David’s Take On The Samsung Vibrant

Let there be no question that I had hoped to have this review up for your viewing pleasure two weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time to write down proper thoughts regarding the Samsung Vibrant.  We have heard your thoughts though!

There is no question that this is T-Mobile’s top of the line smartphone.  The Galaxy S needs little introduction and I won’t bore you with pictures of the back of the phone or the hardware at all because, honestly, you’ve seen all of that.  The 4” screen needs little introduction as it’s already been discussed as one of the best screens currently available in the smartphone market.  It’s beautiful, it’s fantastic and I think I’ve watched Avatar about 26 times already just to see the colors “pop” on that screen.  In a world where the Retina display is often touted as the “best”, the Vibrant’s Super AmoLED screen isn’t going down without a fight and it’s ready to rumble. Cheesy, huh?

I said I wouldn’t talk about the hardware that much but there is one complaint I have that I really want to get out there.  The position of the power button on the right side of the device drives me crazy. I mean hair pulling, screaming out loud till my neighbors stare at me crazy.  Whose bright idea was that button placement?  Seriously, that was an awful design decision.  On the flip side, there is one excellent design decision on the hardware I want to bring up, the sliding door that protects the microUSB port.  Brilliant, simply brilliant.  Why?  I don’t know really but I love it.  Ok, so maybe I talked about the hardware a little.  On to the software.

Shipping with Android 2.1 and covered up by Touchwiz 3.0, the phone caused me a lot of mixed emotions on Touchwiz and whether or not its as viable or enjoyable as HTC’s sense ui. .  Let me just be honest and say that I’m not a huge Android fan.  Before you prepare to burn me at the stake, it’s not that I don’t like it.  I’m just not a “fanboy” by the standard definition.  I’m an unlocked iPhone user and I’m not a “fanboy” of the iPhone either.  It simply meets my standards and I like to stick with what I know.  In my opinion, 7 home screens is simply too much “busy work” and I would prefer that less becomes more.  In the defense of this statement, I didn’t like the iPhone layout of 5 pages worth of apps.  This was a true annoyance for me.  Folders make life complete. I will say one thing that always gives me cause for concern, the browser is fantastic, truly a great experience. I had little trouble with pages loading and definitely felt like it was a sharp competitor to other devices I’ve had in my arsenal.

That’s not to say I don’t find the bounty of homescreens functional.  I can definitely see the appeal and difference between the iPhone’s homescreens, which are just random apps vs. the Android experience that is widget based.  There is no question the widgets are a tremendous asset and it is one aspect of the Android OS that I adore.  Swiping right and left to find what it was I was looking may be what troubled me because I could never remember what widget was on what page.  Did I mention I love the screen?

Touchwiz is a mixed bag as the outward appearance seems to have taken on a very iPhone-like experience, which has been both good and bad.  The iPhone obviously has its system down pat and yet, with the Vibrant, it seems as though Samsung is working to both copy and take it in a different direction.  For the most part it works, but it’s not really my first choice for Android.  I’d take stock Android any day.  I honestly can’t really explain why, but I definitely recommend comparing the Vibrant to a Nexus if you have the opportunity to see what I mean.

Let’s talk about the camera for a moment as we all know this was hotly contested from the get go regarding the lack of flash.  Let’s just say this, night mode is no flash replacement but I think that goes without saying.  Night mode is, however, a worthwhile feature that does work and works quite well.  If you don’t believe me, check out this post of ours right here with some comparison shots that, in my opinion, shows that night mode works just fine.  Daytime photos are really nice and I would have little hesitation about carrying this around without concern for an actual camera.

I want to take a moment and talk about swype and how damn awesome it is.  I had some hesitation about trying swype as I wondered how it might work when entering a URL, for instance, where I needed some more freedom to enter text.  My concerns were immediately alleviated as I simply went to tmonews.com on the first try.  Boom, I was sold. Why, oh why won’t swype be included on every device made in the future?  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s fun to use, fairly practical and doesn’t really affect the time span to enter text.

Surely another area of concern with the Vibrant has been the GPS feature.  I wasn’t able to escape the trouble many other users are having and, even with some of the quick fixes, I wasn’t completely out of the woods.  Sometimes it would pinpoint me down the street and other times it would take me one town over and, on one stand-alone occasion, it took me out of state.  While it’s easy to say this was a disappointment, Samsung has readily admitted trouble and stated a fix is on its way in early September so I’ll reserve final judgment for then.

The bottom line for me is that the Samsung Vibrant has a lot to love.  While I wasn’t totally thrilled with the “feel” of the device, as the back casing did feel a little “plasticky”, I had no concerns about the phone’s build and never felt like I was going to snap it in two.  With its absolutely beautiful 4” screen, I found myself totally enthralled every time I booted up Avatar or watched a YouTube video.  I don’t know if it’s the best video experience in the smartphone market but I would wager good money it ranks in the top 3.  The Vibrant is easily the most powerful Android phone in the T-Mobile arsenal and you should give it a look for good reason.  I have mixed emotions about Android as a platform and I’ve yet to find a device that would make me feel comfortable about a full time position but that would be more platform related than device specific.  If you are looking for the best T-Mobile has to offer, the Samsung Vibrant is a logical choice.

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  • Jed Clamped

    I was excited to see some news. Then I realized it was a review. I so want to buy a Vibrant right now because I have this crappy Cliq. BUT I know what’s right around the corner. I hate being impatient.


    • pimpstrong

      Whats right around the corner? A big myTouch? The G2 is great and all if you need a KB but the Vibrant has both phones beat when it comes to performance and screen quality.

      • Jed Clamped

        I am pro keyboard. Also, I want to see what this Fall has in store for us. It’s not that far away.

      • visuplayer

        I thought the no KB thing would be a killer for me after having the G1, but I have been amazed at the ease of use with typing on any one of the 3 keyboard options. And if you don’t want to use the keyboard you can just speak it, which works really well. I have even used it when my wife constantly asks me how to spell something as she is texting on her blackberry. :) Have loved the Vibrant and have been very happy with the TouchWIZ. Can’t wait to get the TAB.

