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Samsung Droid Charge Review

Samsung Droid Charge 8.5

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Organizer & Messaging:

We also appreciate the usefulness of the integrated Calendar, since it pulls events from your Google, Facebook and corporate Outlook/Exchange accounts. Views are separated by day, week, or month (the default tab), or you can view a list of your recent and future appointments, holidays, and birthdays. Reminders are easily set, and you can choose if the phone is to mark the event only on the handset, or sync it to the cloud with Google Calendar as well. Pushing events work quickly, so adding that party to Google Calendar or Facebook saves it to the phone instantaneously as well.

The Calendar of the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
The Calendar of the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
The Calendar of the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
The Calendar of the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review

The Calendar of the Samsung Droid Charge

The alarm function can be found under the Clock icon in the apps menu, and also includes a world clock, stopwatch and timer for all those hard boiled eggs in the morning. It's nice that you can control every aspect of its sounding, and even snooze duration and repetition. One of the phone's apps is a Desk Cradle, and it can be used as a regular alarm clock tucked neatly on your nightstand, but can also be used to access the gallery, daily briefing, and music player. There is the so-called Smart Alarm, which rings up with soothing nature sounds before the main alarm is sounded. Night owls like us are certainly appreciative of any options to wake up in a prolonged and gentle manner. One small bug we noticed while using the Desk Cradle app is that it shows our AccuWeather temperature as 32 degrees on the screen, even though when going into the daily briefing it was correctly shown at 75 degrees.

The Alarm - Samsung Droid Charge Review
AccuWeather - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Samsung Droid Charge Review

The Alarm



The Samsung Droid Charge supports every messaging standard you could want, including SMS, MMS and Email, and also comes pre-loaded with Verizon’s Mobile IM app for connecting you to your AIM, Windows Live, and Yahoo! buddy lists. GMail is of course a stand-alone app that replicates the web-based experience. Other Email accounts, including POP3, IMAP and Exchange are handled by the standard Email app. Since the Droid Charge does not have a physical QWERTY keyboard, it comes with Swype preloaded, but has the standard Android keyboard loaded as default on-screen keyboard. For those of you unfamiliar with it Swype, you simply run your finger from key to key without lifting your finger until you’re done with the word. It definitely takes some getting used to, but was remarkably accurate even when we made some mistakes. You can easily change between using the standard Android keyboard and the Swype keyboard by going into the settings menu. Since the 4.3” display on the Samsung Droid Charge is the same size as the one on the HTC ThunderBolt, both provide enough room to type, as the on-screen keys are large and not cramped together.

The on-screen keyboard of the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
The on-screen keyboard of the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review

The on-screen keyboard of the Samsung Droid Charge

E-mail - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Samsung Droid Charge Review
Samsung Droid Charge Review



Internet and Connectivity:

Since we’ve been using the HTC ThunderBolt for a few weeks now, we’ve become accustomed as to what speeds to expect from Verizon’s 4G LTE 700MHz data network, so we were naturally interested in seeing if the Samsung Droid Charge would have similar speeds.

When loading the PhoneArena.com web site, the ThunderBolt only took about 22 seconds to fully load (including all Flash content and ads), but the Droid Charge took a bit longer at about 30 seconds, while the Motorola DROID X was the slowest 45 seconds using Verizon’s EVDO Rev A network. One thing that we noticed was that the Droid Charge has difficulty handling web pages that contain a lot of Flash content, such as our own web site, as it will almost lock-up the web browser, where you can’t even scroll the page or zoom in. The only work-around is to go into the browser setting and change the Plug-ins from “Always on” to either “On Demand” or “Off”. This will allow web pages to load quicker and will also make them much easier to scroll without the browser locking up. Hopefully this issue will be fixed, as most other Android phones do not suffer from this problem.

Surfing the web with the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Surfing the web with the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Surfing the web with the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Surfing the web with the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Surfing the web with the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Surfing the web with the Samsung Droid Charge - Samsung Droid Charge Review

Surfing the web with the Samsung Droid Charge

We were able download the Angry Birds Lite app at 11.44MB from the Android Market on the Droid Charge, which took 20 seconds, while the ThunderBolt only took 18 seconds, and the DROID X took a whopping 2 minutes 40 seconds.

When it comes to the SpeedTest.net app, the newest version is 2.0.3 and appears to be inaccurate with the Droid Charge and ThunderBolt, as it shows download speeds between 0.5 and 1 Mbps. Because of this, we removed it and tried the older 1.7.4 version (which also lacks the ads) and were able to get a download speed of 8.56 Mbps and an upload speed of 4.46 Mbps on the Droid Charge, though we have seen the downloads hit as high as 12 Mbps. These speeds are also about the same that we’ve seen while using the ThunderBolt.

