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Samsung Fascinate Review

As the newest Android phone to land on Verizon, the Samsung Fascinate has to compete directly with the Droid franchise which as you may have expected, sparked our interest immediately.  There is something exciting about seeing the next batch of Android devices on their quest to not only drive this mobile OS, but to bring a level of competition that forces manufacturers to continue to innovate and push technological boundaries.  Did the Fascinate do all of those things? We’ll find out.

Before you read the full review of the Samsung Fascinate, you may want to check out our unboxing video which gives a nice walkthrough of the device’s exterior, plus a brief hands on with its TouchWiz custom UI.

The Good:

  • Screen:  How can you not instantly fall in love with a 4″ Super AMOLED screen?  It really does feel like the perfect screen size.  I still have yet to re-adjust my grip to reach the notification bar or top left corner for an app like I do almost hourly with my DX.  And you’ve got to love the weight of the device which you can almost 100% thank this super thin screen for.
  • Battery Life:  The battery life on Super AMOLED phones, especially the Galaxy S lineup is supposed to be horrendous, however, I actually found a good deal of life.  On Saturday night, I took to the town around 6:30PM, pounding Foursquare in a pub crawl, taking pictures, sending texts and making calls all the way up until 2AM and still woke up with 30% left on my charge.  Not bad right?
  • Gaming:  If you watched our unboxing video, you probably noticed the 60FPS during our Quadrant benchmark.  And let me just say that in an actual game, this phone performs that exact same way.  I put it through the works in both graphics heavy first person shooters and then simple animated games like Angry Birds and loved the performance.  The GPU on the Fascinate is unmatched.
  • Feel:  You can’t help but love the feel of this device. It’s ultra light, has an amazing screen and is incredibly thin.  The first time you pick it up, I guarantee you’ll come away impressed at the design, feel in hand, and ease at which it slides in and out of a pocket.  No humps here folks.
  • Call Signal/Quality:  No issues with call or signal quality.  Phone gets plenty loud, works as expected on Verizon’s rock solid network; new Fascinate owners should be able to avoid the antenna-gate category for sure.

The Not-so-Good:

  • TouchWiz:  Uggh.  If you thought Blur on the Droid X and 2 was laggy, wait until you get a minute with TouchWiz.  Overall it looks really pretty, has a bunch of flashy colors and live wallpapers, seems to function in a semi-intelligent way, and then you actually use it.  What’s with the puzzle piece theme?  If this is going to compete with the manly Droid lineup, adding kid toys to your OS skin might not be the direction to go.  I also found that doing something as simple as setting a ringtone for a specific contact was quite the chore.
  • Android 2.1:  We thought about giving TouchWiz a break and blaming everything on Android 2.1, but that’s not really fair.  However, having Android 2.1 on a phone launching weeks after phones have begun to launch with 2.2 is simply not OK.  What makes it even worse, is that Samsung has yet to give us any definitive timeframe as to when their Galaxy S lineup will receive an update to 2.2.
  • Software Package:  An Android phone not coming pre-loaded with the entire Google mobile app package is about as odd as Paris Hilton not spending monthly scheduled drug bust time in jail.  Bing?  Really?  It doesn’t even include multi-touch in its map feature.  Spare me the competitors, just give me Google and life will be grand.
  • GPS:  Every GPS I’ve used on a phone since the Droid 1 has been pretty poor and the Fascinate falls right in line.  One tip that will save you some frustration though, is to make sure all of your location services are checked or the phone may never find you.  It’s not the worst I’ve used, but it definitely struggles at times, even while connected to wi-fi and sitting on a non-enclosed deck.
  • ButtonsKeys:  The lock button on this phone is about enough to make me chuck it out the window.  I’m still trying to figure out why Samsung thought it would be intelligent to put this button on the side of the device.  Try locking your phone without hitting the volume rocker switch.  It’s impossible.  The soft keys were also a little irritating at times.  Not only do they go to sleep in 1.5 seconds, but you are then left guessing as to where they might be on a completely black glass screen.
  • Camera:  This actually started out in the “Good” section and as I continued through the review, it had to be moved.  5MP?  Really?  The picture quality of shots taken with the camera aren’t bad at all, but with the Incredible and Droid X both sporting 8MP beasts, you’ve got to come strong.
  • Look:  It actually does resemble an i*od Touch or i*hone 3GS quite a bit.  Bad news.

Camera Shots:

(right click, “open image in new tab”)

Video Action:

The Verdict:

The Samsung Fascinate doesn’t disappoint in look and feel, but the custom OS skin, lack of Google experience apps and Android 2.1 are a pretty substantial turn-off at this point.  We understand that the phone will get Android 2.2 someday, but until then we’re not ready to adopt our new Verizon Android relative.  Like I said, the phone doesn’t disappoint in some aspects, and it will surely fit the niche of users looking for something slightly different to that which accompanies the “Droid” name.  And while I’m not about to call this device anything less than a winner, I’m just not ready to put it up there with the Droid X or Incredible.  It has an amazing screen and specs to put many phones to shame, but it’s just not ready to play with the big dogs until it gets one major OS update, a Bing removal and a LauncherPro installation.

