on July 18, 2010
I've been holding off my upgrade for a while waiting for the next iphone (iphone4) or android to hit ATT. I went to the ATT store early this morning to finally decide between the iphone 4 and the captivate. I loved the feel of both units, but the captivate's curved body feels sleaker in the hand. While I was very impressed with crispness of the iphone screen; I powered on the captivate and I was even more blown away by the vibrance of the super AMOLED screen. I have spent all day playing around with the phone and have not noticed any sluggishness whatsoever; which was something I feared when looking through online reviews.. I mean c'mon it has the fastest processor out there. Also I read a blog that was spreading a rumor that the Galaxy S phones have a death grip like the iphone 4.. this is completely false as I live in New York where the iphone 4 has problems and have not been able to replicate the effect using multiple grips. So in conclusion I can't say that the phone is an iphone killer for sure.. but it is in my book. It all comes down to personal preferance. I have used the iphone os before and compared to the customizability of Android it comes off as old, locked-to-a-grid and bland. For your referance, I'm 20 years old; and I'm loving where ATT is going with android.
Things I've noticed:
Doesn't have computer software support yet, unless you search for the Samsung Kies software on your own. It detects my device and is compatible.
At first I thought that the USB wouldn't snuggly fit the phone but then I realized that I didn't open the sliding door all the way. But it fits perfectly fine when it is open.. my bad.
The ATT stock apps can not be deleted from the apps menu, but they can be removed from the home screens. It kind of increases the number of items in the menu by alot, but atleast some of those apps I might actually use.
You can download full office productivity suite in the Android Marketplace for FREE. It is called "quickoffice for captivate," and it syncs with your Google docs account and dropbox. I think that it is only free for certain phones as it is named "quickoffice for captivate" on my phone, but on my friend's droid it reads just quickoffice and costs around 10 bucks.
I love using this phone for taking video, in good light of course ;). The sound quality comes through very clear as long as you don't block the mic at the bottom.
on August 1, 2010
If you're looking for a capable and versatile smartphone, then you absolutely must consider the Captivate. I think most of the other reviewers have covered the basics of how the Captivate compares to the iPhone (and beats it), so let me mention a few features that you might not know about.
1. The phone supports syncing with Exchange out of the box. Not only does it sync e-mail, but it also handles contacts and calendar. I use it for my work e-mail, and it performs flawlessly. Needless to say, you can also connect via POP3 and IMAP.
2. VPN access is also available for those who need to connect to their corporate networks.
3. The basic browser is quite capable, but if you want something else, then you can choose Dolphin Browser, Opera Mini, or Skyfire, to name a few.
4. Although MS Office documents and PDF's aren't supported out of the box, Quickoffice for Captivate and Adobe Reader are free downloads.
5. Google Navigate offers free voice-guided, turn-by-turn GPS navigation. No need to pay AT&T for their service.
6. Wi-fi access is silky smooth. To enable it, pull down the notification drawer at the top of the screen and touch the wi-fi button. Wi-fi will turn on, and if you have never connected to an available network, a list of what's available will appear. Choose the network you want, enter any required login information, and click Connect. That's it, and, from then on, the phone will automatically connect to that network if it's available.
7. I want to mention a little-known app called Google Shopper. Install it, and you'll be able to shop for books and CD's by simply starting the app and pointing the camera at them. The app scans the cover or barcode and shows you prices from online and local merchants. Much faster than having to manually look up titles while you're standing in a bookstore aisle. College students wondering how badly the campus bookstore is ripping them off on textbooks compared to other sellers will appreciate this app.
8. And I can't forget to mention the Captivate's voice recognition capabilities. You can search by voice, and, if you switch the default keyboard from Swype to standard Android, you can use voice dictation for almost anything that you can type. And while it does make mistakes, they don't happen often.
9. Google Voice is available for the Captivate, something Apple will probably never allow on the iPhone. Need separate phone numbers for work and personal use? Then Google Voice is what you're looking for.
9. And finally, if you need or want Push-to-Talk similar to the service that Nextel offers, well, there are several free apps for that. They will only connect you to other Android users running the same app, but, for a business needing to have this functionality and interested in getting several Android phones, then such a solution is worth looking at. The apps are still a little rough around the edges, but give them a little time to mature.
