Pretty nice phone - with annoyances September 10, 2010
Reviewer: Chris (Alameda, CA, United States) -
Update: On 2/28/11 I obtained the Odin software needed to upgrade the phone to the leaked and jail broken Froyo Androidcentral forums. The procedure went exactly as described and now I have what the phone should have been delivered with. The changes aren't vast but they are significant. The biggest change is that during post-installation setup you get to choose not to use Bing and after that the search works as you would hope, with Google, even from the search button. Some applications suddenly admit they can work as widgets. It's a nice detail cleanup that the phone should originally have shipped with and seems to undo the heavy handed commercial damage Verizon did to line their pockets. No guarantees the official version will be as nice though, if it ever arrives. This may not now be the best Android phone, but they have worked out well for us. End of update.
We got two of these phones three weeks ago, since then we have found a lot that we like and a little that we really dislike. The dislikes are all things Verizon did to the software.
In the comments someone points out that it may be possible to just burn Android 2.2 on to the phone. That is rumored, but isn't something most people will do. The rumor mill says Spain will get the Froyo release in late October '10 and people are going to try using that. Verizon has also announced that they will make the Google search engine available on the official 2.2 release, however they won't be making it the search engine for other services, so when another application starts a search it will still be redirected through the Verizon search portal to Bing. So this is no real improvement over deleting the Bing boxes and installing Google from the marketplace, so their big announcement saves you a couple of minutes whilst making no difference to the software. Another method is to rip-off the Google search elements from another Galaxy S model and install that and a third party application launcher which will then use it, but this is probably more low level messing around than most users will want to do. They shouldn't need to. If you decide to do that you need the SDK, which you can download for free, and some instructions you can find in the Android forums.
Verizon has disabled some of the functionality of Google's Android operating system and replaced it with their own shoddy software in a cynical attempt to con people in to paying them more. The Google search engine has been excised from the system and replaced with Bing, you can't remove Bing from the system and you can't replace it for some purposes. I don't want earn money for Verizon by allowing MS to show me things MS is being paid to sell me. I'd rather they pay Google to show me things they have been paid to sell me because I prefer their style. It seems a fair return to Google for providing free maps and navigation.
But anyway... as well as removing Google's search functionality they have also removed Google's GPS functionality and maps. That has been replaced by Verizon Navigator and Bing maps. Verizon Navigator is very poor and is expensive. Why should I pay ten bucks a month for a poor application that replaces the free one that Google built into the Android operating system? I had hoped that using Android would mean I didn't have to put up with Verizon's tinkering with the O/S. My past experience would suggest that they aren't very good at it.
Happily you can download Google apps from the ap store, but you can't re-integrate them into the phone. You also can't eliminate the bloated load of garbage that Verizon added as a revenue minefield for the unwary. If you could I'd have deleted a whole bunch of it by now, things like VCAST, VZNavigator, City ID, Skype and Blockbuster. It's not just that they are there, even though I don't use them they get started and use battery and performance; right now my phone is running voice commands, music player, video player, car cradle, bing, City ID and Skype mobile - I haven't started any of those. I might use the music and video players but the others are either entirely unwanted or just useless.
As an alternative to paying ten bucks a month for Verizon Navigator (No, really, don't do that), you can use Google which is probably the best navigation deal for the phone. Alternatively Waze is a popular and sometimes amusing collaborative GPS solution. If you are going to be off the network CoPilot looks like very good value, for $20 you get a full GPS with maps of the whole of North America. CoPilot plotted a route from San Jose CA to Vancouver BC in a couple of seconds, a Motorola TN765T costs a couple of hundred bucks and won't do that, it can't route across borders.
When you use the Samsung car cradle, which is very good, it automatically starts the car mode. Unfortunately that just offers all the pre-installed pay-per-use software and no apparent way to customize it. Surely there must be?
Now the good stuff.
Android 2.2 Froyo may be available around October '10 for this phone, that is rumored to significantly improve performance.
This is a really fast little computer with a network connection and a phone application. The menus fly around, most of the time. Occasionally they get bogged down, no idea why, but this is a known issue and supposed to be fixed in v2.2. You can scroll through long lists with the flick of a finger. It's pretty easy to set it up to connect to wireless networks. Bonding to a Bluetooth headset was simple. The device arrives with a 16Gb MicroSD card and I expect that will keep me happy for a while.
The camera seems nice enough from the few pictures I have taken. The LED flash is years ahead of the LG Dare, it actually illuminates the image pretty well and doesn't turn it all blue. It works. The shutter is a bit slow, but I was trying to take pictures of our black cat who wouldn't sit still! Video quality is also excellent, it does a better job of compressing 720p video than my Panasonic camera.
Once Google maps was downloaded the GPS turned out to be pretty useful, if I have any further comments on that I will be back. I used it to make my 50 mile trip home, I usually use an old Garmin GPS which is pretty much accurate to the minute, Google agreed to within two minutes. For me the voice navigation was useless, but maybe it just doesn't work on deep English voices? I'll let my better half try and report back. If I had had to use the voice entry I'd still be stuck at work.
The live wallpaper is really trick, something MS tried to do years ago on Windows and caused a lot of crashing. The standard background is a sort of fake rock pool, the 'water' ripples when you touch the screen. I switched to the live map background, for now at least, it shows the local map... with traffic. Phones have certainly come a long way in the last few decades.
Loading music was fairly easy, you need to set the USB in to sync mode, but after that it will talk to Windows Media Player. Initially I tried Winamp but that doesn't work, or at least it was easier to just switch to Media Player than to experiment, so that's what I did. I dragged some albums on the the phone and then told it to sync and it did. Not as fast as loading an iPod, but fast enough. The music player on the phone isn't fantastic in the UI area, but it works. I'll certainly try something else though.
I thought I had problems using the device on a charger, but then I noticed that I had got the cable mixed up with one connected to some appalling no-name Chinese charger, swapping to the Samsung charger fixed the issue... but something to be aware of if you plan to recycle all your old micro-USB gear for use on the new phone.
Would I do it again? Would I still buy this over the Droid X or 2? Yes. I'm not returning it tonight, but I will probably be rooting it so that I can eliminate the annoying Verizon bloatware. This reminds me of the days when MS integrated IE into Windows, they got in to deep legal problems and I don't see how Verizon/MS removing Google functionality is different.
If you want to use this in a car I recommend you get the Samsung windshield mount and a car charger with a long enough straight cable to reach where you decide to put it. The Samsung mount is very good compared to the collection of broken generic ones I have used in the past, the only down side is that neither it nor the phone come with a suitable power supply. Verizon has the mount and there are many MicroUSB chargers on Amazon. As stated earlier you should probably avoid the no-name types and stick to a major manufacturer, I have used LG, Samsung and Motorola chargers and a USB cable connected to HP and Dell computers, so I don't think it is too choosy about chargers.
