written by: Robert Faustus•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/12/2010
The Samsung Fascinate and Samsung Vibrant are two extremely similar phones released on two different U.S. carriers. How do the two compare and which phone is the better phone in the end? Is it the first one out, the Vibrant, or the last one to be released, the Fascinate?
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Introducing the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant
Our First Competitor, The First Samsung Galaxy S Phone Released in the U.S. - The T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant
The T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant was the first Samsung Galaxy S series phone to be unleashed in the U.S. Considered a very powerful phone, the Samsung Vibrant showed the U.S. population that Samsung was pushing the limits of technology. With the Super AMOLED screen, 1 GHz Hummingbird processor running Android 2.1, coupled with T-Mobile 3G network, recently upgraded to HSPA+, the Samsung Vibrant was a strong competitor in an already competitive market.
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Introducing the Verizon Samsung Fascinate
Our Second Competitor, The Last Samsung Galaxy S Phone Released in the U.S. - The Verizon Samsung Fascinate
With much anticipation, the Verizon Samsung Fascinate has finally been released to the public. Very similar to its brethren already released on the other carriers, the Verizon Samsung Fascinate is still a force to be reckoned with. Having the same Super AMOLED screen, and 1 GHz Hummingbird processor running Android 2.1, the Samsung Fascinate also has Verizon's network.
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Samsung Fascinate vs. Samsung Vibrant
Now that we've briefly gone over the similarities between the Samsung Vibrant and the Samsung Fascinate, it's time to look at the differences. These differences are what makes one version of the Samsung Galaxy S beat out the other. They're slight differences but, in this extremely competitive environment, it's the slight differences that make a phone able to compete.
Though the two are extremely similar in design, there are still slight differences. The Samsung Vibrant has a little bit more of a stylish design, with the small hump on the back. In addition, the slight two tone difference that the Samsung Vibrant has around the edge of the phone, gives the Vibrant a bit more of a stylish look than the Samsung Fascinate. Winner - Samsung Vibrant
The Samsung Fascinate, just recently released on September 9th, oddly enough doesn't come with Android 2.2. If it had, it would've been the competitive edge to get Verizon in the lead. Instead, what it does have is an LED flash to go with the 5 megapixel camera. The Samsung Vibrant lacks the LED flash, and has to rely on 'night mode' to take pictures in the dark. While at times, it is handy, 'night mode' just doesn't pan out as well as the LED flash, that the Samsung Fascinate has. This LED allows the Samsung Fascinate to edge out a win over the Samsung Vibrant in the camera department. Winner via slight edge - Samsung Fascinate
Network and Connectivity
The Samsung Fascinate also has a much stronger and far reaching network than the Samsung Vibrant. Though some would say that it is not fair to judge the phones using their carriers, the truth is that the network is just as important as the phone for many folks. Verizon is almost unbeatable in this area, especially for T-Mobile. Even though T-Mobile may have the fastest speeds with their latest rollout of HSPA+, they still do not have the coverage that Verizon does. Winner - Samsung Fascinate
Feature wise, there's quite a big difference. The Samsung Fascinate, sadly, has locked down the phone to use Bing rather than Google. It's extremely odd that the Google applications and Google search engines are not the default, but more surprisingly, it can't even be changed! The default search engine is Bing and there's no way to change this. In addition, Google Navigator has been pushed to the side and is, once again, not the default. These limitations are quite different from the Vibrant, staying true to T-Mobile's stance of leaving phones open for users. Winner - Samsung Vibrant
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At this point, the game is tied, 2 to 2, both phones have their advantages and disadvantages. The Samsung Fascinate and Samsung Vibrant are both fantastic phones, but in a competition, there can be only one winner. In this case, there's one last factor that has allowed one of these Samsung Galaxy S phones to win and that is performance.
Even though both have the same processors and operating systems, there is still a slight difference in performance. The Samsung Fascinate, at times, felt sluggish, and was slower to react. This was an odd situation, especially considering that it has the same innards as the Samsung Vibrant. However, for some reason, the Samsung Fascinate was slower than the Vibrant. Therefore, edging out with the win, the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant.