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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2010
I have had this phone for about a week now and I am having to send it in for an exchange. The phone has awesome features, but like many other people, I am experiencing problems with the phone shutting itself off. Any time the phone goes into sleep mode, it automatically powers itself off. I have downloaded an app that helps keep the phone on, but I believe it also wears on the battery, because I can only go for about a day before having to recharge...even with minimal use.

All of this being said, I am exchanging for the same model, because I have friends that are not experiencing these issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
This is my first smart phone. I love its potential and I love the swype keyboard, but the phone does not perform as I expected. I cannot update to Froyo 2.2 because I have a Mac, and no access to a PC. Reception is bad in my small rural town. That is partly AT&T, but other phones pick up a signal when the Captivate will not. Battery time is very short! The vibrate function has quit working, and it's out of warranty. When my contract time is up I'm likely to quit AT&T, and will NOT get a Samsung.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2011
I've owned the phone since it was released and have been severely disappointed by the lack of an OS update to Froyo. Especially now that Gingerbread is out. So SAMSUNG, why can't we get an OS upgrade? I was told by AT&T that an update would be coming shortly for Froyo and bought the phone in good faith based on that information, but it wasn't true in the slightest. Now with Gingerbread coming out and no update in sight, all I can say is I will never buy another product from SAMSUNG again due to the lack of support.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2011
So much is great with this phone it could have no peer:
1. Screen
2. Memory
3. Apps
4. Service

But they threw it all away with a horribly defective GPS. I have owned six Captivates and they all have the same issue.
other things that could be better

Camera clarity and lack of flash
Battery life is marginal
Laggy response
Flaky Bluetooth stack connecting and disconnecting

Maybe they'll test the devices before the next phone launches.
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on April 7, 2012
I really loved this phone when I first bought it. It was my first smartphone so I was very excited to be able to use the smartphone features and have all the apps. However, after only owning it for roughly half a year, it started messing up on me, A LOT. First, it started force closing everything on my phone, even my text messaging. I would have to factory reset my phone just to be able to use anything on it. Then, it started to turn itself off. It's not that it didn't hold a charge; it would just randomly turn itself off, especially if I hadn't interacted with it for awhile. Next, the screen decided it did not want to work. The phone was on and I could hear it working, as in I could hear if someone texted me and I could even interact with the screen. If I knew where the button should be to accept a call, I could answer the phone. Eventually, it started working again. Lastly, and the final straw, was when the power button stopped working. I had thought that the screen decided to stop working again since I could still hear my phone working. However, when I popped the battery out and back in, I realized that my power button wasn't working. Now this wouldn't have been such a big problem if my phone would stay on because I could just pop the battery out and in whenever I need to use it. However, coupled with the fact that the phone liked to turn itself off, the phone has become completely unusable and worthless.

I have had more problems with this phone than any other phone I have ever owned. I am not even writing about the cool features that came with this phone because I have had so many problems with it that they are pointless to mention. Since I am not up for another upgrade until August and there is no way I want pay for a new smartphone, I am forced to buy another phone just to have one. I would also like to add as a closing note, that I am not harsh on my phones in any way.
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on October 29, 2011
Well I finally decided to write a review about the Captivate, which I've owned since launch.

First, I bought the Cappy from Amazon as soon as it came out, not one week later. But later, had to return it because of the GPS issues. Unfortunately, those were never fixed.. but I've kept my 2nd phone since August 2010, pretty much a launch phone. It has treated me well, in general. However, there are a lot of issues, which is why I want to say its a 3.5.

Now on to the actual review.

