8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2010
I read all the reviews before I purchased the Samsung Captivate. For me, and I believe many others, it was between this smartphone or the iPhone 4G. Looking back on it, I was a little naive after reading all the reviews. Most people gave it 5 stars and just loved the phone. Then I realized these people hadn't had their phones very long.
I, like them who praised the phone, absolutely adored the phone. The big screen was fantastic, and the 1GHz processor would make any geek happy. The battery life didn't last long, and that was really annoying. However an update that they pushed out fixed it and the battery was no longer a issue.
Then one day, I pull the Samsung Captivate out of my pocket and try to unlock it. Black screen. I hit the power button, nothing. I thought this was odd, because it had 95% battery power and I'd taken it off the charger not a hour earlier. I then began to panic, as I remembered all the 1 star reviews had said 1 of 2 things: 1) This phone constantly shuts off without warning and 2) the phone will not turn on.
I was #2 for me. I had shut these 2 bad things out with the "it won't happen to me" attitude. And bam, 2 months after using the phone without issue, the phone is as dead as a doornail. I google'd all the work arounds, the hard resets, removing the battery, etc. etc. Nothing works. The phone is literally dead. And so is my love for the Samsung Captivate.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
This is my first Android phone, and I really love it! The fact that I got it for a penny (yes, one penny) through Amazon Wireless is just icing on the cake! I haven't had this phone for very long, so my review is based on what I've experienced so far.
The big, beautiful screen is wonderful. The colors are so vibrant.
I love being able to enter so much information for my contacts.
The keyboard is great, if not a bit sensitive. However, a stylus helps with that. I'm still trying master the Swype keyboard. It isn't as easy as the videos make it look (big surprise).
Being able to store so much information on the phone is great. I've downloaded lots of music, plus folders, and still have a ton of memory left.
Love the variety of Android apps. I download them when I have access to WiFi, so that I don't use up my limited data plan.
Unlike some reviewers have indicated, the GPS worked fine when I tried it.
I actually don't make very many phone calls, but when I have done so, the caller's voice was very clear.
This phone pairs up with other Bluetooth devices very easily.
The pictures and videos I've taken, look great.
I'm not happy that many web sites haven't caught up to the Android, yet. I tried to access numerous free TV sites only to be told that none of them support Android at this time. I hope this is something that will be rectified soon.
After having dealt with Sony-Ericsson support people, I've been very disappointed with Samsung support. Their web site isn't very user-friendly, and they keep apologizing about their lack of information as to when this or that will be available. Also, after a very long chat with a Samsung person, to no avail, I finally got the help I needed from an AT&T tech.
I've had this phone for seven months now, and I'm not as crazy about it as I was in the beginning.
I will not be buying another Samsung phone because Samsung support sucks. When they came out with an update that included a Flash Player, I had trouble downloading it, contacted Samsung, and they never answered back. I've been too frustrated to do anything about it, but plan to call AT&T support to see if I can get any help from them.
Ending a phone call on this thing takes forever. Sometimes I have to press "End Call" for a long time before it will end, and I have to watch very carefully to make sure it doesn't stay connected.
Making a phone call isn't that easy, either. It's hard to explain exactly what this phone does, but it sometimes seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to making phone calls. I'm just glad I don't make that many of them, or I would probably have thrown it against a wall by now!
The phone has become very difficult to turn off. I have to hold the side button for a long time, and then I have to press on the "Power Off" button for what seems like forever. It shouldn't be that hard to turn the blasted phone off!
I still like it for surfing the web, and it picks up on WiFi pretty easily so that I don't have to pay AT&T for data usage. However, when my contract is up, I will be choosing another phone, probably from Sony Ericsson or Motorola.
I finally took my phone to an AT&T repair store, and they agreed that it was "buggy," so they replaced it. The replacement phone, with its upgrade to 2.2, works much, much better, so I'm a bit happier. That being said, I still want a different phone when my upgrade time comes. I've been looking at the HTC, and have added it to my list of phones to consider.
