My impressions with the Samsung Vibrant

I received my Samsung Vibrant yesterday and I am always surprised at how small the boxes are. Then I was surprised at how big the phone is, but not too big. I think its the perfect size for me, without getting that jaw dropping gape a friend gets when she uses her Evo. It fits well in my hand, that ‘chin’ is hardly noticeable. I chose to go with the purple backing, I felt it was just more. Once the battery is in, I feel the phone has a good weight to it. Some talk about it feeling cheep, but I dont think so. Its very thin and light, just what I would expect of a nice high end phone. One thing I have to get use to, is the location of the volume rocker. My fingers think it should be a bit higher up on the phone then where it is.

Next I turn on the phone and wow. This thing boots up very fast. I love the fancy Galaxy S boot animation, very nice.  Once on, the first thing I tried was the Avatar video. It opens very quickly and again this display is wonderful. Its something that you have to see in person, the same goes with the body of the phone. The pics and vids show this shiny chrome band that goes around the phone, kinda giving it the impression that it looks like another phone out there. But once I had it in my hand, it looks nothing like the pics. They must have had them under very bright lighting, as the band is much more subdued and takes on a different color compared to bright chrome.

Anyways back to the software. Like any Android phone, had to go into market and download my apps again. No biggie, but something they need to work on. I cut down the seven home screens to two, one with some of my fav apps, and the other running the Feeds and Updates widget. I’m not sure how much utility I’m getting out of that. There is a good and bad news, from my point of view, on the default messenger app. The good: they allow you to turn off notifications which allows you to use other messenger apps. The bad: they no longer allow you to set repeatable notifications on text messages. That was my favorite feature since I’m not always aware I got a text message, but as long as it kept pinging me, I would find out soon enough. Not a deal breaker, but kinda sad.

The phone comes with some decent in-ear buds which have a built in mic with single button control. With this plugged in, pushing the button launches the music player in the background and starts to play. Whats a nice touch is they integrated player controls into the slide down notification screen and into the phone lock screen. Though it only works from the phone lock screen if you don’t use the unlock pattern. Trade off I suppose. Sound quality was decent and puts off my ideas of getting a stereo bluetooth dongle, though they show one on the accessories paper in the box.

Played with the camera. Very nice and plenty of features. Just what I was expecting as I came from the Behold II, which also has a wonderful camera. Now there is all this noise about it not having a flash. Well from my experience, if its not a true xenon flash, its not worth it. The LED flash can wash out your photos big time and give them that blueish hue(though if you are good in photoshop, that can be fixed). I tried out the night mode in a darkened bedroom and was able to take a shot. Nothing spectacular, but then this is a phone. If you really are concerned about photos, invest in a real camera. In my opinion, the only phones with cameras worth anything were from Sony Ericsson. My K850i took great pictures and came with a true flash. In fact the thing looks like a camera with a phone slapped on the back. 

Thats about it for now. Oh I really love the Gallery app in Android 2.x. Very fluid and pinch to zoom is like wow. I haven’t rooted the phone, nor I have applied that lag fix. I haven’t noticed the lag that they speak of. Maybe later at some other point I try that out. I can confirm that gps is having some issues, but I have heard that Tmo and Samsung know of the problem and so there will be an update. Don’t know if it would be a stand alone update or be including in an update to Froyo. As to when thats coming, I dont have any idea. I hope not too far away.

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