Samsung Captivate (AT&T)
Manufacturer: Samsung Part number: 4760319
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CNET editors' review
price range: $107.95 - $249.99
- Reviewed by: Bonnie Cha
- Reviewed on: 07/14/2010
- Released on: 07/18/2010
The good: The Samsung Captivate features a gorgeous Super AMOLED screen, a 1GHz processor, 16GB of onboard memory, and it has an expansion slot. The Android 2.1 device also offers great call quality, full wireless options, and a HD video capture.
The bad: AT&T won't let you sideload apps to the phone; camera lacks a flash.
The bottom line: The Samsung Captivate is easily AT&T's best Android phone to date. It delivers great performance, tons of features, and an easy-to-use interface.
Why I chose this over an iPhone 4
by Petros720 on August 31, 2010
Voicemails transcribed to texts
Continuously syncs Google Calendar, Contacts, Gmail, and my Picasa pictures
Drag and drop ANY movie files, no need to convert
Google Translate app
Cons: No camera flash
Not many good games available
USB port is located on top of the phone
All the Google Apps require internet connection and we all know how great AT&T's reception is.
Summary: I was on the fence between the iPhone 4 and the new Androids. My wife got an iPhone and after using it, I realized that the only thing the iPhone ...
Summary: I was on the fence between the iPhone 4 and the new Androids. My wife got an iPhone and after using it, I realized that the only thing the iPhone 4 has going for it is the games. Most of the major apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Pandora are available for both phones. The only app that I can't find on the Android Market is that cool Chase Banking app that takes pictures of checks.
The Captivate has all the Google apps (some not available for the iPhone) for free. The best one is the speech-to-text. I drive a lot, and found texting while driving to be very dangerous. Now, all I do is push a button, speak the sentence and it types it out for me.
The Google Maps app adds Google Navigation (not available on iphone) which gives turn-by-turn directions in bird's eye view and reroutes you if you miss a turn. You can do voice search for anything, and it also shows traffic.
If you use Gmail, the Android syncs EVERYTHING. I created a new appointment on Google Calendar and it showed up on my Captivate within seconds. Same went for my contacts and Picasa pics.
If you need access to your Word, Excel, or PDF files, Google Docs is a must. I have access to all my Google Docs, which I can download, open, edit and email to my clients.
I replaced AT&T's voicemail with Google Voice (not available on iphone). It takes visual voicemail to the next level. Not only can you see the time, caller, etc, but now the entire message gets transcribed into text.
The contact list brings all your social networks together, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Talk. So I can see who is available to chat with on Google Talk just from looking at my contact list. The contact's profile uses the Facebook profile pic.
As a media player, I prefer the Captivate over the iPhone. Since the Captivate supports Bluetooth 3.0, and doesn't require iTunes, I can drag and drop any media file without ever connecting the phone to a computer. There is also an app on the Captivate (Allshare) that streams any shared media file on the network.
Finally, emailing is not restricted like the iphone. I can attach ANY and as many files I want. The iPhone doesn't even have an attachment function because you can't have access to any files on the phone.
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
by ecsurfer88 on July 25, 2010
-Touchwiz & Android together is surprisingly a smooth combination
-Feels good in the hand especially with a metal back cover
-HD video recording and good point & shoot camera
-Great graphics performance
Cons: -Although Battery is good with all the bells and whistles on you will notice a drain (obviously)
-Although I like the design personally some people don't care for "sharp" edges and prefer round
-Screen can lose some visibility outdoors
Summary: The best choice for anyone on AT&T looking for an android phone. I feel that it definitely serves as a competitor for the iphone 4. Definitely worth a ...
Summary: The best choice for anyone on AT&T looking for an android phone. I feel that it definitely serves as a competitor for the iphone 4. Definitely worth a look and a buy, pick one up and try it out.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Teething issues on. Like what I could sink teeth into.
by karmic_gogol on August 7, 2010
Pros: You carry a navigation system, a reliable voice call maker, a HD video camera, a fantastic multimedia device that is stylised by curves and glossy black. I like the added control I have over the filemanagement and freedom from iTunes.
Cons: Samsung is a fool not to have done proper QA before unleashing the device. Why transfer the burden of fixing the GPS to consumers? Simple transferring files after connecting to USB requires a google search. Why not make these little things simpler?
Summary: This is my first Android device, and a smartphone after 2 years of iPhone 3G. I am amazed at the pace at which technology has changed for handheld devices. I ...