Great phone with only trivial issues September 11, 2010
Reviewer: Robert Berry (North Carolina) -
I've had the Fascinate for a couple of days now and have been very happy with it so far.
I agree that Verizon's decision to make Bing the unchangeable default search engine was unfortunate. But after using the phone for a while, I can say that it's really a trivial issue. You can still get to Google Search easily from a Web browser if you prefer; you can still install Google Maps and Google Navigation, and when you do so, you also get Google Voice Search.
And in fact, the default Bing search works just fine. Every time I've used it, it found what I was looking for. If the search works, I don't really care whose branding is on it.
If you really want to get around the Bing issue, it isn't hard to find instructions on how to do so (you don't even have to root the phone if all you want is the Google Search widget, and Google mapped to the search key). But for the vast majority of users, I'd say this whole Bing controversy is a non-issue.
If you want an Android smartphone from Verizon, I highly recommend the Fascinate -- especially if you think the Droid Incredible is a little too small and the Droid X is a little too big, and if you don't want a hardware QWERTY keyboard. The 4" screen of the Fascinate is the perfect size, the AMOLED display is spectacular, and the phone is light and slim and feels great in the hand.
I've been pleased with the battery life, and the GPS has worked well when I've tried it. Others may say differently, but I can only report on my own experience. Do I wish Verizon had made some different decisions regarding the preloaded software? Sure, but those annoyances are minor at best. I'm very happy with this phone.
A great phone, but for the VzW bloatware December 28, 2010
Reviewer: VT "Anonymous" (USA) -
I just helped the in-laws purchase two of these phones as their first smartphone. I myself own the original Droid, which I really really like. Well, on paper, the Fascinate is an amazing phone -- one that goes toe-to-toe with the iPhone 4 and the best Android phones out there. If this is all there is, this phone is clearly a winner. But...
1. Bing search. Seriously? Bing? I specifically chose this phone because I wanted to go the Android route. VzW's deal with Bing means that you can't uninstall this "feature" without rooting the phone first. If it was just my phone, I would've done this the minute I got the phone.
2. Verizon Navigator. WTH? VzW wants to charge a monthly fee for something inferior to Google Maps, which costs absolutely nothing. This is unadulterated corporate greed. Shame on you, Verizon.
3. Visual Voicemail. Ok, so some people might want this feature and might even pay the $2.99/mo fee to have their voicemails transcribed. But, why must VzW make this the default voicemail option and spam you EVERYTIME you check your voicemail with the offer? I don't want this and want to turn it off, PERMANENTLY.
4. Bloatware. This is where VzW is 10x worse than any other software companies out there. If this was Microsoft, people would be up in arms about it. Apparently, Verizon has already forgotten about the Department of Justice's investigation of Microsoft's bundling practices. Well, folks, VzW thought it would be helpful to clog up this phone with a ton of apps that YOU CANNOT UNINSTALL. PERIOD. This ticks me off more than anything else. If the phone came with bloatware, fine, but let the end user uninstall the apps he doesn't want. As it stands right now, there is no way to uninstall apps that came with the phone without rooting it.
5. Android 2.1. This is minor, but there's no reason why this phone shouldn't have the latest Android OS, v2.3.
All in all, I do feel bad about having recommended this phone and VzW before doing thorough research on it. The only saving grace to this experience is that the people for whom the phones were purchased are not power users. They only use a handful of apps and will likely never push the Fascinate to its limits.
Personally, next time I upgrade my phone or recommending another phone, I will have to think hard about any phone with the Verizon name on it, and about Verizon itself. (T-Mobile and Sprint, are you reading this???)
Shame on you, Verizon, for losing my trust.
Fascinate? More like Fantastic! September 14, 2010
Reviewer: Julian Lloyd (Los Angeles, CA USA) -
I am a professional that needs a phone to perform quickly, and have a supportive community behind it for updates, apps and the random question.
I am coming from a Palm Pre, which was a wonderful device as well; simple, but easy-to-use. unfortunately the touch screen on that device went out, and I decided to switch to an Android based phone. What a WONDERFUL choice that was.
Having Google at your fingertips (literally,) is amazing; automatically syncing calendars, contacts, and the multitude of Google-powered services like Google Voice, Maps and Navigation. So 5 stars for the Android OS, development, and community.
With respect to the phone, it's simple. Objectively, it's the best hardware available for the Android platform on the market, and definitely one of the best in general (beats even iPhone 4.) It's incredibly fast, smooth and reliable. People have reported call quality, headphone jack and GPS issues--all of which have not been experienced by the large majority of Verizon Fascinate users, as demonstrated by the communities at XDA-Developers, Androidcentral, and the new [...]. I repeat, it does NOT have these severe issues people are seemingly complaining about.
Subjectively, it's a gorgeous phone; Samsung's proprietary SuperAMOLED screen looks incredible. It's chrome ring around it's all black exterior makes it look like what the iPhone 4 wishes it could be. The only thing I think it's missing, is an external LED notification light--however there are work-arounds, including the NoLED app which uses the screen to indicate various types of notifications (SMS, email, missed call, etc.) The battery life is fairly good, impressing most users--especially if you turn the (already ridiculously bright) screen brightness down.
Now the Bing issue. It's not one--it took me MINUTES to remove all traces of Bing from my phone, and restoring all respective Google features. See below** for details. Verizon has stated however, that when Google releases Android 2.2 (Froyo,) it will re-introduce Google and replace Bing... without the need for rooting, or and tinkering. So, don't let that hold you back from an amazing phone.
- Gorgeous body, and screen. Visually one of the most stunning phones ever created.
- Very fast. The processor and memory rival the best currently available.
- HUGE community support. I can't emphasize the importance of this.
- The BEST video card on the market (good for games, and smooth interface animations.)
- Available for as cheap as $79 on the internet, with a 2-yr contract.
- No exterior notification LED, and requires 3rd party apps for this feature
- If you're not willing to spend a few minutes rooting your phone, you will be stuck with BING until Android 2.2 comes out.
**NOTE: I would greatly advice even the most inexperienced users, to follow this fantastic (and VERY simple) step-by-step guide here:
This will allow you to root your phone (in MINUTES,) allowing you to remove all the Bloatware (all that unwanted Verizon stuff they put on your phone,) and all traces from Bing from your phone. Then, by installing the .apk here:
You can restore ALL Google search, map and navigation functions. All you'll need is Titanium Backup (a FREE app) after you've rooted, to remove whatever applications you'd like.
Do yourself a favor, and get this phone--it's literally AMAZING, and everyone who has seen mine has drooled.