The 4G Mobile HotSpot app allows you to connect up to 10 devices to the Droid Charge via Wi-Fi, which in turn uses the phone’s 4G connection for data. We tested this with the DROID X connected to the Droid Charge, and were able to get 8 Mbps download and 3 Mbps uploads using the SpeedTest.net app.

SpeedTest.net app - Samsung Droid Charge Review
Mobile HotSpot app - Samsung Droid Charge Review

SpeedTest.net app

Mobile HotSpot app

All of these speeds are fine and dandy, but both the Samsung Droid Charge and HTC ThunderBolt appear that they do not hold onto the 4G signal very well. When we have used other Verizon 4G devices, such as the Samsung HotSpot, Novatel MiFi, and Novatel USB Modem, those have all stayed locked onto 4G in our area and never went down to 3G. But when we use the HTC ThunderBolt in the same area (Ft Lauderdale to Boca Raton FL) it will cycle through 4G, 3G, and 1x for no reason. We talked about this in this article, as other people have reported the same issue, and we also described how to put the ThunderBolt in LTE only mode, which will significantly cut-down on it going to 3G or 1x – though it still happens some. With the Samsung Droid Charge, the problem is slightly different. If we are outside, it will stay on 4G most of the time, but as soon as we are indoors (such as a house, restaurant, or even a car) it will drop down to 3G within a minute, and will occasionally cycle between 4G and 3G back-and-forth. We have noticed that when we are inside and see that the Droid Charge is using 3G, we can toggle the Airplane mode, which will then kick the phone back to 4G for a while, but it will still drop to 3G sooner or later. This is truly unfortunate, as neither phone seems to be completely reliable in maintaining a constant 4G connection. We are unsure if this is a Verizon issue, or is a problem with the phone’s software or hardware/antenna, but we can only hope that it is resolved – as it happened before and after the Verizon 4G data outage that occurred on 4/28/11.

  • Options

posted on 30 Apr 2011, 07:26 3

1. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 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.

posted on 02 May 2011, 02:51 2

13. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)

This phone sucks!!

posted on 02 May 2011, 17:46

19. FightForTheLost (Posts: 20; Member since: 25 May 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).

posted on 20 Jul 2011, 13:31

41. phandroid (unregistered)

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

posted on 30 Apr 2011, 10:01 5

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.

posted on 30 Apr 2011, 10:24 3

3. Kjayhawk (Posts: 294; Member since: 07 Oct 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.

posted on 30 Apr 2011, 18:01 1

4. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

looks very cheap and weak

posted on 30 Apr 2011, 19:33 4

5. effdee1121 (Posts: 14; Member since: 05 Mar 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 !

posted on 30 Apr 2011, 23:53 1

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...

posted on 26 May 2011, 13:15

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...

posted on 01 May 2011, 08:51

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

posted on 01 May 2011, 09:34 1

9. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

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

posted on 01 May 2011, 11:24

10. qwertyu (unregistered)

wow, the score of my dhd is much higher

posted on 01 May 2011, 13:32 1

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.

posted on 01 May 2011, 23:33

12. mgobear (unregistered)

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

posted on 02 May 2011, 06:56 3

14. cheetah2k (Posts: 1734; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)

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

posted on 02 May 2011, 10:16 2

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.

posted on 02 May 2011, 12:51

16. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 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.

posted on 03 May 2011, 10:18

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..

posted on 04 May 2011, 22:13

23. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 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.

posted on 06 May 2011, 08:06

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.

posted on 07 May 2011, 22:21

28. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

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

posted on 07 May 2011, 22:28

29. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

The pervasive hostility on the internet...

posted on 10 May 2011, 11:09 2

31. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 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?

posted on 11 May 2011, 12:18

32. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

Much agreed.

posted on 03 May 2011, 12:23 1

21. phonefan4 (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 May 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.

posted on 02 May 2011, 12:51

17. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

I'd love to see this phone in person.

posted on 02 May 2011, 12:51

18. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

Or an Omnia 7 for that matter.

posted on 03 May 2011, 15:46

22. somebody (unregistered)

how can I bypass the activiating screen?

posted on 05 May 2011, 13:28 1

24. Jammers (Posts: 6; Member since: 05 May 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.

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Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus
Camera8 megapixels
Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
Size5.11 x 2.66 x 0.46 inches
(130 x 68 x 12 mm)
5.04 oz  (143 g)
Battery1600 mAh, 11 hours talk time

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