  • Gabe

    Seriously, a little late on the review… Nothing we haven’t read before, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!!

    • David

      Seriously, does it matter, if its not up at the time the embargo ends, it doesn’t really make much difference. Thanks for telling me my work is a waste of time though.

      • shane

        LoL,,,,, Gabes icon matches his demeanor…. on another note you mentioned how there are just too many screens on the vibrant, I’m not sure how in depth you got with it but you can edit the number of screens there are. Last, I wouldn’t go as far as to say “DONT WASTE YOUR TIME” but it’s a little late my friend………//.,.,.,././,../, P.S. I like grammatical error, but i hate bad spelling lol

      • DCB

        David…I may have missed in your post that you know this…. but while the Vibrant does come preloaded with 7 screens, there is a way to customize the screens down to as many as you want….Just FYI

      • Shannon

        I have a Vibrant and I was wanting to know how to you edit your screens where you don’t have 7 of them?

      • tipsofme

        You can remove the home screens your not using BTW.

      • ellothere

        for those wondering all you do is hit the menu button while on the homescreen, then click edit. You will see all the home screens and can take out the ones you don’t need. I found that the system they use to take out homescreens is flawed in that if you take out 2 screens to have 5 left, the 4th one is still the main homescreen. I bet your confused right now but try it and see.

    • pimpstrong

      yeah because why would anyone want to read a phone review on a website like this…


        If your being sarcastic then I agree with you. If not… you need help. Typed from an hd2 with Android.

      • pimpstrong


    • Michael

      Talk about being rude and having no social graces….


      Actually, Gabe… it’s something we HAVEN’T read before. The article is called “David’s Take On The Samsung Vibrant” In case you’re a little slow, a “take” is someone’s opinion, review, etc. No need to be a hater / flamer. There, now I’ve wasted MY time responding to a MORON!

    • Tmo Manager

      Gabe i sell this phone day in and day out, know more about android than most people could dream of. and i still highly enjoyed reading it! Let the man do his work…

      Side note i know exactly what your saying with the touchwiz. After owning the N1 i’ll be hard pressed to let htc or samsung gunk up my ui experience.


      Gabe your post is so annoying. Spoken like a child, you are a waste of time. David your post is the farthest thing from a waste of time. Keep up the good work.

    • NiiDiddy

      Gabe…effin jerk! i personally appreciate the review–and i’ve already got the phone same day it came out. THANKS DAVID! BTW…I reduced my screen from 7 to 3. On home screen, tap on your menu soft button, then tap on “edit”. this is where you can get rid of the screens you don’t wish to use.

      Speaking of the screens: one thing that drives me insane though, is that the default “middle/home” screen is ALWAYS the 4th screen, so long as you have 4+ screens. If you have less than 4 screens, then the “main home screen” defaults to the last screen. Try it out and push the “home” soft button and see. Samsung needs to go and change that somehow.

    • Fender

      dude your a tool, show some respect

  • watbetch

    Suddenly, because the launcher goes from right to left like the iPhone the Vibrant/TouchWiz gives a “very iPhone like” experience? Really now?

    There is so very little covered up by TouchWiz, I don’t know how anyone could say that TouchWiz “covers up” much of Android. Nearly all of the menus are the same and anything else like the dialer or notification menu falls under the category of modified (for the best I might add). Stock Android has the a bad color scheme and TW fixes that.

    The power button placement is perfect for me.. my index or thumb always fall near it and it’s not easy to press for a reason, you don’t want to activate it inside of your pocket or otherwise.

    • chotpy

      no, it was the apps screen that feels like an iphone. same rounded square logos, same left/right page turning. it’s the iPhone way. o_o;

      • pimpstrong

        “apps screen” = “launcher” as in apps launcher… you also have the option to change the launcher to a vertical scroll mode… But I guess once you start scrolling up/down then your suddenly copying Windows Mobile right? I guess the only thing left to do is make a squiggly lined motion to turn the pages to avoid copying another phone…

    • pimpstrong

      I with you watbiotch, but it sucked using the power button until I got a hard silicone case. Way better grip and an easier to find target.

      • swehes

        +1 to that one. :) Also I installed LauncherPro which is so much nicer. You can decide how many screens you want to use on your launcher. :)

    • Dick Richards

      Great thread guys! I have the Vibrant and loving it. I still enjoy seeing other people’s take on the device, as I learn new things with a “new take” ie, the home screen deletions. One question for any of you. Are there any apps that turns the screen on by a simple touch to the screen? I don’t mind hitting the power/unlock button, but touching the screen seems a bit easier.

  • Miles Davis

    I agree totally on the power button. The side location is not great, but what makes it awful is the *under*-side location. Now try using it through a gel case.

  • tortionist

    I enjoy alot Android, but I don’t consider myself a fanboy . If after trying windows mobile 7, I decided I liked it, more than Android, i’d probably switch over to it. So far in the videos, it looks good. So far, Android reigns supreme in my eyes though. I love that you can seriously customize the user interface, which I haven’t been able to find with any other OS. I love Open Gesture Pro and Open Home. These two apps cost a little money, but they seriously change the user interface in a cool way and are well worth the few dollars paid for them. Then there’s SWYPE. I love it. Who needs QWERTY keyboards when you have SWYPE. It should be standard for all Android phones. It lets you input text a lot faster than anything else. I’ve had people tell me to slow down on my texting speeds. The tutorial for SWYPE is quite useful. With a little practice I got pretty quick and accurate. There, that’s my two cents…….er…..rather two dollars worth.

  • chotpy

    o_O some of these readers are getting a bit rude…

    i played with my friend’s vibrant a few weeks back. It was nice, but the iPhoniness totally turned me off!

    • chaoscentral

      maybe try playing with a Vibrant that is running the free app Launcher Pro, there is no “iPhoniness” to speak of

  • Jed Clamped

    I think I need to do some research on how this night time mode works. The pictures look wonderful.