Summary: This is my first Android device, and a smartphone after 2 years of iPhone 3G. I am amazed at the pace at which technology has changed for handheld devices. I got the Captivate yesterday, so its early days. Part of my amazement is for Android part of it is for Samsung.I was too quick to judge the navigation system. While it does lock on and work fine around central Jersey where I live, it has failed every time when I have tried doing so in NY or CT. I have tried many fixes suggested on the forums and any number of combinations of them. I have verified my results using the GPS Tester app , the *#*# GPS configuration manager provided by ATT/Google/Samsung, Google Navigation and ATT Navigator.
Why I chose this phone:
I own a 52" and a 46" samsung LCD HDTVs and a samsung blu ray player. They are jewels of my modest HT system. I owned a Verizon Samsung phone before my iPhone, using which I could get a signal in the basement of my office building.
This is a company that has the balls to say that "Our are products are so good that we would give them for free, but make them so popular that we make money off of advertising revenues." I am married to many Google services like mail, voice,docs and apps for business. Very impressed by the innovative and high quality softwares.
After suffering AT&T for 2 yrs, I am big hater of the company. But it and T-mobile are the largest carriers to allow simultaneous voice and data, and AT&T is the larger of the 2. My girlfriend's company also gives a 25% discount on AT&T bills.
I hoped that the combination of the 3 would be a killer and I have not been very dissapointed so far.
I'll try to summarise my feelings in point form.
What I loved:
1. Very sleek and pocketable device.
2. Textured metal back with a nice latch system to keep things secure.
3. Covered USB (charging/syncing) port.
4. Mind blowing screen ( as is the iphone4's, but it is smaller in size).
5. Simulated 5.1 surround sound space created when using headphones ( I downloaded an HD preview of Avatar, and could feel helicopters passing above my head)
6. Live wall papers .
7. Speech to text capabilities. (outside of navigation)
8. Notification screen
What I didn't care for but heard a lot of hoopla about:
1. Widgets. They are nice to have but the phone will die if there is a constant polling. If they are polled infrequently they are point less. You can't adjust the size of widgets
2. Google Goggles: This thing has failed to detect my text books from their outer cover. It should have been like searching "text" ... but nooooo.
3. Voice activated navigation. Hasn't been able to successfully detect a single place I looked for.
4. 7 home screens. What do I do with them? The widgets are very lame and I would rather not have app shortcuts all over my desktop.
What I downright disliked:
1. GPS functionality on the phone. After spending an hour, on xda forums, I finally got the GPS lock to work almost instantaneously every time, but why should I have to spend this time?
2. Allows only an additional 16GB micro SD card.
3. It doesnt have a flash. So, the Froyo updates to use the Flash for video recording and as a flashlight in the dark would be pointless as would be low light photography.
4. My battery ran out within 8 hours of charging and "heavy" use. Gotto to go to the forums and find out how to make this last longer.
A personal word, about Apple vs Android: (having witnessed products of both camps)
After being vociferous, for long, about my disdain for iPhone, I realise that making an interface that is simple and yet powerful is an art. One that Android phones are yet to master.
However, Apple would be outspent, in R&D dollars, many times over by the OHA, and would never be abe to catch up to feature set of Android devices in its lifetime. Battle lines would be soon be drawn to get exclusivity from big software (games, productivity suites) and publishing houses. Whoever wins that war gets my money for the mobile device.
Updated on Aug 10, 2010
The GPS on this device just WILL NOT LOCK in 95% of the cases. If you are looking to use this phone as a navigation system, then hope that it is a software fix and not hardware and that Samsung will provide that soon.
I like most of the features of the phone. Miss some obvious ones from the iPhone (like moving cursor in the middle of typed text ). I would have kept the phone had it not been for the GPS problem. Now, I am returning it this weekend. I would reduce my rating to 3 stars if I could.
Updated on Aug 10, 2010I would advise people NOT to buy this phone till Samsung has provided a solid fix for the GPS issue. Its high time consumers stop taking the crap that phone companies dole out and send a message. I love the screen and the form factor. But the dysfunctional GPS is a big issue.
Updated on Feb 9, 2011Long overdue update: (I wish I could 5 stars now)
I extended my contract and started using my Captivate from 01/10/2011.
I upgraded the following:
GPS - OTA upgrade. (GPS works near flawless. 1-2 seconds to lock on.)
Home screen launcher - ADW Launcher (I have home screens in landscape mode and a scrollable app dock)
Keyboard: Better Keyboard 8 (Much faster, better prediction, improved cut,copy, paste)
I also bought Motorola SPN5400 950 mA car charger and an Arkon SM412 friction mount. Life is bueno :).
