on December 8, 2010
I've had this phone for about 2 months now and I think it is worthy of a review. If you're choosing between this and the iPhone I HIGHLY suggest you choose this and save yourself some money. There's no need to spend 200 more dollars on pretty much the same phone, if not better.
The Captivate is a great phone, but not prefect.
- Slick and easy to use interface: Widgets and icons on the home screen make it easy to use while still looking really good.
- The AMOLED display is amazing.
- Setting up email is simple and quick.
- Flipping through menus and screens is a breeze and there is no waiting and little lag.
- Even though there aren't as many apps as the iphone, there is still everything you need and more. There are all of the productivity tools you need for a phone and there are plenty of games, the games aren't as advanced as the iphone's but they are getting there.
- FREE GPS navigation. Full featured, turn by turn directions. You can pretty much get rid of your portable car gps.
- Very customizable. The live wallpapers are neat, widgets are helpful, wide range of apps that can get your phone exactly how you want.
- Text messaging is a breeze, the buttons are responsive and the SWYPE input option is very fast if you can get used to it.
- Camera is really good for a phone and the video is REALLY good for a phone. Videos look very clear and sharp and there is no lag on it.
- Good call quality.
- 16gb of memory on board is a huge plus. And it's expandable to another 16 gb.
- If you have a wireless n router, then connect the phone to it instead of using the 3g. I just started using this last night and it is extremely fast, it amazed me how much of a difference there was. Pages loaded entirely in about 2-3 seconds.
- Battery is good if you have it on the right display settings. You should have to charge it every night unless you use it all day.
- AT&T bloatware. I highly suggest rooting the phone whenever you can. This way you can delete the AT&T bloatware, which makes the phone run faster. If you add too many apps with the att apps on there the phone begins to run a little slow.
- Apps are saved only on a 2gb internal memory card and you can't save them to the 16gb card unless you root the phone.
- I have about 1500 songs on the on board memory right now and the stock music player runs a little slow. It is not as breezy as and iPhone, but it still works well.
- The phone can get laggy at times when too many apps are being used.
- No notification light. Text, calls, email, etc. can go unnoticed if you don't hear the notification. Theres an app called NoLED that is useful but still a light around the phone would have been better.
- No front facing camera. No big deal. How often do people need to video chat on their phone anyway?
- The phone is BIG, people with smaller hands may not like it, but I have pretty big hands so it fits perfectly.
- The gps signal is weird. When I use it and have the phone in my lap while driving, it will lose signal, which can potentially get you lost. But if you keep it on the dash and it can clearly see the sky, the signal is fine.
Again, I highly suggest rooting your phone and getting the Titanium Backup app, this will allow you to delete those really unnecessary ATT apps and have the phone run faster.
Also if you do get this phone, do NOT get a task killer app, it actually makes the phone slower for some reason. The phone is made to handle multitasking.
The cons are all things that are easy to look past and they're just little gripes that I think may matter to some people. I'm glad I chose this over the iPhone and I would do it again any day. It pretty much depends if you prefer android over the iOS. (I feel like they're generally the same in most aspects)
This should be everything you need to know if you're considering this phone. Thanks for reading.
on August 10, 2010
Just like any other At&t user I had the option of the iPhone 4 or the Samsung captivate. For me it was a no brainer, I get an android device that is as good if not better than the alternative. Highly recommend this phone.
I should however point out that the gps takes its time to start. I have heard that a patch will be coming out soon.
p.s. The display is amazing
-- 6 Month update - 12/2/10
By now its confirmed the device has the following issues which Samsung most probably will never fix.
1. GPS is broken - absolutely not reliable at all.
2. The device shuts down randomly
3. After sales support is horrible
4. After a while the phone is super slow
All the above are known issues and most probably hardware related. You can research more on XDA forums. I installed a custom rom and now the phone is a lot faster. The other issues still not solveds.