BTW, when I was at the repair store, I overheard one of the reps tell someone that the Pantech phones were the most trouble-free phones. I don't know if they make an Android phone, but if they do, I might look at that brand as well.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2011
First of all, this phone really gets 4.8 stars, even though I LOVE this phone to death.
***Warning: This review is NOT average. Proceed to next review if you would like to hear the obvious restated over and over again, like the GPS issue, or the freezing issue again***
I'm 17, soon to be high school senior texting lover with all the toys and whistles. Joy. So, while I am not a programming whiz, I do consider myself to be quite tech savvy. I don't need to go on about how great this phone is, I would rather go over the cons and some solutions to some issues. And YES, this phone DID shut down on me randomly. ore on that later.
1. ***Mom would not let me root the phone! How am I supposed to customize my cappy??***
Solution: The Android Marketplace has lots of little goodies in there.. the GO Launcher, GO SMS, and GO Contacts allowed me to customize different aspects of my phone through the various themes you could download for them. My Contacts and Dialpad are now ICE themed. My Launcher [the home screen] is now "cartoon themed" with cute little icons. It really does look good. Really. Thanks to the launcher, I customized the bottom dock [something that you cannot do with the regular launcher]. From the outside, the launcher just allows you to change your icons and allow you to have different shortcuts on the "dock" area [for me, I did not want "email" since I'm not too keen on email]. My messaging, GO SMS, is by far my favorite. I'm using a rilakkuma theme, and I can customize all the colors of the texts, the hyperlinks.. believe me, there are SO many more settings for GO SMS than the regular boring messaging. It also allows you to individualize it, so different people can have different themes with different fonts and text colors.
2. ***No front facing camera!***
Why AT&T?? WHY did you have to remove it? The other samsung galaxy phones have a second camera in the front, but on the cappy, you can't use skype easily because of this lacking camera. *sadface* And how am I supposed to take pictures of myself or of my friends and I? GRRRR. Also, on a side note, the lack of flash doesn't bother me too much. I find that flash usually whites out objects too much anyways. Oh, there is no solution to this. Also, taking self pictures is a pain. Really.
3. ***PHONE HAS SOME MAJOR ISSUES! LIKE RANDOMLY SHUTTING DOWN!***
A. Yes, this phone shut down on me randomly TWICE on me within a week of getting the phone new.
B. Alarm was not working at all! And yes, I really did set it correctly, to the loudest volume, so I know I didn't just sleep through it.
C. TEXTS WON'T VIBRATE WHEN RECEIVED!! The phone made this little "bump" like when you hang up a call. It's not even that strong. So I missed many many texts. Irritating, being a teenager who likes to respond quickly.
Solution: Factory reset the phone. It solved ALL my issues. SERIOUSLY. My phone has never since shut off on me, the alarm works perfectly, and I am now alerted with a LOUD vibration when I receive a text.
4. ***GPS on the Samsung Captivate***
There are two: AT&T Navigator for $10/mo and Google Maps for free. Guess which I use. I had a problem with it once: my phone froze. It has not happened since, and for me, Google Maps has worked flawlessly otherwise. I blame that freeze up on me pressing too much and more or less overloading it. Oops.
5. ***The battery life is REALLY bad [in my opinion]***
I don't know what I was running, but one night, my battery drained from 68% all the way down to 23%. That did not make me happy at all. I turned off syncing to everything, my GPS is almost always off except when I need it, and it is completely in standby. Whatever the case, I downloaded Advanced Task Killer and JuiceDefender to help me save my poor battery. I discovered through Task Manager that even after closing say, Google Maps or Angry Birds, the program is still running in the background. Thanks to the handy little ATK app, these will automatically be closed upon me hitting the lock button on my phone. Now, on standby, my phone loses 4-5% per 8-9 hours [when I'm sleeping].
