Is The Lack Of A Front Facing Camera On The Vibrant A Deal-Breaker?

Like it or not, the Samsung Vibrant is the T-Mobile phone of the moment.  It’s handily one of the most powerful phones in the T-Mobile lineup and yet one feature has a great deal of you up in arms, the lack of a front-facing camera.  Video chat via cell phone is nothing new as those in Japan, Europe and numerous other parts of the world have been using the service for years.  However, the sudden resurgence in interest is in no doubt partially due to a certain Apple device and its Facetime feature.  Love Apple or not, it’s hard to argue with their Facetime commercials showing off the power of mobile video chat.  With that in mind, not more than a few minutes ago I finished a conversation with a friend who was analyzing the pictures of the device with the hope that perhaps the Proximity sensor was really hiding a front-facing camera.  While none of us are holding out hope at this point, is it going to be a decision in your purchase? The feature is handy and cool, but is it really a necessity?  We’ve all certainly lived thus far without it but now that Apple has suddenly brought it right back to the front page, will you make a buying decision because of it?  So the question of the day is…is the lack of a front facing camera going to stop you from purchasing the Samsung Vibrant?

Tags: ,

  • jack

    No FFC is no biggie, but no flash too?! c’monnnnnn

    • namo

      YUP!!! NTY

    • jose

      from the beginning i said i could live without the FFC but not with out a flash. especially a phone that the camera is one of its highlight features. but i think every high end phone should have a FFC nowadays.

  • William

    I have to say, I’m fairly disappointed. In fact, none of the Galaxy-S variants that I’ve seen have the FFC (not the verizon version, nor the QWERTY-carrying sprint version either). I find this to be pretty disconcerting.

    This means if you want vid-chat capabilities on your phone, you have to either have an iPhone (and be limited to FaceTime with other iPhone 4 users only) or switch to Sprint and get the Evo… neither of those options is very appealing to me.

    Even if T-Mobile limited it’s use to over WiFi like the iPhone4 (until the end of 2010 anyway) it would be a competitive factor. As it stands, it’s a complete and utter loss.

    • Alejandro

      The Sprint one is the only one who DOES have the FFC. It has a Camera Flash too. That’s what I’m getting. Sorry T-Mobile…But you fail at superphones…

      • Ann

        I totally agree with you Alejandro I could have lived with out the ffc but what really got me was no flash camera. So I am sorry tmobile I am not going to stick around to see what other phones you may come out with I am taking my money back to Sprint because it seems like know they have their act together when it comes to smartphones

    • chris

      Apple just approved fring for the iphone.It’ll work over wifi AND 3G.

    • john

      Why do you need a FFC?? Do you actually need it or just want it to have it??

  • Mike

    The higher end Nokia smartphones have FFC and can take advantage of video conferencing over the network, wireless just makes it better.

    The thing I find more disconcerting is each of the Galaxy-S phones are different.

    @jack really you need flash? We’ve been without flash for years, why the sudden itch to get it? I think the internet would be better (and more ADA compliant) without flash.

    • jose

      im pretty sure he meant a CAMERA flash.

  • TheLight

    The better questions are,: Who is getting the Vibrant, who is waiting for a superphone(HTC Twist),who wants a niche device like the charm and garmifone ?”

    I check the superphone bubble as long as it has the Project Emerald “like” specs

  • vrsixx

    I’ve said this on another forum, It wouldn’t be so bad if Every U.S carrier receiving this phone got it without the FFC & Flash. But It seems T-mo has, yet again opted for the the watered down version. The reason I stayed with T-mobile rather than switching out was for this phone to replace my G1, but the thing gets here and bam, were hit with this chintzy version, we’ll call it Samsungs Beta version of the phone, and all other carriers (att Vzw and alike) get the actual release. I feel let down, and if Sprint had the Evo In stock, I would have bought it last week. I’m tired of this tm’s phone trickery. Stop waisting money on phones such as the garmin & Moto xt n Charm and invest in some up to par high end phones!

