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DROID Charge Hands-on and First Impressions

It’s been almost 5 months since we first had our hands on the DROID Charge by Samsung, but I’ll tell you that our first impressions this time around are much better.  While the Charge sure hasn’t been the hottest of devices around these parts leading up to its Thursday launch party, I will say that it feels pretty damn good in person for those that have remained skeptical.  The weight is much more manageable than the HTC Thunderbolt, the Super AMOLED Plus screen is gorgeous, and the fact that it has HDMI-out is something worth noting.

I know that many of you are still worried about it ever receiving updates, however Samsung appears to be righting that ship by releasing source code after source code.  They still have some major kissing up to do to us though, but at least they seem like they are starting to care.

We just got the phone, so we haven’t had a chance to test battery life or tear apart TouchWiz yet, but don’t worry, that’s all coming.  In the mean time, you’ll want to take a look at the gallery below to see that this is a much more polished and handsome device than we’ve been seeing in a variety of press shots.

Full gallery after the jump.  

  • MSimoneau4

    I LOVE my Thunderbolt! My son has the iPhone 4 and my phone is definitely much faster than his….however, he does have greater battery life than mine!

  • Anonymous

    Is it SuperAMOLED Plus or just SuperAMOLED? Because if it is the latter that is a fairly big deal. Do you have a Fascinate to compare the screen to?

    And speaking of that seeing how quickly Samsung updated the Galaxy S lineup overseas (got Froyo out pretty quick and was the first non Nexus phone to get Gingerbread) I’d say the issue lies with the carriers (specifically Verizon and their search deal with Microsoft) and not Samsung.

    I hate Samsung’s plastic builds and Touchwiz is an iOS ripoff but I have gotten over blaming them for the update situation in the US.

    • ramifications

      It’s the first US phone with SuperAMOLED Plus. So yes, it’s a pretty big deal! I haven’t seen one in person, but I hear the screen is amazing.

  • Anonymous
  • Stephen D

    The more I see it, the more the design grows on me. It actually looks really awesome. Better than the black/silver rectangles that every other phone is. It has LTE support, which the Inc2 doesn’t, and it has a better screen and hardware than the TBolt.

  • Anonymous

    Droid-Life: please please please determine for good whether TouchWiz can be disabled leaving you with a stock-like device as has been hinted here:

    http://androidandme.com/2011/04/phones/exclusive-hands-on-with-the-samsung-droid-charge/

    The folks at that other blog don’t seem too keen on letting us know whether the final version of the Charge has this most excellent feature. I’m hoping DL will not leave us hanging.

    Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    is anyone else considering trading in their thunderbolt for this? after having a fascinate for 6 months, the tb still feels too heavy to me, and i miss the samoled vibrancy.. but can i live with such an ugly phone? gotta decide fast, i got 4 more days to return my tb

    anyone know if any devs plan to support the droid charge?

    • Pcman

      dude you need and eye check. Still trying to figure out why you think this phone is ugly

      • Anonymous

        the weird pointed shape, the hump in the back, the shaped physical buttons.. reminds me too much of my storm 1 lol.

        beauty is subjective, anyway

        • Pcman

          Well i had the opportunity to play with this phone @ ces and trust me it looks even better in person. Just go to Big red tomorow and check it out and see if you have the same opinion of it.

    • Anonymous

      I thought about upgrading to it from the Bolt (got mine on launch day so can’t return), but other than the S.AMOLED+ panel, I really can’t justify it.

      I’m also more partial to FWVGA screens as compared to WVGA ones. Really miss those 54 vertical pixels. Aside from more text message / email, or webpage view I use Launcher Pro on the D1 and DX with 5 rows and More Icons (4×1), so icons overlap on the WVGA screen on the Bolt. (I switched to SPB Shell) So upgrading from One WVGA to another don’t make much *sense* to me.

      The battery issue I think will remain; 100 more mAh won’t help and from my experience with my Nexus S, the battery savings on S.AMOLED panels don’t exist.

      Also the 1Ghz CPU is unnamed, so can’t be sure if it’ll be faster than the 2nd gen Snapdragon / Scorpion (MSM8655) on the Bolt. My experience wight the same apps is that it’s been faster than even the NS on Gingerbread, and run circles around my DX.

      The charge is also missing 256mb of RAM (768 vs 512mb on the Charge). Pretty sure this is part of the reason why it’s faster than the NS and DX on app launching and switching.

      Internal memory is also much lower on the Charge (8 vs 2GB on the Charge). But at least it’s coming with the 32GB SD like the Bolt.

      The Charge will have Swype pre-installed tho, so you won’t need to grab the beta. Also 2 more LTE Hotspot capability. But so far I’ve used up to 7 max at a time, and that was at an Engadget show, usually I only Hotspot 3 or 4 at most. Battery life is horrible as is already at 3.5 hours, with the Hotspot on I can barely make 2 hours. (bought the ext 2750 but that didn’t last a workday anyway, ended up with 2 extra reguar ones to last a full 10 hours)

      • Anonymous

        thanks for informative response! gonna check it out in store and see what i decide

  • http://profiles.google.com/neagtiveone Chris Leighton

    Ugh touchwiz and that stupid puzzle unlock screen is so… not droidy.