Former Blackberry User loves the Fascinate! September 29, 2010
Reviewer: G. Prado "gu4u2" (San Diego, CA) -
Ok, to start, I do miss the push emails coming to my phone. If you need your emails delivered in seconds and reliably I would stick with Blackberry. On the other hand, after playing with the Fascinate for the last day, I feel like I was so behind the technology curve with my Blackberry Bold. The lack of a physical keyboard has not bothered me - and I've had a keyboard phone for years. The GPS feature works great - no problems locking position. Battery is fine, although the Blackberry seems to last longer, I am using the Fascinate a lot more intensely, so beware of the battery comparisons you hear from reviewers. Of course you will use the new phone much more than the old, especially in the first days you have it. I have been charging every night, just like I have with every Smartphone I've had.
I really don't understand some reviewers bad-mouthing this phone. I bought it for one cent! The screen is awesome. Everything works. The whole Bing issue is very much overblown. I installed Google Maps, Google Navigation, and a Google search link to my home page, so I can access Google anytime. Who cares if the Bing icon is hidden somewhere (assuming you don't like it)? Coming from AT&T, Verizon's call quality and overall signal coverage is much much better.
I love the fact that all my Picasa photos are accessible. The camera shoots great pictures and videos. Overall I am very satisfied with my choice. Go to a Verizon store and play with the Fascinate and the Droid 2 and X. I didn't think the Droids were superior at all. The Droid X 8 MP camera shoots some pretty noisy photos, unlike the Fascinate. Compare original photos from both cameras, and don't be fooled by specs alone.
Couldn't be happier! September 22, 2010
Reviewer: Thomas L. Kirkpatrick (Cleveland, TN) -
This is my first Amazon review! I had to come give this phone some praise. I originally planned to wait to get a phone in January when hopefully Android 3.0 phones would be coming out, but after seeing the display in-store, I knew I wanted to go ahead and get this one. I switched over from an iPhone 3GS w/AT&T and I'm 100% satisfied with my decision. Sure, the iPhone had a better game selection, but other than that I've found Android to trump the iOS in every other way. I love this display, so vivid and sharp. The camera/camcorder exceeded that of my 3GS (never had an iPhone4, so can't say for that phone). I love being able to customize so much of the phone. I immediately installed Launcher Pro and that made the phone feel 100x's faster. The Launcher Pro interface is so much better/snappier than the Samsung default GUI, it's the way Google intended for Android to look. Yes, the Bing search was a poor/annoying move by Verizon, but it's easily remedied with rooting or by Launcher Pro with the Google search widget (or just wait for Froyo update some time in the next month or two, Google search will be added back). The weight and size of this phone is just right for me, not too big, not too small. My girlfriend has a Droid X and I've played with most other Android phones enough to comfortably say I feel this is the best Android phone on the market (with each carrier having their own version of it). Buy it, install Launcher Pro first thing, you shouldn't be disappointed. I am looking forward to the Froyo update for the added browser speed & App installs to the MicroSD. Good job Samsung, now just give us timely updates and I will be encouraging my friends/coworkers to look at this phone for their next upgrade.
We are very happy together. October 1, 2010
Coming from a Samsung Alias 2, I was hesitant to go to a phone without a physical keyboard. But the Fascinate has helped me conquer that mindset, and this phone is SWEET!
Amazingly crisp, vibrant, and colorful display. Everything pops out at you, and reds and greens look superb!
Fast response time. This phone is wicked fast, even faster if you install LauncherPro
Swype keyboard. This has helped me type at least twice as fast as on my ipod touch, and even faster than my Alias 2.
Camera. The pictures taken on this phone are just like the display, crisp and vibrant. Oh, and the HD camcorder looks better than my parents' Sony mini-dvd camcorder.
Thin and light! This phone just has that sweet-spot, sexy factor!
Battery: I know some people complain about the battery. But sure, if I listen to music while browsing the web on 3G for 8 hours, the phone is going to die. But, I spent a whole day in Philly taking pictures, using GPS, and lightly messaging, and made it through the whole day. It's all about battery management. And this phone can easily last the day. And if you are a power user, there is an extended battery available.
Bing, bing, bing. C'mon Verizon, don't let shady partnerships trickle down your crap to consumers. No one wants Bing. We want Google. You know, the company that makes AnDROID?
TouchWiz UI: This UI may be good for some, but the bubbly, colorful, iphoney layout isn't suited for me. And LauncherPro just makes this phone smoother to run than TouchWiz. Stop boggin us, Samsung.
GPS sucks. But, the good news is it's a software issue, and Samsung is working on a fix. But for now, sucky.
No front facing camera: Not really a con, but it would have been nice to be a bit future-proofed. And the Epic got one.
Android 2.1, for now. It would have been nice to see 2.2 on this phone. Considering it was released back in freakin' April.
Overall, I would purchase this phone over the Droids again and again. The display constantly keeps me in awe. The camera is the best I've used on a cell phone. It's browser is snappy and responsive. I just love this phone. Now give me a GPS fix, Android 2.2 Froyo, and Google search and I will tie the knot with my Fascinate. Until then, just count us as a happy couple.
Great phone overall, do NOT overlook this phone!!! October 13, 2010
Reviewer: Chase K. Kang "chasemyaccord" (Riverside, CA) -
The Hummingbird chip is very fast. There's a little lag once in a blue moon when using the OS, but that's a software issue which will be addressed once Froyo is officially released. Trust me, this phone is a beast.
Believe me when I say 4" screen is the perfect size. Anything larger is awkward to hold. I didn't like the idea that the iPhone's screen actually shrunk, so I was looking for a phone with a killer screen that wasn't too bulky to hold (like the Evo and Droid X), and the Fascinate is exactly what I was looking for. The Super AMOLED is breathtaking! You can see the screen pretty easily outside as well (IMO), which is a big plus since I know some Incredible users complain about their AMOLED washing out n the sun. Games look awesome, and will look even better as developers continue to push the graphics envelope. I'll admit that iPhone's game library is much better than on Android, but this phone certainly has the capability to render the most demanding graphics. You will NOT be disappointed with the screen.
I'd give this a 9/10, but it really depends on how you manage your OS. I woke up with a full charge yesterday and I'm still at 45% as of 5:35PM on day 2 (although I haven't used my phone TOO heavily). It blows the Incredible's battery life out of the water (sorry to the Incredible users, I only say this because I think it's the next best phone out there for Big Red).
This is where the phone is lacking and Verizon meddled where it shouldn't have. The TouchWiz OS (from Samsung) isn't too bad, and it reminds you of an iPhone layout. But the Bing integration is horrible. It wouldn't have been a big deal if Verizon allowed us to uninstall it, but it's stuck there (unless you root). In addition, the phone doesn't come with Google maps preinstalled, so you have to do it manually. You can put Google back on the phone by doing a search online, it's really simple and makes the phone much more enjoyable. That's the beauty of Android, it's so customizable.