    • DefD

      Like someone already mentioned, night shot mode eliminates the need for an LED flash and produces a much better image than one taken with a flash.

      Also, you do realize that Verizon’s version tossed out Google search and instead sports Bing, right? Now THAT is certainly a deal breaker.

      • Longinus

        That was me. Thank you for paying attention. I feel like I’m screaming into a hurricane, nobody islistening.nightshot mode seriously is the answer. But it seems people would rather hear themselves talk.

      • Empress Leo

        No LED flash was a big concern or mine as I weighted between TMo Vibrant or Vz Droid X. TMo’s plans are much cheaper and since I’m already with TMo, I decided to put them in the race toward my next phone (I currently have a Sidkick LX 09, kill me already). Are there any pics taken on the web that show the night mode pic quality? Seeing is believing most of the time…

      • DefD

        Hi Empress, to answer your question, yes. There are actually several example photos people have taken on the net. Do a Google search for “galaxy s night shot mode” and sift through the results. Some folks are better photogs than others obviously, so consider that as well. :)

      • Bon_gabs

        @defd,,I agree,I tried taking picture last night under night mode and I was surprised of the result,better quality than my nokia N95 flash shot,,I’ll stick to vibrant,,awesome phone,,

    • CJ

      Ppl, LED is used not just as a camera flash, it is very handy as a flashlight too…
      And good luck with NOISY and out of focus nightshot pictures… With camera flash you could at least take some fair pictures of nearby objects. LED flash works well and it is better to have one if you are Phone_Camera enthusiast. All would have been even better if they had Xenon flash (for pics), but LED is of course better in terms of multi-functionality:
      LED: 1. Works as camera flash. 2. Works as a flashlight. 3. Work as flashlight in video mode!!! 4. You still keep your NIGHTSHOT :)
      NO LED: You loose three points…

  • ramc

    Another dealbreaker is the flash camera! Other including the European Galaxy S models have a flash camera! Is T-Mobile responsible for excluding huge parts of the hardware? Front Facing Camera and No Flash on Camera?

    • DefD

      The Euro model doesn’t have a camera flash. The only thing it has over the Vibrant is FFC.

  • DannOfThurs

    Flash is not an issue, read what everyone is saying “nightshot mode” :D

    That being said, I actually did want FFC as my whole family is wanting to get into it :) I’m still waiting for EOY so I can see what comes out – and if I don’t like it I can always go back and get the Vibrant for what will more than likely be a much cheaper price than it is now :D :D :D

  • Lauren

    would much rather have a flash than a camera in the front! why can’t tmobile offer a phone with all the bells n whistles! oh well, plannin on getting the vibrant anyways

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    So 72% don’t care, need, or desire a FFC. That pretty much should tell T-Mobile that not having a FFC was an OK move (and that the FFC Whiners complaints will be falling on deaf ears).

  • croikee

    You want this phone with FCC and flash? You have one option: SPRINT. To the bogus post above that is saying Tmobile gets the BETA version of this phone, do research. ONLY SPRINT’s VERSION HAS A FFC AND FLASH.

    Verizon: No Flash, No FCC
    Tmobile: No Flash, No FCC
    ATT: No FLash, No FCC

    My gosh you people are rediculous if you are complaining about Tmobile getting watered down versions of this phone. DO RESEARCH. By all means go to sprint for those things. But realize that 3 of the 4 main US carriers ALL lack FCC and flash.

  • aksnoopy

    What I can’t live without is a camera flash, (and FLASH too ;) )

  • mailman13877

    For all those TMO lovers saying that TMO 3G can’t handle video calling..Fring has released an update allowing the iphone 4 to use video calling over 3G..TMO is a failure

  • Rubinz

    Apple who? Face what? The HTC EVO brought it to the limelight. When I decided to move on from my Nexus One on T-Mobile, it’ll be to an Android device with a front facing camera. If T-Mobile doesn’t have one in their lineup with greater specs than my Nexus One, I’ll look to a different carrier that does.

