Friday, July 30, 2010
My thoughts on the Vibrant.
I have rooted my Vibrant, patiently awaiting the work of awesome devs in porting CM6 to it.
Now, my overall impression is that it has some great points, and some not so great ones. I would have to say that if I had to choose one phone between the Nexus One and the Vibrant, it would have to be the Nexus. Now, of course, all that depends on your own particular tastes and what you are willing to put up with and what you prioritize in a device.
Now, before I get started, keep in mind that this is not Engadget, BGR or one of the major blogs. This is not a review of every single aspect of this phone, and I am not a professional writer. This is just a gathering of thoughts, points, and general feelings about this phone, from an end user (that just happens to have his own forum to air this stuff...LOL)
- Screen. By far the best point of this phone is the screen. Its amazing. Not just in clarity, brightness and overall 'wow' factor, but its also the perfect size. Avatar looks absolutely stunning on it. These screen shots do not do it justice, and you really have to see it for yourself. If I could have a Nexus with this screen, I would never give that up...LOL After a week or so with this phone, holding the Nexus makes it seem small.
- App storage. The other great point is 2Gb of app storage. Forget A2SD. Who needs it? You can download apps until you are blue in the face. The down side to the 16Gb of internal storage is that I already had a 16Gb SD card that my apps used to store data in folders. By default, the apps on the Vibrant store data on the internal 14Gb, so now I have double folders of everything... One in the internal and one on the external SD card. Just annoying...
- Touchwiz. This is a double edge sword. I am going to put this on the good and the bad. As you can see from the screen above, I am using ADW, and I will go in to the why on the bad points of TW. Now, the good side of TW is that its like a theme already installed. Its not as intrusive or horrible as the Behold 2. Here is a screen shot of the dialer. Although the TW coloring and theme is well done in my opinion, it does have a few graphical glitches that I dont like, such as the yellow message notifications...
- GPS/Compass. There is a lot going around about the GPS and Samsung has apparently acknowledged the issue and is working on it. I personally have not had too much trouble, other than the fact that it appears to be a little slower in acquiring a location compared to my Nexus.
- Touchwiz. This is my major complaint about this phone. Touchwiz apparently is affecting performance a LOT. The phone is laggy. Hummingbird or not, I think there are some issues with TW. I cant tell you how many times a day I hit the back, or home buttons, and have to wait 2 or 3 seconds to register. Hard to tell if you didn't press it or its just not responding. Same thing with screen buttons. Sometimes I end up pressing the back button 2 or 3 times, then the phone reacts and goes back 3 screens all at once, instead of the one I wanted. To me, at this stage of the game and with so many alternatives out there, it's a MAJOR fail on the part of Samsung. I am sure that 2.2 and other bug fixes will improve this issue. But it already has a 1 Ghz CPU... Should NOT be that way at all. I am now using ADW, and although the lagginess is still there, its a bit better. I suspect that if TW was not intruding in the OS so much, we could get rid of the non-responsiveness for good.
There is no question that this phone is by far the best phone T-Mobile has for sale at the moment. And there is a lot of debate in the forums between the people who love this phone and those that don't. I would have to say that if you are coming from a G1, of course you will think that this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you are a techy and have played with other phones like EVO or Droid X, or have owned a Nexus for a while, you will probably agree with me that although this is a good phone, it's not a 10.
It has a few other shortcomings. No notification LED, no trackball or trackpad, when I receive a call, the sound is muffled for 2 seconds, then it goes to full volume, and others. But it also has some nice touches, such as the controls at the top of the notification panel (see screen shot).
I can't wait for Wes and the other devs to port CM6 to the Vibrant. A good dose of stock Android with JIT and a newer kernel will be good for this phone. And I really hope that for those that are not, or will not root their phones, that Samsung hurries with the 2.2 update, and fix the laggy, annoying issues with TW.