And stay tuned later this week for the Droid 2 vs. Droid X battle!

  • kasandramillls

    I bought this one after my Blackberry Bold 9930 and I am very impressed. I have two others and neither look as good or feels better than this one. Also a Samsung Fascinate Skin should be a mandatory purchase with the phone because you will love it. Sleek, form fitting, and rubber accent on the edges keep the availability of the keys on the outside in use.

  • meyersnatalie1

    well what if you just want that phone for searching and calling and texting? is it then a good phone? 

  • Cellstoreonline.com

    Great review. I’ve had my Fascinate for a while now. I can honestly say its the best smartphone that I’ve had….I’m saying this after coming from a Blackberry Storm. Keep up the good work Samsung!

  • Bnitschke

    I just got my Fascinate and what pisses me off the most is the stupid timeout on the home buttoms. I took those for granted on my former phone (droid 1). But not only doese this phone flip the home/menu buttons, but I cant even see the darn buttons in most low light.

    There is plenty to love (and hate) about this phone. But the home light seems like such a stupid bug to let slip through QA.

  • Bnitschke

    I just got my Fascinate and what pisses me off the most is the stupid timeout on the home buttoms. I took those for granted on my former phone (droid 1). But not only doese this phone flip the home/menu buttons, but I cant even see the darn buttons in most low light.

    There is plenty to love (and hate) about this phone. But the home light seems like such a stupid bug to let slip through QA.

  • Realestateshawna

    Help…………..my Droid Fascinate sucks at delivering my cox.net mail. I have the K9 app. downloaded and still no luck. Anyone else having email trouble that has found a solution. Please advise.

  • Free1_30240

    Just go to google.com to search for stuff. GAH!
    Til they let you use google automatically.

  • Frances

    I agree 100 % I had the Incredible thought I upgraded when I stwiched to the Samsung Fasinate I did not know it was a down grade. I can't stand BING It's a waste of time. I miss google maps and adding events with addresses and just hitting th address and your on your way . You did not have to think with the Incredible It did it for you . So My question is Does anyone know if the 2.2 will offer an improved naviagation? and easy vocie commands and a better google search I miss that stuff on my Incredible I am actually thinking about going back to the Incredible but In one way it looks like a dinosaur next to my Fasicante but much more reliable . Howver if 2.2 will offer what I had with the incredible I'll stay Any advise?

  • I'm so happy with my new unlocked cell phones! This has an unbelievably fast processor, great feel and easy to text on. I used to own a unlocked htc phones, but I'm so much happier with my brand new unlocked samsung phones. This Samsung Fascinate is so much better for my business and pulls my email in so much faster. And I really couldn't be happier with it since it is an unlocked tmobile phones and it's a unlocked 3g phones I can take it overseas. My family loves my new phone and can't get enough of the games. I'm going to purchase another one for my son for his birthday from gsmauthority.com. Definitely would recommend this phone.

  • Thompson Andyj

    …if you root the phone and or install a custom ROM…you eliminate almost all of the negative aspects of this review.

  • Not to mention the phone freezing up, and not turning back on, 3 of them, one with no apps downloaded.

    Sold and went back to DX

  • Satisfied

    I have had my Fascinate for 3 weeks now, and I simply love it. Having had PDA's and SmartPhones for over a decade, and this is, by far, the most useful and well rounded device I have had to date. While I agree the lock button is inconveniently located on the side vs HTC's location on the top, it works well with your thumb once you get used to it. The camera takes stunning images, just remember it is a phone, not a DSLR. I have added LauncherPro, removed Bing, installed all the Google search apps including maps, and even rooted it to allow Wireless tethering. The ONLY major problem I have with the Fascinate is absence of a forward facing camera to enable video teleconferencing. Battery life? Don’t ask…I keep a charger at my bedside, my office, and my car. Oh well, you can't have everything…

  • Drspaztic

    Have had the Fascinate for a week now. Love it! Anything more than 3MP is plenty, go buy a camera if you think you need more. Pics on the Fascinate are outstanding, plus it has a flash. Not to mention the outstanding HD Video. Agree on the location of the off/lock button, but with use (as with anything) it becomes easier. Android 2.2 is due to be released late October (hoping this is not just a rumor). Looks like a i*one 3GS?? That's why I bought it!!! Was tired of Apple's proprietairy stuff, but loved the phone. Agree with not wanting Bing on my Google phone. Seems this may be another Microsoft ploy (like IE) to make us use their products. Could this be another anti-trust? Have found some methods online of removing Bing, however, not sure if I'm comfortable entering the root to make changes, especially from unknown sources. Still have not found a fix nor a Google Search App available on Market. I have LauncherPro installed, perhaps it has been updated.