My point here is that, although this is one beautiful phone, it's also extremely good at handling business tasks. Yes, it handles Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter beautifully, but it will also keep you in touch with colleagues and clients as well, if not better than, any other smartphone out there.
on August 28, 2010
I have owned a lot of phones. This one is awesome except for a few bugs in the phone that are extremely annoying. IF and when Samsung implements a fix, it gets a five star:
1) AGPS - the GPS as shipped does not use AGPS (cell phone towers) to find an initial position. using Google maps can take 15 minutes to estimate where you are. There is a fix out there on the internet, but you need to be a little techno to be able to implement it
2) GPS reception and lock. Even when you do eventually get a GPS lock (this can take anywhere from a few minutes to 20 minutes) the lock comes in and out. The GPS is almost completely unusable. After having several other phones and stand alone GPS devices, this is a huge disappointment. Please note: these are two separate GPS issues. Hopefully there will be a fix out there.
3) Laggy response. The phone os slow to update whenever you need to write something to memory. You will see this for example when marking an email as read or opening an email. You can see a 5 second delay. Again - there is a fix out there on the internet, but you need to root your phone to implement it, void your warranty, risk getting in trouble with the Phone cops etc. Note - when not writing to disk the phone is awesomely fast
4) Other little annoyances - long hyperlinks in an email aren't recognized i.e. when I get an electronic boarding pass emailed to me, the phone does not recognize the link and I can't use it.
5) No Skype - not Samsung's fault, but Skype has an exclusive relationship with Verizon. Still sucks to be a consumer.
6) Every once in a while, my email accounts just disappear. I have to reenter all of my details and download all of my email again.
Phone still gets 3 stars - it is awesome. Read all of the positive reviews and I agree with those. Just beware of the bugs. Hopefully they will get fixed.
Update - Jan 4 2011
A quick update on the bugs mentioned above:
1) AGPS seems to be fixed - there is a Samsung app in the market to restore settings.
2) GPS - GPS lock and positioning is still horrible. There was an update pushed out with "enhancements" but still the same problems. It still can take 10 minutes to get a GPS lock.
3) Still laggy response. It can take 10-15 seconds to open an email.
4) Still a problem
5) Skype is now released and works on all phones EXCEPT for the Captivate (and other Galaxy S phones). It is supposed to work for the next update (Andriod Froyo) but not Froyo update yet from AT&T
6) This problem appears to be fixed.
For the people with a Phone that shuts down frequently. I had this problem with my first phone. I returned it and got a new one and haven't had the problem since. If you get this problem just return it before the 30 day exchange period runs out.
Also - Samsung (or AT&T) appear to be pretty slow in updates. This phone still has "Eclair". "Froyo" which fixes a lot of bugs and adds features was released in May of 2010. We are still waiting....... The GPS problem has been known since the phone was released in July of 2010 and we are still waiting for a fix.....
on July 18, 2010
Yes Friends!! after having my hands on DroidX, Nexus One.... I would say this is the best available Android Device with 3 perspective
1. Screen Clarity
2. Great User Interface
Apart from that, here are some Pros:
1. Excellent Bluetooth Connectivity
2. Moto Blur like feature is cool
3. DLNA ( Which mean you connect this device to Samsung DVD player and Bingo...it integrates all the music and videos straight to the TV)
4. TV out capability is very good if not execellent
5. Phone and Speakers are astonishing ( YEAH!! No Antennae Reception issues)
6. 5MP is very good
7. Phone is even lighter than Droidx and Nexus One ( Was surprised with this result)
8.16 GB INTERNAL STORAGE
9. 512 Mb RAM, that mean any updates more than FROYO is possible (Remember do not buy any Android device less than 512 MB).
10. 3G speed in my area came to about 2.4 Mbps, which is about .3 Mbps faster than Nexus One ( when compared simultaenously)
11. Faster Wifi
Now here are few Cons:
1. No out of market App support ( off course this affects only small community of users, and blame it on At&t here)
2. 5 MP Camera is excellent, but a Flash would have been a Bonus.