  • pantlesspenguin

    I agree…too little too late here :). Also, you know you can delete entire home screens, right? I have minimized mine down to 3. I have my most used apps, google search, & weather widget on my main one, facebook/twitter widget on the one to the left, & a ton of folders where I put other apps I may need to find in a hurry. Works for me.

    (I heart folders, too)

  • Few months ago I got Samsung Galaxy S which I think in my opinion is same as Vibrant. Lag time must be fixed (quick fix was to reset to manufa. default). Pictures I think are great comparing to smartphones like Droid 2, Droid, BB’s which have 5mp or 6mp camera.

    David, you had great opinion (review) on SG Vibrant.
    Holla back some time man…

    • Jed Clamped

      uh.. it is the same phone. Vibrant IS a Samsung Galaxy S

      • pimpstrong

        thats like saying the EPIC 4G is the same phone as a Vibrant…

      • john

        It is, they superglued a kb to the bottom of a vibrant, and blessed it with slower internet speeds than my 3g.

      • pimpstrong

        LOL !@#$ 4G is that bad?

  • Im Justsayin

    I agree that the power button could have been placed somewhere else but maybe they were just thinking it’s too iphone like? if they had it at the top. You mentioned 7 home screens is way too much for you but did you know that you can delete the 6 home screens and trim it down to 1? Just more options depending on the user.

  • shackk

    More nerve racking than the power button is the placement of the charging port, especially when driving attempting to use gps. It is a stretch for most cars I have been in from the cig adapter to the vent and / or windshield. While gps is a bit better in landscape, portrait is almost unusable while charging as the adapter or the port itself feels like it is being stretched to the limit. A side mount at the least would have been a better option.

    While the review is old in tech terms, so what. More the better and sometimes can learn something new from them.


      The charging location is my only true complaint. It does drive you nuts if you don’t have a headset or ear piece to use while driving. Other than that its great.

    • Dick Richards

      I think that Samsung is encouraging/wants us to buy navigation docs for our car, hence the placement of the micro usb port?


    I feel you Jed. I have a Bold 9700, unlocked Iphone, and the Vibrant. I respect David’s opinions but I don’t think this review does justice to Android fans just cause of his dislike for Android. I like the Iphone just as well but can’t stand working on Edge, ugh! I find Android very appealing and the Hummingbird processor works great, with the Samoled screen being an added bonus. Tmonews is great, but c’mon man over a month late, lol. That’s Ok just keep giving us exclusives is what matters. :)

    • David

      No question it should been up sooner, but unless you are posting it right at the end of the embargo, it doesn’t really matter, I wasn’t the only site to go up late.

      • Joshuakprice1

        I think we need a few late reviews. Remember the iphone debacle? Purple were asking why the reviewers didn’t day anything. It makes sense to publish a review after you really get to use the phone. Davids article didn’t really repeat anything, mostly it was a slightly different take on a device that people are still thinking about buying. Why so rude? If you don’t like the review, then where’s yours?

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Take notice folks that the Vibrant is #6 in PC World’s August 20, 2010, list of Top Ten Android phones. #1 was Sprint’s Epic. And #7 was the Captivate. (So the Samsung Galaxy S placed well on the list).

    Not bad being #6 in such a huge field of Android competitive handsets, and impressive that the Samsung Galaxy S scored three out of the top ten.

    Oh, and the Slide squeaked in at #10 and Nexus One at #5! So that’s three T-Mobile devices in the Top Ten list.

    Important in the rating is to notice that three T-Mobile handsets made this Top Ten list. IMHO this is a “take that” to people in here saying T-Mobile does not have great handsets.

    And T-Mobile was just barely beaten by Verizon, who placed highest with four Droid devices in the Top Ten.

    However, trailing T-Mobile was Sprint with two on the list (albeit the Epic was #1 and Evo made #2).

    AT&T was in 4th with only one handset on the list (the Captivate), as is expected with its limited Android offerings.


    • Scott

      Dude, you shouldn’t stretch that hard. You’re going to hurt something.

      First, the N1 is NOT T-Mobile. We wish it was but for some awful reason T-Mobile decided against it.

      Second, you somehow claim Sprint is trailing T-Mobile when they took the #1 and #2 slots? You think having having the creaky Slide in last place changes anything?? I’d love to see you announce the Olympics some time.

      The best T-Mobile could do is 6th place. That answers the question of whether T-Mobile offers a leading-edge Android handset. No need to get all funny with the numbers.

      • JaylanPHNX

        What I don’t get is why the Epic was #1 and the other two Galaxy S phones were #5 and #6. Is it that the addition of a keyboard is so important to PC World? Or is it “4G”? If 4g, then shame on them for being so uninformed and easily led by marketing rather than actual up/down speeds. If the keyboard, I also say boo. With swype (and other great onscreen KBs)I would never trade the extra thickness and weight in my pocket for physical keys that could eventually break.

      • Frigadroid

        Epic has a dual sim, ffc, kb, and more.

      • SEFan

        I’m somewhere between Michael and Scott. The Nexus doesn’t quite count – it’s not truly a T-Mobile phone. I wish it was, but it’s not fully supported by T-Mo. And it’s no longer readily available anyway. So T-Mobile had 2 of the top 10, and lower half of the pack at that. No surprise that AT&T got only one in there – they’ve only recently started acting like they even know what Android is. No big surprise that Verizon, the current champions of Android phones, put 4 in the top 10 and took 3 of the top 5. I was a little surprised that Sprint took the top 2, though I spent part of Saturday working an EVO because my wife wants one (she’s on Sprint for business reasons), and the EVO is a really nice device. Why oh why couldn’t the Touch HD have come as an Android phone?!

