Samsung Vibrant Review

by Antoine Wright Reads (42,722)
Editor's Rating
9.00

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Service, Warranty & Support
    • 8
    • Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Design
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Value
    • 10
    • Total Score:
    • 9.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Excellent screen (indoors and out)
    • Solid battery life
    • Good experience out of the box
  • Cons

    • Screen a fingerprint magnet
    • Heat after long, intensive use
    • Uninspiried camera app

Quick Take

This high-end Android OS device is loaded with features to please consumers.


The Samsung Vibrant is T-Mobile’s latest high-end Android OS smartphone. It is a variation on Samsung’s line of Galaxy S smartphones — other versions are available from AT&T and Verizon. 

All of these employ Samsung’s exclusive Super AMOLED display screens — which offers better color and use less power — and the new Samsung Hummingbird processor clocking in at 1 GHz.

 

With these features, the Vibrant is positioned as a notable high-end competitor both to other Android OS devices such as the HTC Droid Incredible and even the Apple iPhone. During my time with this device, I got to see if it could truly shine in such a competition.

The Vibrant is available now for $200 with a 2-year contract from T-Mobile. Off contract, the price is $500. 

 

BUILD & DESIGN

While the Samsung Captivate (a Galaxy S model for AT&T) reminded me of the BlackBerry Storm, the Vibrant seems as if it takes no shame in looking like an iPhone 3GS. It even caught a few people off guard until they saw the display and, like myself, realized that this was definitely something different.

Samsung Vibrant from T-MobileIt feels slimmer in hand than the Captivate, and overall more like a phone device than a tablet. Though, its not so thin that it would be difficult to pull out of a case.

Screen
I was very pleased with the display on the Vibrant. Despite sharing the 4-inch, 800×480 pixel Super AMOLED touchscreen with the Captivate, the Vibrant’s was warmer in color temperature, and offered a small edge in responsiveness to gestures.

 

As with its Galaxy S sibling, the Vibrant excelled in video display – made very notable by the inclusion of the full movie Avatar. Having seen Avatar in a non-IMAX experience, I was quite surprised at the quality that the Vibrant showed this movie. Proving not to be a fluke, it also showed high quality You Tube clips quite well.

 

The only downside, and weirdly so with the Vibrant, is that its screen is a fingerprint magnet. I was surprised as I assumed that it would have the same coating as the Captivate, which doesn’t suffer this hassle.

Samsung Vibrant from T-MobileNevertheless, even next to the iPhone 4′s display, the Vibrant more than holds its own.

And when the going gets sunny, there’s no shade needed to make out what you are touching — that’s one of the strengths of the Super AMOLED screen.

 

Other Buttons and Controls
The Vibrant has very few buttons: Power/Lock and Volume up/down. The “buttons” on the front are actually extensions of the touchscreen.

The rear is entirely plastic, and is more of a grippy plastic than the usual soft-coated paint scheme. It covers the camera surround, SIM slot, microSDHC card slot, and 1500 mAh battery.

As with the Captivate, it would have been good to have dedicated camera button. The user interface of the camera application could use one to become a bit simpler and faster.

 


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