3. No Notification Light, although the LED slot is visible ( not sure if this is a defect in my phone or it is standard, I will check back with Samsung and Update the review)
4. Wait for FROYO until September 2010.
All in all, if you are confused between iPhone4 and Captivate; My first and last choice will be Captivate coz of excellent Large screen and Freedom from iTunes. 4 Inch screen make Iphone4 look like a Baby. I am just surprised that Samsung has come up with such a Beauty!! and Nokia's, RIMs are still wondering 'WHAT WILL CONSUMERS LOVE??'
on August 5, 2010
I'm a lifelong Apple user (Apple IIc, original 1984 Mac, various Macs through today), but I could never really wrap my hands around what I thought was too high a price for what the phone offered. Still, after playing with so many iPhones belonging to friends, and considering the ease of integrating it into my regular Mac lifestyle, I was ready to buckle down and buy the iPhone 4.
Thank goodness for product delays! I ended up doing more research with the time, and it turned out that the Samsung Galaxy S (Captivate for AT&T) was truly a great phone. You're getting a screen and processor that are indistinguishable in performance to the iPhone 4. The interface is practically the same as the iPhone. But you cannot beat getting an iPhone like device WITH expandability! I love the fact that my Captivate can store more (thanks to a 16GB SD card I bought for $25) than the top of the line iPhone, and still cost less. Plus, I can replace the battery easily without breaking warranty. Lots of programs to help you sync your iTunes library (and if you use Gmail, it's even easier to sync the rest). I would recommend the Galaxy S HANDS DOWN to anyone considering an iPhone.
on July 21, 2010
In addition to all the positives mentioned by other reviewers this phone will play videos in XVID/DIVX format (without conversion)which is the format most of my videos are in. Not sure if any other android phone has this capability.
Ive been missing this since my Treo broke on me and resorded to a using a laptop to watch my videos.
It's so simple. Connect phone to computer, phone shows up as a thumb drive, copy file to phone music folder and you are done.
Also, important is the intangible that ATT does not offer insurance for the Iphone while it does for the Captivate.
I've had the Captivate (or "Galaxy S") for a month now, and the whole time I've been bursting at the seams to review it...but first I had to take a little bit of time to separate what's great about the Captivate that's specific to the phone, versus what's great about a Droid-based smart phone in particular.
First off, the Android OS is really very enjoyable. The top-level screen can have 5 pages of whatever you like and the Applications page neatly organizes installed apps separately, to page through them as well. If you're not familiar with this concept, think of the top-level screen as being similar to the Windows or Mac Desktop and the Applications area as being similar to the Start Menu/Launch Bar of your favorite computer OS.
The best thing about the Captivate is the hardware: the screen really takes up almost all of the phone's face, and it's vivid, colorful, and bright. The battery cover is a slick one-two slide that makes it easy to access without being the first thing to fall off if you drop the phone. The 1GHz processor inside the phone makes apps speedy, and I even find it to be fairly nimble about data use, easily grabbing onto my favorite Wi-Fi networks when I'm in range, then switching seamlessly over to AT&T's data network when I'm not.
Then we have the good things about the Captivate: calls are clear, I've had strong and clean reception even when I notice a drop in bars, and on those rare occasions I step into a dead zone, it seems to try its very best to hang on to the call...I can't explain it in technical detail, it's just the gut impression I get when I've driven or walked through areas that typically give me trouble on any phone and against all odds I stay connected (my office, for instance, is up against a cliff wall that closes further in near the top of the building). One complaint about this phone (and many smart phones) has been battery drain, but I find it manageable: if I choose to use the Power Toolbar (built-in and easy to add) and Advanced Task Killer app (a separate download, and a must for any smart phone owner), I can go 2 or 3 days on a single charge. Usually it's easier to top it off at the end of the day or leave it plugged in when I'm not going to be using it for a while. While the Captivate seems very wide, it is also very slim and thus surprisingly light. I added the carbon-fiber hard case to the outside and it still weighs noticeably less than an iPhone 4.
Using the Captivate is fairly simple: the connector port for the charger or a data cable are one and the same: a "micro" USB connector with a tiny sliding door to keep dirt out. I much prefer this to the plastic peel-away tab that usually comes off in your hand if you're not careful. The charger that comes with the phone also pops apart into a data cable, allowing you to detach the AC outlet prongs and connect to the computer. And last, the navigation buttons are just four touch-sensitive spots along the base of the screen, with a slide rocker on the left side of the phone (for volume) and an unlock button on the right. I've heard people say it's hard to pinch a button on one side without accidentally hitting the other (such as turning down the volume when you go to unlock the phone), but I haven't had this problem.
