I just upgraded my phone, a Droid X, to the latest Samsung 4G Droid Charge running on Verizon’s network, and I must say, after a bit of tweaking, I am quite happy. 4G is amazing with blazingly fast download and upload speeds, in fact, my phone is now as fast or faster than most people’s home intenet here in Pensacola. The folks at the Pensacola Verizon store on 9th ave were great as always, making the transition as painless as possible. While 4G is fairly new to Pensacola, I was pleasantly surprised on a recent trip to New Orleans to find that 4G was available for a good portion of the trip and it seems to be pretty strong in most areas of Pensacola. The Droid Charge has a ton of great points and a few not so great points, though with a bit of tweaking, those not so great points are easily manageable.
The Droid Charge 4G gives you quite a few things you definitely won’t find on any iPhone, starting with 4G. 4G speeds allow for much faster communication on the internet and allow applications like Netflix to work as they are supposed to, without freezing and stuttering. It also allows for smooth video calls via apps like Fring or Google Talk. Browsing the web is also a pleasure with full Adobe Flash support so you get to experience the full web (something no Apple iOS device can do). The Droid Charge also has a pretty good 8MP rear facing camera that takes good pictures and video, and a front facing camera for video calls. Add an HDMI port so you can hook up an HD monitor (although with the Allshare app you can easily share your media via a wireless network to wireless devices).
Stock out of the box, the Samsung Droid Charge does not have the greatest battery life – in my tests I was getting about 8-10 hours of normal usage. However you can get an extended battery, or even better, you can avail yourself of the wonderful Android development community (I like xda-developers.com) to find a wealth of free custom ROMS that replace the stock Android software. Most of the custom ROMS are pre-rooted (which allows you much more freedom in customizing your device), and many are highly optomized to give you better performance and much better battery life. Using some apps like the LTE switch (which allows you to switch easily between 3G and 4G) and a custom ROM, I am now easily getting a full day + of battery life with a bit heavier than normal usage. There is a HUGE community of developers behind the Android devices, and people are coming out with new tweaks, fixes and enhancements just about every day.
4G on Verizon also give you what ATT touted for a long time with their iPhone – the ability to talk and surf the web at the same time. While I never really saw this as a must have feature, it is nice to know you can do it if you want to. The Droid Charge has an amazingly bright screen which you can see even on a bright sunny Pensacola Florida day, and with all of its features like GPS, 2 Cameras, HDMI and USB ports, highly customizable Android OS, it is the best smartphone I have ever owned. Add in the ability (once rooted) to add free wireless tethering apps that you can use to make your phone a wireless hotspot without the extra charges (just don’t get greedy), I have found that the Samsung Droid Charge 4G from Verizon is certainly making my communication a lot better and easier. With my work for Pensacola Computers, I can easily access what I need to when I need to and have fun doing it!