        Anyway… the reviewers appear to have uprated the Epic (#1) compared to its Galaxy S siblings (Vibrant #6, Captivate #7) because of the keyboard, the LED flash, and the front-facing camera. Some reviewer bias there perhaps. Many of us actively dislike keyboards, preferring the thinner profile of a screen-only device. LED flash definitely improves low-light pics and low-light video, but the low-light mode appears to do a reasonable job – for still pics anyway. I saw some low-light vid shot on a colleague’s Vibrant, and it was pretty bad. And we already went around on the topic of FFC, so let’s just say the reviewers would get a spirited argument here.

        Like Scott I think this illustrates T-Mobile’s misunderstanding of the smartphone market. Much of the country doesn’t have Sprint 4G, and if you run an EVO (and presumably the Epic) on the EV-DO network you’re going to have a considerably less exhilarating experience. Though – I love this one – you still get charged an extra $10 for 4G even if Sprint doesn’t have 4G where you live. And even though by all reports 4G sucks battery like crazy. Still the EVO is selling like crazy, and presumably the Epic will as well. T-Mobile seemed to take the attitude that a lot of customers didn’t want to pay for the hot phones. I think they’re dead wrong about that. Most available evidence is that smartphone users want to go big – they’re willing to pay for the top-tier devices and if your network doesn’t have them you lose to those who do.

        Lastly, the PC guys didn’t say word one about the GPS issues, which have been all over the reviews and user reports. If they’d bothered to test GPS performance would the Vibrant or Captivate still made the Top 10?

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Hmm… I don’t take anyone serious who uses the word “dude.” Regardless, I can’t resist commenting:

        1. Yes, Sprint had the # 1 & 2 spots. My trailing characterization was simply noting the total phones each carrier had on the list. Feel free to give added weight to Sprint for being in the # 1 & 2 spots, you can work the numbers and facts any which way to reach the result you want. Who cares… I don’t.

        2. The Nexus 1 was a T-Mobile branded phone, it’s on the list, and it’s still around, so it counts. Besides, the plain ol consumer does not get into hair-splitting distinctions that some people make in here.

        3. The fact remains, there were three T-Mobile branded phones ON THIS LIST. Again, feel free to split hairs, grade on the curve, so to speak, and come up with your own list, if that’s what helps you sleep at night.

        4. Oh, and about your “Slide was in last place” characterization. Even applying high school logic your “last place” characterization is extremely flawed. Why?

        Well it does not take much thought to understand that this is a “top ten” list of ALL Android phones. This was NOT a competition of only ten phones. If it was, then your “last place” characterization might make some sense.

        5. Your statement that the best T-Mobile could do was sixth place is equally jaded and unfounded for the reasons stated above. (Unless, of course, you can show that the publisher intended to rank only the ten listed phones.)

        Yeah, you can twist, spin and skew PC World’s Top Ten list to make it look like a negative against T-Mobile. Big whoop, any T-Mobile hating “dude” can do that. To be sure, I expect no less from the naysayers in here, always characterizing T-Mobile in a negative light.

        But none of this matters anyway, does it. Fact is, readers of the Top Ten list will take notice of the T-Mobile handsets. Shoppers don’t give a rat’s pitoot about irrelevant, flimsy, skewed mischaracterizations.

        Getting on lists like these is what sells phones. And despite your smear job T-Mobile made an impressive showing.

  • allen

    Love my vibrant. Love love love.
    However, I still have that headset issue that I wish would be resolved. Has anyone else had a problem with the headphone button not answering or hanging up calls? I push, the bottom lights up but….nothing. Frustrating.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Interesting, similar issues here. But I think my situation has more to do with 3.5 mm headsets.

      A 3.5 mm port and plug is very imprecise. (Think about it, it’s technology from the really old electronic days. For sure, that’s why some manufacturers tried to get away from it, recall the HTC Touch Pro2 with its failed USB audio port experiment.)

      Anyway, the problems you describe and mine happen because the pins, bands or connectors have not lined up, or even have failed. (Typically, the connections are misaligned or the tension of the connector inside the port has failed.)

      Yours may be a warranty claim. (Carriers frequently get 3.5 mm defect claims.)

      • allen

        I’ve had the same issue with a previous Slide that I had to return. And I’ve tried other headphones. zenough people are having the problem that it should be addressed. I’m not interested in returning it for this, though. Just makes it inconvenient when I am riding my bike to answer calls.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    On timeliness of David’s impressions, it’s not untimely (regrets on the double negative. Hell, let me just fix it with more wordiness… “it’s timely.”)

    For one, all of us have had the Vibrant for only a short time. An ACCURATE review can be done ONLY after a few weeks of use, and most critical, only AFTER “harvesting” real users’ opinions and conclusions after they have used the phone.

    Second, many review articles, such as the PC World Top Ten list, only appear after polling users about their likes and dislikes. How many of you have seen lists that say “Such and such was not on the market or available to the public in time for this review.”

    Simply put, the Vibrant will be newsworthy until and through the Holidays, mainly because of its awesome specs. Mark my words, it will be extremely competitive against this holiday’s handset offerings.

  • Thomas

    I am not a big fan of the Touchwiz either, but you can remove the home screens and have only 1 if you that is your preference.

  • telos104

    I agree it’s TMo’s top of the line phone and they should push it as such. The other day I walked into my local store and they were pushing a dell mini for $40/mo, or something like that. #FAIL

    • DCB

      The Dell mini is 199.99 with a 2 year contract which is less than alot of other netbooks…..the 40.00/month is the cost of the monthly data service on the device….do some research before you comment please.

      • telos104

        You missed my point…and btw I know what the $40/mo was for…have some charity before YOU comment.
        The point is, push the handsets that are worth pushing and leave the rest as secondary. W/ the Vibrant in store, I was shocked to be greated by a sales associate holding a Dell Mini.

  • 138

    I love my Vibrant. Been with Tmo for 10 years and it is hands down the best phone I have ever owned. I had and unlocked iPhone 3g and this phone is way better.


    I just don’t understand why the USB/Power input is on top? Talk about terrible design! Typical cheap Samsung plastic junk pile. Nice OS and processor, bad packaging.