More on the OS: using Android 2.1 (soon to be FROYO), I find myself discovering neat little features that I enjoy. For example, some of the wallpapers are interactive with the touch screen. When I'm playing music, if I need to pause, I don't have to unlock the phone: a tiny CD logo appears in the top with controls for pause/next/back. The "Swype" feature of the OS is extremely responsive. I didn't have to adjust any of this - the sensitivity really seems balanced between "must mash to get a response" and "breathed on it and accidentally deleted something". Unlocking the phone requires a tap of the button and a swipe along the touch screen. Even the tilt--a feature that began to annoy me in my Nokia phone--seems to both be quick to respond and easy to correct if you didn't mean to rotate the screen.
Much as I enjoy this phone, all is not perfect. The buttons sometimes don't respond properly. There are times I have to tap twice, and there are times I try to hit 'back' and accidentally hit 'search' instead. I'm not sure how much of that is in the programming, the hardware, or my thick thumbs. The Search window is extremely handy, but it doesn't always frame the search properly. For example, I might be in an app that has a long list of items on the screen, and search will zoom down the list straight to the item I'm looking for...and then in another app the search might launch a web browser and search the Internet for what I typed in. I haven't really learned a good way to scroll down a long screen: often I have to just flick downwards again and again until I get where I'm going. And probably the most annoying feature is the actual call interface. I haven't taken that final step to voice-activate my favorite call list, so when I manually drill into my contacts or favorites to find someone to call, it seems to require more steps than it should to place a call: find the contact, tap their picture, tap the "phone" icon, if they have two numbers associated with them you have to specify which, and then you get to tap "call".
The biggest drawback--and controversy--surrounding this phone though has to do with apps. I've been very happy with my selection from the Android Market thus far, but I understand AT&T prevents you from "side loading" other programs. Apparently if you want something the market doesn't have to offer, you need to download an SDK (a developer's kit for programming mobile apps), "root" your phone, and follow some very specific steps to get it to work...some of which may brick the phone. That's not bothered me here or there, but what has bothered me is my complete inability to remove all the AT&T garbage that's been loaded on the phone. For example, I like the Android Music Player app, but I really don't want the AT&T Music app that promises to guzzle data and stream all my music (and requires me to pay a monthly fee). There are Navigation apps that function this same way: now that I have Google Navigation, I'd rather yank the AT&T stuff off...but I can't. I can either ignore it...or go the "root and try not to brick" route. I've been an AT&T customer for almost 10 years now, and what I always liked most about them was my freedom of choice.
There have been some complaints about the fact that the Captivate's camera lacks a flash. It is a shame that this feature is missing, but apart from that I have to say that the pictures I have taken with the phone have been excellent, better than the first digital camera I purchased years ago and definitely better than the last phone I had, which did have a flash. The interface for the phone is dirt-simple, and can even lock in standby mode, in case you want to tuck it away for a bit, but be ready to shoot with a tap of the unlock button. The Gallery app in the Android OS does a snappy job of both organizing my groups of pictures and in making it easy to flip through: clean thumbnails tell me at a glance which collection of pictures I'm looking at so I can select the group I want to view.
If you're in the market for a smart phone and you'd like to try the Droid OS, I can't say enough about the Captivate. It's got a brilliant screen, speedy hardware, and runs the OS quite smoothly. If you're an AT&T customer, you should be prepared to ignore (or deal with) the pre-loaded apps. Either way, this is quite an excellent smart phone, whose benefits far outweigh its drawbacks.