The software is probably the worst part of the phone, but it can easily be overlooked and is not a dealbreaker for me, which is why I still give it 5 stars. Awesome phone, now go get one for yourself!
The iphone is officailly irrelevant November 16, 2010
Reviewer: B. V. Dam "California Candyman" (California, USA) -
I LOVE THIS PHONE!!! I waited and waited and waited and waited and......for the iphone and myth and promise by Apple and on and on an I finally lost my patience with Mr. Jobs. I researched many Droid phones from the Droid X (HUGE and a battery hog) and many others. I settled on either the HTC Incredible or the Samsung Fascinate. In the end the Super AMOLED screen of the Samsung and longer battery life won me over. This lasts 1.5 days with normal use.
DROID software rocks!! and Droid 2 is even better. The screen is sensitive, the apps are abundant, the user interface is excellent and the Samsung Swype is PHENOMENAL! This is not only a beautiful phone, it is intuitive and downright fun to use.
What I love is plugging it in to a PC and being able to control the way I WANT TO see and use the files and music and NOT the way itunes forces on you. It is like a traditional file system so very flexible and familiar and very personal. The removable and upgradeable micro card means TONS of music and apps. With the iphone, you would have to buy a new phone to get more memory, with Droid, buy a new card for $89 and off you go!
Just like Apple kept the Mac isolated, expensive and proprietary and lost to the PC, so will this pattern repeat itself with the iphone. Steve jobs is a brilliant leader and his design team is legendary. Sadly they chose to remain overly protective, he has shunned Flash (Adobe kept Macs relevant in their darkest days) and Droid will open the world to new potential driven by consumer choice.
Presently there are 47 phones with Droid...........Apple.....one....and it is expensive....and it is AT&T
Sorry Apple, I LOVE my Droid and my freedom to chose the way I use my device.
Phenomenal Phone October 27, 2010
Reviewer: Shrugged (Louisiana, USA) -
I've owned all the most popular droid phones and I can report without hesitation that this Samsung Fascinate is the finest phone I've ever used. The screen display quality is unquestionably the best on the market. Stunningly bright and beautiful. The videos that I've recorded are equal and in some cases superior to my high end camcorder. Camera is superb. This phone is lightening fast and extremely well organized. I prefer Google to Bing so it took me all of 30 seconds to take care of that. Touch one button and you are using "voice activated text". No more typing of text messages. Just say it clearly and there it is on the screen. I could go on for pages but I will cut this short by saying that this is a first rate piece of technology that will satisfy and thrill even the most demanding techno buffs.
Excellent phone with a few issues, but showing great promise! October 12, 2010
Reviewer: C. Thompson "Kabob" (Birmingham, AL) -
My wife and I recently decided to pick up some smartphones. Our first choice was the iPhone (It's what we knew of) but we are Verizon customers. I started looking at Android and really liked what I saw (moreso than Apple) so we started shopping. In the end for me it came down to the Droid X and the Samsung Fascinate, and we both purchased the later.
Physical Dimensions - First off, the phone is light...I mean really light. The phone is a good bit bigger than the iPhone 4 yet weighs less. It feels excellent in your hand, just the right size. The controls are all well laid out and intuitive.
Display - Super AMOLED. You'll hear it touted like crazy, but what exactly does it mean? The Super part of that simply means there are fewer layers of air/material between the display and the external glass, which translates to the colors being less washed out the images less fuzzy. AMOLED is the display technology itself: instead of having a color backlight with other colors displayed on top like an LCD, each pixel of the phone starts at "off" (black) and turns on to displays a full color. The result is brilliant colors that jump off the screen and look fantastic. People may complain of a slight blue hue, but I haven't noticed it.
Speed - I'll get right to it, the Galaxy S phones are the "fastest" Smartphones available in 3D applications. The GPU is made for flying through 3D content with great speed. Unfortunately there just isn't alot of 3D applications/games out right now, so alot of this power is wasted. Downloads are very quite quick over 3G or WiFi.
User Interface - TouchWiz is pretty slick. My wife loves it, I think in large part because it reminds her of the iPhone. Home screens and your application drawer are displayed in pages that you can swipe left or right through. It works well and is quite fast. Personally, I prefer the look of Android for my applications, but there are plenty of launchers that will change that with ease.
Camera - It may "only" be 5MP but the pictures are sharp. A 720p video camera is also an excellent addition.
Call Quality - Some people seem to have issues with the call quality on their phones, on both mine and my wife's phones though the quality is excellent over both the microphone and the speaker.
Bing - You'll hear this all the time and honestly it's all personal preference, but I'll list this as a "bad." Android was developed by Google and every Android phone out now EXCEPT the Fascinate comes pre-loaded with all the Google goodies. Google maps, search, navigator, etc. For some reason Verizon/Samsung decided that they would switch to Microsoft's Bing services instead which, to be honest, are simply not as good. The maps/navigator don't work as well nor look as good, Bing search isn't as slick.
GPS - This isn't just a Fascinate issue, this is an issue with all the Galaxy S phones. For some reason the GPS will not locate/use the GPS satellites correctly. Put your Galaxy S phone side-by-side with most other Android phones and there is no comparison. Thankfully (or so we're told) this is a software issue and should be remedied in the near future. Until then you can download the free application "GPS Status & Toolbox" which will help the GPS to work correctly, although not perfectly.
Build Materials - The tradeoff of having a very light phone is that it uses lots of plastic parts. It doesn't irk me much, but it may some when compared even to other Galaxy S phones like AT&T's Captivate which comes with a very nice rear cover.
Camera Controls - While the pictures themselves are very good I do wish they would offer a physical camera button on the side of the phone. And since they don't, I wish when you rotated the phone 90 degrees to take portrait pictures that there would be some sort of notification (nothing on the screen changes at all).
Capacitive Button Backlight - This is something so simple I'm sure a software update could fix it, but I've heard nothing about it yet. The four buttons on the base of the phone are touch sensitive, but the backlight that illuminates them only stays on for 2 or so seconds and then shuts off unless you lock/unock the phone. Trying to find the correct button when it's dark is a pain, they should make the duration of the light customizable.
Battery Life - This is a two sided sword. The Fascinate comes with a beautiful SAMOLED screen and that rocket of a GPU, but both of those consume a good bit of battery power. Honestly though the battery is nearly as strong as that of the Droid X. If you use your phone alot for browsing the internet, app market, etc the Droid X will last longer. If you don't and want a battery that will last long when on standby the Fascinate battery will last longer. Unfortunately for me I'm in the former group and find myself wishing I my phone wasn't running out of juice so fast.
Android 2.1 - This isn't much of a negative, but it needs to be addressed. Many of the big-name smartphones nowadays are shipping with the next version of Android's software, 2.2 (Froyo). Samsung has stated for a while that all the Galaxy S phones will get Froyo but have never specified exactly when and have been stringing their consumers along for a while. It's getting frusterating and needs to be released, although only after being properly tested (releasing 2.2 for the Droid X caused alot of issues).