  • croikee

    MAILMAN then LEAVE! You don’t like Tmobile then LEAVE. Holy crap dude. Are you really so egocentrically focused that you actually think what YOU say will sway others to hate tmobile like you doing?

    Like I said before, as long as you are still here you are being both a hypocrite and a ‘settler’ yourself. Get over yourself and either leave or change the attitude.

  • http://tmonews TIJAUANA -HOOKER


  • Ronnie

    FFC? Nah, no biggie for me…but it would have been nice for some since it’s standars on other phones. But no freakin LED flash for a decent camera and video recorder? That’s a big missing feature…..then again, unless you take a lot of pics in dark areas, who cares. The phone is fine without a FFC but a camera without a flash makes it seem incomplete.

  • cybah

    I really could careless about a front facing camera. Unless your calling party can support this feature it does you no good. The only GOOD thing I seen coming out of a FFC is this is going to make internet “self pictures” better because it’ll eliminate the need to take pictures in front of a mirror!

    Flash, meh. Every phone I’ve owned since 2003 has had a camera. I’ve rarely used it. Between the phone being stuck in my pocket and getting lint on it, and my greasy hands that go all over the lense, it never takes good pictures (without a good cleaning). I always carry my Canon Digital Elph with me anyways, so if I want to take pictures, I’ll use that. Its easier, quicker, and faster, AND It takes pictures far better than any camera phone I’ve ever used.

    The funny thing about this hoolpa about front facing cameras and this new video conferencing thing is that… its not a new idea folks. In the 80s my Dad ordered one of those AT&T Picture Phones for us and his folks. Honestly after the novelty wore off, we never used it again. (and its still sitting my dad’s basement today). I think once the novelty wears off of a FFC, it’s just going to be yet another fad that wore off.

  • Andy

    I have to say, do the writer of this blog do any research before they post something that is incorrect.

    Please see this video:

    Skip to 6:12 ( Minute 6 12th second )


    • David

      I have to ask, “DOES” the writer of this comment pay attention to the posts it all to recognize what appears in that video IS NOT what is appearing on T-Mobile…good work slick.

      • Andy

        Please David tell me how the device shown in that video is not the same device that T-Mobile will be selling? Please, Tell Me!

        • David

          Look at the AT&T Samsung Captivate, thats the Galaxy S but the device looks different than whats in the video…seriously, are you not doing any research at all…carriers can add and remove features at will.

        • Andy

          I know that AT&T’s Captivate is a different phone. Under the hood it’s the same hardware though. But seriously, you have to be blind to not be able to see that T-Mobile’s version of the Galaxy is the exact same one as in the video.

        • David

          And you have to be lacking an understanding that the front facing camera isn’t there…NOBODY has seen it.

        • David

          Andy, you’re wrong and clearly not considering the idea that the video shows a generic device, not a carrier branded…if you don’t know or recognize that carriers add and remove features at will, then you don’t know enough to make the comment in the first place.

  • Andy

    I withdraw my previous comments. Looks like I’m going to have to spend a lot more money than I planned.

  • http://Tmonews Newbie

    Empress, if you got the money and FCC is not that big of a deal, I suggest u get a nexus one. Just received mine 2 days ago and it’s rockin LOL. Plans are cheaper with the even more plus plans, tethering, wifi hotspot, and camera Flash LOL and the option to have adobe flash.

  • Brian

    no flash. no ffc. no thanks.

  • Tarzanman

    All you people who are talking about ‘night shot mode’ being a replacement for a flash are idiots.

    I’m do photography as a hobby. I have a camera (canon 7D) that goes up to ISO 12,800 with two f/1.8 prime lenses and a 18MP CMOS sensor that is way WAY better at low light than any cell phone will ever be. I’ve taken a low light shot or two with it.

    There is no substitute for proper lighting when you take a photo (even when that light source is an LED flash).