6. ***The feeling of the checkered battery cover door***
This is just personal preference, but the whole phone is sleek and smooth, while the battery door has more of a matte, not so smooth finish. Solution: Get a decal sticker. It keeps dirt off. And then I topped it off with a clear case, so the dirt gets on the decal. Besides, decal stickers come in so many designs, AND you can custom it on skinit.com
So besides the above..
Loves: swype, the sliding usb port door [open ALL the way], speedy processor!!, live wallpapers, the fact that I can create empty screens with no icons to just enjoy my live wall paper, very sensitive touch activated quick keys, sensitive screen, super bright screen even at lowest setting
The list goes on and on, but this review is getting very lengthy. Thank you with your patience with me(:
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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).
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
I just don't get it, I have had this Samsung Captivate phone now for at least 3-4 months and I play around a lot with it everyday.
So far it has never shut off by itself whether its charging or not charging.
Also after seeing these few comments from others about GPS not working I made a test.
I installed Google Maps along with a couple of other name brand GPS apps and again I must say that not only the GPS apps which come with the phone but the two others I installed ALL works just fine. GPS almost instantly detects/finds my exact location and all these tests where made inside my house with the phone on my computer desk.
As far as the battery being weak I also must say that at least for me after a full charge if I turn off wifi and gps and only use it as a normal phone, no game play and so on the battery lasts at least 4 days for me.
Also I must have installed 30 or more apps and games already and I have not had any problem connecting the usb cable to computer and transfering songs, videos and pictures.
I have both Windows 7 and Windows XP and when I first got the phone and plugged it into the computers I did not even need any drivers installed at all. Both computers reconized the samsung captivate phone right away.
After reading the handfuls of people complaing about these problems at first I was afraid to buy the phone but I am sure glad I did!
Don't want to write a book here about how excellent the phone works and what all it can do so if you want to read more details about the phone before buying it then just read all the 5 star reviews here on amazon....... I have a hunch that at least half the people who are writing reviews complaining about random shutdown, gps and battery life must work for some other cell phone company and are paid to write these bad reviews.
I am certain that there are a few people who actually do have problems and I am sure that AT&T is either doing refunds or replacments as needed. The phone is super excellent!
P.S. Just remember that AT&T sells and sold thousands of these phones but way less than even 1% of those who purchased it leave reviews here on Amazon or any other place on the internet.
If there really were a lot of people having the shutoff/restart, GPS and other problems
then AT&T and Samsung would have had a massive recall on these phones a long time ago.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2011
I got this phone about a year ago from AT&T with my new plan. Immediately the phone had technical issues, and had to be replaced. The replacement phone did the exact same thing and was also replaced. The third phone has been working great ever since.
I absolutely love the screen for it's clarity and brilliance. The Android system is very easy to use and works with just about any software. I do have some problems connecting it to my PC every now and then, it just doesn't show up.
Battery life is pretty good. If I use it just calling people and texting, the battery will last all day long. I charge it every night. If I use a lot of battery intensive apps on the brightest setting, the battery will last about 4-5 hours (not bad). Sound quality is decent, camera is nice with lots of good settings.
All in all I really like my phone, and I'm more inclined to buy Samsung products in the future. 4 out of 5 stars due to the technical issues with the bad batch of phones.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2010
Picked it up Monday. Most impressive. Very responsive and has a slick design. Very pocket-able.
Let me tell you about my experience at the ATT store. This proves so well the love relation between Apple and ATT.
I went to check out the phone in store before I bought it and guess what. The display Captivate was not working. They stuck it in a corner turned off with a broken power plug; it was like on purpose. While the Apple stand was bright and shiny, with 3 impeccable phones and a big iPhone logo under a colorful projector.
REALLY !!! Really ATT, this is how you sell phones on the first week of release? I'm SO glad I got rid of my 3G. I was sick entire of the ATT-Apple shenanigans.
My impressions about the Captivate... 5 stars. But I'll still start with the cons (I'm a critic by nature)
- no flash on back camera
- the plastic on the back ( not the metal cover) feels too cheap. I would prefer a matte plastic.