4 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Bye Bye Blackberry
by MDExTexan on December 22, 2010
Pros: Display, touch screen UI, excellent touch screen keyboard; Camera resolution; Memory size for apps; variety of apps available
Cons: POP3 email account setup; Micro USB plug; no camera flash (minor); getting used to looking at the very top of the screen
Summary: I've been carrying a Blackberry Bold since December 2008 and was always happy with it until recently when they did the latest OS upgrade. Suddenly, I didn't have ...
Summary: I've been carrying a Blackberry Bold since December 2008 and was always happy with it until recently when they did the latest OS upgrade. Suddenly, I didn't have room for any apps, and since I was due for an upgrade anyway, I started looking at AT&T phones to replace it. I considered the Blackberry Torch and even IPhone 4 (but not seriously). I wanted something with more than 512M available for apps, which is all the Torch has, and I didn't want to be forced to get my apps from the IPhone store. When I saw the AT&T Captivate in Consumer Reports, I started looking at it.Forgot to mention - I'm having trouble with the micro USB plug falling out of the phone when it's attached to the computer. Works okay at night to charge, but when I'm trying to download music or sync with Outlook the plug falls out of the phone when I move it. I haven't checked this with AT&T yet, but plan to.
My research on the web told me that it was possible to sync Outlook calendar and contacts with the Captivate, Shazam is available for it, and it is possible to sync music with ITunes. And it came with 16GB of memory (not counting the 16GB SD card I moved from my Bold with all my music on it)
I got the phone 2 days ago, and I'm totally sold. I thought I'd have more trouble typing on the touch screen keyboard, but this keyboard has tactile feedback (phone vibrates slightly when a "key" is pressed) and the conversion from a physical keyboard to the on screen one has been painless. Nails must be kept short, which might be an issue for some.
The only real problem I've had with it was getting my POP3 email account set up. The software made an assumption that the domain name in the email address would be the server name, and actually changed the email address I input to agree with its assumption. My husband finally figured out what it was doing, and was able to set up the email account.
Sync contacts and calendar with Outlook wasn't as painless as I would have wished; the way I finally ended up doing it was with Deja Office on the phone & Companion Link Synchronize on the P.C. The P.C. software is not free, unfortunately. And the contact sync is with Deja Office, not the built-in contacts list that comes with the Android OS, which I can't replace with Deja Office. To set up speed dial numbers, I had to put the people I wanted to speed dial in the ATT contact software, but since there were only 5, that didn't take long. The Deja Office contacts list works well; when you open a contact you can click on the email address to send email, click on physical address to open Google Maps, or click on one of the phone numbers to call the contact. Maybe all the smart phones do that these days, but the BB Bold didn't!
It comes with an MP3 player that does what I want (displays artist name, album) and has built-in 5.1 channel sound. Still working on the best way to get music from the P.C. to the phone. I've downloaded a program called Double Twist, but I don't think I'll stick with it.
Love the size; big screen but the phone is thin and light weight. I think I'll be very happy with this phone for the next 2 years.
Updated on Dec 22, 2010
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Galaxy S Phones are an excellent choice on any carrier
by RodsterinFL on August 6, 2010
Pros: Screen is vivid and 4 inch, Phone has HDMI out via USB AND the out video not app dependent - shows screen; android activity bar has quick-on/off activation of wireless, bluetooth, etc.; Bluetooth 3.0, night shot capability, overall great phone.
Cons: The menu buttons at the bottom are dim when lit.
Summary: All Galaxy S variants are reported by Samsung to have:
? 4-inch SUPER AMOLED screen (800 x 480)
? Android 2.1 with TouchWiz Interface (2.2 is due in Sept)
Summary: All Galaxy S variants are reported by Samsung to have:I forgot to mention that I am able to sync with my mac via bluetooth easily. I pulled my contacts with a saved vcard file in address book and also my calendar syncs perfectly with google calendar and transfers to the phone.
