Wednesday, October 06, 2010

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant

So I recently jumped on the Smartphone bandwagon and got me an Android phone. From the comparative reviews I read the Samsung Galaxy S was the device to get and the T-Mobile branded Vibrant was a tad better than the AT&T Captivate.

The story of how I got it is actually quite humorous, but we'll save that for another time. Ebay market price was around $350 or so, so I went onto the local Craigslist and coaxed a guy down to $240. After a shady-like meeting in a Wal-Mart parking lot, cash and phone was exchanged and I had my Vibrant.

The previous owner barely used it so it was essentially like-new. He had installed some program called SGS Unlock which provided me with the necessary unlock code for it to work with AT&T. After putting in my SIM we were good to go.

I am still in the process of playing with the device but I'll share out a few tidbits of information pertaining to it when compared to my work iPhone 3G and wifey's iPhone 4.

The Vibrant is thinner and lighter than any of the iPhones. The screen is better than the 3G and 3Gs but I believe the iPhone 4's retina display is better than the Galaxy S. The OSs are exactly different in terms of performance, usability, and stability as an Apple is to a PC. The 3G was slow and laggy but the iPhone 4 had none of this. Performance has been top notch with the 4 and is in-line with the Vibrant...I'd even venture to say that the Android is a bit faster. But with the OS speed comes the stability factor.

Every now and then WiFi won't work correctly and I have to reboot the Vibrant. I don't believe the iPhone 4 has this problem. Also the Vibrant will blink on every now and then with no reason at all...it's annoying and makes it seem like a flaky, ghost phone. Also the GPS on all of the Galaxy S phones are fucked and Samsung is taking their sweet time coming out with a fix. The Apple's GPS is supposedly good but you usually have to purchase some app. Now it gets to the software part.

You can totally tell that the market for free Android apps is huge. You can find many of the same type of app for the Android and it is all free, again, just like the PC software market. This vastness doesn't exist with the Apple. The iPhones usually have more stable apps but you have to pay for them or use a free version that is quite neutered. Additionally, having to use iTunes to do anything is hella annoying vs. that of an Android phone where it becomes a mass storage device where you can just move movies or songs in and out.

Hardware wise, I don't like the bottom 4 buttons on the Vibrant or the side "main" button. It reminds me too much of a crappy design and a Blackberry. I guess I got too used to the solitary button for the iPhone.

Input-wise the Vibrant has this thing called a Swype keyboard...it's nutty fun to use as opposed to finger pecking with your index finger with an iPhone. If they find a way to port this KB over...

So yeah I have done a good bit of customization on the Vibrant and I like how it looks. If the GPS worked I would've been more pleased but I am still happy that I have it. Compared to the 4 though....the 4 might be better because of the stability and the Facetime feature. Time will tell. I'll be able to "upgrade" in March so I'll see if I still like having this Vibrant or if I'd be willing to just go get a 4.

When thinking of the phone and such you really just have to factor in:
  • List what apps are useful. Then see which phone has more of these.
  • Usability-wise, which one would you prefer to interface with?
And that is pretty much it. You gotta remember that is a phone...a phone that has small software packages that make it more useful but still a phone. So even though I love Google and everything they produce, the 4 does seem like a more slick device.