    Let me say that again for the dummies who think that a camera not having a flash isn’t a big idea….

    – There is NO substitute for proper lighting for photography. – Not even some gimmicky night shot mode which will just increase the brightness and contrast on crap, noisy cell phone exposures

    • AZ

      I think they are talking about a cellphone here. I think the idiot is the one who is confused as to what the topic is.

      Slowed down for Trazanman …..DO YOU REALLY NEED A FLASH ON A CELLPHONE?

      No. Most people today are carrying around small digital cameras that are way better than any cellphone.

      Is it a deal breaker? No. It just gives me one less thing to worry about when the wife wants a picture with her friends…..”Sorry honey, my phone doesn’t have a flash”…

      If you buy a smartphone for the camera/flash/front facing camera, then you have no business owning a cellphone….that is for high school kids.

  • Dawg

    What really burns me is that the EU versions have hard buttons (especially a home button). The American phones only have soft buttons on the front…. so the only way to wake the phone is to fumble for the power button on the side. My personal pet peeve.

  • Steve

    When renewing my contract just about a week ago a T-mo rep told me that the Vibrant is one of 26 smartphones to come out from T-mo between now and the end of the year. I’m not sure but it’s likely one of them will have a front facing camera. Could be T-mo is trotting this one out to see what other features people will clamor or hold out for. Kinda like the HD2 was proof that there was a T-mo audience for a large touchscreen phone… I’m guessing.

  • TC

    No, but the fact it is made by Samsung is.

  • Bon_gabs

    Guys,,heres the proof how great is the night mode,,check this link discussion,,

  • Batmensch

    I don’t see any point in upgrading my Nexus One to a Vibrant. What does it buy me? If it had the FFC and the flash, I’d consider it. Without it, pfft. But the thing is, the Galaxy S has both. T-Mobile could have just sold that. I don’t see the point to the cut down version.

  • mike

    If your gonna talk about really needing FCC do we REALLY need a smartphone of course you dont its just a want and its crazy they dummy down the phone that was designed with a fcc

  • Kabel

    My family lives in Europe, so every weekend i am dedicating some time to talk to them over Skype using High Def webcam. I know that the quality of the front facing camera would be lightning years behind what i currently use to talk to my family, but i would trade the flash, the rear camera and halve the storage amount just to have that convenience of the front facing camera on-the-go. Sometimes is difficult to find a time for video calls. Front facing camera would mitigate this problem in some degree.

  • Atiq Malik

    It is a big deal for me and I guess for all others who have kids and travel a lot. Them having an ability to see dad and me seeing them running around the house is big deal and the only reason why I did not buy this phone.

  • Crystal

    I still bought it. I know I wouldn’t use the phone for video chat, because I wouldn’t really be able to video chat with any of my friends anyway. As for the flash on the camera, I like to use my regular camera for pictures. This is my first touch screen phone and I love it.

  • NipplesRunder8ted

    Obviously no one needs a ffc or a camera at all on a phone…but why cant tmobile just make a phone that competes??…they’re always one or two steps behind…this reminds me of the days all phones didn’t have Bluetooth….if it’s available for any phone it should be available for all phones!

  • avg

    for does who will like to get the front camera there a way if you down load fring and turn around you phone you will be able to do video call. the only problem you need to turn around the phone again to see the person but the quality is better the iphone 4 you will be using the lens in HD and is something cool for now

  • Dan

    Hey gang, I’d live the ffc, but oh well, however, I shot some video and pics at night and the results were incredible! So I still love my vibrant, hoping in a year that T mobile will have a ffc on a newer version. What I’d really like to see is the galaxy Tab with voice, stand alone feature, not just video conference,

  • Angelmo143

    I just sold my new Vibrant because I want a phone with a front facing camera. I would have kept it otherwise, great phone! But in this day and age we want all the new technology. MyTouch 4G here we come.

  • Firestone

    u dont need frontbfacing camera because you have no friends. However the rest of us are baffled ny this backwards approach!