  • Sh

    Did you take the pictures above with a Driod X? They are pretty blurry.

  • Dave

    You didn't even Mention SWYPE, which I can't live without now.

  • URNIdiot

    You realized that the ammount of MPs doesn't represent the quality of the picture on something as small as a cell phone screen, right? Take that 2MP picture and print it out as an 8×6 print, and it won't look near as good as the 5MP picture printed out at the same size.

  • URNIdiot

    You realized that the ammount of MPs doesn't represent the quality of the picture on something as small as a cell phone screen, right? Take that 2MP picture and print it out as an 8×6 print, and it won't look near as good as the 5MP picture printed out at the same size.

  • Justin

    i have had all the droids and this is far better than all of them very light very crisp colorful screen makes other droid screens look faded. very fast gps works fine, very good battery life. highly recommend.

  • Ktmotoxer

    The Fascinate looks to iphoney to me.
    Icons and all. I'll take my DX over that iphone clone any day. But that screen does bring a tear to my eye ha ha.

  • Samiam_18

    I went to turn the light on the background down and accedently turned it all the way down and now the screen is black and i have tried taking out the battery but all it does is make noise what do i do ??

  • Dave4321

    You would think that an Android site would note that touchwiz can easily be replaced by launcher pro or ADW in 30 seconds. This isn't rocket science.

    Stop with the megapixel comments. With sensors this small, more megapizels make photos look WORSE.

  • Brad

    Wow, such harsh feedback comments. I hate Bing as much as the next guy, but using that as a sole reason to hate this phone? Really? Hmm, let's see. Install Google Maps and Navigation, and set as default map and nav apps. Then, set browser homepage to Google, open browser, do search. Not that hard. Also, install Google search widget from the market (if it doesn't show up, use AppBrain and Fast Web Installer to push it down). Okay, okay, for all you diehards out there, no, it's still not fully integrated search, but I guarantee you it won't be long before the code monkeys figure out a way to fix that. Remember, the Vibrant has a virtually identical ROM, except for having Google apps instead of Bing. I'm sure somebody can figure out how to do a transplant of the search components. 😉

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    Portland Beavers? You actually went to a Portland Beavers game? Hopefully it was to kick em in the ace on the way out the door for a real sport. 😉

  • Socalrailroader

    If that review could be any more biased towards the Droid phones, I don't know how. Next time, review a phone on it's OWN merits, and this phone has a lot.

  • Rogue_5

    Even after reading this review, i am still on the fence about getting this one. I got to play with it to know for sure.

  • Shopbuy11

    How long does it take for the home screen to show all the icons after spending 5 minutes in the browser? If it's instant, I say it's a winner. I have yet to find a D1 2.2 ROM/launcher that can do that in less than 10 seconds.

  • carlos

    like hi say, the phone will get 2.2 someday or will be root, we can manually replace bing, download de googles app etc but the sleep bottonskey will never be replace.

  • How come you didn't mention that you can just turn off TouchWiz? Both the Fascinate and Epic allow it out of the box to go to a vanilla experience. You simply go into your applications, and find touchwiz and clear the defaults. Hit the home button and you'll be present with Launcher and Touchwiz. Tap use as default and tap launcher and you have your vanilla galaxy s! So many reviewers have overlooked this important feature on this phone. Granted you would then still be stuck with a vanilla 2.1 launcher which isn't anything special, so you might as well load ADW or Launcher pro anyway. Also to point out, those apps don't run on top of other launchers, the phone only runs one launcher at a time, so you wouldn't be running launcherpro on top of Touchwiz, you would be running it instead of Touchwiz.

  • I still think I'm going to get this phone on Thursday. Just a matter of time before it's rooted and then who cares about TouchWiz, Bing and Android 2.1. =)

  • Fawzi94


  • algeealgee

    Does anyone know the size of the power input port on this phone? Or how about on the droid 2, incredible, or droid x. I've recently noticed that the original droid and Evo can share chargers which makes me think the incredible might too… Not needing to buy new accessories is a plus.

  • DennisthemennisN

    When you say the Fascinate doesnt disappoint in look/feel, why do you put it bad news as “Look: It actually does resemble an i*od Touch or i*hone 3GS quite a bit. Bad news.”
    Are you trying to say something!? lol

    Anyway, Im happy with my D1 for the time being. Don't see a good enough reason to pay to go to a DX……. even though I really want one.(I actually mean I have no money :L) Anyway, I am sure by the time 1.5yrs rolls by there will be some(a lot of) beast Droid(s) on the market.

