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Samsung Droid Charge Review: The Droid Brand Goes 4G

Author: Matt Smith
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Display and Audio Quality, Call Quality, Camera Quality

 Display and Audio Quality

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The AMOLED displays used by Samsung’s smartphones have long been one of the key selling points, and the Droid Charge is no different. This smartphone comes with the latest and greatest version of the technology, called Super AMOLED Plus. 

It doesn’t take much time with the Charge to realize its display is absolutely brilliant. In comparison to the display on the Thunderbolt, for example, the Charge’s Super AMOLED offers more accurate colors and can reproduce deeper blacks. Dark scenes that appear washed out on the Thunderbolt’s Super LCD appear clear and crisp on the Charge’s AMOLED, making this new Droid a particularly good choice for users who enjoy watching video or playing games on a smartphone. 

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And that’s not all. While most of the Charge’s exterior is glossier than competing Android phones, the display itself isn’t as reflective as your typical Super LCD. This, combined with a brilliant backlight, makes the Charge an easy phone to use in full sunlight. 

Although the Charge’s speaker appears rather small, the audio quality is more than adequate. While it doesn’t entirely avoid distortion, there’s not much to be found in most audio or video clips. The 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the top of the device and produces quality that seems indistinguishable from any other smartphone, which is to say you’ll have no complaints so long as you’re not trying to drive a pair of expensive high-end cans.

Call Quality

The standard call quality of the Charge is better than average, particularly for the person who owns the Charge. I found that calls were generally crystal clear, and thanks to a volume control that is willing to soar quite high, I had no problem hearing friends while speaking to them in a busy area, such as a mall or a city street. 

Those receiving my calls were slightly less impressed. I received some complaints that speaking loudly – as I felt as natural in high-noise environments – caused the receiving phone to introduce some crackling into the call. This could be due to the low quality of the receiving phones, but still, it’s worth noting, as it’s a complaint I hadn’t heard before. Also, as is often the case with large smartphones, a fair amount of background noise slipped its way into the call.

Speakerphone quality was also quite good. Those receiving my calls detected only a slight difference in quality when I switched to speakerphone in a quiet environment.  I found that the voices of those I was calling were clear as well, so long as I didn’t turn up the volume too high. 

Camera Quality

The Samsung Droid Charge camera comes with LED flash and the now standard number of megapixels for flagship Android phones (8.1) as well as a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. Of course, those raw stats don’t tell us much about the quality of the pictures taken, so let’s look at some samples.

I’m not a great photographer, so I took a few photos around my apartment and outside, including not only these samples but some additional shots as well. 

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Overall, the Charge’s quality is impressive. Images were extremely clear, and taking shots in low-light environments wasn’t difficult. With this said, however, I think the Charge’s quality may be “too” good – that is to say, the colors appear overly saturated. 

This was most notable in the outdoor shot, where the greens are intense and vivid. This shot was taken on a cloudy summer’s day, and the picture from the Charge was noticeably exaggerated in comparison to reality.

I also noticed, in the low-light shot of the Snatch DVD, that the LED flash does not appear to be as bright as the dual-LED flash on the Thunderbolt. This difference is minor, however, and I was more satisfied with the Charge’s performance in moderate lighting conditions that did not require the flash but still taxed the camera’s capabilities. 



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 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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