? 4-inch SUPER AMOLED screen (800 x 480)
? Android 2.1 with TouchWiz Interface (2.2 is due in Sept)
? Samsung?s Social Hub / Media Hub
? 1GHz Cortex A8 ?Hummingbird? CPU (fastest)
? 5MP with 720p video recording
? 3.5mm Headset Jack
? Wi-Fi b/g/n (n is the fastest)
? Bluetooth 3.0 (latest one)
? 512GB RAM
? A-GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, proximity sensor, light sensor, FM Radio
? Mini USB for accessory hookup
? The Vibrant and Captivate have 16gb internal storage
I have owned the Captivate for one week now. Two weeks ago I bought a Vibrant, the sister phone through T mobile but had no service in or around my home for a half mile. The two are comparable but they are great phones whichever choice. I have scoured the internet reading about phones before and after my purchase and have come up with a few conclusions. 1) android is fast becoming the phone OS of choice, 2) HTC, Samsung and Apple have the market and 3) Android phones offer bells and whistles that cost extra on the iPhone.
A flash? Don?t really need it.
One thing that has several people posting negatives on this phone is the lack of flash. Well, in SOME cases that may be a problem. Consider though that these little LED flashes don't throw off much past three feet anyway. On the XDA forums they demonstrate this phones capability in night shot and it si fantastic. The entire field is lit up on a pic at 9:30 at night. I tested it and found that it works well except in situations where a light source casts light in a darker room. This the picture comes out dark. (something like a lamp in the background).
Another usual concern is the front camera
I looked at the Evo 4G and the iPhone. Since I did not have a contract with anyone I was able to really shop. This feature was not that important to me so I did not make it a point for purchase.
The galaxy phones are very lightweight. My friend has an HTC evo 4g and it is heavy compared to this phone. It is a nice phone too but the Galaxy S phones have the latest in technology - fastest CPU, excellent GPU, bluetooth 3.0, the best screens (not the evo LCD but SAMOLED), etc. They are hard to beat. I also shopped the iPhone. It is a beautiful phone but limited in screen customizing, and dialog boxes that interrupt when using if a call or text comes in. Plus the screen is smaller- this coming from a heavy Apple user with five macs and a mobile me account! I still chose the best product. IMO. I hope this helps you to make the best choice. There a many features on these phones that are just being discovered so be aware of that when reading reviews. One review I read really bashed Samsung for putting out a phone with RCA out for hookup to legacy devices, etc. stating how behind they were not realizing the many options . Well, the stereo Bluetooth 3.0 (not 2.0 or 2.1 found on others), DLNA communication and USB/HDMI cable takes the phone to new levels of connectivity. I was convinced I had to have a physical QWERTY keyboard but after using swipe AND android?s FREE speech to text, I have no need for pushing some tiny little keys. All this and just think, android?s new update Froyo 2.2 is due out soon to only make these even better and faster! I cannot imagine someone unhappy with one of these phones.
Updated on Aug 6, 2010
Updated on Nov 5, 2010I started having some trouble with the phone specifically with syncing calendars and even problems with exchange compatibility. Then the buttons at the lower part of the screen would not always activate when pressed (touch screen). The battery life is short. I have to charge it every night even with minimal use. I am seriously considering the iphone 4.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very good Android phone, few issues to be aware of
by ZMilb43 on February 16, 2011
Pros: -4" SAMOLED screen is bright, vivid, and beautiful
-1Ghz Hummingbird + 512MB ram = Very capable and snappy
-Solid Build quality
-VERY light and pocket-able for something with a screen this big
-Swype comes standard
Cons: -Full day on battery is a stretch
-GPS is awful
-Personally, I hate the feel of it with no case
-Random reboots occasionally
-Samsung does not update their products reliably
Summary: I've owned the Samsung Captivate for about three full months now. While the initial glee I had experienced using it has worn off, there is no denying it is ...
Summary: I've owned the Samsung Captivate for about three full months now. While the initial glee I had experienced using it has worn off, there is no denying it is a solid smartphone, and has been the top dog on AT&T from Androids side of the ring for about 9 months now (HTC Inspire and Motorola Atrix might have something to say about that now) There are a couple things you should be aware of before purchasing however, because some of its flaws that I consider "mildly annoying" could be seen as deal breakers to someone else.
Starting with the good, the 4" Super AMOLED screen is a sight to behold. Colors are over saturated, for sure, but to most people it just looks colorful and beautiful. And you can't beat the true blacks of SAMOLED. Some people report having issues seeing in direct sunlight, I however find that as long as the screen adjusts brightness automatically, there are no issues. Moving on, the phone has some beefy innards. Its now a generation behind the Tegra 2's and other dual core phones, but its still a properly quick phone. Outside of a couple games and benchmarks, the difference between single and dual cores probably will never even be noticeable. Have no complaints about the camera other than the obvious omission of an led flash. Its also a very well build phone, mine has taken its fair share of falls and is no worse for wear (I do have a case and screen protector on it). Lastly, the Captivate like all Galaxy S phones, is shockingly light when you first hold it. Interpret it as you will, I think it retains its quality feel despite the weight, and as such everything else feels heavy to me.