Would I buy it again - Definitely not. My first Samsung device and most probably the last.
on August 30, 2014
Mine turned out to be a lemon; it quit working on the 30th day of use - on the day my free replacement warranty expired. Samsung refused to repair or replace it because they said it had moisture damage. I don't know how that could have happened.
on August 15, 2011
1st phone speaker went out after six months! 2nd a referb crashed & will not reboot lost all data after 8 weeks. Now on third phone, a referb, under warranty with much regret. Has no light for camera. The Samsung program to sync this phone had so many problems I gave up on it. Android 2.2 seems to solve many problems but not all; this phone still needs help. Can only open 4 web browser windows compare to 8 on I phone. Still searching to find app that will save all my applications I load on this phone. I have lost all confidence in this phones reliability. I expect the 3 rd phone to fail; all under one year from purchase! Biggest mistake I made was buying one. The first two phones were kept in an otter box defender case with a skin covering for protection. Even with no abuse the hardware failed. The battery has performed poorly over time; after three months it starts to get weaker at holding charge. & yes under warranty you keep your old battery & receive a referb phone; which someone else has already had trouble with!
on March 15, 2011
This phone is great when it's working properly. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen. I exchanged this phone twice, but when the third malfunctioned, I gave up. I had each phone for around a month and they were treated well (no damage, no falls, no water).
This phone arrived damaged, but I didn't realize it. First, the charger didn't stay snugly in the phone (I thought it was a quirk of all the phone). Second, the phone would randomly shut itself off. I did a search online and apparently this is a common Samsung Captivate issue. So I got a replacement from AT&T.
This phone worked about a two weeks then decided to stop connecting to wifi. I got a replacement from AT&T.
This one lasted three weeks. Then a white line appeared across the screen and wouldn't leave. This also seems to be a fairly common Samsung Captivate/Galaxy issue. After this phone, I opted for a different phone entirely.
All in all, I loved this phone during the brief periods of time when it would work properly. But going through 3 of them, all of which lasted less a month, sours a person. There is clearly a quality control issue at Samsung and I will never purchase another Samsun phone.
on August 1, 2010
After my almost 2 year old Samsung Eternity had a swim in a glass of coca cola(and survived but is starting to act up a bit)and has been trusted, sturdy and reliable, I decided to stick with Samsung and check out the Captivate and Android. (Still not drawn to the iphone...)
It was with much anticipation the Captivate arrived, and I have spent a lot of time in the last few days checking it out. I believe all the technical stuff has been covered by others more savvy than me, but for what it's worth I'll throw in my few cents:
- Having this big beautiful screen and all the apps to play with, of course you want to play with it. However, I found that I burned through the battery very fast and had to charge it twice a day. It did help to download the App Killer which stops selected items from running all the time. But still.
When you go in and look at how the battery is used, the majority of the power goes to just the display, although I had it at 30 sec. timeout and lowest brightness setting.
Not much point for me having a phone with all those possibilities, but not juice to make a phone call in the afternoon. Especially since this is my primary phone.
- I liked the USB/ adapter charger, but the cord for some reason is quite a lot shorter than what I'm used to, making it hard for me to use the phone while it's charging/ plugged in.
- I disliked that the power button and the volume button are located in the same spot on opposite sides of the phone, as I found it difficult to not hit both by accident when trying to either adjust volume or unlock it, and vice versa (with one hand).
- By the way there is a double lock on this phone: you first need to press the power button, then slide the screen (there are different ways to do that) and I found this cumbersome. But there's an app for that (!) which eliminates the slide unlock :)
- Others have complained that there is no text correction function, but there actually is if you use the Samsung keyboard: hold and press the  button and voila! LOVE the keyboard, what an upgrade from the Eternity!
- Where I live (Nantucket Island) the signal bar has been very dicey. I have not had a dropped call and the sound is crystal clear, but compared to the Eternity (best coverage I have ever had) it made me a bit weary.
- The included headphones are great with 3 sizes of bud cushions to fit your ear canal. However, as far as I can see it only works with the music player and not as a hands free. (?)
- Big sure is beautiful, but this phone is too big for me, although it's very slim and light. Coming from the Eternity it felt like it was a handful, even without a protective cover.
And speaking of which... the phone is so new that I have not been able to get a cover for it, which has made me a little nervous to use it in the event I want to return it. There are some out there, but most are not available until around mid August.
