on January 12, 2011
The phone is very nice but...the GPS is useless. Worse than useless in that it will waste a lot of your time trying to get it to work. Even the "updates" from Samsung do nothing to help.
Also the phone likes to flash and beep when done charging which is a great pleasure when trying to sleep. Why does it need to order you to unplug it from the charger? Everybody charges while sleeping.
on July 31, 2010
Good news, IPhone is not alone in the game now(on AT&T), but having used both phones I believe there is reason why Iphone is market leader... let me come straight to pros/cons for potential buyers.
* Gorgeous display and its 4 inch large one. excellent for gaming and video
* Crisp call quality (Its a phone after all and its shame thanks to IPhone that this is classified as positive).
* 7 home screens are very useful (I use each for different purpose 1 for kids apps, 1 for all communication apps etc.. you get the point, i think its very useful customization.I have not used other Android device before so not sure how much UI magic is that of Samsung TouchWiz or native Android OS.
* camera is good not great though
* phone is quite fast and responsive, haven't experienced noticeable lag so far.
* overall very intuitive user interface, top bar notification panel is useful.
* Google apps integration is inbuilt which is huge plus.
* Navigation app is excellent given GPS signals can be locked.
- Battery hog. I could not get it through a day without recharge, of course it will depend on your usage but I am NOT a heavy user.
- GPS sucks. will not lock for few minutes, once locked, goes on and off during navigation, also not very accurate (> 10 meters) when locked. I have tried few things including this([...]) to no avail. I am not sure if its software or hardware issue. I hope its software issue and Samsung will release fix soon.
- Browser font support is poor, out of luck if you are like me who also browse web sites in other languages.
overall browser doesn't stand out in competition.
overall this is a great phone but not without issues. I am not listing here all Android pluses which it has over Iphone. I decided I can live with these bads and not returning it. I will update this review if anything changes.
on November 25, 2010
After doing a rather extensive research I got this phone, yes I evaluated it over Iphones, other Androids, My own windows Phone etc.
First I'm gonna start with the con's that I see... cause they are so little :D
To short battery life ( but you can have several batteries, car charger wall charger, charge it on the pc and what not )
The camera sometimes lags a BIT, but just a tad.. and normally I take video in low light, I have to test it a bit more.
No idea where to start, this thing is called a "phone" but it's basically another pc, I have not tested the Bluetooth so I can't talk about it but here's my review on other things ( I come from a windows mobile phone , the tytn II )
The screen is just exquisit, it looks vivid, bright, clean and inviting, it does not hurt you to use it for hours and hours, I wish my pc monitor and tv monitor where samoled, I really have to say that since I got this phone I have used it ( amongst many other things ) as a book reader, without any strain, actually I have read 2.5 books so far, and I really love it, I use the Adobe Pdf viewer from the market or the Quickoffice Pdf viewer.
The 3G that it has is super fast, much better than on my other phone, it connects in seconds and well also the wifi, but I love how it automatically switches from wifi to 3g depending on the fact that it finds the wifi network or not, normally I'm not even aware what network it's using unless the 3g lags but that's not the phone that's the 3g.
The sensitivity of the screen is so so good, that even my almost 2yo daughter uses this phone, she uses simple games like mole,mole,mole, or talking tom ( all from the marketplace ) so really you don't have to be a genius to use this, heck also my mom that is 60+++ has used it, and she loves it, specially the fact that because the screen is so large that she can actually see it.
oh The volume is great, and the reception is awesome as well, the speaker-phone feature is extremely good ( sometimes you would wish for a bit more volume, but still it's extremely good )
The camera, I love the camera, but I love even more that I can take a video and just send it right to youtube, ( IN HD and all ), so I don't even need my pc to upload the videos to it then to youtube, direct upload is awesome.
Also I love the widget it has for social medial, I can wake up and check up facebook, twitter and myspace, even comment and reply, ( even post if I wakeup in the middle of the night ) on that widget I also have the weather forecast, and AP news, so basically I can do "basic" chores while still in bed, get informed, check the twits, and see if it's gonna be rainy :D
Oh the Youtube app it has is AWESOME, and once again it's used a lot by my daughter, she loves to see kids clips there, so she really likes that, and I don't have to go to the PC to put her videos.
oh Also I have a HTPC, ( home theater pc ) that's windows 7 using the windows media center, that I control with a physical remote, but now I also control it from the phone ( over wifi, not IR )
It's so light, that I really can use it basically all day, oh and I use it for instant messaging as well..
