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Samsung Droid Charge Review: The Droid Brand Goes 4G

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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction, Design and Ergonomics

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Droid. When the brand launched, this was a name that stood for something. While the iPhone enthralled consumers with a friendly, easy, but ostensibly restrictive experience, Droid retaliated with the motto “Droid Does.” It was all about superior functionality, and in that regard it was a success. Today we’ll be looking at the Droid Charge, a phone coming by way of Samsung. 

The Droid Charge is the second 4G LTE phone to hit Verizon’s network, making it an obvious competitor to the HTC Thunderbolt (along with the recently released LG Revolution). Like the Thunderbolt, the Charge is a member of a breed of single-core flagship phone that is already in the process of becoming extinct. Let’s have a look at what else powers Samsung’s Droid. 

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Many buyers are too quick to dismiss phones based of hardware specs, however – the single core tells us little about the Charge’s performance as a phone. As the first Droid to come from Samsung’s stable, this is actually quite an interesting device. Will the brand remain meaningful on a device from this manufacturer? Or is it being diluted?

Keep reading our review of the Samsung Droid Charge for all the info!!

Design and Ergonomics

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Although given the Droid label, it’s hard to tell the Droid Charge apart from most Samsung phones at-a-glance. The design itself is classic Samsung, consisting of a solid black glossy front surrounded by smooth, tapered glossy plastic on the sides and rear.  The entire underside of the phone is a gray plastic cover with what a sort of faux carbon-fiber pattern. Although this panel has a “with Google” label, along with a “4G LTE” badge, there’s no Droid branding to be found anywhere on the phone’s exterior. 

Like most smartphones from Samsung, the Charge looks better in a showroom than it does on your kitchen table. There glossy trim that’s so beautiful at first blush quickly becomes gummed up with fingerprints and scratches, forcing users into choosing between constant polishing and accepting a phone that seems perpetually dirty. 

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Yet while the appearance of the Charge can be difficult to maintain, the device is at least comfortable when kept in-hand. The Charge weighs in at just over 5 ounces, which makes it a little more than an ounce lighter than the HTC Thunderbolt and almost an ounce lighter than the LG Revolution. This difference in weight is noticeable when handling the device. The Charge has a slight curvature to the rear panel which terminates in a lip about half an inch from the bottom of the device. The weight and the curve combine to make the Charge a very comfortable phone for long calls. Keep in mind, however, that this remains a large phone – those with small hands may have to stretch to keep a solid grip. 

The power and volume buttons on the Charge are located to the right and left respectively when the phone is held with the display facing the user, and the placement of those buttons is quite natural, leaving them directly underneath the user’s fingertips.  A mini-USB port can be found on the left hand side and HDMI on the right – the HDMI port, however, is covered by a finicky plastic tab that must be removed before use.

 

 

August 1, 2011 | 02:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I was told by Samsung support that the phone does not have an internal GPS, and uses other location based services that require that data network to be functional. Do you know whether this is true?

August 4, 2011 | 10:35 PM - Posted by bbnetworking (not verified)

I Currently have a Droid Charge, took the offer for it from the call issue with the Fascinate, before that i had a Motorola Droid (D1). I am a member of several sites, most who know me will be from XDA, and http://www.droidcharge.net I am learning more about android every day and absolutely love this OS. I research and test anything i post and download any files to one of my online storage accounts, so you can count on links I post to work and anything posted was tested to make sure it worked at least reasonably close to as advertised. and all instructions will be thorough and easy to follow. After almost 10 years in the Army it was necessary to get good at explaining things so that even the DUMB AS HELL soldiers could get it, no I am not trying to insult anyone's intelligence, it's just the writing style I have become used to. I hope I can learn good stuff here as well as help those less experienced than myself.

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