I do both. I review the chart but also expect a verbal report as many times all the charting hasn't been done before they try to send the patient. Have caught several inappropriate placements this way. For instance, ER physician charting states patient had HISTORY of shingles. Nurse calling report says, you're not pregnant are you? This patient has active shingles. Um, No, I'm not pregnant, but the patient in the other bed is! And I've caught things the other way too, where the charting shows something but the reporting nurse isn't aware of it because maybe she just came on shift or is giving report for a coworker, etc. So for myself, I always do both.
That said, if I know ER is slammed, or I can tell nurse is in a hurry, I briefly state what I have reviewed ("I've reviewed current orders, labs, IVF and access, and it looks like you've given abx and pain meds) and ask "what else do you need me to know about this patient?" I get exactly what I need to know and ER nurse is happy with a quick report.