There are so many things I love about this gadget, and it's been a tough decision to send it back... but that's what I'm doing; primarily because of the battery life, signal bars and size. I give it 4 stars although it may qualify for 5, simply because it doesn't fit my needs as much as I would want it too.
on October 12, 2010
I initially had a love / hate relationship about this phone. The love portion deals with the overall phone appearance (good looking phone); the size (fits in my hands and I can operate with one hand - right or left); the monitor is very clear and has great colors; the phone is well balanced and the overall weight is good. The phone is easy to navigate; Bluetooth feature is good (hey, the paring codes is 0000); the WIFI feature is easy to set-up and the phone does a great job is recognizing a WIFI zone. It shows you the zones and gives you the option to accept. The phone sound quality is good as well as the reception (better than my 4 year old Blackberry). The notification feature is very good. I love the swipe feature for password...very good. Battery life seems to be okay, I can get through a full day without re-charging the battery.
My hates deals with the email feature for Microsoft Outlook (POP3 server) and the much missed information regarding this phone such as:
1) There is NO synch feature with Microsoft Outlook via POP3 (like Blackberry). The USB cable that comes with the phone is used for power (with the electric adaptor) and mass transfer. It's not for synching with Outlook.
2) I have two email accounts on this phone; GMAIL and Outlook. Outlook is my main email (I've had this account for over 15 years). The GMAIL account works perfectly as this is a Google based phone; the phone email and calendar are based on Google. Now I have Outlook working (well to a point). I'm getting my Outlook emails, but the phone deletes the Outlook emails within 2 hours of receiving them (It doesn't delete them from the server). I spoke with the Samsung Tech Rep and he acknowledged this problem and said I was one of the few that got MS Outlook to work to this level.
3) This phone is loaded with ATT bloatware; and you can't delete it. I don't recall this being the case with IPhone (we have 3 in my family).
4) I purchased this phone to watch online video streaming like ESPN3.Com college football. Well, the phone has the capabilities but ATT forces you to use their Mobile Video appl. And this appl turn-off your WIFI connection. Yes, ATT forces you to use their 3G network and it's just doesn't have the muscle and coverage. Oh yeah, you must pay ATT $15 a month to use this appl.
Here what would have helped me before purchasing this phone:
1) MS Outlook works on this phone, but you don't have full features and synch with the PC (You get all of this with IPhone).
2) The phone calendar is based on Google. There is software from Google which synch the Google calendar with your MS Outlook calendar. And it works well.
3) BEFORE YOU CONNECT THE PHONE TO YOUR PC: My sure the phone is fully powered, the change the phone USB feature by: go to the phone setting, then the application, then to USB setting, then change it to mass storage.
4) ATT forces you to use their Mobile Video appl to watch on-line TV/Video; even if you're a Comcast customer who has access to on-line TV and video.
5) Bluetooth pairing code: 0000
6) Loaded with ATT bloatware that you can't delete.
7) As of 10/5/2010, there's NO software download required for this phone
7) Don't call ATT and/or go to their stores if you have any questions regarding this phone. Just call Samsung Tech Support
I've had this phone for a week now; and have had a love / hate relationship. It's more love than hate now since I've found solutions to the calendar and the MS Outlook issue is workable for me. I'm still not pleased with the ATT approach to online video, but I don't have any other options with ATT as my family has three IPhones (wife and kids). I would go with the IPhone 4 but it definitely has dropped call issues. I think the future will be IPhone and Android so I'm planning on keeping this phone...if Apple doesn't fix the IPhone 4 drop calls by the end of the month (just joking)....
UPDATED (10-19-2010). I can't deal with the at&t bloatware (att nav and other) and the phone continues to delete my email from the phone. I had enough and returned the phone for an Iphone 4. At least it works with Microsoft Outlook. I'm given the phone two stars.
on September 30, 2010
Received the phone a week ago and as usual the Amazon transaction went smoothly. The phone was activated through ATT with no problems.
Pros: Display is great and the processor is very fast.