    • Anonymous

      hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha well said… minus the “droidy” hahahaha

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Forte/542650247 Michael Forte

      And laggy motoblur lockscreen is? I really want another stock Droid device, or even a Nexus device on Verizon.

    • Stephen D

      I hate the puzzle unlock, but TW has a built in lockscreen type chooser, and there are mods that give you 6 lockscreens to choose from. And it can probably be ported to the Charge very easily. That’s one of the little things that make TW a pretty decent skin in all reality.

  • Pcman

    I can’t believe some people think this phone is ugly. Must be blind, this one gorgeous phone and pics dont do it justice because i had the opportunity to play with this thing in person.

  • Pcman

    I can’t believe some people think this phone is ugly. Must be blind, this one gorgeous phone and pics dont do it justice because i had the opportunity to play with this thing in person.

  • Alvinm 77

    Im jealous…. Not of this phone but the fact that the Thunderbolt didn’t get the “DROID” name lol. I think it’s just an awesome branding. Not a big of Samsung due to some major issues I had with the Samsung Fascinate but the Charge looks nice. I wont judge it until I get hand on.

    This being VZW first 4G Droid branded phone I doubt there will be a lot of issues. I just hope Samsung comes correct with the updates this time around.

  • Mr Carteratl

    i’ll pass on this phone, i dont consider it a droid. NEXT……

  • http://www.facebook.com/mobrienjr Michael OBrien

    I gotta say that I love the look of it, I love the actual buttons and the contour. Sure it may not be “innovative” but it is nice. I hate touchwiz with a passion though. I am waiting to hear more about it

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Hey Kellex – so do you just buy these phones and add them to your account? How do you afford to buy all these costly phones and add all of them to your phone account to run them and use them??? I have always been curious how this works.

    • jason w.s.

      Yeah, me too man…i was about to ask the same thing. I was wondering how you’ve gone about getting these devices as of late.

    • Anonymous

      he gets sent review units. and the ones he really likes he buys. he took a pic of the phones he actually owns a couple days ago.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        I saw that photo, BUT how about the service. Do you just add all these phones to your account on like a family plan? Do you have to have like 5,6,7 data plans and 5,6,7 or so monthly phone contracts and such?? and, then how do you really use them all and is there 1 goto phone and the rest are just test phones..

        make a blog post on it Kellex.. explain the process

        • Anonymous

          its easy really all u need is 2 lines. you dont use all the devices at the same time. you switch them out whenever you want to use something different. it would make no sense to use all the phones at the same time but it gives you variety and lets you not get bored with having to use the same device every single day. i used to have 4 phones i switched between. X, Droid 2, Fascinate and a Ally.

          • FortitudineVincimus

            how do you switch so quick? how do you keep them all up to date with settings you like and such. 1 must have a lot of disposable income to buy at full retail and not on a contract. Sounds like a total PITA.

          • Anonymous

            lol its not that bad. craigslist and trading and having other people on my account with upgrades. its not as hard or expensive as you would think. to change phones all you have to do is dial *228 from the phone you wanna use… 30 secs later its up and running.

  • Juan_ortega92

    what is that bluish tint on the glass? i like that it doesnt make it so glossy

  • SKINNI

    I PICKED UP THE TBOLT ON RELEASE DATE (AFTER I HAD BAD EXPERIENCES WITH MY INCREDIBLE). NOW IM MISSING MY X & SERIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT PUTTING MY TBOLT ON CRAIGSLIST TONITE & PICKING THIS UP THIS WEEKEND. JUST NEVER PLAYED WITH WIZ & I KNOW THE PAIN OF SAMY’s UPDATES BUT IT COULD POSSIBLY HOLD ME OVER UNTIL THE END OF SUMMER FOR ANOTHER MAJOR MOTO LAUNCH

    • DROID

      Give your shift key a rest.

      • Anonymous

        didnt your parents ever teach you if you dont have nothing nice to say… at least make it witty…

      • SKINNI

        My bad. Forgot to kill CAPS Lock

    • jason w.s.

      Lol, sounds like you go thru devices like no other, :-P

      • SKINNI

        LOL yea i do! Got 4 lines on the account (myself, wife, daughter, & old laptop card line). Im the only one that cares about new phones so i use them all. OG Droid, Incredible, X, TBolt, & probably the Charge tomorrow if i like the UI. This will be the first i actually pay retail for though since they killed early upgrades. I can cover it though with the sale of the TBolt & my next upgrade comes in Jul so ill have it for probably the Bionic or my wife the Inc2 (still has a BB Pearl LOL) since she’s going to Afgahn for a year & can use the world phone. Ill still have another update come at the end of Aug so no problem.

        So anyone interested in TBolt???

        • Granted

          Yeah I’m interested I need more phones to test let the game I’m making on. What email address can I reach you at, and how much you think you will charge? Well just tell me in. an email after you give me the address. Hope you’ll haggle a little. I’ll check back here in a couple of hours so let me know soon please.