What's being done:
OK, so there are my good and bad points, but what is being done? The biggest part is Froyo, the release of which should fix several of the Fascinate's issues. First, with Froyo you will be able to use all the Google services instead of Bing. On top of that, rumor has it (although it's not been confirmed) that the GPS works perfectly with Froyo.
Overall I really like the Fascinate, it's not perfect but it is a very solid phone that will be even better when Froyo comes out (hopefully in the very near future). I actually did contemplate trading it in for a Droid X in my "30 day satisfaction guarantee" period but having tried both I do like the Fascinate a little more. The X has a few features I do wish would make their way to the Fascinate (built in HDMI out, the ability to zoom in on text boxes and fine-place your cursor, etc), but it's physically bigger than I'd like and the screen isn't as sharp.
Both are excellent options but if you're a Verizon customer you owe it to yourself to give the Fascinate a good look.
Thoughts After a Few Months In .... March 5, 2011
Reviewer: Ron Sullivan (Philadelphia, PA United States) -
Let me begin by saying up-front that I've been a card carrying Apple fanatic since I was young. Having said that, for YEARS I've been foaming at the mouth over the thought of buying an iPhone. I really thought it was the perfect hybrid of the phone and a portable entertainment device and EXACTLY want I was looking for in a phone. However, even from the start, I just knew AT&T's cell phone network was garbage (at least around my area, anyway), not to mention, it was fairly expensive. Not wanting to make the jump, I remained loyal to my Blackberry.
Then Google's Droid O/S came along. When it was released I took a really close look at it and was honestly impressed! I thought it was a little rough around the edges, but, (especially taken in the context of a "first release") I thought it was wildly exciting and was curious to see where its "open" O/S would take it. What held me back was still the cost of the "Droid" devices. I figured if I was spending a comparable amount of money for a Droid device vs an iPhone, I'd rather just buy the device I really wanted.
Last Black Friday, I caught wind that the Fascinate was going to be on sale for a penny. For my fiance and I, that was all we needed to hear. Although I knew that, eventually, the iPhone was making its way to Verizon, I had absolutely zero expectation that it was ever going to hit a price point this low. "Free" is tough to beat and we were saving a stone-fortune for two phones going with the Fascinate (probably somewhere in the ball-park of $400). For the money I was keeping in my pocket, it was more then in my best interest to jump behind the Droid O/S and worth the trade-off that it might be a little more clunky when it needs to "talk" to the rest of my Apple-based hardware.
As for the network coverage, I love Verizon's network. It's more expensive then a lot of other carriers, but I can get a signal anywhere. I don't think, on Verizon, I've ever had a dropped call due to network coverage. I need my phone for work, so for me, this gives me exactly the coverage map I was looking for. I had T-Mobile previously and their coverage outside of the metro-Philadelphia area is awful. I absolutely had to have something more reliable. I, admittedly, did groan a little bit that I couldn't access data and voice at the same time. <Laughing> In other words I can't goof-off on the internet while a conference call drones on. Not a "deal-breaker" by any means and I knew ahead of time that this was (basically) AT&T's only advantage, but still ... that feature probably would be something I wish I had versus not having it.
Physically, the phone is a real beauty! In my opinion, it does come across feeling a little plastic-y. This is pretty forgivable though for the trade off of being very light-weight and razor-thin. it lends itself very well to being dropped in a pants or sport-coat pocket without feeling like you're carrying a brick. Even after popping a hard-case on it, it's still barely noticeable. The front of the phone is absolutely clean and very slick-looking and the touch-screen is as responsive as I hoped it would be. The quality of the display is jaw-droppingly beautiful and easily the phones best feature. I honestly don't know what else to say other then "it's gorgeous"! It's also terrific on battery life, especially in light of how nice the screen is!
If I could, in my head, redesign it at all, I still would have tried to go with some kind of a metal backing versus plastic and I would have loved having direct access to the phone's 16 gig micro SD card. As it's currently designed, you need to take the back off of your phone for access to the card. Every time I do this to take out the memory card (and lately, that's a lot) I'm always a little worried that I'm going to crack the plastic on the back.
The Google O/S is really nice! I love having seven "desktops" to better organize the apps and widgets I use all the time. That's a brilliant idea and something I really ran with. Now I have all my "sports stuff" on one "desktop", all my "social networking stuff" on another ... and so on. However, this is where I start to grumble a bit. First, the Android market really isn't anywhere near Apples app market yet and, in my opinion, this is where Apples "closed" system has an advantage. Android's marketplace is just loaded with emulated crap. For example, Netflix (right now) or Hulu don't have an Android app. If you do a search though, you'll come across (literally) dozens of third party apps that seems to be working really hard at passing itself off as first-party software. You have to be REALLY careful about what it is you're dragging onto your phone. I can easily see where someone who's not quite as aware that this stuff isn't legit could get themselves into trouble. The other day I read that Google found over twenty apps on it's marketplace that were flagged, after the fact, as malware. Now some of these apps just screamed "bad idea" but at the same time, one was labeled as "chess". People may not necessarily "like" that Apple has as firm a thumb on its marketplace as it does, but plain fact of the matter is that this probably wouldn't have happened in their apps market.
As much as I love their network coverage, Verizon has seen fit to just ram this phone full of bloat-ware. I really wouldn't mind this (it's a Verizon phone, I "get it" that they're going to pop all of their stuff on their phone), but you can't delete any of it. That's annoying. What's also annoying is that, although I have a Google-phone, I'm forced to have the 'Bing' search engine rammed down my throat. I'm a marketing guy, I understand that Microsoft paid a lot to have this on the phone. However, I want to use 'Google' as my search option but Verizon seems to be saying 'I'm not allowed'. I know full-well that this is simply a money issue and not some hang-up with the hardware. This is also annoying.
I travel a pretty good deal and it's not as if planes are getting roomier. Anymore, cracking my laptop open to watch a movie isn't exactly space-friendly to either myself or anyone next to me. To be able to stream a few TV shows or movies directly through my phone via WiFi would be really nice. Even to be able to watch something in the airport without having to completely set up my laptop would be really helpful. For the most part though, it's not an option. The Fascinate uses version 2.1 of the Android O/S which doesn't support Flash 100%. MOST web-sites will work, but there are a lot of them that don't. It's something that is supposed to be 2.2's biggest feature (100% support for Flash). Verizon, however, hasn't upgraded yet, even though the Facinate's hardware can handle the newer O/S and version 2.2 is quickly coming up on a year old.