  • Nabooska

    Great review!!

  • 11knives

    How do I get that niffty lock screen on my DX? Oh and btw, you people think the DX battery life sucks, this thing is gonna power from it's battery like a hungry baby suckin on… well you know where I'm goin with this. lol

  • Donnyd

    oh the hardware and quality of the droid x is awesome….but the camera is complete garbage!!!! The worst camera ive ever used PERIOD!! Megapixel means nothing!!!! If anyone is wondering if they should get a droid x or fascinate….go with the samsung!!! trust me!! Its faster, better gpu, and better screen (a tad smaller)

    • Brad

      Of course the megapixel spec means nothing. Well, next to nothing. All that is is a measurement of the maximum physical size of the image you're taking. The bigger the size, the larger the printout you can take without it looking grainy due to artificial enlargement.

      A 5MP camera should be PLENTY big enough for almost any individual. The what determines the quality of a digital camera is the lens and the digital imaging processor. If you've got a poor quality lens, and a cheap imaging processor, then you're not going to get a high quality image. I don't know when people started expecting SLR-quality photos out of a cell phone, but we're certainly a long ways away from that ever happening. However, cameras in phones are continually getting better. One needs only to look at the quality of the cameras on so-called flagship model phones over the past few years to see this. The cameras in these top-end Android phones are probably about as good as the mainstream standalone cameras of a few years ago. They will just get better and better as time goes on. Just remember that cost is ALWAYS a factor in the cameras that go into these phones. Sure, I'm somebody could stuff a really, REALLY good camera in a smartphone, but I don't see anyone wanting to pay $400-500 for a phone after subsidy discounts.

      As it stands now, the camera in the Fascinate will be plenty good enough for me. It's significantly better than what my lowly Droid Eris is capable of, so I will be happy regardless. Can't wait until tomorrow so I can order mine! (not eligible for upgrade until 9/9 *sigh*).

  • DonnyD

    Yes im saying IM a droid X owner……….Blur sux. Sense UI is good and Touch wiz 3.0 is better. I had the HTC incredible before the droid x!!!

    Phones ive had Htc eris, moto droid 1, htc incredible, droid x (my htc incredible was better than droid x), …..guys from what ive noticed there is no noticeable difference in any phone when there is no application that can take advantage of the phones power….but in all my little experience with the ATT Captivate…i loved it!!! I will be getting the FASCINATE unless and this is a big unless…..the Palm Pre 2 gets announced in 2 days. 🙂 The Android phones are Awesome in power but the OS is lacking because noone GOOD is making Apps. just being honest.

  • D2enigma

    Current D1 user. Got to play with fascinate yesterday and it was quite unbelievable.
    Not sure why all those people would just bash on it only because it doesn't have the name “Droid” Seems pretty pathetic to me. War within our Android community? geese.. not cool.
    Keep in mind. It is Android. therefore, you will have all the features you would have on other “Droid” phones on this fascinate as well. Not sure whether it is rooted yet or not, but I'm almost certain that it will be and you can put your own pretty them on it. I personally thought that the UI on the fascinate was quite cool. Definitely better than Sense UI for sure. Speed, Screen quality, lightness, slick body.. I mean what more can I ask for, right? If I wasn't stuck in this stupid contract, I would head over and get one right now. It is one hot phone.

  • Thanks for the review, Kellex!

    I'm with most posters on the camera. I've seen and used both. The Fascinate camera quality is better (sharper, specifically) than the Droid X. Sure, X is 8MP, but I don't often print out my cell phone photos at 8×10, and if I do, I've got genuine fractals to upsize the image. I can always make an image bigger, but if it starts off with poor quality, there's nothing to be done about it.

    As far as Bing, touchwiz, etc.. unless you're not going to root your phone (you're not? why are you here?), that's all easily changeable. That's like not buying your dream laptop because it came with MS Works instead of MS Office. Just wait a week (if even that long) for root, and remove / install what you want.

    Froyo will be out eventually. Yes, you'll probably get it on the X first (officially). When it's released 8-9 weeks later for the Galaxy S this point will be moot.

    If you've got the patience to customize this phone, it'll be sleek, fast and amazing. If you've got to have it all cutting edge, all right now, you should have an N1 anyways. 🙂

  • One_ina_milli

    I couldve waited and got this instead of the droid x,i knew it was coming before I made my choice.sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision :/

  • Binglut9

    You all are crazy this phone is horrible 2gb of storage sucks bing suckks, touchwiz laggy and always sucks, the only good thing about this phone is the screen and if you buy a phone based on screen your a moron. Most people on here are dillusional the guy said the camera at first is good until he got to play around with it and its not up to par with recent phones released oh and no froyo sucks. This phone is a little late for the parade im sry if it came out 3 mon ths ago would of been awsome its old and outdated samsung did a horrible job and when I went into verizon the lady told me to forget it and get a dx or di thanks and stop being dillusional

    • wow rage much?? haha seriously, you need to calm down, its not like its an important phone, its not even a droid lol.