Now moving onto the stuff to be aware of. The battery is a 1500mAh L-ion, and while some more moderate users may not have issues, I do usually push the battery below 20% on a daily basis. Another thing, maybe the most glaring issue, is the fact that the GPS is terrible. Some people say their's work ok, I'm not so lucky. Mine just doesn't work, it takes 30-40 seconds to locate me when I'm outdoor and stationary, and regularly loses my signal if I move. IF GPS IS A MUST HAVE FEATURE FOR YOU, LOOK ELSEWHERE. On a lighter note, while the phone is solid, I really don't like the way the metallic back feels. Its very tacky, almost feels like its made of the same material as a chalkboard. I have a case on mine, so its irrelevant, but not my favorite feature. Another issue is occasional reboots, a known issue with Galaxy S phones. I only get maybe 3 a week, not a huge issue for me. Moving on, you need to know that these phones do not have very solid developer support when it comes to updates. Its debate-able as to who the fingers should be pointed at, but the bottom line is that the Captivate was supposed to get 2.2 last fall, its now February and we're still on 2.1. I don't really care that much about 2.2 at this point, but its worth noting. And finally, Samsung's Touch-Wiz interface sucks, plain and simple. Its slow, doesn't really offer any useful features, and tries too hard to copy the iPhone. Granted, its easy to root and install a different ROM, or do as I've done and just run a different launcher (LauncherPro). I know some people mind it less than I do, some actually like it, but not me. I will never use TouchWiz again.
So that in a nutshell is the Captivate. Its a great phone, marred by a couple issues that could be deal breakers depending on your needs. With the Atrix and Inspire 4G on AT&T now, I'm not sure I would buy another Captivate TODAY, but I don't regret my purchase and it was by far the best phone available AT THE TIME. Overall I give it a 4/5, Solid phone that I'm happy with.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Good Phone except for random call outs & AT&T crapware.
by acr1965 on January 8, 2011
Pros: Sleek design. Lots of features and pretty fast.
Cons: The biggest problem was the call out without warning from the phone. Also the AT&T crapware is just ridiculously stubborn and has serious privacy concerns.
Summary: I previously had a BlackBerry and figured the physical keypad was the one drawback to the Captivate. I was right at first as the touch screen takes a while to ...
Summary: I previously had a BlackBerry and figured the physical keypad was the one drawback to the Captivate. I was right at first as the touch screen takes a while to get used to. After getting comfortable with the touch screen I noticed my phone had a few problems.As an update, I was finally able to figure out a way to have the Write and Go app sign out of Facebook- that was to go to my phone's privacy settings and hit reset. That wiped all my data and downloaded apps. But it was the only way to get rid of the stalker app : Write and Go needs to, well, just go.
The first problem was when I set my phone down (ie on a table) it would call someone from my contact list without warning. Oddly, the calls seemed to go only to people who had a fax number in their profile. After about 10 of these mishaps (three during the last day) I returned my phone. It was replaced and the new phone has not placed any random calls.
The other problem with this phone includes the AT&T apps installed. For instance, I tried to use the Write and Go app. It required me to sign into Facebook, which I did. And the app posted to my status on Facebook as advertised. Ok, great. Then I tried to sign the app out of my Facebook. No go. Nowhere to sign out, actually. I edited my Facebook page and got rid of all connections. I figured I would just try to post again from Write and Go and deny the connection when Facebook prompted me. But- no prompt from Facebook and the new status was posted directly from Write and Go to Facebook.
I thought there must be something wrong with the Write and Go app so I investigated some on the web. Complaints were all over but there seems to be no way to disconnect from Facebook. So next I decided to just change my Facebook password. That would surely work. I changed my password and noticed that Wrote and Go gave an "expired" message regarding its Facebook connection. Great. But I still wanted Facebook updates on my phone and realized I needed to change my password on my Facebook app (the FB app that came with the phone, thanks to AT&T). I change my password on the Facebook app and sign in, no problems. All done and ready to put the oddity of the Write and Go app behind me.
Wrong. I decided to check and see if the Write and Go app was connected to my Facebook page- earlier I noticed the "expired" message. I go to Write and Go and write a brief message and then click to have it added to my Facebook page. Then I check my facebook page (from another computer) and wham! Right there is the updated message from Write and Go. The Write and Go app was able to somehow filter through the Facebook app and determine my NEW password and then paste a message directly on my Facebook status. Amazing.