Neither Netflix or Hulu are available on the Android market. From what I understand the "openness" of the O/S has distributor's freaked out about rights-management and piracy. They want to see a level of security that (apparently) just doesn't exist on this version of the Droid O/S (2.1). This wouldn't normally bug me too much because I could always just use a program like Double-Twist to put a movie or two on my phone before I left. It didn't exactly lend itself to casually browsing, but it was still a viable work-around so that I could watch something ... until around late January.
About that time, Verizon sent a firm-ware upgrade out to fix a problem the phone's GPS was having locking onto a signal. I'm not sure exactly why, but this upgrade seems to have obliterated any kind of mac compatibility. Now if I connect my phone and mount the device as a portable hard drive, my iMac refuses to recognize it. I could connect it before without any issue at all, now I can't however and no one at either Samsung or Verizon have any idea on a work-around or were even aware there was an issue. For now, in order to transfer media to my device, I need to take the back off of it, remove the memory card and use a card reader to load it with mp3's and video. Not exactly "convenient", to put it nicely. I was always aware that asking the phone to "talk" to a mac O/S might require an extra step or two and I was completely OK with that. Now that I don't seem to be able to do it at all is REALLY aggravating. In my case the phone's functionality, strangely enough, seems to be sliding backwards. I'm really hoping that when (or if) Verizon wakes-up and decides to grace us with Droid 2.2, it'll fix the connectivity issue I'm having.
All in all, it's a great phone. Although I do have a few complaints, the good really does outweigh anything I might be grousing about. It's also worth mentioning that just about every issue I'd mentioned I have is completely fixable. The hardware on the phone is really powerful and, in theory, it has the processing power to do all the things I find I'm wishing it did.
The Fascinate might not be "perfect", but it's damn good. I'd still have no problem recommending it. If you're a mac user though, you still might want to hang onto that iPod for now ...
Samsung Facsinate (EDIT: 3/13/2011) November 21, 2010
Reviewer: Zachary Toliver (Austin, TX, USA) -
EDIT:(Updated 3/13/2011. 6 months of use. Any additions will be marked as "EDIT:", I will not delete original reviews)
First, I'll start off by saying this is the greatest phone I have ever used. The combination of features and customization allow for a great mobile experience. Friends of mine that own an IPhone say they wish they had my phone because the 3G and 3GS are becoming obsolete and slow.
EDIT: Still one of the greatest phone's I've used, though faster phones such as the Motorola Atrix are now out.
This phone is blazing fast, especially when rooted and using a lag fix. With this phone, I have had no annoying slowdowns or CPU farts in the three months I've had it. The UI is great and allows for a lot of customization. You can even download apps like LauncherPro which allow for even more customization of the home screens and UI.
EDIT: Still fast. Currently have a leaked version of 2.2 FroYo installed and it's even faster than before. More launcher apps to test include ADW launcher, Go launcher, W7 launcher, and Android Seven Lite.
This might be the primary reason I picked this phone over the HTC Evo. When I saw how amazing the colors and blacks were on this screen I was immediately attracted to it. Former AMOLED screens did a not so great job with color reproduction. The color reproduction on this phone is awesome and Samsung has done a great job with Super AMOLED technology (look out for Super AMOLED 2 coming soon). The resolution on this screen is good and I can read very small text. The screen is extremely bright and I have no issue using it in direct sunlight here in the bright Texas sun. The swipe feature is easy to use and easily replaces regular typing once you get used to it.
EDIT: The sub pixel count on super AMOLED screens are lower than usual which accounts for people noticing pixels much easier than other phones. The screen is still sharp and doesn't bother me much.
The Size/Form Factor:
This is a VERY slim phone and I was surprised that a phone with such a large display could be so thin. Even with a case, it is about as thin or thinner than an IPhone 3. This phone fits very easily in my pockets with no hassle.
This battery gets me through the day. Although its not a phenomenal part of this phone, that's to be expected from a high performance device. With the screen brightness low, closing all running apps, wifi, gps, and bluetooth off, this phone lasts me throughout the day and into the late night. I usually unplug at about 8am and wont have to recharge until 3am the next day.
EDIT: Battery life with 2.2 is terrible right now. It changes everyday because there are sleep and sensor issues. Hopefully the official release of 2.2 will fix this.
The camera on this phone is amazing. It takes high quality high resolution photos with great color. The LED flash also works wonders. The video camera often stutters and I hear high-pitched noise in the microphone but it is also of good quality.
Overall this is one of the best phones I have ever used. It is a phenomenal product from Samsung. The only drawbacks of the device are that there is no front facing camera, no 4G, and battery life isn't the greatest. This will most likely be addressed in Samsung's upcoming Galaxy 2.
FINAL EDIT: The only major issue I've had with my Fascinate is the reception quality and speed. Ever since 2.1 the connection jumps up and down like crazy and goes from 1x to 3G constantly. This hasn't been fixed in the leaks of 2.2. I doubt this is a software issue but rather a weak radio in the Fascinate that does not pick up signal very well. Regular 3G speeds tend to lag behind friends phone's I've used. -1 star for this disappointment =/.
FANTASTIC FASCINATE! September 21, 2010
Reviewer: CJ "ChefJeff" (Ozone Park NY) -
Went from a 3G phone to this beauty! Always wanted a smartphone, but was torn between the Fascinate and the Droid X. Went to the Verizon store to play with both, didn't really care for the look of the Droid X, motoblur doesn't do justice to it's graphic capabilities.
Spec wise the Droid X is better, but once I started using the Fascinate I was sold!
Very fast user interface, colors just pop, a sight to behold.
Wasn't too thrilled with Bing being the default search, but when the Fascinate gets Froyo 2.2, Google search will be an option, not a big deal anyway, don't see what all the fuss is about.
The fascinate is very customizable, I totally rearranged the widgets and icons, now it looks the way I want it to!
Battery life is not the greatest, I get a day if I'm lucky, using the task killer app. Extended battery is coming soon.
Call quality is superb! Although at times the signal strength indicator bounces from 5 bars to 0 bars, but does not interfere with calls, no dropped calls yet.
3G is spotty, I often have to enable Wi-Fi to load web pages faster, got better 3G coverage on my non smartphone, go figure.
Picture quality as well as video is also very good.
Also has a decent speakerphone, loud enough and clear indoors, but outdoors there is too much noise to hear it.
Stock web-kit browser is decent, although I downloaded opera mini, and it's blazing fast, pages load in a few seconds!
Doesn't have repeat notifications for missed alerts, WHY Samsung?? Have to check the screen often to see if there are missed alerts.
Cant' turn off vibrate for alerts, only for calls, again WHY??
Despite a few annoying negatives, this phone is a keeper, hopefully some issues will be worked out when Froyo 2.2 is available.
If it weren't for the minor gripes, I would have rated it 5 stars, but I have had my share of cell phones, and I've never had one that was perfect, but this one comes darn close!
