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General So is the Droid Charge worth $299? Here's my take on my new Charge...

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by sean76, May 20, 2011.

  1. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert
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    OK fellow Androiders...here's my take on the charge and how I feel about it since getting it yesterday. Keep in mind I don't roll with a flag that supports any one manufacturer, I'm a phone and tech whore that shows everyone some love!

    So here's my quick review of the newest fire breathing 4G monster to hit vzw...

    First off, yes the screen is beautiful. Its been stated over and over how nice Samsung screens are, this screen is right up there with the best of them. However I wouldn't say its light years better then the Thunderbolts super LCD. But yes blacks are super black, and all the colors pop very vividly.

    Build quality is pure Samsung, nice, but has a very plastic feel. Think Samsung Fascinate, very similar. Its extremely lite for such a big phone, some will like it, some will not. Put it this way, don't drop it, it will not take to well to drops.

    Moving into the UI, and software, let me make this quick. Simply put, touchwiz 4.0 should be on this phone, not 3.0! Its slow, clunky, and should not be on a flagship 4G phone in 2011. Also just a side note...Brown and Orange, coupled together with a blue and yellow color scheme for SMS? Seriously, who thought up this color scheme....its downright ugly IMO.

    The phone performs OK, it's not lighting quick while moving through the phone, but its not as bad as some have been saying. Throw Launcher pro on it and your good. 4G makes up for alot on this phone. The web and YouTube are very quick, I haven't really felt the web lag as bad as some have stated, its slightly there, but not earth shattering. IMO this phone should have had the same 1.2ghz as the Samsung infuse...last years processor should not be on board...plain and simple.

    Phone calls have been very good, loud and clear, and the Speaker phone has been very good as well. Blue tooth through my truck is very loud and clear also...not experiencing the poor volume levels that I've had with the Thunderbolt when connected through my truck.

    The camera takes really clear photos, however has an annoying lag after the picture is taken. Also the flash while set to Auto still goes off in very well lit areas? I don't remember either of those issues with my Fascinate. The Video camera is just as good as my Fascinates was, very clear, and voices are nice and loud.

    Battery is ehh...its only been about 48 hours so far with this phone, and a full week of charging should be used before making a decision if this phone is way better on battery life then the Thunderbolt. As for right now, I will say they are about even. Left my house at 2pm with a full 100% battery, by 7pm I needed a charge.Those are Thunderbolt numbers if you ask me. I'll have a real pulse after a week of charges to determine if this phone will be able to get me through a full day without a charge, too early to make that decision.

    So is this phone worth $299 right now? Sorry Samsung faithful, but I have to say no. Its a good phone, makes great phone calls, is fairly fast if you tweek it a little bit, and overall is a pretty cool looking phone. Yes the stealth look has grown on me. However, between the fact that it doesn't have a dual core, let alone a 1.2 like the infuse, touchwiz 4.0, a more premium feel like some newer Samsungs, and is priced $50 more then the Thunderbolt, is reason enough for me to say no, its not worth the pricetag. $199 yes, then its definitely worth a hard look. But $299 is basically a rape for last years technology.
     

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  2. Heelpir8

    Heelpir8 Member
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    Thanks for this. Will go a long way in helping me decide between the DC and the Motorola Droid X2.
     
  3. JEcht

    JEcht Well-Known Member
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    Very well said. Not biased at all. I have noticed it seems like the first thing DC owners always throw out there is the screen resolution. Hope the DC serves you well.
     
  4. Outsider(Avid HustlaZ)

    Outsider(Avid HustlaZ) Well-Known Member
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    He's right not worth 299$ but definetly not worth less than the TB..honestly i ran into the same problems as you with battery the first couple of days but its been good to me see i work a night shift job so i unplug at 6pm and replug at 6 sometimes 7am with about 10% left it really depends on what you mainly use it on..if its calls and txt then itll last very very long if its web and streaming then 5-7 hours sounds bout right. Nevertheless good review and i hope you have fun with DC just like me.
     
  5. moshock

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  6. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert
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    Yes, I'd say its worth it! There are a lot of good features with the Droid Charge... I just happen to feel Verizon handicapped this phone by pricing it so high, especially $50 over the Thunderbolt, which I have to say has a much higher premium feel to it IMO. My advice is get what works for you, the screen is beautiful, and yes its insanely fast on VZW's 4G. So to answer your question, I definitely would say the phone is worth a $199 pricetag.
     
