When placed against the other 4G LTE phones currently on the Verizon network, the Charge has both advantages and disadvantages. The greatest strength of the phone is without a doubt the display. It’s beautiful, bright, and (relatively) easy to use outdoors. There’s nothing like it available on other 4G LTE phones or, for the most part, other phones available on Verizon.

The quality makes media consumption far more pleasurable on the Charge than other devices – and that’s saying a lot, because the HTC Thunderbolt and LG Revolution both have displays that, judged without comparison to the Charge, are quite beautiful.

However, the excellent display is paired with a processor that simply doesn’t provide the performance expected from modern flagship smartphones. For most of the new Android phones, interface lag is truly a thing of the past. That wasn’t the case with the Charge, which felt more like a Droid X given a booster shot than a new cutting-edge device.

Samsung’s TouchWiz interface also continues to be a bother. Although reasonably functional, many of its included apps aren’t the best solution, and the aesthetic design of the interface really cuts against the Droid brand’s tough do-it-all image. Indeed, it’s hard to understand why this phone was given Droid branding at all. It certainly doesn’t seem any different from a normal Samsung handset, Droid wallpaper and audio clips aside.

And then there’s the price. At $300 with a two-year contract, the Droid Charge is $50 more than the HTC Thunderbolt or the LG Revolution and $100 more than the dual-core Motorola Droid X2. Oddly, this price increase doesn’t translate over to the full retail MSRP – all these phones are roughly the same if you aren’t reducing their costs with a contract, with the exception of the Droid X2, which has an MSRP of just $449.99.

Ultimately, as with the HTC Thunderbolt, the compromises are too many to label the Charge a must-have – but if you make heavy use of your phone for media consumption, or want a 4.3” device with a relatively light weight and good battery life, the Charge is currently your best option on Verizon.

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