no problem rooting my Moto Droid, I have not felt any need to do so on the DC. I am enjoying it very much sort-of as-is (with Launcher Pro and Handcent for SMS).

    I do miss the physical keyboard from the Moto Droid, and I am constantly screwing up when I type on the touch keyboard. I try to use voice-to-text whenever possible, as that helps tremendously.

    I know that the Samsung Galaxy S2 (called "Function" on Verizon) will be out very soon -- have you considered that? It will be dual-core, very slim form factor... I had wanted that, but could not wait so went with the Charge.

    No matter what you get, of course, there will be something better, sleeker, faster out soon after!
     
  5. laughingmom

    laughingmom Member

    Verizon announced at the end of last week they will not be selling the Galaxy S2 after all.
     
  6. treb1797

    treb1797 Extreme Android User

    Do you have a link for this announcement? Don't know how I missed it???
     
  7. moondrius

    moondrius Android Enthusiast

    Its looking like the Bionic will hit next week. I have had so many different issues with my Charge that Verizon is giving me an early upgrade to the Bionic. The only plus to the Charge is the screen and the unlocked bootloader but as of right now there are only 2 roms for the Charge and one does not seem to be getting support right now.

    I would not recommend the Charge.
     
  8. laughingmom

    laughingmom Member

    treb1797 likes this.
  9. stueycaster

    stueycaster Member

    When I first got my DC there were a few issues. It was laggy and it occasionally locked up requiring pulling the battery to get it back. I was a little disappointed but reading through the forums showed me that there is no perfect smart phone. They all have their problems.

    Then I broke down and rooted my phone and installed a custom rom. I applied the lagfix and a better radio and a script that holds homescreens in memory. I used to call it about 75% perfect. Now I call it about 95%. Also I can't help but think a dual core processor in a cell phone is overkill. Plus the Ram manager in Android is pretty efficient. The hardware contained in the Charge is good enough for a very good smart phone experience.

    I'm not making suggestions. I'm just telling my experience. I really like my Charge a lot now. :D
     
  10. stueycaster

    stueycaster Member

    You're wrong. The Charge is getting a lot of support.

    [ROM][EE4][CWM] GummyCharged FE 2.0 8/26/11

    [ROM][EP1Q][ODIN - CWM]GummyCharged GBE 1.9RC2 8/17/11

    Developers know it's a good phone. There are a lot of other options too. I just didn't mention them because I have been watching these 2.

    These 2 forums have a wealth of info on fixing up the Charge:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1146

    http://rootzwiki.com/forumdisplay.php?79-Droid-Charge-Developer-Forum

    Go check it out.
     
  11. moondrius

    moondrius Android Enthusiast

    Oh cool, we have 1 active developer making roms and 2 developers making kernels. That is not much development.

    Edit: I am not complaining at all. The developers working with the Charge are some of the best. Just saying if Kejar decides to move on and abandon the Charge then there will be no further development for it until someone else comes around.
     
  12. ryoung19

    ryoung19 Newbie

    I switched to the Fascinate from the Blackberry Storm I and have never considered going back. At the end of the day, it's a phone that I can browse any web site, stream movies (HBO2GO) and live TV (Orb.com) with a much better experience than Blackberry.

    I paid $400 for a couple week old Droid Charge off contract, it came with the extended battery (not using), and the Otterbox case (not using). I sold my Fascinate for $175 cash so I ended up paying $225 for a Droid Charge off contract. I am usually on Wi-Fi but LTE is pretty fast when available.

    I was holding out for the LTE Galaxy SII, but decided on getting the Charge until it comes out. I plan on using my upgrade for a dual core LTE Samsung device then selling my Charge on Craigslist. They are going for $325-$400 now so I should be able pay contract price for my new phone (when it comes out).
     
  13. treb1797

    treb1797 Extreme Android User

    Not trying to be rude, but what does your post have to do with the question at hand?
     
  14. ccjbird

    ccjbird Lurker

    I recently upgraded from the D1(rooted and dropped in toilet..more or less had to) - to the Thunderbolt fro 2 weeks......freaky fast, but something didn't feel right. Went to the Charge and have loved every bit of it.

    Main reasons: Screen, sleek and I actually like Touchwiz- until i down loaded GoLauncher-testing it now for my tastes. Answers to your questions from my experience:

    -Price: I paid 199.

    -Lag: Rare

    -Internal Memory: Never had a concern(i actually experienced memory issues with the TB)

    -Hardware: Like others have said - something better will come out. I too was going to hold out for the Bionic, but I am happy with the Charge

    -General Freezes/Restarts/etc.: Never once has the phone froze. I periodically do a battery pull each week just for fun...

    -Rooting: I am getting ready to root......


    Summary and bottom line....I use the phone alot outdoors screen is awesome for this. It is really fast with 4g (30M down and 7 up in minneapolis). I dont think you will regret.
     
  15. ryoung19

    ryoung19 Newbie

    OP asked to be sold the Charge. I explained my entry to the Charge (love the features), then explained my exit plan when something better comes out.
     
  16. itadakimasu

    itadakimasu Lurker
    Thread Starter

    thanks for all the posts, you guys have helped out a ton. I decided to wait until the first bionic reviews come out to make my final decision, but it sounds like you all are (mostly) happy with the charge.

    Since I'm a noob to android, and it sounds like rooting solves a lot of everyone's problems, to the people that have rooted- is it as easy as it sounds? I've looked through the xda forums and the instructions don't seem too bad, but everyone keeps warning about bricked phones...