Remember, it originally needed my password to sign in to Facebook. But apparently signing in to Facebook with Write and Go gives the app unfettered authority to my Facebook account. It is able to decipher new/changed passwords, log into Facebook without Facebook giving me notice, paste to my status messages and the app still offers NO WAY TO DISCONNECT OR SIGN OUT OF FACEBOOK.
This is why people turn to root. I hope someone tries out the Write and Go app and makes some sort of report as to what it does. That way people will know to NEVER sign in to this app.
Updated on Jan 8, 2011
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Finally Something More Exciting Than The iPhone
by eparkerii on October 21, 2010
Pros: Can sideload apps (there is a trick, but it can be down without rooting)
Many customization options
Pattern screen lock option
Cons: Stock email app (it's just adequate)
Slight learning curve for android
GPS is slow
Android app market navigation
Summary: I've lived with the Captivate for a few weeks now and nearing the 30 day decision point of if it stays or if it goes. The verdict - It ...
Summary: I've lived with the Captivate for a few weeks now and nearing the 30 day decision point of if it stays or if it goes. The verdict - It stays.I had to come back for an update. It's been 60 days now since the Captivate arrived, and it has now been relegated to a desk ornament for the time being until I can see if the Froyo update will make it any better. In 60 days, it has wiped out all of my configured email accounts 4 times. The Captivate is listed as compatible with the Blueant Q2, but the functionality to copy the address book to the headset for caller name announce does not work. The Q2 is probably the best bluetooth I have run across, so not having a phone that works well with it is a problem. I would say the call quality is better than the iPhone, and I really like the extra screen real estate.
If anyone has found the perfect smartphone, let me know. Each has trade-offs. I had and still have the iPhone 3gs. I will be keeping it as a back-up and to use it as an iTouch, but I had grown a little tired of it as a phone. The call quality is average, and it kept dropping my bluetooth headset during calls. The iPhone had just become a little ho-hum.
I checked on some upgrade options and AT&T offered me a better deal for me to take the Captivate vs. the iPhone 4g. Besides, my wife has the 4g and despite the nice cover Apple sent, it still drops calls. So, I decided to give the droid a shot which was tough for a self-proclaimed Apple fan. Let's walk through a few key areas to see how the Captivate compares.
The base email app on the Captivate is the pits when compared to the iPhone. Apple has done a much better job integrating with Exchange servers and has better email functionality. The Captivate does survive as a basic email device. You can't file email like on the iPhone, but you can receive and reply to email just fine. So, the Captivate is functional but it does not excel. I have an iPad, so I didn't consider the loss in email functionality to be a huge deal as the Captivate will suffice for phone based email.
I wish there was better support for setting up a meeting and inviting attendees. It really doesn't work too well on the Captivate. You have to forward the meeting as an attachment. Hopefully there will be some improvements in the upcoming versions of Android. Again, the functionality is sufficient and the Exchange sync support is acceptable. But like email, it's not an area where the Captivate excels.
This was one of the areas that tipped the scale in favor of keeping the Captivate. The call quality is definitely better than the iPhone. And in the end, the core purpose is for this to be a phone. So, chaulk one up for the captivate.
There are a lot of options for free apps for the droid. I think the quality and functionality of the free apps for the droid platform is slightly better than the iPhone side. But the droid market does stink. It can be hard to find apps if you are just looking around for ideas, and I wouldn't score it high for being user friendly. But once you know what to look for, there are some great free apps there. In general, I would say that putting the problems of the droid market aside, the app support is on par with the iPhone.
I'm a fan of the live wallpaper. I just like having something that is interesting to look at on the screen when using the phone. The widgets and other options to customize the interface is better than the iPhone. This is another area that tipped the scales to keep the Captivate.
I haven't had the same problems as others with the GPS. Each time I have used it, it has worked fine. The option of having turn by turn directions integrated with the map is outstanding. I do travel some, so having this option was another item that tipped the scales. That being said, the GPS can be slow to sync. The iPhone is much faster there. But you are looking at an app purchase of around $80-$90 for the Garmin or Magellan app or going another route where you have to purchase a subscription to get turn by turn.
