Conclusion and Final Thoughts

I have to admit that I like the Charge a lot. It’s thinner and lighter weight than the other 4G LTE handsets, and SAMOLED+ is both super contrasty and remedies my number one concern with AMOLED and SAMOLED by giving PenTile the axe. The phone has a lot going for it, and is an all around excellent performer both in throughput tests and application performance, minus the obtuse inclusion of RFS which brings it down in filesystem-centric benchmarks. I carried the thing around long enough to definitely get to know it well, and overall I came out impressed with Samsung’s 4G LTE handset, even if it really is a rebooted Galaxy S with a few Galaxy S 2 features and new basebands. To be honest, the Charge has gotten me incredibly excited for Samsung Galaxy S 2, which we’re going to finally review very soon. 

Positive things about the Charge said and done, the handset’s positioning by Verizon leaves me totally and completely confused. My confusion is namely over why Verizon picked the Charge as its premiere ‘Droid’ level 4G LTE handset over the Thunderbolt. The HTC Thunderbolt offers 256 MB more RAM, 2 GB more internal NAND, the best cellular architecture of the three with SVDO support, and on average better battery life with the stock battery (were we to normalize out the Charge’s 0.73 Whr battery size advantage, the TB is a fair margin more efficient). 

The main leg up the Charge has is Samsung’s much thinner and lighter build profile, Hummingbird SoC, and SAMOLED+, all of which earns the phone a $299 on-contract price. That’s a whole $50 premium over the already higher than normal $249 Thunderbolt and Revolution. I’m sure there’s some political reason for the whole thing, but it still is confusing. The pricing structure just seems wrong - the Thunderbolt and Charge seem like obvious front runners, followed by the LG Revolution for shoppers that want an LTE handset but don’t want to pay way more than the usual $199 contract price. 

Zoomed way out, the optimal cross section of features still is LTE alongside a dual core SoC. Right now web browsing is more CPU bound than network bound, and having another core will help balance things out so the smartphone browsing experience is finally almost indistinguishable from the desktop. 

My last parting thought concerns LTE data use. See this screenshot: 

8.712 GB of unlimited. That gave me a bit of pause as well, considering that this entire month I’ve done no tethering thanks to the Charge hotspot being disabled. Every bit of that data was used on the handset. LTE is stupid fast, and I’ve found that I now eat correspondingly more bandwidth doing things like remote desktop, watching my five network cameras, making artists on Google Music available offline in the airport, watching long flash videos, and of course running endless speedtests. Unlimited Verizon 4G LTE data ends with the introduction of tiered data plans on July 7, after which point using this much data will get much more expensive than $30/month. 

Anand and I both have a bit of a backlog, and have a bunch more devices to get through this week. I have an odd Sensation that the next one will be exciting...

Battery Life: About Par for LTE
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  • tdenton1138 - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    Edit:

    strike: both phone for people

    insert: both phones from people
    Reply
  • NAblue - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    i don't like hard keys anymore Reply
  • worldbfree4me - Thursday, June 23, 2011 - link

    I'm happy to see that the NEXUS line particularly the NEXUS S can hang with the latest and greatest, while running a non-skinned OS and a single core chip. That formula seems to be the winner IMO. I only wish that future phones from any manufacturer would began life like the new Samsung Galaxy Tab, no skin from the factory, but add-on skins available via the market or the individual manufactures web store. This would enable Goog to keep the latest OS on more handsets from beginning and give end users even more options without having to root or hack the phone risking BSOD or worse voiding the factory warranty. Having said that, NEXUS 3G will certainly be a beast if NEXUS S is the ground floor! Thanks for another superb analysis ANANDTECH!!

    Nexus S 4G stock
    Reply
  • jamdev12 - Friday, June 24, 2011 - link

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks again for the great article. I've had an OG Droid since it came out November 2009 and lately, I've been looking for a phone to go to. I want to get into the unlimited plan which I've had since I bought that device and don't want to loose the privilege, even though I don't use 3G that often. I was seriously thinking of getting the Charge because of some of the reviews I had read on other sites, but was eagerly waiting on your recommendation. I now come to the conclusion that buying this phone is not in my best interest. I would love some 4G love, but the fact that battery life is outrageously in comparison to the LG and HTC LTE phones, I will have to see what the Bionic will bring. Like you stated in the previous article about the LG, battery life will likely not increased until the LTE radio is embedded in the phone CPU, which Qualcomm is working on right now. I guess I will try to grandfather my plan and see if Verizon will let me replace my phone when the Galaxy II S comes to the states.