    And now on top of this I'm starting to hear about the droid prime.... GAH I wish companies would stop stringing us along and at least confirm/deny rumors or give a general window of availability. but that's neither here nor there
     
  17. BankZ

    BankZ Well-Known Member

    I got it and hate it. It feels like cheap plastic. It doesn't have a hardware camera button. It doesn't have a notification light. It's low on memory. The battery light isn't great. The current roms are meh. Also, there is no office 2.3 release.

    I had a Droid1 and a Droid X and loved them. The "community" behind this phone is also a lot smaller (even though everyone is nice).

    There are a lot of cool phones coming out. I would wait. I am going to dump this phone by the end of the year.
     
    Shurple likes this.
  18. WizeGuyDezignz

    WizeGuyDezignz Android Expert

    Wow, I'm surprised to see some people having problems with their Charge. I'm not joking when I say this.....this phone has been flawless for me on stock and now rooted as well. I haven't had a single reboot or any other problem with it.

    I had a Thunderbolt before the Charge. If you want to talk about problems, pick one of those up and give it a spin. I hated that phone.

    Right now I am rooted, running GummyCharged 2.0, Voodoo Lagfix, the EP1Q Modems (Radio) and Go Launcher EX. This phone is downright incredible right now. I have zero lag, zero reboots and zero problems. On top of that, exceptional signal (especially data) with the EP1Q Modems (Radio).

    It's to the point that I have no need to even consider another phone right now. They did a great job with GummyCharged 2.0. As I type this, I am sitting at 50% battery life, 15 hours since I last charged my phone.

    OP, rooting is not nearly as hard as it sounds. Before the Charge, I had never rooted a phone. It was SUPER easy if you just follow the helpful threads at XDA.

    If you get this phone, root it, add the Voodoo Lagfix (which I believe is already baked into the GummyCharged rom), EP1Q Modems, and add your launcher of choice, I think you will be super happy.
     
  19. BankZ

    BankZ Well-Known Member

    I have the same setup as you and find the phone to be real laggy. The only thing I don't have is the EP1Q Modem. I miss my DroidX daily. I should have gotten the DX2 and forgot about the LTE.
     
  20. greenmunky

    greenmunky Android Enthusiast


    Try Gummy GBE, I kept the voodoo conversion coming from Froyo and the EP1Q radio and its been super smooth. If you want the EE4 radio back after switching you can do so I believe.
     
  21. WizeGuyDezignz

    WizeGuyDezignz Android Expert

    BankZ, that definitely doesn't sound right. Almost everyone running GummyCharged 2.0 is raving about how smooth and snappy everything is.

    Have you tried reflashing the rom? When you flashed it, did you wipe your cache partition, dalvik cache and factory reset before you installed the rom? I also installed the latest version of the kernel that was baked into GummyCharged 2.0, but my phone was smooth and snappy even before that.

    I would definitely look into your setup because everything is super smooth and snappy on my end.

    Let me know how it goes!
     
  22. WizeGuyDezignz

    WizeGuyDezignz Android Expert

    You are correct, you can easily flash back to EE4 if you aren't happy with EP1Q.

    He can certainly try Gummy GBE, but Gummy Froyo is working perfectly for me. Something doesn't sound right with his setup.
     
  23. moondrius

    moondrius Android Enthusiast

    I am also running gc 2.0 and it is so laggy with the lagfix enabled. I was running the newest eclipse and I noticed swiftkey was unusable on that rom. I have done factory resets, cleared cache, restored the stock ee4 image and nothing helps. I was planning on dumping the phone for a dual core lte phone in the future but at this point I am just going to go with the Bionic. I was going to wait for the Prime but I can not wait any longer. This thing needs to go.

    I was one of the first people here to get a Charge. I got it 3 weeks early and at that time I only had gps issues. After the 2 ota updates I find the phone to be laggy, not have working gps, reboot randomly, have inconsistent battery life, horrible 3g connectivity, and sometimes robot like call quality over bluetooth. I am in no way saying I don't like the phone because if you look at my post history you will see I have done nothing but say great things about the phone but as of right now I just can't recommend it to anyone.

    I came from a Fascinate and it ran so much smoother with a custom rom. Games ran smoothly, I had no problems typing, and no memory issues. I have all of these problems with the Charge. Maybe with the Gingerbread update coming soon we will see some fixes but if the Charge stays at 300 when the Bionic hits at the same price it would be smarter to go with the Bionic.
     
  24. WizeGuyDezignz

    WizeGuyDezignz Android Expert

    I can confidently say that something is wrong with your phone. Even when I was completely stock I didn't have even one of the problems that you are listing.

    And now rooted with everything that I listed, this phone flat out flies. Super smooth with not one single problem. I'm not saying that you wouldn't believe me, but I will try to post a video if I can of my phone in action right now.

    It definitely seems like you have given up on the Charge and are going to buy a new phone. But in the meantime, I would definitely take your phone into Verizon and get a new one to see what you've been missing.
     
  25. moondrius

    moondrius Android Enthusiast

    This is my second Charge and its not just me. My girlfriend has gone through 3 as well. Verizon gave me an upgrade due to my complaints about the phone so I decided to just move on to the Bionic.
     

Samsung Droid Charge Forum

The Samsung Droid Charge release date was May 2011. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, GB RAM, Hummingbird processor, and 1600mAh battery.

May 2011
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