  • Jshin

    Great Review – I totally agree what a stupid place for a power/sleep toggle button. Combine the placement of that plus slightly slippery fingers combined with the cheapy plastic = dropped possibly damaged phone! And OMG the charger placement what a joke so your phone is dying and an important call comes in and you have a stupid cord sticking out the top of it! Good luck trying to drive with it pluged in – looking like a idiot. Touchwiz is super laggy but I guess that can be fixed with launcher pro os something similar. Wouldnt trade my HD2 for it anyday – as a matter of fact my HD2 running Froyo gets waaaay better benchmarks in quadrant then the Vibrant and Nexus. Bring on the super phones nothing yet including the G2 can compare to my modded HD2. ( props to the vibrant screen though its gorgeous!)

  • lolol

    really, get over TW3. So many people seem to be complaining about a non issue because the previous TW’s were terrible. You dont like it, root it and goto stock. other than that, build a bridge.

    • Scott

      Rooting it is a risk and a hassle. It’s smarter to just buy a handset that you like.

      Besides, ALL TWs are terrible! The sad thing is that Samsung has spent millions (I assume) of dollars developing it yet the stock Android experience gets much higher reviews.

      What is the motivation behind Touchwiz? Differentiation? I’m not sure this is the sort of differentiation they’re looking for. :)

      • john

        Can anyone find a stock android experience with a better media player built in?

      • samyvibrantuser

        Rooting is risky for people who don’t know how. mine, its rooted,stock and unlocked it works on ATT(crappy Edge).
        TouchWiz 3.0 (called “Smart Life”) is not bad they were trying to mimic iphone. there is nothing wrong in trying.

  • Bimmerz

    David, thx for the good and fun review – and don’t listen to the negative postings on here about how late you were! As a good friend of mine always says; “It’s better to be late, than pregnant!” ;)

  • jmts80

    For a basic review it is not bad, good job David! I know the Vibrant is by far the best option for an Android smartphone on t-mobile but the things that are holding me back from buying one are the GPS issues, and the poor signal strength. I own a crappy Cliq XT and i get bad enough signal so I am really hesitant to buy this until the bugs are worked out. Any advice from current Vibrant owners???

    • Dick Richards

      I have had ZERO GPS issues. No joke. I was a little concerned before I bought the device but I’m glad I did. Only a few weeks away from a fix anyhow.

  • Stanly

    Don’t know why people complain about the Cliq so much. Yes I’m angry about the update not coming soon enough but that being said…the whole reason I got the Cliq was because I couldn’t stand stock Android on my myTouch 3g…especially after coming from the Pre. I love my Cliq, I love how it streams all the info I need right to the front screen, and I love the screen transitions and general UI improvements it made over stock Android. If it weren’t for the Cliq, I wouldn’t be with Android.

    Don’t know what the big love of Android is. Reminds me of Windows 95.

    • Rob

      Whoa….Not sure if you have used any of the newer android devices with 2.1 or even the Orignial droid with 2.0. But the original droid did everything the cliq does but its stock android and the OS is better looking. My friend got his shortly after I got my cliq and software wise it is hell of a lot better. And now his is running 2.2.

      I have had it since late november and it has terrible battery life and has unreliable 3g speeds sometimes its lighting fast other times it’s slow. And if i’m on the edge network it fails to load webpages and the happenings all together.To make things worse I live in philly where t-mobile is the second best carrier (Verizon is first) in terms of all around service including 3g according to consumers report. The only reason i got it was because of the Keyboard which is possibly the only good part of the phone.

      Also being stuck at 1.5 cuts out a lot of the Android market. And cliq users were promised an update in APRIL! So as a Cliq user I don’t know how you can’t complain. Any android phone with 2.0 or higher can do the same thing motoblur does. Your being cheated out of features on your device everyday with the cliq.

      • Rob

        Just want to correct something, my cliq loads happenings on the edge but not if they include pictures.

  • Frigadroid

    Over all I am satisfied with the vibrant. It is the best on offer from t-mobile and will get the gps fix and froyo soon. That should keep it close to the competition. I like the fact that its so light, swype makes it a breeze to type. The screen and TV out with16GB internal memory make it a mini entertainment center. The cons are the power button with a cover on. As a phone my G1 has better sound reception and fewer missed calls. I will keep this phone for awhile until I can get something that out specs it with dual sims. Until then my unlocked G1 is only semi retired as she will be used for international travel.

  • Brotha Darcness


    Personally, I never get tired of hearing different perspectives about the Vibrant. I purposely waited to purchase mine, because I wanted to read what others had to say, both subject matter experts and day to da users. I have a co-worker that has one; she graduated from a SideKick to the Vibrant (What a switch?).

    I get mine in the mail today and it will likely be my secondary device, because my Bold 9700 has a significant position on the business side of my coin. If I were to write a review about the things I already know about the Vibrant, it would very much mirror what you have written. Overrall, thank you for taking your time to write about this device instead of spending two hours with it, just to determine that its no Iphone (blah-blah-blah…I’m over it).

    Thank you.

    Darcness Is!

  • Brent

    I like it. Don’t like TW so I changed to adw.launcher. Notice some lag every once in a while, but not a deal killer. There are some bugs in it that need to be fixed, but I can live with them.

  • BeerBellyBilly

    Man, I wish Motorola and HTC would put Droid/EVO class phones on T-Mobile. The vibrant is nice as far as it goes, and maybe the GPS fix and Froyo will make it better, but man I would so love to see a “Droid X” in T-Mo’s portfolio. Or maybe better, with a dual-core 1.5GHz TI chip in it, penda-band HSPA and maybe LTE to boot, but now where is T-Mo going to put that? AWS? AWS-3? TD (wimax) spectrum?

  • Stanly

    There is no reason to deeply desire a 1.5 mhz dual core chip in a current smartphone…if our current crop of Smartphone OS’s can’t efficiently and properly run on a 1 ghz processor, there is something deeply wrong.

