NOW the Charge comes out. Two weeks too late for me to trade up to it. Verizon kept pushing it back, and I kept hoping it would come out in time for me to unload this battery addicted hog of a Thunderbolt and trade up.
Don't get me wrong, the Thunderbolt is a good device - great in some areas. But, the Charge will do everything is does, with a much nicer (and far less power hungry) screen, and will last much longer doing it.
Oh well, at least I'm only stuck in a one year contract. With the direction Verizon is heading (14 day evaluation period down from 30, no 1 year contracts, no 1 year upgrade price, tiered data coming) I'm not sure I'll be on them anymore once this contract ends. Putting out this joke of a phone, then acting like it's perfectly acceptable, is the final straw.
I wrote to Verizon about the battery life (under 4 hours if you actually use it). I wanted to try a new battery - send mine in, get a new one to try (though I'm very sure the actual battery isn't the issue other than it's anemic size) the reply was that "smartphones use a lot of juice", and maybe it's an app I'm using that's causing the drain. (Not unless it's an app that Verizon put on it and I can't uninstall , because the battery was this bad right out of the box before I put any apps on it.
At least this rep didn't try to sell me the extended battery, and inform me that the original battery has 1400 minutes of talk time, while the extended has 2750 minutes of talk time. Seriously? A smartphone rep who thinks mAH stands for minutes of talk time? I know more about these phones than the average rep, and I'm a dunce. He also stated that I should shut off 4G, turn off backround updates, go into settings and force close the Blockbuster DRM. So, turn your 4G smartphone that you paid for into a 3G average phone - that's the answer. Eliminate functionality in trade for battery savings. Brilliant - glad I paid all that money for the phone itself!
It's shameful to sell people a product, then try to sell them an accessory to make it useable. I have to have a charger in my car and at work just to get through the day. I can literally surf the internet for 20 minutes off a full charge, and be below 80% when done. Put it down for an hour, come back and be below 70%. Pathetic.
Putting all things aside, I can't get past the look of the Charge. The case looks cheap, don't care for the slick plastic or the physical menu buttons (versus the capacitive touch sensitive on the TB), and the kicker (no pun intended), the Charge doesn't have a kickstand! Overall, to me the Thunderbolt looks and feels more solid and well made. Then again, I'm a little biased as I really love my Thunderbolt and have had no problems with it. Regardless, either phone has it's merits, so to each his own.
I would not go for the Droid Charge. My Thunderbolt has been great so far. I am getting over 16 hours with moderate use, about 3 hours. I do not know why people complain so much about battery lasting like 4 hours, maybe they use the phone like it was a laptop and many hours (I work and do not have the time to use it that much). My laptop's battery last over an hour only so I do not expect a smartphone last more than 24 hours considering that it is a small computer (if you think all they can do today). Good luck with whatever decision you make.
I'll give you the build quality - HTC makes solid phones, Samsung makes plastic. I'll even defer on support - HTC wins hands down on updates. All things being equal, the Charge wins only on battery life and the screen quality. The difference between TFT LCD and AMOLED is like the difference between your old cathode ray tube TV and an HD 1080p. As to the buttons, I prefer physical - I accidentally hit the capacitive too often. Ideally, I'd like physical witrh capacitive.
I just got home from taking my son out for dinner. When we left, I had 98% on my battery. We were at the restaurant maybe 1 hour, total time out was perhaps 1.5 hours with travel time, etc... While there, I went online for less than 10 minutes, read one email, and shut down the screen. I lit the screen up two or three more times to see if I had any notifications, and shut the screen down immediately after.
I'm at 81%. That was with LTE turned off via the ON/OFF app. Had I used it for 20-30 minutes to surf, I'd be closer to 50-60%. It's ridiculous. Verizon should at the very least hand out extended batteries - though I don't know if that's a good answer, as it makes the phone waaaaaaay to thick.
EDIT: Actually, by the time I finished writing this, I was at 79%. It dropped 2% in under 5 minutes with no use, screen off. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised - my old Omnia II, which had a 3.7" AMOLED screen and no LTE radio had a 1500MAh battery, and it's battery life was middling. What would make HTC/Verizon believe a 4.5" TFT would need no more than 1400MAh?
I would consider the Thunderbolt to be Cinderella, even with the battery issues. The charge doesn't look at all appealing to me.
