Don’t be fooled by the nondescript screen, which when turned on revealed a beautiful 4.3-inch Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) Plus display. Some people say they can’t see the difference between Samsung’s Super AMOLED and Super AMOLED Plus, but we’ve tested three Samsung Galaxy S handsets and believe Charge’s screen to be the clearest in light and dark environments to date. The phone itself is 5.1 inches long by 2.66 inches wide.
3Charge Side View
The big display meant the Charge was wider than the typical smartphone. However, the handset was only 0.46 inches thick, making it nice and slim for pockets. This device also weighed 5 ounces, making it far lighter than the ThunderBolt’s 6.23 ounces. Samsung clearly used a lighter battery than the ThunderBolt.
Encased in a slick, masculine mirror-gray-black plastic casing, the Droid Charge’s 8MP camera takes crisp, steady pictures for easy sharing via Gmail and text messages. There is also a front-facing 1.3MP camera for video chat, which should come in handy when Samsung upgrades the Charge to Android 2.3 “Gingerbread,” which supports Google’s new voice and video chat application for Android. But theres no timetable for that upgrade. But be patient. The Charge isn’t even available for you to buy yet!
5Charge Home Screens
6Verizon 4G LTE
Note the surprise 4G network signal shows three bars in Connecticut, allowing us to enjoy speedy video content play and application downloads. Verizon said customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12M bps and upload speeds of 2 to 5M bps in 4G Mobile Broadband coverage areas. Battery life was just fine for 3G, but drained quickly when offering 4G data speeds.
7Fast YouTube Videos
9Samsung Media Hub
10Charge Pre-Installed Apps
11Verizon V-Cast Appstore
12Working with Widgets
14Keyboard Toggles Between QWERTY, 3 by 4 Mode
We also enjoyed the mobile hotspot, which lets users share 4G connection with up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices or a 3G connection with up to five devices. This will be available for free for a limited time, a departure from Verizon’s typical $20 per month fee for up to 1GB for the mobile broadband tethering service.
16Location, Location, Location
Google and Apple have taken a lot of flak in the media over their leveraging of location information on Android smartphones and iPhones, respectively. At several steps during the Droid Charge set-up process, eWEEK was warned about an application’s use of location data. Notice this prompt triggered by the WeatherBug weather widget.
Even Google’s Search application on the Charge offers the location data prompt, as you can see here. One wonders how, or if, Google will augment its location disclosure practices at the behest of Congress, which is holding a hearing on the matter May 10.