Many bugs, outdated from the get-go April 7, 2011
Reviewer: Yony (Irvine, CA) -
Important: Currently Samsung does not update their phones to current versions of Android and there's no indication that this will change. So you're going to be stuck with v2.1 while the rest of the market moves forward to newer versions. This means that your phone will remain outdated, even though it doesn't have to be.
Its a shame because this phone really has potential to be a great device. The screen is fantastic, and overall construction quality is good. Unfortunately the software is riddled with bugs that make usability frustrating and sometimes impossible. Getting GPS signal often takes >20 minutes, syncing with online services can be touch-and-go, freeze ups are common (including the phone functionality), etc. I went back to the Verizon store and was told that this is a common complaint and the only thing you can do is pull out the battery and reset.
I'm not sure if I'll stay with Android for future phones but I'm 100% sure I'll never go with Samsung again.
Best Android Device I Have Owned February 25, 2011
Reviewer: J. Crecca "Psychonewb" (NJ) -
For Cliffs See Bottom...
I have gone through the different Android devices that Verizon has offered and I must say that this device is by far my overall favorite and in my opinion the best iPhone competitor out there. While I know that there has been a lot of debate over this phone because of lack of Android 2.2 from Samsung, and that Verizon made Bing the mandatory search but these 2 things do not outweigh the benefits of this phone.
I want to start this off by saying that I have owned most of the "high end" Android devices on Verizon. I bought this also AFTER the iPhone 4 was released on Verizon so I will do my best to keep that in mind while doing this review. I started with Droid back when Verizon offered the frist Touch Screen Droid with a full QWERTY keyboard.. the Droid 1. Then I moved on the HTC Incredible for a long period of time which that is when I fell in love with these devices. After the Incredible I went back to my Blackberry for a while (for work purposes until they decided to finally support Android OS) and once I was able to convert again I bought a Droid X.
Now there are a lot of comparisons out there between the X and Fascinate. Yes the X is bigger, has google, OS 2.2, and the "pure Android experience" but what I did not like about the X was the standard interface features of the SMS/MMS and EMail, as well the costatn glitches that I had. That is for another review which I will be doing for the Droid X. Once I got fed up with the constant "issues" I had with the Droid X, I went and bought this Samsung Fascinte (I have the limited edition white version only sold at BestBuy... same hardware, different color).
I want to start by saying this phone screams sexiness. It looks a lot nicer than the Droid X, feels a lot nicer in your hand, much lighter and the screen looks stunning. That isn't to say the Droid X screen wasn't gorgeous but the Super AMOLED screen is just stunning and in my opinion unbeatable. It does feel slightly cheaper because it is made more form plastic but that also contributes to it feeling lighter. My only concern here is that because of the plastic glossy feel to it, if your hands are slightly sweaty or moist the phone gets slippery. Easily solved with a case though which most people would buy to protect this beauty. So for looks, I would deffinetly say this is where the Fascinate blows everything out of the water.
Performance wise there have been a lot of people complaining that the phone freezes, or lags at times but I have not had that happen once to me (I'm sure after I am done typing this my phone will freeze just to prove me wrong but thats how life works right?) and from what I can tell it performs just as good as the Droid X, if not better. My Droid X sometimes would have a screen lag with live wallpapers, or it would actually loose the cellular signal and could not recieve texts, emails, or phone calls until I rebooted the phone. For this, I have not had any problem loosing service or not receiving texts, calls or emails. The only performance issue that I notice is that this takes slightly longer to download apps or load web pages but in 99% of the cases it only takes 1-2 seconds longer than the Droid X did. Here comes the downside, there is no Google search by using the search button on the device. To Google something you need to go the webpage which isn't a problem but sometimes can be an annoyance. Bing search isn't bad, but Google is Googel... 'nuff said. So performance wise, I would say this phone takes my vote by a slight margin.
Battery life is the bane to these types of devices existence. The only way to give perspective is to compare devices here that I have used. Now, for all the phones that I used I let the battery FULLY drain (to 5% of battery life) 2 times then recharged to 100% to get a fully battery cycle. Myself, I text pretty much all day so the screen is constantly turning on and off and then there is the occasional web browsing, app downloading, or playing Angry Birds. I did this on all the Droid phones I am comparing. My HTC Incredible lasted usually 1 on average. My Droid X on average lasted a poor 6-8 hours, I could not go an entire day without swapping a battery or charging my phone. Fascinate honestly surprise me with a battery life of a 1.5 days, and it probably could have lasted 2 full days if I did not plug it in at 25%.
The screen quality and camera quality are just Fascinating (see what I did there?). Pictures and videos look crystal clear and even though the X has an 8mp Camera compared to a 5mp on the Fascinate, the quality appears better on the Fascinate than it ever did on my Droid X. As for screen quality, either option will be a great choice, but the Super AMOLED screen really makes the color pop and makes everything just look much bolder and colorful. I didn't think I would see a difference in quality but there truely is. Samsung uses "TouchWiz" which basically makes the Application Drawr look like an iPhone screen and personally I like that, makes finding apps more managable and you can move your most commonly used apps to the first screen so you don't need to load up you home screens with app icons. Some people love it, some people hate it but personally I love this TouchWiz interface.
Looking at the most important functions of this phone it is a great choice when looking for an iPhone alternate that has a gorgeous screen and all the function of Android except 1 or 2 then this is a perfect choice. It is simpilar to use for those who never owned an Adroid device before while retaining the best functions of the operating system. Overall I would say this is the best Android phone that Verizon has to offer and in my personal opinion, better than the iPhone.
-Amazing Screen Colors
-Feels Easier to Hold
-Does Not Get as Hot as Droid X
-Battery Life Good
-Camera Takes Excellent Quality Pictures
-Fast and Responsive
-TouchWiz makes OS more user friendly
-No Google Default Search
-No OS 2.2 (Yet - Samsung and Verizon say "soon")
-Feels a Little Cheap Due to Plastic
-Glossy Finish Gets Slippery When Hands are Sweaty
A Power users Dream! November 29, 2010
Root it, and clean it up and OMG, is it baller!
Lets not forget, its FREEEEEE!!!!
Root, Pull off Bing, the garbage apps, and all the bloat-ware.
Sadly you NEED to root it to do this, but lets be honest here; why would you buy an Android phone and not plan on rooting it?
Amazing GPU in this thing, runs Quake 3 at over 90 FPS.
Make sure you install the free wifi tether for root users and Dolphin Web Browser so you can use all the features VZW wants you to pay for... but for free!
Use the built in wifi and you can get away with the cheap data plan!
The cost of the device paired with VZW being the only company that has unlimited data plans still (at this time) makes this an easy winner if you know enough to be dangerous.