When I got the phone, I thought it was going to be a quick return. The battery life was awful. Part of this goes back to the droid learning curve. I downloaded a task killer app and shut down apps that I didn't need running in the background. I adjusted the screen brightness down to the lowest level (you can still see the screen just fine), and ran the phone through a few charge and use cycles. At this point, I would say that the battery life is on par or slightly better than the iPhone 3gs. One tip that I picked up is that you can switch the screen brightness by swiping the top menu bar. So if I am outside and need to see better, just a quick swipe brings up the screen brightness and you can see the phone in sunlight just fine. In the end, I can last the whole day with no problems now.
Despite the shortcomings, there was enough to tip the scales to keeping the Captivate. One thing not mentioned that also came into play can be summed up with three words: options, options, options. I have a lot of options in how I can set-up the phone when compared to the iPhone. If you are considering the droid platform for the first time, be prepared that there is a slight learning curve to discover the best way to get the most out of it for your situation. Once you get through the learning curve, it offers so many app options and customization options, it is actually a pretty exciting platform and phone. I love the display and slightly bigger display. I also think that the form factor fits the hand better.
Updated on Dec 8, 2010
For the time being, I had to turn the iPhone 3gs back on. Funny thing. The stock email client on it is highly functional and stable on the iPhone. And guess what else? The Blueant Q2 works perfectly with it.
If Froyo doesn't make things better, looks like Android was a flash in the pan for me. Extremely frustrated!
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
If the GPS worked I would give it 4*'s or better...
by jdb178 on October 19, 2010
Pros: Fantastic screen and snappy performance. Oh yeah, it's a good telephone too. Minimalist design is a work of art (but too slippery to be practical).
Cons: GPS doesn't work. Physical design is just a bit too slippery and square. Can not remove bloatware. Limited to official Android Market. You must create a gmail acct. to access apps. Voice dial only works if you upload your address book to gmail.
Summary: This is a great phone, if it would work. The GPS issue is affecting most, if not all users, from what I can see. Articles all over the internet on ...
Summary: This is a great phone, if it would work. The GPS issue is affecting most, if not all users, from what I can see. Articles all over the internet on techie sites (here at Cnet, engadget, etc). So many of the really cool apps depend on GPS: Weather, Maps, Skymap, Earth, Points of Interest apps (Shop Around, Urbanspoon), and Yellow Pages are some that I have that are crippled. I tend to use Google Maps a lot, and this just kills it. To me the GPS is simply integral to what a smartphone is these days, and this one, for all it's other whizbang glitz, just doesn't work.The fix doesn't work for many users, and with the late September OS update can no longer be done in any event. Samsung/ATT need to fix the GPS.
Jeeze, I don't know what to say. My wife has the BB Torch and this Captivate just kills it for screen quality and snappy performance, sleek operating system, and such. On the other hand, the BB actually works. There may not be as many apps out there for BB, but all the ones we use are there. The keyboard is nice. Oh yeah, and there is an iPhone too.... ???????
I guess the latest software update (Sep 22, v. JH7) didn't help the Captivate GPS, as it was supposed to have done. Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system is supposed to be released for Captivate some time or another and some think it will fix the GPS. But who knows when 2.2 will be released or if it will fix the problem? In fact, as best I can tell it is rumor (or should I say an unsubstantiated assumption) that it will be released for this phone. At least I can not find an official statement, and 2.2 has apparently been around for about 4-6 months... so I'm not holding my breath.
My exchange period has another 6 weeks to go, and if ATT/Samsung haven't fixed the GPS by then my unit will be going back where it came from. That would truly be a shame, but this is really proving to be a deal breaker for me.
I should say something good: As a phone, it is so much better than my old one. Better reception, better sound quality, better phone book. Added Vlingo app for voice dialing. You got to give away a lot of personal info for that. It works though. The native contact book is so good though that I might take Vlingo off and forget voice.
Amazing amount of configurability.
Camera: A little non-intuitive, and ships with image stabilization turned off. Once you get IS on it takes pretty good pics. Too hard to hold it steady to use w/o IS. It works though. Very easy to upload pics to Facebook or where ever. Very hard to hold phone so as to keep fingers out of image. Slick slippery bar phone design really an issue when using camera. I've almost dropped it several times, and have had it flop around in my hand.
Position sensor... works great, and integrates to apps great. That is, the phone knows how it is being held (oriented) in 3d space. The screen adapts automatically. Google skymaps for instance uses this to show you the sky as you are moving the phone around. I suggest turning the phone sideways when using the touchpad keyboard, for more space.