  7. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert
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    I'm a fairly heavy user...And the Fascinate after about a weeks worth of charging was holding really good battery life with my usage patterns.
    So I'll give it about a week to 10 days to really decide if the Charges battery is up for the task of surviving a full day with my type of usage.
     
  8. jinwons

    jinwons Android Expert
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    Thanks for quite thorough and objective review on Charge. I didn't expect it to be all that rosy and I mostly agree on drawbacks of this phone you found. Cons like TouchWiz, RFS, browser lag are software things that can be fixed unlike fundamental hardware problems that plague Tbolt. I also think it's over priced at 299 but don't think it will remain at that price for long. Costco already has it at 249 and Amazon knocked it down to 199 already. I would predict it will come below 199 before long.
     
  9. kyler13

    kyler13 Android Expert
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    Thanks for the review. Definitely not worth it in my opinion. Lipstick on a pig. Not that there's anything wrong with a dressed up Fascinate, but pushing it out as new and charging a premium is ridiculous. BTW, I bet this phone would run faster rooted with a custom ROM.

    As always, these undercutting deals are available to new customers only. It's $249 for existing customers. So, no, still not worth it. Honestly, the best deal on this phone is contract free through Verizon. It's only $569 whereas third party retailers have it $649 or higher contract-free. Same thing with the X2 and the Incredible 2. Only $449 contract-free direct through Verizon. It's surprising, but I think part of the sell-out to Apple is that they've decreased their subsidy on all other phones to keep iPhone prices reasonable. The subsidized margin between the 2-yr contract price on some of these new Android phones and their retail price is almost smaller than what you pay. Pretty crappy subsidy for a 2 year lock. I'd wager that Verizon is almost passing these on to you at their cost for 2 years of your life rather than fronting anything for your steep monthly data charge. No thanks.

    The Charge is still using RFS? WTF?

    It's sad the direction that Verizon is taking. Seemingly, I envision having to change to not only wait for the phone I want being late to the game (thanks, Verizon) but I'll also have to wait awhile after release for a third party retailer to deeply discount the pricing (current customer upgrades) so I'm not getting raked over the coals. If AT&T's network didn't drop off to crap outside metropolitan areas, I'd be fine with switching. The pricetag for being on America's most reliable network is starting to exceed it's value rating.
     
  10. tmaxey1

    tmaxey1 Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the honest review..
    I'm considering a charge but also considering the infuse or considering waiting for the galaxy s2. I know the infuse had the 1.2ghz processor but it just seems much faster than the 20% increase over the charge. They both have 3.0 touch wiz. I'm really wondering what is slowing this phone down.

    I live in a lte border area. The guy at the verizon store was telling me he leaves 4g off of the charge otherwise the battery will drain really really fast because it will keep searching for signal.
     
  11. Sketchr

    Sketchr Android Enthusiast
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    Very similar results when my buddy and I did side by side usage comparisons with TB vs charge. Battery on charge was slightly stronger than TB after completing same tasks. Calls were about equal. Data, speed/browsing was faster on TB. Screen is better on Charge..BUT the charge is not that much better to see while outside. The claim that Charge is so much easier to see over the TB is just not true. It's somewhat better but not a lot. So, the two claims for the Charge edge over TB simply isn't enough given the price and my preference for Sense...
     
  12. addictedtocars

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    That kind of suck, I just went to VZ with my old dumb phone as I wait for an Android I want and they will consider me an exisiting customer, don't understand how these companies liek to reward the new and not the faithful.
     
  13. kyler13

    kyler13 Android Expert
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    Hold on a second... The knock against AMOLED was always that it wasn't as visible in daylight as LCD. So you're saying it's slightly better? Given the deeper contrast of AMOLED, seems as long as it's at least has the same outdoor visibility, it's a clear winner.
     
  14. tmaxey1

    tmaxey1 Android Enthusiast
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    Just a guess....the thunderbolt was your phone? And now you decided to come to the charge forum to see if others agree with you so you can lose your screen envy..?

    Dont worry brother. I'm an evo owner that went through the same screen envy when the damn Epic came out. Haha
     
  15. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert
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    Its pretty easy to look at the Charges screen and go WoW...its really nice! But I've said this many times before, the Super LCD on the TB is one of the best LCD 's that I've ever seen or used. IMO it may even beat Samsungs Super Amoled + in some key areas. Take for instance watching YouTube, and stuff like that...colors are extremely natural looking on the TB, and really do look great. Its all preference when choosing which one is better. Both get the job done, just all depends on what you like.
     