Still waiting on the Froyo 2.2 update though, this means you cant copy apps to the SD card or view sites that are using flash 10.0 or greater in case you're curious.
Do not buy this if you are not going to root, get a Tonka, PlaySchool or Apple you know, something more simple.
Great Phone in itself- For free, its the best deal I've found in a long while October 9, 2010
Chris Hann summed up what I wanted to say nicely.
Its a nice phone. It certainly contends with the other Verizon heavy hitters available right now (Droid X/ Droid 2). The display is GORGEOUS, it takes pretty decent pictures and while I dont love the TouchWiz UI, its a matter a preference.
But, as Chris said, there are annoyances. I hate all the crap applications Verizon loaded it with pre-shipping. What's worse is that theres no way to get rid of them (and worse still, if you use the interface it ships with, when you hit 'apps' all the bloatware is shown first, with no way of rearranging- so you have to scroll through two pages of awful programs before you can get to what you want.)
Its also obnoxious that bing is the default search and that the phone back feels so cheaply made.
However if you can learn to live with those things you can get the same features as the Droid 2 with more memory and a larger, more stunning screen for $200 less.
I'm not returning it.
I Love my Fascinate October 11, 2010
Reviewer: Lisa Shea "be the change you wish to see in the world"
For many years I actively chose to have only the cheapest types of cell phones, for use in emergency. It could help me if I got stuck at the side of the road, or let someone get a hold of me in an important situation. The high monthly cost of a data plan - on top of what I already considered an outrageous amount of money just to have the emergency device - seemed an insurmountable barrier.
Finally though in 2010 it seemed like every time I was out of the house I needed access to information from the internet. I run several websites as my business, and now in addition I was taking online classes. There were many times that I needed to check on information, or take care of a problem, or perform some other internet based task. The idea of lugging around a laptop and finding a wi-fi spot seemed like it would not work well long term. Also, there was the threat that internet plans could go to a metered system, providing incentive to make the jump now.
After looking over the available phones on the market, testing a number of them out, and comparing their features with the coverage of the phones in Massachusetts, I finally decided to go with the Samsung Fascinate. I was lucky that in early October, Best Buy chose to offer the Fascinate for free. I like free!
The phone comes with a power charger that works with an outlet - and the same cord also unplugs from the "outlet box" and becomes a USB plug for you to plug into your computer. So the one plug / cord unit works both with electrical outlets and with USB connections on your computer.
The phone is very easy to use for newbies. A power button on the right side turns it on and off. A set of buttons across the bottom always give you access to the settings for the page you're on, the main homepage, going 'back' to wherever you just were, and a search function. The rest of the main face is taken up by the screen. On the left is a volume toggle.
The screen is *gorgeous*. Bright, clear, sharp colors, absolutely beautiful. I immediately found the app store and poked around for some pretty backgrounds. It took maybe 2 minutes to find an animated aquarium background complete with swimming fish that you could feed and streams of bubbles. The app store is easy to use, and the download was quick!
In only a few more minutes I had gmail set up to stream my mail down, Skype set up to chat with my father, and AIM to talk with my son. Moving items onto the pages was very straightforward. So was setting up contact lists, watching a Facebook stream, getting to weather and news.
Browsing is quite easy. They do steer you in a Bing direction, but you can of course bookmark any page you want including Google. Zooming in and out of webpages is smooth, and I had no problem using a variety of webpages that I tested out.
The photos taken by the phone are very impressive. I've got a variety of photos online already and they look just as sharp as the ones taken with my other digital cameras.
So far I have had the unit for two weeks, and I have loved every day of it. Each time I leave the house with it I have found it useful for some task or another. I have a silicone case on it for protection, and I am fortunate that my purse has a nicely sized padded pouch in it to keep it safe when I am traveling. I know it's always a balance between wanting to keep the unit safe and also to have it remain light and non-bulky. For me the slim silicone case does well. I find it a great size to see things on, without being TOO big to make it unwieldy.
Well recommended - I'll post updates as I use it more! So far I don't have any downsides at all to my choice. I absolutely love its functionality.
HATE this phone after only seven months August 11, 2011
Reviewer: Amy Kalvig "Amy" (Bellevue, Ohio) -
Most of the people who wrote reviews about the Samsung Fascinate did so after using the phone for a few days or weeks.
Here is a review from someone who has used the phone for seven months. Initially, I loved the phone. I now hate it. This is why:
* There is too much lag time between hitting the end call button and the call actually ending. It's a good thing I'm not the dramatic hanging up on you type of girl, because I certainly wouldn't be able to dramatically hang up using this phone! It takes 5-6 seconds between hitting END and the call actually ending... and most times, I have to hit the END button more than once to actually end the call.
* The battery life is ridiculously low. When my phone's battery indicator turns orange, it's time to put it on the charger. When it's fully charged, the phone will beep. During that time (two-three hours), I ignore calls. Once the battery has been fully charged, the battery drains after five to six hours of NON USE. If I use the phone, it will drain more quickly. For a seven-month-old phone, that's poor quality.
* Programs running in the background drain the phone. The advice of my Verizon salesman was to install a free ap called Advanced Task Killer. He said that this would help to save my battery. He said that what it does is to turn off all of the tasks running in the background. It does turn them off... but only for five minutes. Tasks like Maps, Skype, Voice Command... all of which I have NEVER used... run constantly, thus, draining the battery. There's no way to stop this from happening unless I completely uninstall them. I've tried to uninstall several tasks/aps, and they don't go away. BING is a prime example of that.
* The phone malfunctions often. The best example of this comes from my attempt to send a text message yesterday. I clicked on MESSAGING and what popped up was an update newsletter from one of my aps. I thought I'd accidentally hit that ap, so I tried it again. Again, the newsletter popped up. I did this several times, and, finally had to shut down the phone and restart it.
* The phone will malfunction during calls, often. I can carry on a conversation normally most times, but once the phone decides it doesn't want to function, it will mute me without resolution. I cannot, no matter what I do, get the phone to accept my voice. The person on the other end thinks the call has been dropped, and hangs up. Restarting the phone doesn't work. One must take the battery out of the phone, then put it back in and start up the phone again for this problem to be solved.
* When I call voicemail, I am prompted to enter my password. I enter the password, and, it tells me to enter it again. I enter it again and it tells me to please enter my password. Eight out of 10 calls to voice mail result in this. Talk about frustration!!
* When one makes a call, and holds the phone up to one's ear, the screen goes dark, but, as soon as one pulls the phone away from one's ear, the screen is supposed to automatically light up again. My phone worked this way for three months. Now, it not only remains dark, but, I have to swipe the puzzle piece to unlock the screen, and then click on PHONE to get back to the call screen. This is a major pain.
I could go on, but I don't have the time to do so.
I loved this phone, but, in order for a phone to be a fantastic phone, it needs to work as promised for more than a few months.