Samsung Droid Charge Review

It has been a little over a month since we reviewed Verizon’s first 4G LTE smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, as we were impressed by its data speeds, software, and overall performance, though we are still having an issue with the device cycling through 4G, 3G, and 1x for no apparent reason, which we discussed here. Now with the new Samsung Droid Charge approaching release, we have high hopes for it, as it comes packed with a Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, an 8MP camera, and of course 4G LTE. Let’s see if it has what it takes to steal away customers from buying the ThunderBolt.

Included in the retail box is the Samsung Droid Charge SCH-i510 phone with a 32GB Class 2 microSDHC memory card pre-installed, 1600mAh battery, wall charger with a 1-meter detachable microUSB cable, and user guides.


Even though the Samsung Droid Charge is not in the “Galaxy” line, its overall design does remind us some of the Samsung Fascinate and Samsung Continuum for Verizon, as it has a plastic construction with chrome around the edges, and a gray colored back that is slick to the touch. When compared next to the HTC ThunderBolt, the Samsung Droid Charge doesn’t feel quite as thick, and is also not as heavy, though we do wish it had the soft-touch coating on the back to give it more of a grip.

You can compare the Samsung Droid Charge with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Located on the front is the impressive 4.3” WVGA resolution Super AMOLED Plus display. The “Plus” means that the display on the Droid Charge is brighter than the (regular) Super AMOLED screen that is used by the Fascinate and Continuum, and it also uses a standard RGB pixel matrix, so that text and images are sharper than before. More information about Super AMOLED Plus and how it compares to other displays can be viewed here. We used the Droid Charge outside on a sunny day and could still view the screen, while the TFT screen on the ThunderBolt was dark and unreadable. This is one key advantage the Droid Charge has over the ThunderBolt.

Above the screen is a 1.3MP camera (on the left) and the proximity sensor (on the right), but not present is a LED notification light – which we find unthinkable to be missing on such a high-end device. Below the display are four physical buttons for accessing the menu, home, back, and search. We like having the real physical buttons, as the touch-sensitive ones (like on the ThunderBolt) can be easily pressed by mistake. Along the sides of the Droid Charge are the volume rocker, microUSB port, 3.5mm headset jack, power/lock key, and HDMI video port. One thing we noticed is that all of these side-buttons are larger and easier to find and press than the ones on the ThunderBolt. On the back is the 8MP autofocus camera with LED flash, and removing the battery cover will allow access to the 4G SIM card slot and the pre-installed 32GB microSDHC memory card.

Samsung Droid Charge 360-degrees View:



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Good review. You recognized the phone's mistakes while having some fair criticisms. Can't wait to see how Motorola's swing at LTE turns out. In the meantime, it sounds like the Charge is a good choice for LTE users.

13. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

This phone sucks!!

19. FightForTheLost

Posts: 20; Member since: May 25, 2010

The Bionic is (or was, last I checked) having issues due to overheating and harshly low battery life. But, I believe it is/was still outperforming the Charge. Hopefully they don't have the issue of 4G switching to 3G indoors, because that would really be a purchase-killer in my book (not that I don't use WiFi inside my house anyways...but on those occasions where I'm indoors and not near WiFi, I'd like top data speeds lol).

41. phandroid unregistered

the Bionic is dual core and the charge is only single core.

2. theo14461 unregistered

Browser locking up when trying to load heavy flash content?? Pictures out of focus?? Low quadrant scores?? Why then such a high rating?? Seems like it should only get an 8, at best.

3. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

Yeah I'm a bit confused here I thought the Droid Charge defiantly wasn't as good as the thunderbolt... Personally I think the LG 2x was a 9 phone and the charge phone was an 8. I guess the fact that it is a strong battery life and call quality for LTE must be a bigger deal than i thought.

4. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

looks very cheap and weak

5. effdee1121

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 05, 2010

I don't get how this got a 9? and the G2x got an 8.5?? doesn't make any sense. specs are pretty good but not as current as can be and overpriced !

6. Jay unregistered

I'm disappointed as well. The benchmarks I'm not worried about, its that file system not playing well with others again, and smartbench gives a more accurate score than Quadrant. However the lagging on the homescreen is a problem, I'm just hoping you guys were talking about lagging on the homescreens while they were covered with widgets. If only the screen and the a/v capabilities work without an asterisk, then I most certainly won't be paying $300 for it...