If you're just talking aesthetics, then you've never seen a Super AMOLED + next to a TFT LCD. As for the body shape, etc, that's subjective, and secondary to the function. I don't buy cell phones like my wife buys cars - "Oooh, that's a pretty color, I'll buy that car!" Well, that car gets 10mpg and has a poor maintenance history. "But it's pretty!"
I use both the stock and extended batteries and on average get around 12 and 48 hours respectively, with moderate use. Granted less, the more you use the phone, but that's to be expected. Remember these are mini computers that pack a lot of punch and will consume power the heavier you use them. I'm surprised they last as long as they do. My 17" laptop with an Intel i5 processor only goes for 3 hours tops, half that if I push it hard. Anyway, I digress.
Although the phone fits quite nicely in my large hands with the extended battery, it does make the phone bulkier and is sometimes a bit heavy in the holster on my belt loop (I never put phones in my pocket, NEVER). Not to mention kind of makes the phone a lot less sleek looking. But, I typically only use the extended battery on weekends or when I know I'll be away from a power source for an extended time.
As far as battery life, the first thing I did when getting the phone was to fully charge the battery BEFORE ever turning it on (as the manual says to do). I'm a stickler for following directions!. Then, over the next half a dozen discharge/recharge cycles, I'm sure to run the battery down to about 10% before charging. This ensures the batteries are broken in and conditioned properly.
Overall, to conserve battery, I've done the following:
1. Set screen timeout to 30 secs
2. Set a non-animated wallpaper
3. Turned off all display animations
4. Left screen brightness on auto
5. Turned off GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (only turn on GPS/Wi-Fi as needed and turn off when done, don't use Bluetooth)
6. Disabled unneeded syncing of various applications (ex. Stocks, News, set Gmail to only sync mail)
7. In browser settings, changed "Enable plugins" (ex. Flash) to "On Demand"
8. For location settings, only Google Location Services are enabled (turn on others only as needed and turn off when done)
A few final notes, I don't use any of the social networking features, so less syncing is needed, although I'm sure there are settings to tweak in those apps should one use them. I don't use any app/task killer as I believe they're counter productive as apps/processes will just continually try to restart using up battery power. And finally, my Thunderbolt is all stock (not rooted) and the 4G LTE radio is always enabled.
As far as battery life, the first thing I did when getting the phone was to fully charge the battery BEFORE ever turning it on (as the manual says to do). I'm a stickler for following directions!. I did this.
Overall, to conserve battery, I've done the following:
1. Set screen timeout to 30 secs - I'm set higher, but I kill the screen whenever I put it down.
2. Set a non-animated wallpaper - I already do this.
3. Turned off all display animations - I already do this.
4. Left screen brightness on auto - Me too.
5. Turned off GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi (only turn on GPS/Wi-Fi as needed and turn off when done, don't use Bluetooth) - Tried this, made no discernable difference.
6. Disabled unneeded syncing of various applications (ex. Stocks, News, set Gmail to only sync mail) - I don't even sync Gmail
7. In browser settings, changed "Enable plugins" (ex. Flash) to "On Demand" - I haven't done this.
8. For location settings, only Google Location Services are enabled (turn on others only as needed and turn off when done) - I've tried all combinations, including no location services on.
A few final notes, I don't use any of the social networking features, so less syncing is needed, although I'm sure there are settings to tweak in those apps should one use them. I don't use any app/task killer as I believe they're counter productive as apps/processes will just continually try to restart using up battery power. And finally, my Thunderbolt is all stock (not rooted) and the 4G LTE radio is always enabled. - I don't use any social apps, on the phone or at all anywhere.
Regardless, these things you and I have disabled are selling points of the device, and they shouldn't need to be shut off to make it useable. Like I said, my Omnia II, which was much less powerfull than the T-Bolt, had a stock battery that was higher capacity, 1500MAh versus 1400 in the Thunderbolt. And it was only decent on battery life. There is no way HTC could have believed this was enough to power this beast.
My TBolt is almost never off of the charger for more than about 1 hour at a time. I will have to agree with you however that putting a 1400 mAh battery in a device with the capabilities of the TBolt was pretty short sighted. Maybe a software update will improve the battery issue, but if they had just used a batery that would allow the device to be used to it's full potential without having to shut down half of it's functions in the first place, there wouldn't be a battery issue.
Or maybe the were more far sighted and thinking about all of those extended battery sales.