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1 week later...
....And I am still loving this phone. Granted, this is my first smartphone. My wife has had smartphones and I have used everyone elses to some great extent, I just never had the desire to pay for a data plan. This phone benchmarked great at 2997. The camera is great, the only knock would be somewhat grainy when shooting in dark situations with flash, and I mean DARK. Other than that, pictures and videos turn out great.
I use my phone pretty heavily from text messages, video chat, and especially web browsing. I do not do any gaming on the phone really, I am a forumite and on ebay all day long. Right now I have had the phone on for 9 hours. I have the GPS on, I have the brightness at 75%, I have talked about 40-45 minutes, sent about 50-60 texts, taken 4 and tweeted 4 pictures, surfed all day long here at work, and I am at 65% battery life. I dont know what other people do with their phones to drain the battery so much and so fast, but I have had the phone go 20+hours on 1 charge with no quick chargeups whatsoever.
Here is the best part about this phone, it truly is silky smooth. I have only had one of my applications force close on me, and that was immediately after installing it upon hitting the open button in the play store. So it could of been the stores fault, who knows. Other than that, no issues at all. It is extremely responsive to the touch and when you use the swipe upwards motion instead of just a press on the capaciative buttons on the button, there is no issue at all. The phone feels so solid, doesnt weight much at all, and is a nice shape with the contour on the back.
The screen is really great on this phone. I think the colors are vibrant, and really provides the user with real world colors, instead of the fake sort of fluorescent colors samsung screens typically provide. Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Prime movies look great. Sound is on par with what one would expect from a phone. Its not a stereo, but it provides more than adequate sound from such a device. Also, reading my kindle books on the phone is easy and clear.
The one app for this phone that seems to give me fits is SKYPE. For some reason I get a constant chirping noise when talking to my wife over video chat while be both are on our IONS and on WIFI. I spoke to a SKYPE agent today and they are currently going to be putting the ION into testing and certification and hope that an update is produced. As of right now they told me the ION is not a supported device for SKYPE even though it may work at times. I am currently using Google Talk. Sound is clear, video a little sharper, but it does lag a bit more. Tried Tango it lagged even more, next I may try Ooovoo.
Cases for this phone are still slim pickings. I currently am using the Incipio Silicrylic case. I purchased the case directly from Incipio and it is a good case overall. There is one thin area on the left side of the phone where you hook up the mini usb/hdmi that may be a problem in the future after some use. If the case were to break, it would break in this area. I plan on purchasing the Ballistic SG case as soon as one becomes available, I just do not think the Incipio case provides any sort of respectable fall protection. The screen protector that comes with is nice, and is better than the stock one on the ION. Less smudges, and I applied it to the stock phone without removal of the one that was already on the ION with no decrease in visibility or touch sensitivity.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I am not too hip on alot of android/phone talk, but wanted to give me review from a normal user. I read so many reviews on this phone from different sources and many knocked this phone for being antiquated, not having ICS or pretty much in every other area. People even called this phone sluggish and said it has poor call quality. Let me tell you guys I was the most worried about call quality. First this is the clearest sounding phone I have used cellwise. Second, while driving in my 1980 Camaro Z28 with a 410HP engine, with headers and flowmaster 10 series mufflers dumped at the rear axle, I can still hear the person talking, albeit barely. So for those who were concerned about this, I say get the phone and try it out. I am loving it. Thanks Pete