- they removed essential apps for me like FM Radio. And they put the ATT bloatware
- touch buttons are hard to spot in the dark. I got to get used.
- GPS takes a long time to lock. This is a fixable software issue.
- Gorgeous screen - AMAZING !!!
- Fast and responsive
- Awesome design ( i just love that metal battery cover)
- Replacement battery (costs like 30 $)
- Android is generation ahead of iOS. You gotta try this.
- Open Android Market.
- Over the Air backup and OS Updates (hopefully ATT won't screw this).
OK. I'm gonna drop the rating to 4 stars until ATT/Samsung decides to fix the GPS lock issue.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2011
I have never regretted a phone so much until I bought this one.
This phone is practically a paperweight.
Two weeks in my sim card died for no reason. Then, the charger stopped working while my grandmother was in the hospital dying.
Any application I install on this phone constantly force closes for no reason. Facebook, google maps, twitter, mail... They either force close or the whole screen goes dark and the phone stops working until I take the battery out.
The GPS doesn't work, period. Anything that requires it to know your position fails. It takes forever to figure out where you are. Most of the time it never does.
I can't even use it's PRIMARY FUNCTION, making phone calls, without waiting for the thing to unfreeze. It stills for over a minute frozen and then half the time won't make the call.
It has been like this since I got it. I've put barely anything on it. I've tried everything to get it to work properly. The system is honestly just bad. It looks nice to people who pass by but stay away. Seriously.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2010
Was in the market for a new smartphone and stumbled upon this little beauty on CNET just one day before it was released. I had one year left on my AT&T contract and after seriously considering the Motorola Droid X on Verizon I ended up buying the Captivate instead (paying full retail price), and I honestly couldn't be happier with my decision. I'll try to condense this as much as possible since I have so much to praise about this phone so I'll start by listing some of its shortcomings.
First of all, this phone has a lot of design flaws that could have easily been corrected but instead needlessly hamper the user experience. This is a very common and frustrating trend in consumer electronics and is also the same reason why companies like Apple have been so successful since they know how to keep their products simple and useable. Things like having the headphone jack on the top of the phone (incredibly annoying when you're listening to music and have to flip the phone around every time you pull it out of your pocket) or, conversely, placing the power/lock key on the side of the phone when every other phone on the planet either has it at the top or on the front. The worst offenders by far, however, are the four touch-sensitive shortcut keys that Samsung insists on using for all their products. Why on earth would you use touch keys over physical keys when physical keys are more visible, more tactile, more responsive, and arguably look better too (touch keys in my opinion look tacky and uncomfortable to use). I can't tell you how much time I spend fumbling for the back and home keys either because the backlight only feels like staying on for .6 seconds, or because they don't always respond the first ten times I tap them. Touch keys are stupid and I hope manufacturers stop using them unless they provide some specific benefit or need. Lastly, the camera is pretty mediocre (my 2-year-old Sony Ericsson k850i crushes this in terms of picture quality) and the screen is also just the slightest bit lacking in the resolution department.
Having said all that, this phone does many, many things incredibly well. The super AMOLED screen has a real wow factor that's particularly evident once you fire up some videos or start browsing the web. Browsing itself is a joy thanks to the roomy four-inch screen and screaming fast Hummingbird processor that makes everything just fly. The Samsung TouchWiz interface is very solid I have no complaints and the Swype text-input feature that comes preloaded is amazingly fast and accurate. I'm very surprised it doesn't get more attention given how intuitive it is. And Android, what can I say, it's completely blown away all my expectations. The level of customization is unreal and makes the iPhone OS look like Windows 7 Starter.
All in all, I'm in love with this phone even with all it's design quirks. It's nice that AT&T finally gets not just a worthy Android phone but a supremely capable one at that. If you're interested in a new smartphone and aren't totally enamored by Apple, I encourage you to take a long, hard look at the Samsung Captivate. It truly is a sight to behold.