    • Jungle_jewfro

      it has a 16gig chip that comes out of the box +2gig internal moron.

  • kellex

    Forgot to mention, no LED notification light. Yikes.

    • MuddyB00ts

      That is a big step backwards. I love that I can leave my droid on my desk and not have to hit the button every other minute, if I had this phone, the battery life would suck for me…

  • Strange_creation3000

    Should u kinda wait to battle droid2 vs. droid X till the X gets the official 2.2 ota update to make it an even playing field

  • Kuzaak29

    I wouldn't use this phone if it were free thanks to Verizon screwing it up with Bing.

  • Fascinated

    can't you download google maps and search from the market and use that instead of Bing???

    • Hugo Stiglitz

      Of course you can. but that won't stop people from bitching…

      • Droid2UserY

        You cannot download Google Search at all from the market on this phone.

        • Brad

          How would you know, unless you already had this phone in hand? The Google Search Widget should be visible in the market, and even if it's not, you can push it down from AppBrain.

  • Interesting note on the release TOMORROW of the Samsung Fascinate… Where are the ads from Verizon's crack marketing squad? Interesting that VZW is pretty much ignoring this phone.

    • Samsungs handling the commercials and ive seen a few. Id imagine that verizon wants to stay as close to the Droid Brand as possible, its sort of their thing.

  • If the camera works great I don't see any reason to give it such a know just because it doesn't have 8 mega-pixels. We all know that the iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera but is known to be one of the best, if not the best camera on a mobile phone. Please don't do such a disservice to your readers by promoting the idea that more mega-pixels = better camera.

    I'm up for new every 2 in 1 month and am considering this phone. I would need to know first that I can install ADW Launcher or Launcher Pro and that I would be able to somehow get Google search as default. Bing search is not going to cut it and it's unbelievable that they don't give you a choice.

    I would also wait till someone roots the phone and figures out a way to load custom ROMs.

    I tried it's sibling at AT&T store and was very impressed. I do agree that 4″ is really a perfect size that does not feel a bit too large like the Droid X does.

  • All I care about in a phone is its gaming capabilities. This phone would look great to me if it had 512MB of RAM… If I can't be sure I will be able to run a custom Gingerbread ROM down the road I don't know if I want to jump from DInc to this…

  • I'm a techy type of person so I might be inclined to go along with some of the aspects mentioned in this review. Having said that, if I happened not to be so technical, something at which a majority of the smart phone buying population are not, I find some of these points exaggerated.

    For instance the issue of a 5mp camera vs an 8mp camera.

    We are talking about 5 millions colors vs 8 million colors. Unless you have eyes like a bee, you are never going to notice all those colors. You won't even notice all the colors in a 1 mp camera. I can't see Susan DeHammershimd from accounting in her tri-focal have that on the top of her list.

    TouchWiz. My only objection is I hate saying it. But it is what it is. Most get the phone demo'd and make a purchase. Software updates should fix any lag it may have.

    Bing as a default. I like Bing. It is my default search engine. But as a search engine on this handset, most people who buy it won't care.

    But if I want a search choice, I will need to chose a different phone. This ain't the one. This is one of those non issues that we in the tech community discuss that large majorities of cell phone users will never have issues with or bring up. Great review overall.

    • Snowblind64

      Millions of PIXELS not colors. And you call yourself techy. lolz

      • KleenDroid

        I was thinking the same thing …lol.

  • 1T2dirtnap

    Man how I would love to have a 4″ screen on my DInc. Still this phone comes up short IMO.

  • Onemkb

    so is there something stopping you from installing launcher pro and google maps? cause im really confused by this review.

  • xFenixKnightx

    I actually like i*ones design but have always said its screen is too small and prefer Android. So this is WIN IMO. Vibrant and Captivate both feel awesome so I bet this one feels just as good. Id prolly put LP on it anyway. Download Maps and I'm sure a Google search widget apk will be out there soon. Looks like a winner to me.

  • DoubleDipper

    Its sad that samsung seems like the only major phone manufacturer still intent on making iPhone copies. They went out of their way to make TouchWiz and the Tab's keyboard and mail app look very apple-esque. HTC and moto have some awesome phone and samsung has so much potential if they triend to be more original.

    I have a iPhone 4 and Droid 1 and I love the Droid more of course 😉 also efuse and locked boot loaders suck.

  • DonnyD

    I played with the captivate and it blows the Droid X out the water……..and im a Droid X owner!!!!! Touch Wiz 3.0 is better than sense ui………much better!!!!!!!!!!!!!! go to a ATT store and play with the captivate!!!!