  • my2cents

    Agreed, everyone needs to stop hating tw3 because of older versions. The vibrant is easily the best everyday phone that i’ve ever used. Tw3 is a great change of pace. Android is built around customization, if you don’t like it change it. Also hummingbird beats snapdragon hands down. As for the review, sorry buddy you seem more negative than possitive. when you do a review try to leave your own prejudcies at home next time. P.S. why is tmonews so late on all news lately haha I can almost always find it on other sites first. step it up!!!

  • wasup

    best phone I have owned by farrrrrr

  • derrickps3

    a little to late on the review there



    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Whoa… a “retard?” That’s a bit strong and unwarranted. And all caps over this? Such a drama queen. Save the all caps for things that really matter in life. (I hope how many home pages does not affect you too much. If it does, when you going serial?)

      Any time one does an impressions review (that’s a review done after a product has been used and it has been on the market/in other users’ hands) I expect to see one’s own impressions and opinions about a device.

      I don’t expect to see the same old vanilla or generic “unboxing” type videos that are all over the Net. If I see those, I expect to see talk about the kind of display the Vibrant has, battery power ratings, etc.

      Commenting about seven screens is especially relevant because probably 99% of users out there don’t know about editing home pages to reduce the number of screens.

      Another example, I never read a review back in July that mentioned many users may not like where Samsung placed the power button and the microUSB port.

      Are those people also retards who don’t like the location of hardware buttons, because they don’t know why Samsung put them where it did. [That’s a rhetorical statement so don’t say “Yes, they are retards.” :) ]

    • Rifleman

      The Droid 2 comes with 2.2 and flash player right out of the box. Maybe they’ll get a fix for the Vibrant’s faulty GPS and maybe they’ll upgrade it to 2.2.

      Just a matter of time and patience.

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        But consider the NEW Droid X ships with 2.1, just like the Vibrant. So Verizon’s flagship phone does NOT have 2.2.

        We can just as easily compare the Vibrant shipping with 2.1 to the Droid X, right?

        Sidenote: The Droid X, just like the Vibrant, is scheduled to get 2.2 “in September.”

        Fact is some handsets ship with 2.1, others with 2.2 That’s not a flaw or defect in the Vibrant, shipping with 2.1 Anyway, in three weeks (appx) we will be getting 2.2

  • Woofdah

    Coming from BB and having never used an iphone, this was the best tech purchase I have ever made. I have not had the GPS issues, mine is spot on and very fast. Even switching to LauncherPro I still notice a little lag. I have the difference that 2.2 makes on a N1. Wow, the performance increase was incredible. If we can gain even half of that this is going to be one awesome phone. Not to mention that shortly we should be able to put stock android on it (if that is your thing).

  • darkknight49

    the only point where i disagree with the review is the power button on the side. I love the placement. I dont have to adjust the phone in one hand to get the screen to wake then move my hand to a more comfortable position to be able to reach the touch buttons on the bottom. just a much less chance of the phone slipping out of my hand.

    • JaylanPHNX

      I’ve messed with one (anticipate getting one when I can afford it) and the power button is just fine. But then again, I’m coming from a Cliq XT, which has the same location. In fact, there is a lot about the Vibrant that is similar in form factor to the Cliq XT. I anticipate a smooth and happy transition when I get my Vibrant.

  • Shawn

    David this review was lackluster for lack of better word. It was very superficial, further I would consider it an introduction or conclusion to a review. The body of the review is completely missing. I was expecting a fantastic review, especially since it was posted late.

    Additionally, I prefer the power button on the side, but I guess this type of thing is personal preference.

    Thanks for the effort.

    • vegaspimp

      lackluster is a good way to describe the review. However, at this point, everything has been said in other review sites. this is…as David states….his take…..and therefore acceptable.

  • Myg1

    I freaking love my vibrant..what’s better when you can tv out to your hdtv n watch mobitv in surround sound? Or also in a movie and watch straight on tv or display full screen games on the tv while other peoples watch you play !

  • josue

    Just bought the Samsung Vibrant this friday. Upgraded from a Samsung Memoir. I love the phone. One of the best things on it besides the SAMOLED is the “Feeds and Updates” because your able to read all status updates from Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter without have to login to its widget or website and you can also update your status once and it updates all! Avatar looks AMAZING! Can’t wait for the Media Hub to open! The Sims 3 Collectors Edition is awesome! The Vibrant overall is an Excellent phone!

    I do have a question, how do i know what progames i can/should close because it says that i can affect the phone by closing certain running programs. Help?

    • josue

      P.S i give a rats ass if any part of the phone is like an IPhone. It just makes the phone that much better.

      • JaylanPHNX

        Don’t bother with the task killer. There are tons of articles on the nets about why you shouldn’t use them, and I finally turned mine off (Cliq XT) and I’ve been getting much better performance and battery life without it. Just keep it around for apps that you know/suspect aren’t designed well enough to act right (killing apps that use the camera after you’re done with them is a good idea as those tend to vampire your battery). Leave all the native processes and apps alone (some do stuff other than the bloatware they’re tagged to). Always kill your task killer after you’ve killed a few targeted 3rd party apps.

  • Myg1

    Ok I lied just tested mobitv on tv out…once yuuu play it it won’t display just like drm protected apps or movies..tv.com works great and regular movies.i life this sexy phone..can’t wait til 2.2 like most cuz of adobe flash

  • SixTwo73

    I get the impression that most of the negative comments posted are from people who have let big money marketing brainwash them. I’ll bet if T-mobile threw millions of advertising dollars behind their phones we would see much more appreciative comments on here. There’s a Sprint or Verizon ad playing every 5 minutes of the day, so there phones must be better right? Otherwise they wouldn’t spend the money on the heavy advertising…right? Wrong! It’s spent to get all you to believe their phones are better, not because of the specs or performance, because they said so.