Cons: After two days, the phone started shutting itself off randomly, 4-10+ times a day. A Google search turned up a lot of complaints for the same problem. So far, no solutions. Neither Samsung or ATT acknowledges a problem. Until a fix if found, the Captivate phone is unreliable, so use caution when buying.
on September 30, 2012
From Nokia "bricks", to Blackberries, to HTC, i've owned a vast array of phones throughout the past decade. To date, this one has been the worst;It is not the worst for lack of technology-this it does possess. My major gripe with this phone is its reliability.
Whether I am texting, typing in an address, or any other function that utilizes the keyboard, it will sporadically quit or lag on me (this is for the two years I have owned it).
Another major frustration I have with the phone is its ability to lock into a GPS signal. It will take several minutes if ever to get a signal. 95% of the time, it ends up losing signal while I am driving ending with me getting lost repeatedly.
Talk signal is average.
Camera is fine although a flash could have been appreciated.
I would never recommend this phone to anyone.
on February 17, 2011
I had an iphone 3g and didn't like having to go through itunes for everything. I wanted to be on the open platform...so I switched to Android. Well..there are some good things about this phone. Namely that you're seamlessly linked into Google services. However, after having this phone for a few months now, I have to say that I miss my iphone. The reason for this is that the keys on this phone are sticky..something that surprised me given that this is supposedly the fastest processor (hummingbird) that you can buy right now and on the quadrant score, it was off the charts. Secondly, the gps is rarely accurate and kindof slow. I am in Manhattan a lot of the time and used to rely on my iphone's gps functionality quite a bit. No more with this phone...so I miss that. Third, when I'm typing into it, the interface just isn't as accurate. I used to be able to type into the iphone really fast and then when I looked up at what came out, it was almost always accurate. On this phone, not so. I always have to go back and change word spellings and stuff. I've tried all sorts of input methods and nothing has worked quite as well as my trusty old iphone did. Fourth, the camera is good but clunky. its slow to load up and take a picture and I really have to focus on the thing and make sure I"m pushing the right buttons and orienting it the right way. With the iphone, it was dead easy. I just pulled it out of my pocket, went to the camera, and snapped away in no time. On the upside, I do like the widgets. The iphone never gave me the ability to have a page with useful widgets like weather, mint.com, and the news. This is a great feature that I really like about it. There are some minor annoyances here and there that have kindof added up and over a few months of having it, have begun to frustrate me. I get a lot of texts and with the iphone, I could see the text on the screen without having to open the phone or do anything except look at it. WIth this phone, it tells me that I got a text and I don't know from whom or what it was. I have to move this silly puzzle piece to open the phone and then it loads up the conversation. This kind of thing sounds like such a minor issue but I have to tell you that over a few months, it has really made me start missing my iphone. Unfortunately, I'm not up for renewal with AT&T for another 2 years so I'm going to have to hope that they change a lot of things about the software on this phone in the meantime, but that has yet to happen. I just miss the overall ease of use and simplicity of my iphone...and while I enjoy some of the high tech features on this thing, I'd rather have a simple, easy to use device that seamlessly integrates into my fast-paced lifestyle.
Here's a list of my issues with the phone:
- sticky keys when typing
- doesn't recognize words correctly (often but not always)
- clunky interface; lags a lot, even with Ryanza's lagfix
- GPS rarely works; even with the GPS update
- camera is poorly designed and clunky
- texts are sometimes not sent..I have to "resend" often. There is no auto-resend on failure like the iphone
- the background screen always scrolls when I move from one screen to the next but I wish there was an option to hold it still
- the touch interface (touchwiz I think) is just plain clunky in comparison to the iphone
- After having an iphone 3g for 2 years and this for 4 months, I can honestly say that this feels just plain clunky clunky clunky. However, towards the end of its life, my iphone had a lot of the clunky issues too (sticky keys, etc.) but something about it was just ...don't quite know how to put my finger on it...but it just felt better somehow.
Things I like about it:
- Jailbreak and tether or turn it into a hotspot (yay)
- voice entry is pretty awesome. I can speak into it and its usually accurate.
- The ability to have a widgets page
- Can change the battery and add a microsd card (but I haven't figured out how to expand my music capacity yet even though I put a 8GB card into the thing)
- open platform is the future (once they work through all these human interface kinks).