The other viewers it has are awesome, specially skyfire, where you can watch justin.tv ( yesterday I saw toystory again ), and I would LOVE this phone to have netflix support that's the only thing I'm missing really.
of course it can be used as a video player since it has TV out, not HDTV but TV out, RCA out, ( yellow, white, red ), oh and the allshare dnla server, great either watch the videos of the HTPC or the PC on the phone or send the videos to the xbox360 or to the TV, or pc.
Also due to the huge amount of games this has, I have not used my PSP as much lately, but I've been playing a lot on this, most games are quite good and since they use screen controls or tilting as controls they are different, my wife that is not a gamer at all, has been playing this game called angry birds that is quite addictive and fun. ( she takes the phone whenever I'm not using it to play )
Oh the keyboard is great, the swype is a great way to input text, I had to use the stylus on the tytn and never really wrote anything on it, unless I was using it from the PC, on this one I actually write, ( as I said before, its basically another pc not a phone )
Oh the camera 5mp, for me is GREAT but I love the little things it has like one touch click to focus, now I can just focus on what I want with one click and the phone calculates the correct depth of field so everything else becomes blurry, ( so much for learning how to take professional pictures ) but you can also do things manually if you like to, or use it as a point and shoot camera, of course your images will be instantly uploaded to picasa, and that's a feature I DO LOVE, since I love to have my images saved online just in case.
I have also used this phone as a webcam, as a microphone for the pc, as a barcode scanner and well so many things it's has been amazing.
I'm really excited about this phone and can't wait to see what the future will bring.
I have to say, that I do know windows 6.5 and I've used it a lot but I do not understand why all the fuzz of windows 7 ( mobile operative systems of course ), of windows 7 to use the phone and get out fast... I actually enjoy using my phone.
on January 20, 2011
Previously a Blackberry Bold 9000 user, I ordered a Captivate to hopefully avoid some of the problems that plagued the Blackberry. I have had it for just a few days now but thought it might be useful to write a review while the memory of the Blackberry experience was fresh.
There are many nice things about this phone, and some rather glaring and fundamental omissions as well. First off, I researched what others were saying and here are my responses to the common complaints.
1. No keyboard - a big concern for me when deciding, but it is no problem. If I had to peck it might be but after doing the Swype tutorial it is truly brilliant and I can quite easily type at least as fast as I ever could on the BB.
2. No camera flash - to me no problem. Flash on a cell phone is of limited value and any photos taken with it sure look like it. The low-light performance of the Captivate camera is quite good and so photos in most situations where I might think flash would be necessary are easily possible and come out well without any flash.
3. Short Battery Life - So far I am finding this to be very true. I was prepared for less life than the Blackberry, but I am still disappointed. Most striking to me is that it takes longer to charge a given amount of charge than it does to use it. 20 minutes of use (an app or two, a bit of browsing) takes nearly 20% off the battery, while it can take twice that plugged in to a wall to charge that 20% back. With a USB charger in my car it charged 3% in an hour drive. When the screen is locked (phone not in use) it seems to hold a charge very well, it is just the rate at which it drains when in use that is alarming.
4. Poor GPS performance - I am also finding this to be the case. Outdoors, holding the phone it seems to locate fairly well, just a matter of seconds for it to get a lock. But in a car, where I imagine many might want to use it, it has been unusable. I looked up online and downloaded a Samsung "GPS fix" from the Android Market and it made no difference. In a 30-minute drive the GPS had a fix for roughly 5 minutes, with 20 minutes before the first fix and the first fix lasting only a minute or two. I am glad to have a dedicated GPS unit and not to have expected to rely on the phone for it.
5. AT&T bundled apps not removable - no problem for me (I don't use them). Display is customizable so it's easy enough to get them out of the way and forget about them.
Some other things I have discovered that have made me concerned (I am still considering returning it):
Email - It synced with my POP email accounts no problem. What drives me nuts is that it automatically downloads 50 emails total, no more. For me that represents four or five days worth of emails if that, and I need to be able to access them when I have no signal. It is possible (with a signal/wifi) to "get more", but then that takes time as it downloads a day or two at a time, and then if you turn the phone off it resets to just the 50 emails. Trying to access an email from three weeks ago is just not practical. There are no options for adjusting this, like with the Blackberry that will keep emails for 30 days, I confirmed that with Samsung customer support.
Text copy/paste - I am dumbfounded by how limited the copy/paste functions are. For example, impossible with email except with new text you write. The text from the email your friend sent? Not possible. It is possible in certain applications and in the browser but it is very cumbersome and extremely limited, for example in the browser it just uses one touch - no adjustment to the area copied and no scrolling. If I keep the phone I will likely purchase Documents to Go to have somewhere I can copy and paste, but it seems silly to need to do that for a phone like this.