  • SEFan

    David, nice review. Glad you took some time to use the phone for a while before throwing down. Want to place any bets on whether the GPS issue can be fixed by a software update? The pattern of failures – some users have it bad, some have never had it – and the fact that there have been reports of failures from Europe for months with no resolution – make me think this is a flaky hardware component. Guess we’ll see in a few weeks.

  • MarkV10

    I’ve been on the fence for awhile now – I’m definitely not leaving Tmo, and I’m 99% sure I’m upgrading to android – the main thing I’ve waited on is that the last six months or so the newest phone has always been outshone by the the phone that is coming soon. I’m pretty sold on the Vibrant having seen the screen and read all the reviews/comments. But then that Mytouch HD is on the horizon, sigh.

    Here is a question for all you Vibrant owners, After you’ve watched Avatar how do you get other movies? I’m not interested in breaking DRM or pirating anything so what is there? Samsung has promised some kind of media store a la iTunes but I’ve not heard any reviews or comments. I’m guessing this may be just a newbie question but I am curious.

    • Justin L

      If you have movies on your computer, then you can watch them on your phone, now there are a few formats that it will not play but for the most part you are in good shape, I have watched close to 75 movies since buying this phone, this phone has divx already installed hense for the avatar movie…. Good luck and have fun

  • catsigh

    Ok let me say that I really like my vibrant, BUT there are things that could be improved. The power button location doesn’t mess me up as much as the location of the usb port. That’s a problem when the phone is getting low on power and needs to be plugged in to be used.

    The phone itself doesn’t feel cheap to me. I like the lighter weight.

    My bigger problem is the GPS which still is less than good, and the ongoing problem I am having with unsuccessful downloads. I understand it’s an android issue and the Vibrant is not the only one with the issues. It can be resolved temporarily by clearing various google caches but it is an inconvenience.

  • Justin L

    Ya know what sold me? The 16gig internal memory, you just cant beat that, sure the iphone has up to 32 internal but they lack inability for external memory which vibrant takes the cake…. My only complaint of this phone is the lack of a camera button on the side….. Really hard to take self pics without one, ya know…… Thats really the only fault of this phone, it plays divx movies which is great if you have burned movies, you can just put them on the phone and go, the easability of getting in and out of your files is just simply AWESOME, finally as far as touchwiz, I found a few other home themes, we’ll call them ADW & Launcherpro to protect their identity, (lol) they are quite a nice alternative, and since there is oodles of internal memory, it wouldnt kill ya to have all 3 available with assistance of “home switcher” in the market

  • going_home

    I just dont trust Samsung personally.
    I am keenly interested in having the latest greatest Android updates and Samsung products seem to lag terribly behind on TMO in that regard.
    One update and done or no update at all.

  • Josue

    Has anyone had problems with the phone getting really hot? I have and when that happens it’s to hot to talk on the phone!

    • mtnman

      Josue, I had that problem until I called Tmo Tech support and was told that the battery was discharging heat into the divice and that wasn’t supposed to be happening. They sent me a brand new one. Box and all, UPS’s it 2day delivery. Gave me a $10 cred on my bill to cover the cost of having to ship the old one back, since it goes to Georgia, and not the regular phone return place.

      Since I’ve had the new phone, no problem what so ever with heating. It was just a bad phone is all. Call Tmo, tell them what’s happening and they’ll get you out a new one.

  • Yawn

    Still waiting for the Razr review!

  • Pogi

    This really is a bad replica of an Iphone… I can’t stand Iphone nor anything resembles it. Samsung, bad imitator…just an opinion, don’t hate…

  • Danny

    I don’t like the side power button either.

    I find myself constantly pressing it by accident when trying to hold the phone.

    I’d rather do a long screen press then a swipe to unlock the screen.

    I don’t know about you guys, but my phone freezes up quite a bit during a data session where the network is a bit weak or crowded. I notice this with my Pandora or Slacker app. Not sure if the apps are just extremely process intensive or just buggy?

    I hope T-Mobile does not disable the free Mobile Hotspot feature that comes with 2.2. I’m totally looking forward to this feature.

  • Joey82

    Anyone else having Bluetooth headset trouble with the Vibrant?

    I have a Plantronics Voyager Pro. Used it with several other phones – worked great! My vibrant will not see it. Ive tried several different sequences of turning on and powering up both devices, but it simply doesn’t register with the Vibrant.

    Any help or thoughts anyone??

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      One thing it could be, and I will admit this even though I will appear the bonehead:

      I had the same trouble with a third headset I was trying to pair, tried every which way to do it, even following the manual’s instructions. Know what the problem was:

      The menu of paired devices only has room on the screen to show two BT devices. I was trying to pair a third item, it was showing an attempt to pair, but I could not see it because of the two item limitation.

      I put my finger on the display, scrolled up and there was the third item on the menu, the headset I was trying to pair. But for doing that, there was no indication on the display that the item was right there, trying to pair. I simply had to scroll to the next page, so to speak. DOH…

      Try that.

  • JG01

    Dave, you and I have communicated in past and some of thing stated above I ran into. However, I find that this version of TW3.0 is far better than before (Samsung is getting there). One thing I did find is, if you use TW as your launcher, its mechanism will drain the battery faster than other launchers. If you turn off the background data sync and use a different launcher, the battery life is much better. Overall, I really like this device (the missing flash is my only gripe). Hopefully, Samsung will through in a few new surprises with the next OS update due out in September.

  • Pee Jay

    Bought my Vibrant on launch day and still can’t put it down. By far the best phone I have owned on TMobile hands down. I normally purchase 2-3 phones a year with my plan but this is a keeper. Of course there are a few things I would change but overall it is one hot piece. Did check out my friend’s Vibrant with just the naked 2.1 on it and it certainly runs faster than mine. Love my 7 home screens due to the fact that I can customize it anyway I want. I have dedicated screens for certain groups of apps so I don’t have to go anywhere but the home screen most times. I have not experienced the GPS issue that I have hear about with some so maybe I’m a lucky one who knows. I really wish that the manufactures would leave the Android OS to Google and they would concentrate on the hardware and battery issues. These phones are getting more and more powerful with larger demands on energy consumption but the companies are not advancing battery technology at the same rate.