USEFUL TIP: when connecting to a computer, it's not immediately obvious how to make it work, and a lot of people are having problems. When you connect the cable, the "Smart Phone (Kies)" option doesn't appear to work. Instead, you have to choose "USB (mass storage)"...which then still doesn't make the phone's files and folders show up in Windows--in Windows 7 it will just tell you a Samsung Captivate has been connected to the computer, but you can't "see" it. You have to take one extra step: from the main screen, access the pull-down menu. You will see "USB Connected" in the list of notifications. Tap that, and you'll get a prompt to "Mount" the phone. The moment you do this, everything works: the phone maps two drives (one for the phone's memory, one for your memory card) and you can access files and folders just as you do on a USB "thumb" drive.
on July 25, 2010
First, let me say that I switched to ATT because of the Iphone 3. I then switched everything to Apple products. So yes I am a MAC fan after the iphone. Naturally I wanted to get my hands on the Iphone 4 from my 3GS. I ordered the phone via the APPLE website. The phone came a few days after the launch date. I used it for a few days and started to notice it dropped calls every other minute! YES I did have a case. I went to the store and they switched me to another iphone 4. Again, the phone dropped calls but not as often. It does something totally different like calling another number while I was on the phone or switching the screen. I was told it has to do with the proximity sensor. Anyway I went to the store and tried to return that phone as well. I had the TOUGHEST time returning it because I told them I do NOT want another iphone. The ARROGANCE of APPLE is completely amazing! Anyway at the same time, the Samsung Captivate came out! What PERFECT timing! Thought I had to leave ATT to get a decent android phone somewhere else! Being a long time Iphone user, I was a bit apprehensive about getting the Captivate. I WAS WRONG! The phone is AMAZING! I am not very tech savvy but was able to figure it out! I love the screen. LOVE the free apps! There are tons of them. OK they are not iphone apps but for me, they do the job! The phone feels wonderful in your hands. And WAIT, it has not dropped calls for me even ONCE! Isn't that what a phone supposed to do first, make a call? What a concept! I am still learning but I am so glad I made the switch!
on October 19, 2010
Oh how I wanted to love this phone! I'm a consistant anti-apple guy, and when my old Blackberry died, I figured this was the item. Great reviews and features, and not tied to iTunes.
I won't list the good points, read everyone's reviews. For ease of use, Android beats iOS4 hands down on most functions. Love the context menu button.
1. GPS not good. I was sitting next to my wife who was using an htc droid incredible, she was getting voice navigation and this phone hadn't found gps signal yet.
2. The on/off button and volume controls are perfectly positioned so that the left hand is forced to touch them in landscape mode! I can't tell you how many calls and internet sessions I disconnected.
3. When the screen dims, the "real" buttons at the bottom are not lit, so it's a guess where the "home" and "back" (etc) buttons are in the dark.
4. Compass was unreliable. (Yes I did the figure of 8 wiggle)
5. NO FLASH! Half of the pictures are poor (the others are great).
6. No voice dialing, wait for Android 2.2 Froyo (what the hey?). How are you supposed to drive safely without it?
7. I barely make a whole day on the overnight charge. (No video, No music, and not really a lot of internet)
Summary: The phone went back during the 30 day "trial period". The problems were mostly hardware, and I'm not sure why that should be. Why the vendors can't implement Android 2.2 more quickly is a mystery to me, again a hardware (developer) related problem. As for me, I'm singing the AT&T cell phone blues.
on May 8, 2011
I'll keep the review short and to the point: This was my first android phone, I was very excited to have received it on my birthday, and having been a fan of previous samsung phones, I assumed it would be a smooth transition into this one. I was very wrong. While the look, features, and display of this phone are sleek and praiseworthy, I have to say that I have never been let down more when it came to actual functionality. The Swype texting is genius, and I found that this was perhaps the buying point for me. Soon after, however, I was plagued by a number of different problems, one after another, that would prevent me from using the phone to the extend it should have been used. Horrible lag time, freezing, dropped calls, bad phone quality in good-reception, and crashing are just a few of the problems that I encountered when trying to use this. This phone could not hold a call to save its own life, and while most of the apps work fine, sometimes the phone will just refuse to open and play some of them. Frustrating and unnecessary. I managed to overlook this a bit because I typically send SMS messages for contacting, and fortunately, there are some spots in my house where the call will come through and sound fine. Texting worked fine, until just today when I discovered that the phone will only send text messages I send, not receive them. This is unacceptable. For the price of this phone, I would expect to have at least the most basic of features working.. I am now left with basically a wifi-enabled game device.. which would be neat, if I didn't already have an ipod. As mentioned before, I have had great experiences with past samsung phones, particularly the samsung propel which I am wishing I had kept at this point.. I never expected to face this many issues with an android device, but if this is how they all perform, then I'm going to ditch the captivate, stay away from android, and substitute perks for functionality.