Browser - The browser is not turning out to be as "full html" as I was expecting. One surprising example - the only bookmark included out of the box is for Samsung Captivate Support, but that site does not display properly in the browser (!) and the fields are illegible. I copied the address (by hand) and used a desktop computer. Sites with drop-down menus are quite difficult to use, it seems to take numerous tries to get a menu do actually drop down. Of course, on the Bold this was not possible in most cases so this is an improvement but not meeting my expectations.
Now the good - The phone works well. Not as intuitive as I had hoped, I've had to spend quite a bit of time researching how to do things but I am finding in most cases they are possible. Calendar is great, no more mysteriously deleted appointments (Blackberry..)I am finding applications from the Android Market are necessary to make up for some of the capabilities the phone lacks out of the box, but at least that is possible and the selection is very good. Download time for apps is impressive. Ability to view PDF's out of the box is great. Ability to customize it is great, I feel comfortable with being able to set it up as I like. Wi-fi performance is much, much better than the Bold. The touch screen works great. Basically it does what it's supposed to do (hence 4 stars) but I'm disappointed by some of the things it wasn't made to do.
Edit: after having the phone for another week a few more comments about the above. First of all, the battery seems to be lasting quite a bit longer now, seems it needed a few charges to get all the way there. I can now comfortably make it through a day of medium usage on a single charge. The Blackberry was probably still a little better but this is quite acceptable now for my needs. Second, I found another email client in the Android Market that allows local storage (phone or SD) of up to two months of messages AND cutting and pasting. I've decided I'm keeping the phone.
on September 29, 2010
This is a first-impressions review. I'm pretty particular about my phone equipment; I've had a cell phone since 1992 and have had service with every carrier. We were pleased with the Sprint signal, but didn't want to pay the extra 10 clams for the 4G service that's not in our area yet (central Indiana) which was required for me to upgrade my phone to any of the Sprint smartphones. So, the search for a new phone/provider was initiated.
I've been carrying a Blackberry 8330 for two years, and it has been a very reliable piece of equipment. But, the small screen makes the navigation hard to decipher, and the browser lacked the functionality of the newer smartphones. Long story short, after a month of research on the 'net and stopping at phone stores to play with equipment, I landed on the Samsung Captivate. With ATT's plans, it made sense for my wife to get one, too, as the lower-end data plan is cheaper than the available plan for the messaging phones.
Likes- 1-screen is fantastic; 2-web browser is extremely fast (I use my for product research in my historic art business, and am often trying to do quick artist searches in people's homes); 3-availability of Google apps that actually do something (rather than just the 'look at what my phone can do' apps that have no useful functions...) 4- paper-thin form that fits comfortably in my pocket(I didn't want a slider phone and this is the only Samsung Galaxy S that's not a slider); 5-Google navigation is superior to the Google Maps I had downloaded to the Blackberry and the voice command feature is nice- with a 4.3" screen, I have no need for a separate GPS appliance. 6- WiFi feature- saves the data minutes on the package and automatically connects to open WiFi services
Dislikes- Admittedly, I had a Blackberry and could type a novel with one hand, so it takes some getting used to all the swiping and scrolling. I've had it for almost a week now, and the major complaint is that the phone functions seem secondary to the 'everything else' functions. I have figured out that the Google voice search will complete a 'call' command and search the contacts database for the appropriate number. Less functional than my one-letter speed dial on the Blackberry, though. The on-screen keyboard is a 'getting-used-to-it' feature, too, but I do find the Swype keyboard quite handy. Enable that feature, for sure. Also, don't like the fact that ATT's signal in my house isn't as good as Sprint was, but it's tolerable.
My wife, less a tech-goof than I, is having a ball with this phone, though. She upgraded from an LG Rumor, so this is like discovering the wheel for her... ;-) And, yes, she's found things (settings, features) on the phone before I have which have helped me in the transition.
My favorite thing, though, is the Mabilo ringtone I downloaded...it's the 1960's Star Trek communicator sound that is now my text message notification. Cool, huh?
Oh, and don't forget the fact that Amazon had this phone for about 30% of what ATT charges for it. That was a real decision-helper, too, and I'm also not an I-Phone clone, either.
on July 19, 2010
I have been waiting for months for a quality Android phone to come to AT&T and the Samsung Captivate is definitely it! This phone boasts a beautiful Super AMOLED 4.0" screen that is just gorgeous and so much nicer when compared to other smart phones and IPod touches in my house.
The thing I like the best about this phone when compared ti the IPhone is how customizable everything is and how free you are to change the phone to your own appetite.