  • Yaniv C

    All I can say is I love my Vibrant.
    1st of all… the 4″ screen truly is the sweet spot. Not too big, not too small.
    The phone is not just the fastest in T-mobiles line up, but technically it is the fastest Android phone on the planet. The 1Ghz Hummingbird is just a variant of the Cortex A8 (at 1 Ghz) its the fastest mobile chip in mass production (easily beats the Snapdragon). Couple that with its power VR GPU (twice as fast as the Droid X) and its king of the hill for this baby.
    At first it did seem “plasticky” however… never cheap… just … for lack of better a better word, weird. However…. that quickly subsides to the pure joy of such a LIGHT phone. You barely feel this beauty in your pocket.
    Plus, I gotta say… Im actually starting to appreciate Touchwiz. Some things are plain goofy (iPhone-esque screen scrolling), however they managed to put a lot of useful stuff too. Power bar in the notifications panel, phone controls while making call in notifications panel. I kind of also like the blue font over Androids green.

    Now if only David would find out what kind of WP7 jewel we can look forward to ;)

    David…. do your job :)

    • Spencer

      How can you say it has the best processor? The Droid X has shown itself to have the highest of all the phones on benchmarks! Also, there are five phones with literally the exact same processor as your phone (the Galaxy S series).

  • rick

    The 7 home screens is a bit much, but if you don’t need or want all of htem, just delete some. On a screen hit Menu, hit Edit, click the minus since in red circle. IF you later want more go back the Menu > Edit and click the + sign at the bottom.

  • Jim

    Thanks for the review. Good details and impressions that are important at this point vs the standard review with all the same specs. How things feel is important.

    I finally ordered mine today. I’ve been looking at it since before it came out, but I tend to over think each decision.

    Got it from the customer loyalty group for 99 dollars, no activation cost, no shipping cost (and they did expedited shipping). I think it likely helped to wait a little while while other people kicked the tires, and customer care / loyalty rules relaxed a bit.

    Sure I could have gotten a captivate today for $0.01, but then I’d have to go over to the dark side. I was able to keep my 50$ loyalty unlimited voice plan and 24.99 unlimited data and 400 text messages combo plan. Pretty good deal. it’s about 20 dollars cheaper per month than the comparable plans combo from ATT, which is a huge deal.

  • cj

    I would agree about the Touchwiz, it was one of the many problems of the Behold 2. It helped in hindering the phones abilities. Why bother, they should just use the standard android. And what happened to originality, Samsung makes good electrics but they live to copy a little. Sony for years, and now Apple to.

  • remixfa

    touchwiz 3.0 is > > > > than touchwiz 2.0 found on the behold.
    I dont use the samsung widgets for anything because i dont think they are well done, but their take on app management is the best ive found on android.

    some things that you didnt mention (or maybe know to use) for the vibrant.. at the top of the page on your app page is a speed bar so you can quickly zip to a specific page of apps.. also its the only android phone that i know of that lets you rearrange the apps any way you want, as well as re arranging the icons that stay on the bottom of the screen. They make app life a breeze when you get tons of apps, instead of scrolling through one gigantic scroll page.

  • remixfa

    ooh.. also, if you slide your finger left and right on the notifications bar at the top it adjusts brightness. a pretty nice feature for power consumption control.

  • Flgirll99

    I got my phone the week it came out and I’m still loving it!! It really is the best phone that I’ve had. I will say that I wish the battery would last longer but I realize that’s a problem most smart phones have. So I have a charger at work and home. Other then that, I love it.

  • ikeweezy

    The phone is great cosmetically, but its whats on the inside that matters. My biggest issue is the GPS, because I was personally inconvenienced by the defect. Try being lost in DC ending up in VA and/or MD, due to this defect! How do you miss this??? I thought they test for these kinds of issues in the wild!?! Other than that TouchWiz is ok. It doesn’t stand up to HTC Sense. Some positives, to me is the Hummingbird processor is a dream! Market downloads and syncing is fast and seamless! I love android, but this is my first Samsung experience with it and it takes a lot of getting used to coming from HTC G1 rooted to my liking, but I’ll definitely be rooting soon if this next OTA release takes too long!

  • Paul

    I noticed while playing with my Vibrant you can edit the number of home screens, 7 is just the max.

    While you are on the main page press the menu button then select edit.

    Now you can edit the number of home screens, as few as just one and as many as 7. So if you only even use a total of 4 screens, perfect you can set it to 4.

    You can also delete the screens you do want. just select the delete option on the screen you no longer want.

    I currently use 2 home screens.

  • dreek21

    Samsung Vibrant vs G2 which phone would you guys recommend ?

  • erod188

    One major question I have about this phone and the gps is that from what I know there is 2 different types gps of gps assisted and not assisted. And if I’m not mistaken the non assisted is more accurate. Do you guys know which one ths phone uses?

  • z

    okay i really didnt read evrything you wrote cause i kinda got irrutated, first off you said too much screens,, thats y you can delete them and have the amount of screens you want,, i had 1 screen for a moment. second of android let you do what you want with your phone, you want stock android you can have it anyday i used tw3 for a week and ive been on stock for the rest…. so really i love android cause i really do exactly what i want with it.. no micro sim lol

  • Raymond Petit

    I’ve had my Vibrant for a little over a month. It’s been one happy month! I finally got around to using the night mode of the camera. OMG!, it really can take pictures in the dark! Not excellent, but damn good considering. I wonder if changing the shutter speed will make it better. Don’t know if the shutter speed can be altered but I intend to find out. It is too bad that neither Samsung or T-mobile are showcasing all that this phone can do. It is way better than any other android device and the iPhone 4 too! I downloaded launcher pro and it is true that my battery life was better. It’s got to be touchwiz that is sucking so much juice. I can’t wait for the Froyo update as I am sure this will make it better! Hurry up Samsung!