      • Anonymous

        i change my phone every 3 to 6 months. lol. my device list on verizon is 2 pages long lol

        • SKINNI

          I average 2-3 a year so yea u def got me beat! I do a good turnover rate though with the highend releases & not having to pay full retail

      • Anonymous

        i change my phone every 3 to 6 months. lol. my device list on verizon is 2 pages long lol

  • Anonymous

    I love sam,sung I really do.. they make the best LED TV’s too … but for some reason I DO NOT LOVE touch wiz or the look and design of this phone.. I will have to go play with it in the store anyways of coarse :p

  • Anonymous

    do the buttons light up?

  • http://twitter.com/drudometkin David R.

    Nice looking phone. Looking forward to a review.

  • DROID

    Please Vote this ^^ too.

    I don’t want people fighting over, “This android phone beats this android phone.”

    Lets all just stop and agree, that the IPhone is a piece of crap.

    Vote the with a nice “Thumbs up” if you agree, and please do so we can show fellow Droid Lifers!!

    • DROID

      Sorry, I forgot.

      This time you will be sent a cookie and a glass of milk.

      Cheers from,
      A fellow Apple hater.

      • http://www.agrstech.com Zephaniah

        I hate the iPhone like the rest of you. But what if it was running Android 2.3? I just want to know what you think. BTW, I pass on the Charge.

    • tanknspank

      Like “whore”..?

      People will see the comment and like it if they agree, no need to ask for it at all, let alone twice…

      • DROID

        Im sorry, ill stop.

        I just wanted it voted up to show us Droid Lifers.

        My bad. :/

    • jason w.s.

      Im failing to understand what it is that you’re trying to accomplish here with these posts kid. Why do you keep begging for likes? And these topics have had nothing to do with Apple or the iphone, so why do you keep talking about it? lol You are coming across really strange.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right, the motorola charm and Droid Charge are on equal levels.
      By your stupid logic the charm is better than the iPhone because it runs android.

  • Anonymous

    Please review the SuperAMOLED Plus screen in sunlight and compare it with other phones.

    • http://twitter.com/BrownDanielUSN Daniel Brown

      I second this, my wife is taking my X (she has my OG droid) and since she has an upgrade, I’m considering getting this or the Tbolt. I wanted to wait for the bionic, but can’t wait on a possible mid summer release.

  • Goblueboy

    is the HDMI out full mirroring or just bullshit like the droid x has?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10215724 Raj Bhatt

    I’d love to see a video of how smooth it runs being only single core.

    • Anonymous

      How do you think it runs, perfectly fine just like everybother high end single core phone out right now. I am so sick and tired of people and this dual core cock sucking fiesta thats started.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10215724 Raj Bhatt

        Only trying to future-proof as much as possible. I give it 6-8 months before it is obsolete. Feel free to enjoy it until then.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        hahahahaha… does what you describe qualify as DP?

      • DRoo

        Dude. Really? I don’t think it’s that serious. Even if it was a dumb statement. With all the advances the android platform and manufacturers are making, it would seem normal for people to wonder if the development jives well with the hardware. Maybe you should lay off the comment threads for a while if the small stuff gets you so fired up. Just a though.

        • Anonymous

          I think all you future proofers are going to be amazed at how long single core phones will be in the mix. Dual core isnt the only way to go, especially with a system like android. And I’m not fired up, Im just typing stuff that I think might fire up other people.

        • Anonymous

          I think all you future proofers are going to be amazed at how long single core phones will be in the mix. Dual core isnt the only way to go, especially with a system like android. And I’m not fired up, Im just typing stuff that I think might fire up other people.

  • Anonymous

    Why am I now considering this phone. The allure of 4G. I really was just going to get an incredible2.

    • Anonymous

      I know–upon seeing shots of this phone, I’m actually now having similar thoughts. Love HTC though…sigh…

      • 787

        then get a thunderbolt

      • Anonymous

        Video on the way. Oh, and Incredible 2 coverage will start in about 10 minutes. :)

        • DROID

          Thanks!! You do a great job at supplying us all with info on two great android phone!

        • Anonymous

          hey any update on the charging pad?

        • Anonymous

          also is there an led on the phone so u can know if you got a message or something?

    • Anonymous

      its one pretty phone… im starting to consider it too…

    • Anonymous

      This phone looks surprisingly sexy… wow 0_o

  • Anonymous

    between samsungs upgrade record, or lack there of, and touchwiz….i’m going to pass on this one.

    • Anonymous

      Touchwiz isn’t nearly as bad as blur though. ;)

      • Anonymous

        it doesn’t really matter if something bad is better than something worse. as long as it is there, it is still bad, lol.

      • http://www.agrstech.com Zephaniah

        Blur is far better then Wiz. Blur meaning the version on the Droid 2 and Droid X. At least you can tell that it is still running Android.

        • Anonymous

          yeah, but blur is slow and laggy as hell. touchwiz is faster in my experience.

  • droidRed

    yay first!!!