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A case for the Droid Charge: a perspective for potential or unhappy owners

OP cmdrfrog

10th April 2012, 01:43 AM   |  #1  
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The Droid Charge is coming up on its first birthday, and having been a day 1 adopter I've seen the phone through some downs and ups. Like many committed to this phone, I was very tempted by next generation 4G devices like the RARZ, Rezound, or Nexus. I've been disappointed with Samsung's lack of cooperation on code critical to ROM development. I've watched new phones quickly released pushing the Charge further into history.

However, i'm writing this to acknowledge what is great about this device and why you should be happy to get or have one.

Firstly, the hardware. While the Charge has only a single core and 512 memory, the shortcomings really end there. It's Super AMOLED+ screen is by far one of - if not THE most perfect display on a mobile device that i've seen and I believe it equal or superior to any of the Verizon 4G devices. It's form factor and physical buttons are pleasant to use, and it's weight feels good in a hand or pocket. Its connectivity options and accessories are top notch with full MicroSD, HDMI, and horizontal docking stations with backup battery chargers. It packs the superior Audio chips that have drawn audiophiles to the phone. It's battery life has with recent software updates become perfectly adequate: I regularly get 12-15 hours of genuinely moderate use including 45-60 minutes of calls, 2-3 hours of web browsing, and 1 hour of bluetooth music streaming on a single charge. (Caveat: frequently on WiFi, while on 4G only battery lasts more like 8 hours). However with a cheap, replaceable battery which fits in my slim wallet as easily as 4 folded $20 bills, I easily do whatever I want as long as I want so long as I can charge while sleeping.

Secondly, the software: yes, it's come a long way. Those of us who remember rooting ED1 and hoping for a voodoo lagfix back in June know how bad it was - the color scheme, the RFS file system, the terrible browsing. However, as of today on Eclipse ROM 2.0 (FP1 based) the phone performs beautifully with no lag on home screens, snappy browsing, and an attractive, feature rich interface.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, is the Value. The Charge is the best phone dollar for dollar that you can buy today. Commonly available on craigslist for $120 used with a $20 docking station from Ebay you can have a great setup for less than the cost of buying other phones with contract. I was recently in a position to upgrade to a Galaxy nexus for $350 (from ebay, selling charge for $120 for a net cost around $200) and thought to myself, why? are small advances in CPU and memory that affect me little on a daily worth $200? and the answer was clearly: no. Can i get a better gingerbread experience with longer battery life on the Razr Maxx? For $400 net cost maybe, but only slightly, and with nearly equivalent battery life so long as you plan ahead. And what if you drop the phone on the ground and shatter it? You could have a new Droid Charge for less than the deductible if you carried insurance, which could save you $10/mo - or $400ish if you had a shiny nexus or Maxx with no policy.

And so, that's my opinion as a Droid Charge early adopter. If you're thinking of getting one today you'll luck out and have a great experience - head over to the forums and read the stickies on ODIN, CWM, and then get a FP1 based ROM right away. If you're thinking of jumping ship, and $200 is at all consequential to your life, consider what you get from another phone in your overall value decision.

Good luck!
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10th April 2012, 01:59 AM   |  #2  
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I agree with this. Using the phone can get frustrating at times, especially for those who have the static problems (get a replacement!!!), but in the end it's the price we pay for getting the first gen 4g and locking in unlimited data.
10th April 2012, 02:00 AM   |  #3  
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Amen!
10th April 2012, 02:05 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JihadSquad

first gen 4g and locking in unlimited data.

I forgot to mention that's why I went with the Charge in the first place - in May 2011 we didnt know if there would be any new phones like the Nexus or Razr before unlimited data would go away.
10th April 2012, 03:10 AM   |  #5  
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Great post.

Sent from my GT-P7510 using xda premium
10th April 2012, 03:57 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch080

Great post.

Sent from my GT-P7510 using xda premium

+1! Actually agree with this 100%.

Sent from my SCH-I510 using XDA
10th April 2012, 05:53 AM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JihadSquad

first gen 4g and locking in unlimited data.

Yeah but when you go to upgrade you have to sign a new 2 year contract and unlimited will not be an option. Only way to stay locked in to unlimited data is by buying phone @ retail price

But I agree with this post and will wait till a new nexus comes out..Which prob wont come out till end of this year or begging of next year...
10th April 2012, 06:07 AM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jager420

Yeah but when you go to upgrade you have to sign a new 2 year contract and unlimited will not be an option. Only way to stay locked in to unlimited data is by buying phone @ retail price

But I agree with this post and will wait till a new nexus comes out..Which prob wont come out till end of this year or begging of next year...

Not true. I upgraded in September from my old Blackberry w/ unlimited data. I got to keep my unlimited data, and my brother (new line) got tiered. I hear Verizon has a good reputation of honoring contract extensions by keeping past low prices on existing contracts and from people whose cheap carriers were bought by Verizon.
10th April 2012, 06:09 AM   |  #9  
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Wrong. I will be renewing my contract therefore locking in unlimited.
10th April 2012, 08:20 AM   |  #10  
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I upgraded my wife's incredible to the rezound and still have unlimited data. During the upgrade we got the upgrade price of 199 at the time before 49 came around. Not worried about the cost since teh wife is happy.

Not one customer service rep has said I will lose my unlimited data for upgrading my phone when the time comes around. My data will even carry over to a new plan if I want a new plan. Whoever is telling you all that you are going to lose your unlimited data plan is hog wash.

Funny thing was, my wife was 9 months out from upgrading to a new phone, but the incredible turned to garbage after a year of good use. They gave us the deal without hesitating. So, if your phone is going belly up and you need something reliable and new big red may help you out as well.

Never hurts to ask.

Need help? http://www.toms-world.org/android/ flash to EP4D, make ClockworkMod Recovery stick, step by step root. Best step by step instructions for the Droid Charge.

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