37. unfotunately unregistered

Lag happens out of the box, may be due to the ridiculous amount of apps pre-installed, but home screen still slow when mostly empty...

8. Rami unregistered

Wowowow 328 mb ram?!?!?! Wtf. It should have at least 512 if not more. I've seen 512 everywhere else. Are you sure that you didn't type that wrong? Try using system panel to see if there is around 300 mb free that means its 512 ram. If its not then thunderbolt for me

9. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Phones need 1GB RAM, not less than half of that. Looks interesting, though...

10. qwertyu unregistered

wow, the score of my dhd is much higher

11. Hellow unregistered

What's up with the inconsistencies lately? The actual scores do no mirror what is being said in the reviews. Must be the 4g hype.

12. mgobear unregistered

328mb of ram??? i thought it was supposed to be 512!

14. cheetah2k

Posts: 2319; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Interesting... the score has dropped from 9 to 8.5....... close but it should be an 8 guys

15. serioussam unregistered

Seriously Phone Arena. My Tbolt is crap, I am having the 3rd device becaue the first 2 were defected and this Charge isn't even as good in most aspects. It's a larger/bulkier, slower, more expensive device. Should be 7 MAX! You are hurting your own credibility guys. How can anyone trust you when you come up with random scores like this? Btw, the Tbolt score was too high too. (should be 7.5) You are here to help US and do REAL reviews not to kiss the manufacturers' ass. If you want the latter one you will lose your audience soon.... Think Top Gear, don't be a wuss.

16. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

It's definitely not bulkier. It's just taller. The speed is around the same or perhaps better on this device. I doubt your Thunderbolt is crap. However, if it is, I will gladly take it.

20. serioussam unregistered

Riiiight... it's taller, it's wider, it's larger at the bottom... I wouldn't call that exactly slimmer.. :)) Did you even read the review?? You: "the speed is better on this device" P.A: "but is still MUCH lower than the ThunderBolt" Sure you can have my crappy tbolt dear begger, just buy me a working 4G with the same or better specs. This is my 3rd and while a few things are better on thsi 3rd one the call quality is still total crap. The speaker is muffled too..

23. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

"The speed is around the same or perhaps better on this device" does not translate into "the speed is better on this device". The difference is so blatant and only takes a second to read. You're welcome.

25. serioussam unregistered

Riiiiight... "or perhaps better on this device" Hahaha nice try.... Stop here, you're digging it deeper :) It's OK to mess it up from the ecstasy you got from looking at this fat ass phone. None will judge you but coming back and try to act it out.....c'mon.... you are better than that. Peace.

28. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

Umm...ok? Did you not see "perhaps"?!

29. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

The pervasive hostility on the internet...

31. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

3 T-bolts? These phones haven't even been out that long & everyone I know with it swears by it. Maybe its not the phone...maybe its the user. I've never had 3 of any phone...but most consumers are too childish to admit that their own habits may be messing up their phones...its always the manufacturers fault. Most people are quick claim that a phone has issues but in reality 9 times out of 10 the issue is they are causing them. No matter what phone you put these people in it is only going to be a matter of time before they are coming in complaining and wanting another phone. it tends to be a combination of too high expectations for a electronic device & pure carelessness. But hey, you paid x amount of dollars for it so you are never wrong right?

32. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

Much agreed.

21. phonefan4

Posts: 13; Member since: May 03, 2011

I think the thunderbolt was rushed to the market just so htc could say "Hey look everyone we are the first 4g on verizon" instead of making a solid handset.

17. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

I'd love to see this phone in person.

18. rayjones09

Posts: 149; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

Or an Omnia 7 for that matter.

22. somebody unregistered

how can I bypass the activiating screen?

24. Jammers

Posts: 6; Member since: May 05, 2011

WHAT a joke. This sounded like a pretty great phone, but for two fairly glaring gaps, 328MB of ram, and PHYSICAL keys. WTH? I was even thinking of bypassing the rediculously low memory but if I wanted physical keys, I'd go back and buy my old Royal typewriter! Funny thing Samsung in particular seems to do, they make a great phone with ALLLLLMOST everything you want, and then they gimp it. I'm half surprised this doesn't have Froyo on it. The cell phone manufacturers need to wake up and smell the coffee, people are more aware who are buying these phones, and they need to start catering to what the actual consumers want. Android consumers aren't your blind Apple customers who'll think your giving them divinity when your feeding them something else.
Droid Charge
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 2 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1600 mAh(11.00h talk time)

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