Apr 15 AT 11:01 PM Russell Holly 16 Comments

Hands on with the Samsung Droid Charge!

LTE is really great if it’s in your area already. Even though the network is not fully populated when compared to WiMAX in it’s infancy, it’s still much much faster, and relatively low latency. It’s a mobile network that routinely puts low end cable and DSL ISP’s to shame in my opinion. The HTC Thunderbolt, the first Verizon LTE device, has seen high consumer adoption primarily because it’s connected to LTE. We know that Verizon has big plans for LTE, and part of those plans are getting handsets out in a hurry. The Thunderbolt and a previously unnamed 4G LTE phone from Samsung has been leaked, touched, and slotted for a “soon” release. We got to spend some time with the next big phone on Verizon Wireless, so take a look!


As is typical when comparing HTC and Samsung, the Droid Charge is a very different feel in the hand. Samsung’s recent tendency to make everything shiny light plastic has absolutely carried over to this phone. It’s also significantly lighter than the Thunderbolt, which is also expected. The 4.3″ screen is yet another of Samsung’s really incredible screens, now dubbed SAMOLED+ to signify deeper colors and much less power usage. When reviewing the device, we were not in an LTE area, so the battery life was terrific, though not an immediate indicator of good battery life when in LTE land. The phone has an almost badge shape, with a matching badge shaped notch in the battery plate for the 8 megapixel camera and LED flash. When traveling through Android 2.2 with TouchWiz on board, though the model we had was able to return to Stock, it was incredibly fast considering it was running the same Hummingbird processor found in the Galaxy phone line. All in all the experience was really positive. It was fast, light, supports LTE, and seemed to have much better battery life than the Thunderbolt.


I touched on this slightly already, but in the model we were using, the Droid Charge supported the ability to use the Stock Android 2.2 Launcher. With any amount of luck, this will be a trend for Samsung in the future, as it seems pretty popular. Whether in stock or in TouchWiz you can still take advantage of Samsung’s great widgets for aggregating social data, as well as access to Media Hub. Not much else has changed in the Samsung UI, especially for users who were lucky enough to get Android 2.2 on their Galaxy S device. The Camera app is still highly optimized, and the panorama shot mode has been further tweaked to allow for even better shots with the 8 megapixel camera. The real question regarding the UI will come later, when it’s time for the Charge to go 2.3 or higher.


Step for step, this seems like a direct competitor with the Thunderbolt, and truthfully the deciding factor here for many people will be of device preference. The Thunderbolt, even without the extended battery, is significantly heavier than the Charge. Plus, there’s quite a few people who prefer the shiny look to the matte look, and both companies seem to have done a pretty good job with their existing phones in terms of keeping the casing from peeling or cracking, so it becomes a personal preference deal at that point. The Charge is a fantastic device in my opinion, and it will lend itself quite well to Verizon Wireless’ arsenal of 4G LTE devices.

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  • http://Website geleth

    Didnt this article appear yesterday

    • http://www.lament.us lament

      It was pulled and cleaned up it looks like.

  • http://Website Rami

    So I was about to get the thunderbolt today but I didn’t. I have to have an unlocked bootloader so the bionic is a no go. The thunderbolt has a pretty bad battery life which htc is notorious for. Lg is just lg and they don’t make anything very good except the optimus 2x. I’ve had experience with the voyager and had to have it replaced 7 times! Is this better than the other galaxy s phones so is this better or the thunderbolt better. But I do need battery life so that might be a dealt breaker for the htc. Can anybody point me in the right direction?

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    I dunno why people say the tbolt has really bad batt life, I get awesome batt life 14 + easily on moderate use!!!

    • http://Website UniqueNate

      some people are not as lucky or they have unreal expectations and use the heck out of a device and still think they’re supposed to have more then half left.

    • http://Website Eli

      @snowbdr89…..uknow that is bull…..i hardly even use it during the but to merely check the time and by the end of my 8 hour shift my battery is at 20%. Really crappy if you ask me. Is this charge is what out says I will take over the tbolt any time.

      • http://Website sansenoy

        If you are using 3G watchdog, reduce the update interval. I had the same problem with my desire when I first got it, had no clue what was eating the battery… I suppose about half of all android battery life complaints are from people overloading their devices with widgets and background services…

        • http://Website sansenoy

          Also, turn off the WORST thing about Sense: weather widget is set to pull data for SEVEN locations by default, I’m not sure if other manufacturers do it…

  • http://Website Bob

    Where’s the hands on?

  • http://Website Steve

    That was my thoughts Bob. There is no hands on here.

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell

    What’s the big secret. No hands on oh well

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    @eli its not bull, unplug at 6am plug into charger around 1030 pm with about 40% left usually on moderate use, its called rooted running lightning rom

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    I also turn off the 4g radio, manually sync, no weather widgets my cpu set low

  • Alex

    The Droid Charge has a huge marketing campaign behind it, but does it deserve your attention? Read my blog article to find out: http://wp.me/p1wchx-3M

  • http://Website Neil

    When you compare the Charge and TBolt, the Bolt is purported to have an unacceptable battery, no HDMI!!!, a worse screen, heavier weight, and is thicker. So I think the choice in favor of the Charge is obvious. I decided to skip the TBolt and order a Charge for $249 and change, including a pre-installed 32GB Micro-SD card, from Walmart. As for all of those people who recommend waiting for the “perfect” phone, rather than buying the perfectly good Charge, they are forgetting that right now there is nothing better that can run on 4G LTE. The reason those “perfect” phones like the dual core Charge and iPhone5 aren’t being sold is that it’s not so simple to overcome the heating problems of dual core running on LTE. It has been rumored that that is why the Bionic and LTE compatible iPhone 5 wont’t be available until Q3 at the earliest. In the meantime, Verizon is ending unlimited data service. So anyone who waits for those better phones and fails to sign a contract now, will end up paying thru the nose for data. That just proves the old adage that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.”

  • http://Website Shawn

    @Neil, does anyone ever consider not buying any of this crap and forcing Verizon to lower their rates for data? I refuse to get sucked into paying these crazy rates for a cell phone. Why bother?