    • quiklives

      The Droid X doesn't have Sense UI.

      • MuddyB00ts

        No but it's but another 3rd party skin, I don't own either but I think the general consensus is that Sense>Blur so it means more to say that TouchWiz is better than that… At least I think that's what he's saying…

        • I think he's just trolling. Who uses that many exclamation points for real?

        • ReebX

          Some people may agree, but others (like me) think that sense is god awful ugly. I will agree with anybody that says that blur its laggy, but it does have its uses. Am I the only one that thinks Sense is one of ugliest things to hit smartphones?

          That being said, I really do think the galaxy s line its trying too hard to be I&hone like, when it could have been so much more. AKA groundbreaking like the original Droid.

          One more thing… you think Moto is slow on updates? Good luck on EVER getting an update from Samsung.

  • gothdroid

    I have been using the Galaxy S since it came out for T-Mobile. I can tell you that once you install either LauncherPro or ADW it becomes a completely better phone. I hate touchwiz, but the specs of the phone and the using the phone itself is amazing.
    Oh and Kellex, hold the phone in your left hand with your meaty portion of your hand below the volume rocker and reach around the back of the phone, you will be able to press the lock/unlock button without touching the volume rocker.

    • balthuszar

      famous words “dont hold it like that!”

    • kellex

      I'm just not a lefty phone guy. Hate that damn lock switch.

      • Mrpicolas

        Lol all hail lefties!!! Lefty here:-}

  • Chris Nimon

    Friend just rooted his (at&t) and is loving it. When this gets rooted/roms i'll be all over this thing. Unless a better phone comes out by then 😀

  • Flyinion

    How is the rooting community for the Samsung Android phones, anyone know? I know they don't lock down their bootloaders like Moto but haven't really looked to see what they have for custom ROMs and such. I guess my point is, if there's a decent ROM community for them, who cares what it came with stock as long as the hardware is good and you're willing to root and load custom ROMs on the phone 🙂

    • Chris Nimon

      I know its rooted and has had Froyo roms out for it since about July 28th. Dont know about the kernel.

      • Flyinion

        Cool. As much as I love my D1, with all the phones now coming with non-Google experience UI's and Moto insisting on locking their bootloaders, if this doesn't improve by the time I go after my next phone I may jump ship to another mfr. who is more open.

      • MuddyB00ts

        I read on the XDA forums that the root method is just flashing an update.zip that modifies the kernel, it opens it up for overclocking, etc., but another guy said that overclocking was still super experimental and they had gotten it up to 1.6gHz but weren't sure when it would be stable.

  • I turned this thing down when I saw the puzzle piece lock screen. What a stupid gimmick. Google has good designers and programmers and they are giving you an awesome OS for free. Why spend time and money to F it up?!

  • jiggaman508

    I'm definitely looking forward to the d2 vs dx battle 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Unless the X has 2.2 it won’t be a fair matchup. The 2 is a fabulous phone!

      But the X having such a large screen is nice.

  • How is it possible that an Android phone releasing this late in the game doesn't ship with 2.2?

    • Brad

      Hmm, possibly because this is just another copy (more or less) of the original Galaxy S, which was released quite a while ago, while Eclair still ruled the world. Please note that there have been leaked Froyo builds of the Galaxy S ROM available for a while now (at least three versions; check YouTube for videos), and it’s already been stated that Samsung is aiming for a late September release of Froyo on the Galaxy S. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the US variants will get it at the same time, but I see no reason why we shouldn’t all be on Froyo before the end of the year.

  • Kdkinc

    Touch Wiz was a joke on the Omnia i920,
    Why would it suddenly be good here. Note to Samsung: build phones, please get out of U/I business…

  • machinegun68

    I was actually impressed with the unboxing and its specs, but just like all devices, until you put your hands on it, it's a whole different ball game.

  • Rain_king46

    The Bing thing is all Verizon. Verizon has been pushing Bing on their phones for a couple of years. I was surprised to not see it on the DX honestly. If they have to include the Bing stuff to fulfill an existing contract with Microsoft, fine. But in my opinion, they need to get out of that contract and partner up with Google as soon as possible. Having to download Google services to an Android device just seems silly.

    • quiklives

      From what I was told…Verizon is switching their default search engine to Bing currently. The (Verizon employee) person who was talking about this went on to point out that Ap*le has switched to Bing recently, and implied that there is a correlation (as in VZW getting an i*hone soon) but of course wouldn't say so.