Oh, the keyboards... Swype, Android and Samsung keyboards ship in the unit. Vlingo adds a voice keyboard. I find the touch keyboards much harder to use than my wife's BB slide out real hardware keyboard, but I am 50 something and don't text. So take this with a grain of salt. The swype keyboard takes some getting used to, and really didn't do much for me. Right now I mostly use Vlingo. It's marginally ok, but does require a good data connection. Apparently the voice processing is done on Vlingo's servers somewhere else. It's ok for very short simple composition, where you don't mind a few typos. Generally, I just avoid typing on the Captivate at all.
Browser: If you need to.
Email: Works great with my 3rd party email accts. Push technology.
Apps: Many free apps, biggest issue is sorting through them. For instance, probably several hundred weather apps to pick from. The operating system does a good job of telling you what the apps can access, and keeping them updated. If you can find a website specific app, such as for Facebook, or most news sites, you will be much better off using that than the general browser.
Bluetooth works great. My old phone would drop the headset after inactivity. No problems with the Captivate.
Wi-fi works great. 3G sometimes not so much. Sometimes need to turn off wi-fi if it is weak to get 3G to take over. 3G sometimes not available, even when phone initially says it is... after it stalls the 3G symbol will go away. Edge pretty much worthless.
Bottom line: The minimalist bar phone design, while beautiful, is a little to slick and slippery for practical use. The feature set is phenomenal, the battery life is good, the OS is clean and friendly (except for access to GPS and Voice Mail functions (like setting how long it will ring before going to voice mail is a project), performance is snappy, screen is to die for. GPS not working is deal breaker.
Updated on Oct 19, 2010
Updated on Oct 19, 2010Huh? The update from me earlier on 10-19 was supposed to be a reply to another reviewers comments on an another review. Completely beyond me as to why it shows up here. Please disregard it.
Updated on Nov 7, 2010Took it back to Costco due to the GPS issue. Got an exchange unit Thursday. Sunday now. After 3 days: The GPS seems to work much, much better, though still not like my wife's Blackberry. It takes about one minute to lock a position in the open under clear skies. Once locked it seems to hold ok, and track when driving. However the new unit has turned itself off twice now, and required a reboot to restart. This is a problem because there is no way to know the phone is off if you are not using it actively. So if someone were trying to reach you, you would get no ring.
I finally manged to figure out how to use it with the computer via usb. If you go into Settings:Applications:USB Settings and change it to Mass Storage, then connect the pc via usb to the phone, then go to the notification tray (the pull down at very top left of the screen) and pull it down you will see an option to "mount" the drive. Do so and your 13 or so gB of storage will open up for you.
Updated on Nov 11, 2010Phone #1 went back for GPS, Phone #2 went back for constant shut downs. Could not rely on phone for alarm clock, calendar alarms, or to ring when called. Phone #3 came home today. So far so good. used GPS to get home. Locked in about 10 seconds in car, and held lock to navigate me home (Google Maps w/text to speech installed). GPS locks in about 1 minute indoors. Fingers x'd!
Updated on Nov 16, 2010Phone #3 appears to be a winner. GPS has been flawless, and the phone has now been on 5 days without a hiccup. This is great!
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
So glad I got this and not the iPhone
by febbits4 on October 4, 2010
Pros: Beautiful - both the body and display
Android - lots of customizability and access to the 3rd party applications
Battery life - seems better than other android phones
Sound quality/Media player is great
16 GB internal memory
Cons: Processor doesn't quite seem like a 1GHz
No radio (however you can just stream it using 3G)
No camera flash (though i hate flash in general so it doesn't concern me)
Summary: I've been searching for the perfect smart phone for months, and I've been thinking that I have too high of expectations. At one point I owned in HTC ...
Summary: I've been searching for the perfect smart phone for months, and I've been thinking that I have too high of expectations. At one point I owned in HTC evo, and I must say that the Samsumg Galaxy series phones are much better than HTC. I'm finally satisfied with a phone purchase. Note that there are GPS issues, but there is a software update that improves the GPS functionality a ton. It's still a little slow when establishing a connection, but it updates moderately well once connected.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Samsung
- Part number: 4760319
- Bottom Line: The Samsung Captivate is easily AT&T's best Android phone to date. It delivers great performance, tons of features, and an easy-to-use interface.
- Product Type Smartphone
- Phone Design PDA
- Width 2.5 in
- Depth 0.39 in
- Height 4.18 in
- Weight 4.5 oz
- Technology GSM / 3G
- Service Provider AT&T
- Operating System Android 2.1 OS
Messaging & Internet
- Messaging & Data Features Text messages,
- Wireless Interface Bluetooth 3.0,
- Additional Features GPS,
- Diagonal Size 4 in