The web browsing is quick, the GPS is awesome, and there are tons of sweet widgets you can add to the 7 home screens.
I would DEFINITELY recommend you purchase this phone because in due time Americans with AT&T will soon find out it is better than the IPhone 4.0!
on January 3, 2011
5 stars from me. Is it perfect? No. Does it do everything I need it to do, and well? Yes.
I've had the iPhone since the original and between playing Apple's upgrade every year game and their strict control over MY phone, I've been ready to dump the iPhone for a long time. Finally AT&T (whom I've never had an issue with) introduced a good Android phone, so I decided to give it a go. I'm pleased to say the least. It does everything the iPhone does and more.
The OS is great. Everything is laid out well and customization reaches far beyond anything you could do with the iPhone. The Captivate is more complex to operate than the iPhone, given the endless options and control you have, but it's not difficult. It just makes the iPhone seem so...dumbed down. If your a technological retard or tween who only wants to text 500 times a day, the iPhone is probably perfect for you.
The only thing missing from the Captivate is Android 2.2, which Samsung has yet to release to us. Based on what I've read about it, it should fix the few short comings of the current OS version.
I have to say though, without the iPhone damnyouautocorrect.com just wouldn't be the same.
on September 10, 2010
Ok, the phone all in all is pretty amazing. Fast, beautiful screen, nice app selection, touch screen typing (my first) seemed fine.
But my first two inbound calls faded in and out. I live about 40 Miles NW of Boston, near the service fringe, but not in it. According to AT&T Service Map, I live in a "Good" but not "Great" area.
My last two phones Nokia E62 and Blackberry Bold rarely had a problem.. When I was experiencing the fade outs, I was conscious of moving my hand position around, to see if that was a factor...it wasn't.
The Signal Strength on the Captivate read 2 bars. On the Nokia E62, 4 bars, my BB Bold died a year ago from Salt Water.
First and foremost, I need a solid Phone, one that I don't need to stand out on the deck in the middle of winter to avoid reception fade outs.
So after two days of playing with my new cool Captivate, I sent it back on its way to Amazon. I am going to try the BB Torch. I am hoping that like my Honda Ridgeline, what it lacks in flash, it will make up for in solid reliable performance.
Amazon Wireless was a breeze to work with on this. I put the Captivate in the mail today and the Torch is on its way.
on January 9, 2011
At first glance, this phone is a great alternative to iPhone4. However, this phone shuts off by itself automatically. Both Samsung and AT&T won't openly acknowledge this deficiency and will try to blame on a bad batch of batteries. If you want to miss calls all the time simply because your phone shuts off without you knowing it, go ahead and purchase this phone. On the other hand, if you research this phone online, you'll find the shutting off problem is common with this phone. Also, the performance looks great with this phone's specification. Add a few more apps on this phone and you'll notice the sluggish performance. One last thing. This phone is capable of taking high quality videos. That's cool, except that half of the time you'll get an error message and your video with the most precious moment did not saved. The bottomline is to choose your smartphone wisely.
on November 26, 2012
Pros: Beautiful SAMOLED screen, not as good as the newer ones but colors and blacks still look better than conventional LCD displays. The 5 MP rear camera is fairly decent in well-lit conditions, and the video camera performs well also. The construction of the phone itself is superb; it is made of sturdy plastic, the backplate is made of metal (much better construction than its successors, which are plastic), and the screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass. I have intentionally tried to scratch it with nails and screwdrivers to no avail. Because of the construction, the phone has an above average resiliency to drops. I have dropped it from 9ft onto a hard floor, and it has taken violent falls during mosh pits at concerts, sustaining only a small dent on the side. The construction is definitely a plus. While the phone is officially upgradable to 2.3.5 Gingerbread, there is a huge development community behind the phone for all those who are interested in software modifications. The device can already run the latest (as of today) 4.2 Jelly Bean, and still continues to receive support from developers despite its age. The device's 1GHz Hummingbird single-core CPU and PowerVR GPU can handle basic multitasking and gaming without too much trouble. The audio hardware in the device is great (also not found on newer models). The battery, SIM card, and MicroSD are easily accessible under the backplate.
Cons: The device is becoming aged and simply can't compete with devices from newer generations. It performs similar tasks much slower than the Galaxy S2, which is dual-core. The phone will struggle under heavy multitasking. The 512 MB of RAM isn't very much, and will frequently run out, resulting in lag and launcher redraws. The device's GPS is handicapped due to a design flaw, and is almost unusable in some cases. Unlike all the other Galaxy S, this one does not have a front-facing camera. Additionally, there is no flash on the rear camera. The device essentially receives no more support from AT&T or Samsung.