    Thanks again for the great article. I love Anantech for the indepth coverage you guys provide to all products. Informed consumers is what we need.

    Jamdev12
    Reply
  • 360fish - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    all existing unlimited data plan customers are grandfathered in until ... further notice. I have this info from a leaked verizon document but ... sorry too lazy to find link right now. July 7 is the deadline to get grandfathered in, as I recall. Reply
  • Belard - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    Overall, the new data plans are a rip-off and hurt the abilities of these new phones.

    $25 for 10GB a month should be the min. One one company will drop to 2G when you hit the limit (rather than send you a $2000~4000 bill).

    But when the caps are so low at 2~5GB, whats the point of having a 4G high performance internet phone when you can make out your data plan in 1-3 weeks?

    They are promoting video and music downloads, streaming - that'll kill you. And google maps / GPS... that'll eat data as well.
    Reply
  • Belard - Saturday, June 25, 2011 - link

    It really shouldn't be this hard.

    - Thin doesn't always mean better. Strike a balance.
    - Light-weight, if its feather-weight or poorly made, it may break easily.
    - SIZE, sure its nice that phones come in various sizes... but as they get bigger, they become harder to get out of our POCKETS.

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate (at&t)... the screen is great, the metal back looks nice.

    But its design is flawed like all Galaxy S phones.

    A) - Power button on the side, hard to feel (only on Captive)
    B) - speaker on back = BAD BAD, I prop my phone a bit to hear the weak alarm.
    C) - TOP and BOTTOM look exactly the same... HELLO? The Charge is better because YOU know instantly which side is up.
    D) - my previous SONY phone, which I used for 2+ years still looks as new as my Captive (6 months old)... the whole bottom isn't flat and is not cheap plastic.
    E) - REAL BUTTONS!! I like the charge already. Having a REAL HOME button is nice. Its location is STUPID as its the most use button on the phone but its NOT on the edge, nope... its in the middle? Should be: HOME / BACK / Menu / Search (Search can go away thou)
    F - if using physical buttons, make the search a SHUTTER button when phone is in camera mode.

    The Android interface FROYO fixed most of the GPS issues, but is somewhat DUMBER than 2.1.
    - They removed NON-REPEAT function from the Alarm? STUPID!
    - The Alarm profiles move around!! WTF?!
    Heres a REALLY STUPID ONE...

    The PHONE LOGS are defaulted to ALL, including MESSAGING?! The 2.1 had ALL or Phone Only... in 2.2 Froyo, they added some more, but TOOK OFF PHONE ONLY?! What idiot did this? Who the hell wants to SEE their TEXTING LOGS with their PHONE LOGS?! So I have to use SHOW only MISSED or SHOW ONLY incoming, etc... not just ALL phones. Again, STUPID.

    Home button issues... Using an Ipad has shown how a HOME button is supposed to work. With my Android phone with its hard to find power button, I'm constantly turning the phone ON again, even in a phone call so I can see the screen. A Physical home button should always bring back the screen (if blank) rather than the power button. I hate getting a TEXT notification, and I could be in the middle of a swipe to unlock the phone to go to the text, and the PHONE shuts off.... gotta press the power, do the swipe all over again.

    I like the flexibility I get from Android - but the User Experience is still crap . Having a WindowsPhone7 style launcher makes the phone much more usable.
    Reply
  • woyoulaile - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    www (point) ifancyshop (point) com

    I tide fashion Good-looking, not expensive Free transport

    Fashion Female show sexy,

    personality Men’s clothing + Shoes,

    Low-cost wholesale shine cool sunglasses

    Travel bagthat grabs an eye coat + Chao packet Free transport
    Reply
  • prakashpk - Sunday, July 31, 2011 - link

    The article says that the phone has 512 MB RAM and 2 GB internal storage. However, my phone's task manger displays only 328 MB RAM and about 1.17 GB internal storage. Are there different versions of the phone? Reply
  • nitink - Monday, August 1, 2011 - link

    this phone have a great potential unleach its power get full hd games with sd card data..at:
    http://nitin-xyz.blogspot.com/2011/07/free-and-ful...
    Reply

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