Cell phone exclusivity has spurred cell phone companies into the competition of their lives to produce cell phones that rival each other like crazy. One of those rivals, the Samsung Vibrant, competes with the Apple iPhone and may surpass the iPhone in some ways and come short in others. iPhone competitors often have to offer more in order to provide incentives to the buyer.
Find out what features the Samsung Vibrant has to offer and form your own conclusions about whether or not this smartphone is right for you.
What’s included in the box
The Samsung Vibrant handset, rechargeable battery, charger, 2 GB microSD memory card, USB cable, wired stereo headset, and quick start guide are included in the box. This cell phone is ready to go right out of the box; turn it on and play around with it before fully charging it.
The Samsung Vibrant, released July, 2010, is an entertainment, android-based touch screen smartphone, exclusive to T-Mobile. Videos and games utilize the 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, seamlessly streaming the preloaded James Cameron’s Avatar and The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition (a T-Mobile exclusive game), showing vividly on the Super AMOLED touch screen.
The AMOLED screen uses less power than the traditional touch screen and is sharper and glare-free in the sunlight.
The Android 2.1 operating system utilizes the integrated Google services to access thousands of applications in the Android market.
This smartphone also offers 16GB of internal memory, microSD memory expansion (for up to 32 GB of additional storage from optional cards), Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity for hands-free devices and stereo music streaming, intuitive typing via integrated Swype keyboard, and up to 4 hours of talk time, and great call quality.
The 5-megapixel camera snaps quick, sharp pictures with it’s 3X digital zoom, autofocus features, and multi-shot capabilities. The Vibrant also has HD video capture capabilities.
Read emails, enjoy social networking and keep up with your appointments on the Google calendar app, both personal and corporate.
The Samsung Vibrant uses integrated Google technology. You can view your photo gallery in Picasa, utilize Google Maps, and download thousands of applications and games through it’s Android Market.
Bio-Plastic materials (extracted from corn) make up 40% of the phone’s casing, making it an eco-friendly option. The Vibrant is sleek and stylish with it’s 4 inch screen, thin profile and touch screen.
It includes the exclusive The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition, James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar, Amazon’s Kindle for Android app, MobiTV mobile, Slacker Radio, and Gogo Inflight Internet service.
MobiTV and Gogo offer free 30-day trials after which there are monthly fees. Slacker Radio offers free radio with an option to upgrade.
The Swype keyboard makes texting and emailing super quick and easy by tracing a path across the keyboard while spelling out the word. The phone comes with an interactive tutorial to teach you how to use and to practice this feature.
Secure your smartphone by saving an unlock pattern (drawing an unlock pattern on the screen) in your settings. If you forget the pattern, you can enter your gmail account to unlock the phone and then enter a new pattern.
Download affordable ebooks (many free) directly to your Samsung Vibrant. You can even download many free and inexpensive interactive ebooks for your children.
View your photo gallery and play your games on TV with the TV-out capability via the 3.5mm headphone jack.
It’s 1500 mAh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 4 hours of talk time, and up to 96 hours (4 days) of standby time. Keep your Wi-Fi settings off or the battery will definitely run down, because it continuously searches for connectivity wherever you are. Additionally, you will need to experiment with auto-sync settings for your email and social networking in order to save on battery life.
The battery lasts around 7 hours with heavy use, such as file downloading, watching videos, listening to music, and talk usage.
With moderate use, reading emails, web surfing, and talk usage, the battery can last a day and a half.
When the phone needs recharging the phone will flash a message indicating so. Functionality of the camera and music player are locked when the battery is below 15%.1
The following first-hand reviews explain the Vibrant’s features perfectly:
Goodbye Pullout Keyboard, Swype on the Vibrant is incredible! July 16, 2010
Reviewer: Amy Gray (San Diego, CA) –
“I was a die-hard pull-out keyboard junky, but using Swype on the Vibrant changed my mind forever. I could type 30+ words per minute on my G1 (my previous phone), and I’m a tad slower on the Vibrant using Swype, but that’s just because there’s a little bit of a learning curve. I’m convinced that I’ll be just as fast on the Vibrant by this time next week.
In all respects, this phone is an incredible leap forward from the G1, and is light, sleek, and fast. The 7 customizable home screens make it easy to categorize my apps and widgets. The camera on this phone, in comparison to the G1’s, is extremely usable and the results are comparable to point-and-shoot photos, even without a flash. Who likes “flashy” pictures, anyway? The screen is everything everyone has said. Coupled with the speedy processor, I can flip through photos in my Picasa or Flickr accounts in a flash.
I’m not jealous of my friends’ iPhones anymore.”2
An amazing phone once you iron out the quirks September 15, 2010
Reviewer: Saji Samuel “Chitown” (Chicago, IL USA) –
“Truly an iPhone competitor if not better. Having upgraded from an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4 and finally to the Vibrant, I can confidently say I have found a phone that meets all my expectations. The iPhone 4 is a work of art, no denying it. Its the ultimate hardware device, but the Apple iOS simply doesn’t match up to Android – it lacks an important factor, customization and flexibility. Android’s open source model has changed the game. Its been 1 month since I made the transition to the Android platform and I do not miss the iPhone 4 or the iOS. The migration was painless; the same apps I have became accustomed to on the iPhone can be found in Google Market App, many of them free. Some of the most helpful apps I use today can only be built on Android given its open source nature and flexibility. And for the tech savvy user, you will appreciate the easy nature of rooting the Android OS which opens the door to even greater customization and flexibility options. There has been much talk of GPS and lag issues with device. This is not hardware related. With the amazingly active Android developer community, free fixes and tips have been released that have effectively corrected the problem. This would never be possible on the closely guarded iOS platform.
The Vibrant as a hardware device is beautifully built, not as sturdy as the iPhone 4, but nonetheless well designed. Its form factor and weight makes it disappear into your pocket and when its in your hands, it feels comfortable and well balanced. The screen is a must see, movies and games look gorgeous. The processor is super fast and multi-tasking between apps is a breeze, after the Samsung Galaxy “lag fix” has been applied. Google term to get more information.
A few other advantages:
– T-mobile plans are cheaper than ATT and Verizon. You maybe able to get additional discounts if you work for a large company that offers corporate discount packages
– Replaceable battery
– With T-mobile’s less congested network, download speeds top over 1.5MB or higher in larger metropolitan cities. AT&T doesn’t even come close. Call quality is great and I have yet to experience a dropped call.
– The phone uses a standard size SIM card (iPhone uses the new micro SIMs), and can be easily unlocked with a simple (free) app, great for international travelers. Micro SIM are difficult to find in international countries
– Finally as an added bonus, T-mobile is one of the few, if not the only wireless provider, to offer free tethering along with its unlimited data plan. Apps are available to make the configuration process easy, but upcoming Froyo release will have tethering built into the OS.”2
This smartphone has very impressive features and has many of the proficiencies of a little mini computer with it’s web surfing ability; but also has the convenience of slide and touch screen capability. Keep up with your corporate appointments and emails through it’s productivity tools, while still having the ability to keep yourself entertained with the Samsung Vibrant’s array of multi-media innovations.