    • Junk

      Wrong. It has been posted several times over the last few months on various sites that Samsung inked a deal with Microsoft. Eventually all Samsung devices will have the full Bing suite, on all carriers, not just VZW

  • Andrew Hewitt

    I'm excited for the D2 vs. DX battle. I just got a DX but the battery life is absolutely the most awful thing in the world (I get 6 hours max with absolutely no use) and I'm guessing I probably have a defective battery and/or phone but I got it on craigs list so theres not much i can do besides trade for a D2. I was considering trading for the fascinate when it came out but this review just turned me off of that.

    • Mes215

      Why don't you just get a new battery? I have a DX, and battery life is pretty solid. With mild usage of e-mail, texting, browsing, listening to podcasts, watching video podcasts & playing games it lasts me from 8am until just about 11:30pm, of course my use increases after work when I'm out and about. With light use, I've had it last me two work days without a recharge.

      Another thing that I can think off, as affecting your battery may be either a bad app that's eating your battery, or maybe having the phone set to Performance mode which would drain it a lot faster.

      • Andrew Hewitt

        I was considering that, but then if its a defective unit then I just wasted 50 bucks on an extra battery.

        It could also be that im rooted and running the leaked froyo? But then again I looked it up and nobody else seems to have bad battery life with it.

      • quiklives

        I haven't had any battery troubles with my DX either. I use it at work (Best Buy) as a demo for Android, use it at home for email, text, games, and calls. I charge it every night but it often has 30% left when I plug it in and go to bed.

    • ReebX

      If you use a task killer, get rid of it. Also get rid of any widgets that update hourly, or earlier. After I did that, its not uncommon for my DX to go 16-20 hours of normal usage. I can kill it in 4 hours if I’m playing SNESoid nonstop, but that’s to be expected. 🙂

      Edit: I just checked battery manager, and its been 20 hours, 29 minutes since unplugged, and I’m still at 50% battery. Can the Samsung do that? Seriously doubt it. I’m running the default battery too, not the extended.

  • miauczak

    Hi love the x running 2.2

  • eleazar

    “Camera: This actually started out in the “Good” section and as I continued through the review, it had to be moved. 5MP? Really? The picture quality of shots taken with the camera aren’t bad at all, but with the Incredible and Droid X both sporting 8MP beasts, you’ve got to come strong.”

    Really? Really?! That's your reasoning? It's b/c of people like you that companies inflate megapixel numbers. Who cares if a camera has 8mp if a 5mp camera takes better pictures. The point of a camera is to take pictures.

    • Collinsclerk

      I've not played around with the Fascinate yet, but I did have a chance to put an Epic 4G through the paces at the Sprint store the other day and, in my opinion, the camera on the Galaxy S devices is one of it's strong suits. It is very, very smooth and fast, like the iPhone 4 camera, in terms of you just hit the button, it takes and boom is back and ready to go. The touch to focus is really, really smooth as well. The Droid X camera software, by comparison, is terrible. It takes days to focus, days to shoot once you hit the button and forever to re-set itself.

    • Unix Pimp

      I agree. While the sensor is very important to good pictures, the glass (lens) makes or breaks a DSLR, and the software on a digital camera is more important than the megapixels of the sensor.

      While a phone camera obviously does not have removable lenses like a DSLR, it still has a fixed lens, and it has software that controls the focus and processing of the image.

      I have used 3 MP camera phones that take better pictures than my DROID 1. The Froyo 2.2 update corrected a lot of the issues I had with the camera but I guarantee better onboard circuitry would yield better pictures, regardless of the megapixel size of the sensor.

    • Sf

      thank you, i was reading this and i felt he really dropped the ball. the phone is great and the only thing i would say i do not like is that it doesnt have a front facing camera and the gps ( which should be fix soon). touchwiz is not bad at all it is very nice and i like. all other custom rom change the android ui. and the guy complains about the phone having 2.1 while other have 2.2 this phone has been out since may in other countries so yeah… it would not have 2.2.

    • Hugo Stiglitz

      I was thinking PRECISELY the same thing when I read that. I’m very, very, very disappointed to read that here. I expect that type of thing from your average joe consumer, but not from Droid-Life. I expect more from a site like this. Color me disappointed.

      • Onemkb

        yeah, this is the type of review youd get from engadget, why not install launcher pro and google and give us a real review.

        • Junk

          you can only download google maps, not google search, and the Touchwiz is such a beast that putting Launcher Pro over it would kill your battery faster than you could blink. He was giving you a review based on the phone straight out of the box

          • Hugo Stiglitz

            You can download Google Search from the market. Set LP as your default home, restart the phone and Touchwiz is a memory until you decide to enable it. Like OnemKb stated, that’s the type of crap I expect to read at Engadget, phonedog, or CNET. This is Droid-Life, this site should be held to a higher standard.

            I don’t even own a Fascinate, so I’m not biased or anything. I’m just calling it like I see it.l

          • HolyGrail

            Hugo doesn’t know what he is talking about. You can’t download Google Search from the market. Google integration has been remove and replaced with Bing. The key word here is INTEGRATION. Its not a easy fix, and one you can’t just download from the market and fix.