  16. Sketchr

    Sketchr Android Enthusiast
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    Easy dude...calm down. both the phones are great. I said the charge screen was superior - did you miss that?;)

    My finding was that the screen and battery edge were not enough to make me trade my TB (still in 14 day window) for the charge. bottom line is that I prefer Sense. My 2nd phone will be the EVO 3D

    both are great phones. It's all good dude:p I read many of the forums. Open mind...
     
  17. tuanster1119

    tuanster1119 Well-Known Member
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    Where are you seeing this price? It shows up at $569 for me.
     
  18. boatman

    boatman Android Enthusiast
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    I know $100 is $100, but you are going to pay $30/mo for the next 24 months, 720, plus $199/249/299 for the phone.

    Even if it's 299 vs 199, if this is the phone you want, that is an extra $4 a month.

    I know some people really can't swing that $100, but I would think that those also can't afford unlimited text and data plans.

    Why be unhappy for the $4/mo? And now that it is $249, that is $2/mo. Get the phone you want and not regret your decision for the next 24 months!
     
  19. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert
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    Comes down to sense vs Touchwiz with the TB....sense is far superior.
     
  20. kyler13

    kyler13 Android Expert
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    I doubt the Droid Charge has it, but straight up comparing SLCD to Super AMOLED Plus, you do realize that the Galaxy S2 has the capability for different viewing modes (Movie, Dynamic, etc) for video much like Samsung does for their TVs. That sorta makes the color comparison moot.
     
  21. kyler13

    kyler13 Android Expert
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    Re-read my post. The $449 reference follows a statement regarding the X2 and Incredible 2. Just making a point that Verizon's contract-free prices are not the MSRPs you'll see from third party retailers. I'm not sure why that is.
     
  22. jinwons

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    The way I look at Charge vs Tbolt is that most cons on Charge are software issues and cons on Tbolt are hardwares like no HDMI, mediocre camera, dimmer screen, poor battery that can't be fixed by software update. Software issues like TouchWiz, RFS, browser lag can be fixed by app/firmware or rooting, but lackluster hardware components are just what it is (no HDMI, mediocre camera, dim screen, poor battery) that can't be fixed by software. Only pros in Tbolt hardware is a little more RAM and storage. So overall I would take Charge over Tbolt for these reasons.

    Regarding pricing, I also wouldn't pay 299 for Charge but I bet it will come down fairly quick to 199 not just on amazon. The only phones that can justify 299 or more are SGSII and Bionic (dual core + LTE). But I'm not holding breathe on seeing dual core/LTE phone this year and battery of that thing will probably suck in the first iteration.
     
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  23. jinwons

    jinwons Android Expert
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    To make Charge a lot more attractive, it should have 2.3.3 (no RFS) with TouchWiz 4.0 like SGSII has. It has the same SAMOLED+ and excellent camera as in the SGSII. Only the processor/memory is lacking compared to its super brother, but such software updates will make it a lot more appealing along with 4G LTE.
     
  24. sean76

    sean76 Android Expert
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    Were talking about the Charge compared to the Thunderbolt. The Galaxy S2 is a whole different animal my man. And honestly we have no idea when its coming to the states. However, the S2 would be my choice as my everyday device. I'm sure alot of people would agree on that one.
     
  25. Redflea

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    Played w/a Charge today pretty extensively at a VZW kiosk in Costco...wife wants to get one.

    Phone ran great - put GoLauncher Ex on it and that resolves any home screen lag issues and gets rid of that garish UI...GoLauncher runs fleet as a fox on it.

    Pulled up a number of web sites and didn't find any lag/judder issues...not saying it's not happening, but I didn't see it.

    Camera seemed to work well. Phone switches orientation really fast (landscape to portrait), apps launched quickly, etc. Felt good in the hand and like the physical buttons on it better than the ones on the DX.

    Played some video and looked great...speakerphone might be a little softer than I'd like, but it was hard to tell, in the middle of a very noisy store.

    Call quality was very good - called my wife on her cell and connection was clear and voices sounded normal...very good performance for calling from that store, where connections can be flakey.

    Overall came away pretty impressed...Costco has it for $249, and only pay tax on $299 full retail price, so that saves about $70 (50 discount + about 20 in taxes). Not a bad deal for her...she has no interest in root or modding, and is running the same version of the BB OS that shipped on her Pearl three years ago, so if Samsung continues to be slow w/updates, she just won't care/notice. :)

    Probably gonna buy today/tomorrow and give it a whirl for two weeks (their free return period) and see if she likes it. If it turns out she's not happy later she can always trade it for another phone up to 90 days after purchase.
     
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