Do you have the need for speed? Carriers think so. They're spending billions to upgrade their networks; beefing up to 4G so you can download apps, browse the Web and check e-mail faster than ever.
Data plans aren't cheap. So if you want 4G LTE, but you're on a budget, your options are limited. Either you buy an all-around phone with 3G, or mediocre-but-affordable 4G device.
If you're fine with a few holes, Samsung's Victory is the budget phone for you. As one of Sprint's least victorious devices, it's really only good for two things -- Android and 4G LTE. Just beware of the flaws.
What's the Phone?
Samsung isn't known for great materials. And the Victory looks especially cheap with plastic materials. It's glossy and flimsy. Sure, it's lightweight, but it's a chunky design and definitely not sexy. It looks a bit like a Galaxy, but dipped in bargain-bin juice and left out to dry.
Where art thou, AMOLED? No surprise, here. The 4-inch screen is a little on the small side. And the 800-by-480 resolution is grainy, which you can blame on the measly 233-pixels per inch. It's bright, though. At 447-lux, it's as vibrant as the Galaxy Nexus, but it's just not a good screen. It's okay if you plan to just browse the Web, but if you plan to watch videos, shell out for a better device, like the LG Viper.
The virtual keyboard is just poorly designed. The buttons are crowded together, yet they yield too much space. I know it's a paradox, but I had a hard time pressing the right key. It's just frustrating to use.
For the price, the 5-megapixel camera is average, not spectacular. The lens is mediocre, so details can be a little blurry and colors a bit flat, especially indoors. The shutter delay is pretty long, too -- about a second between presses -- which is a problem for action or spontaneous shots. But you get a decent set of functions, such as smile mode, which snaps when it sees teeth. There's also panorama for scenic shots, white balance and effects. You can record 720p clips, while the front-facing 1.3-megapixel lens is fine for video chat, but predictably blurry and grainy.
The Victory runs on ICS, but Samsung added TouchWiz to tweak the interface. You'll get a different lock screen, some changes to the color and menu and Sprint's ID app to download themes. It comes with five homescreens, with a menu across the bottom to swipe through pages.
You get the basics like a music player, calendar, calculator and browser -- you'll have to download Chrome. The voice recognition app, dubbed "S Voice," isn't very accurate. "S Beam" is useful, though. Just bump two phones together to transfer files. Bloatware is mercifully kept to a minimum.
The 1.2-gigahertz dual-core chip with 1-gigabyte of RAM isn't very powerful, and the capacitive buttons tend to lag. Apps also took longer to load. It's the same processor as the S2, but it's a bit underwhelming.
On the bright side, the 2,100 mAh battery lasts nearly eight hours. If you need a few more hours, disable 4G LTE. Out of 4-gigabytes, about 1.6- is free for storage. So if you plan to listen to music or watch movies, pick up a microSD card. Call quality is decently clear, though a bit fuzzy on speakerphone.
Sprint's 4G LTE network patchy and only available in certain markets. If you're in a big city, service is usually strong, but double check before signing a two-year contract.
You'll Want It If...
You want a cheap 4G LTE device. The display is bad, camera is mediocre and processor underpowered. But it's cheap and the Internet is fast -- if you have strong coverage. Really, I'd only recommend it if you're on a budget and you only care about the Web, otherwise there are better options.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
If you can pay a little more, do it and buy the higher-end Galaxy S3 or HTC's Evo 4G LTE. Both are more expensive up-front, but the difference in the screen and camera are make up for the headaches for two years. Still, if you don't have the cash, consider the Viper -- it costs the same and has a better camera, but no 4G. ♦
In a market full of giant-sized phones, this one is a reasonable size. The 4-inch display looks great, and the Victory feels great. It's the best size, in my opinion. Too bad the screen is LCD, rather than the more vibrant AMOLED, but if you're just browsing the Web and checking e-mail, you won't be disappointed.
The power is plenty. I play a lot of games and it runs smoothly without any hiccups or stalling. Don't let the mid-range price fool you; the speed is on par with the One X.
The Victory gets great battery life -- I can last through a workday without any problems. The camera is mediocre -- not the best but not the worst either. It's serviceable. I can't really say there's anything glaringly bad about the phone. If you're on Sprint and you don't want a giant smartphone, give the Victory a look. It has all the bells and whistles -- like LTE -- and runs smooth as butter.
Normally I hate the customizations manufacturers add to their phones, but Samsung actually added some useful features. The app launcher has some shortcuts that make things more convenient.
One annoying issue is with the folders, which add an extra step. S Voice is also pretty much useless.Was this review helpful to you?
This phone is just the right size for me. I had problems with the gigantic phones, and the tinny ones were a pain to browse the Web on. The Victory has everything I need, at just the right size.
The 4-gigabyte memory was a little small for me, but nothing a 32-gigabyte card couldn't solve.
I have an issue with the overly-sensitive touch screen. Basically, whenever I hold the phone up to my face to talk, my cheek will touch the display and I'll lose the call. Maybe I have fat cheeks, I don't know, but it's annoying. I often accidentally hit parts of the screen and things turn off.
The display is just unreliable -- I'll make typos when I text. Another issue I have is with errors. I'm not sure if it's a glitch, but I've received "97" and "34" errors. I called Sprint to try to figure it out, but my phone disconnects before I can get it figured out. I had to drive to a local store; in the end they just replaced it.Was this review helpful to you?
I love the screen size, the speed, and just about everything to do with android and most Samsung phones and galaxy series.
I don't like the RAM and CPU features. If I was the person who designed this phone, I would've given it more RAM and more memory on the CPU!Was this review helpful to you?
Write a review and share you thoughts.