          • Hugo Stiglitz

            You know, I won’t even bother attaching some snide comment with this post. I’ll just let the picture speak for itself


          • Veritasetlux

            You should have stuck with the snide comment, because the Fascinate is not a Droid 2/Droid X like that picture’s from. Verizon/Samsung *blocked* the ability to download the Google Search app from the marketplace. Just because one phone can download something doesn’t mean every other phone can…

          • HolyGrail

            Well that pic was a fail. I guess those words you used “should be held to a higher standard” should be applied to you.

          • Kytoga

            i’ve got this phone–got google maps ap and I made google my home page– very easy work around

          • Djkevinservices

            You cannot set LP on the Fascinate. I tried it on 3 different units, it made thescreen go black. The only display you had was turn on and off screens. Once LP installed only way to get it back is to hard reset the phone from the off position, done at Verizon store. Fed up with the Fascinate.

          • Mrpicolas

            if you download home switcher from the market you can set it as i have done it myself also you need to go into settings and clear the home launcher as default that i suspect is why you had the problem

    • Anonymous

      I agree …I expected more from the first review.
      I’ve seen 2 MP cameras that took better pictures then 5MP cameras.

      I think this review needs some further work.

    • Junk

      problem is, it take the pics of a mediocre 3MP at best. Calling it a 5 MP is being very generous. My Girlfriends 2MP Curve was almost as good

    • Edwardsnh

      FYI – On a similar/same chip, you generally want LESS megapixels, for pictures with less noise. Especially for night shots!

      • Ignacio Garcia

        Totally agree with you Edwardsnh…. the truth its that in these small sensors 5mp or 4mp will take better quality pictures less noise better dynamic range than 8mp or 12mp. this is because the photodiodes gets more light when have more space(5mp) than when are all squeeze(8mp) in a sensor(ccd or cmos). I think both devices the X and fascinate takes really nice pictures and are good alternative when you dont have your PS camera with you.

    • Redcivic97sir

      I completely agree… the difference between 5mp and 8mp the human eye cannot detect ( bad posting Droid life). plus I owned a Incredible prior to switching to the fascinate. the fascincate camera has a far superior zoom feature plus panorama.

      • Mrpicolas

        To the eye yes hard to tell on a mobile put that same photo on your computer and start zooming in you’ll notice the difference with cameras higher raw image quality is what countts ask any digital media designer or photographer

    • Jerry

      I went to the store and was going to buy the droid x or the droid 2. I ended up with the Fascinate unprepared. I held the phones in the verizon store and really liked the screen on the Fascinate. I have had no problems with the phone and am waiting for the 2.2 update. I have taken pictures/videos and am very impressed at the quality. I didn’t want a physical keyboard as I have been using the BB Storm since it came out and am used to no physical keyboard. I have to give this phone a 10 out of 10. Navigation is easy this phone exceeded my expectations on every aspect of the phone.

  • sc4fpse

    The crippling of this device really is tragic. Bing? I think I just threw up in my mouth. Touchwiz looks good, but if it runs as terribly as everyone is saying, then Samsung should be beaten upside the head with a rotting fish.

    Phone manufacturers need to realize that if they really want to stand out amongst the competition, they need to NOT put a custom UI on there. They need to leave stock Android on there. They'll be the only ones to do it, and our community will reward them immensely for that.

  • RichP

    Good review. I might consider it when rooted & I can put CM6 on it. I'm more concerned with pic quality not Megapixels.

  • durangojim

    Yeah, lack of google integration is a deal breaker for me. I'll pass and wait for the next HTC Droid _____ which will hopefully have a larger screen. Also First

    • Exactly what I'm thinking……and hopefully vanilla Android

      • xFenixKnightx

        It says sense on the back of it so I doubt it.

        • Yeah this one def has sense but I meant I'm hoping for the next HTC Droid to be vanilla

          • Anonymous

            The days of vanilla are most likely over. Carriers love to ruin android with their own crap. it will only get worse.

          • I hope you’re wrong…I think the G2 is supposed to be vanilla, isn’t it?

  • i wish the incredible came on this hardware. seems like a waste for 4″ super amoled.

  • Madcow06

    first? sorry had to do it

  • Jacob French08

    First!, i love my droid but this is pretty tempting!

    • Jazz_oo7

      This phone pwns pure and simple. The software issues are a moot point in an open OS environment. I for sure don’t buy a phone for pic quality. That’s what I have a camera for.

  • SMB

    This phone is basically a representation of Jessica Alba in a wheelchair. Beautifully crippled. Just sayin…

    • Anonymous

      Beautiful and crippled perhaps.