HARDWARE -
The Screen on this phone is amazing. I still admire it after having stared at it hundreds of hours. It is so saturated and vibrant, with amazing viewing angles. Its hard to look at any other screen really.
The Phone quality is decent. Not complaints, but I have no praise.
The body itself is an interesting mix. The glass is incredibly strong, I haven't used any sort of screen protector and I've dropped it and put it in my pockets with keys and there is only 1 little scratch, which is unnoticeable unless looking for it. The back plastic is very easily scratched though, so it needs protection.
The Camera is good, however at this point, it sorely needed a front facing camera. Its hellish to take a picture of yourself on this phone, because there is no dedicated camera button and yet you can't see yourself. Also, you cannot Skype or anything with anyone very easily. All they would see is what you see, since theres no front cam.
The Battery life is decent. I don't think its any worse than other android phones. I bought 2 spare batteries from ebay and they work well.
The GPS is just bad. It doesn't work. Sometimes it says it gets a lock, but no, my location freezes. The phone only can tell where I am by triangulating wireless and cell phone towers. This is a fatal issue because I use maps frequently, so its down .5 stars for this.

There are a lot of issues with software though. My phone would frequently freeze up, lag heavily, or shut down, or even not turn on. This hasn't been a big issue as of lately, and I can always remove the battery and turn it back on, but its not really acceptable. So down a 2nd star for these issues.

However, I recently updated my phone to Android 2.3.5 J3 firmware, which is a leaked version from Samsung, but it works extremely well. The phone is VERY fast now, at least 2x as fast as it was when it was on Android 2.2. It seems a lot of bugs were eliminated. The internet seems to be quicker too, I can load Google Reader much faster. However, the GPS is still bad.

Overall I say it is a decent phone. The best part is essentially the Super AMOLED screen, and its quite fast with Android 2.3.5, feels almost like my dual core tablet, despite being single core. The major issues are with lack of a front camera for webcam, GPS, and forced shut downs/restarts/etc, which happen every so often.
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on August 22, 2011
I like that there is a system to go head to head with the IPhone. Unfortunily I miss my Iphone (as much as I distain using ITunes). I am on my 3rd phone from AT&T due to a recall on the captivate and hardware issues I am still having the "new" phones sent to me. The main issues with the phone are: the phone randomly stops recieveing and sending texts, calls and it has many issues trying to send picture messages, the sensor on each phone sometimes to not lock up the phone while you are on a call.

With each phone where it does not randomly the phone will not send or recieve messages or calls but everyother function of the phone still work (email, time updeates, other applications instaled on the divice). The only way you know the messages and calls are frozen is because you see an hour later the message or call still sending the text or ending the phne call. To fix this problem you have to turn off the phone and pull the battery out because simply turning off the phone does not fix the issue. This is a reaccuring problem with each new phone I have recieved (recalled or not).

The sensor on the phone sometimes does not work either and you end up in some random screen after making a call. You're either in a game, notes, changing your settings. etc. without your knowledge of the actions your check was doing while you were holding the phone against your face.

The other little tid bits I have had isses with are sending picture messages where it fails everytime or can't send to more than one person at a time. I like that putting music on the phone if fairly easy but setting up rigntones and changing you Text tones is troble-some or not possible.

This software issue is witht he new version of firmware 2.2. I liked this phone to start out with but these presisting problems with each phone i get are troublesome I am getting an new phone regradless of being 6 months from getting a new phone plan.
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on August 12, 2011
I bought a new-but-secondhand (i.e. someone else's warranty replacement, they'd already swapped for another phone) Samsung Captivate 897 in November 2010.

My first impression was positive: the bright clear screen.

But that's the beginning and end of what I found impressive about the phone. It gave me a tantalizing view of what mobile phones ought to look like in the distant future, but the present is just too primitive.

First, the worst: a few days ago I looked down at the phone and saw the screen faded almost to black, and the touchpad not working. I hadn't dropped it and there is no visible damage, so I can't tell what happened to it. The cost to repair: $165. I'd pay for the repair (or struggle with Samsung over whether as a second-hand unit it's covered under warranty), except that I just don't find it worth repairing. Here are the other less-awful things about this *fragile* phone:

* Everything the unit did was *slow*. Even the cheapest-of-cheap Android phones that I bought to get by since the breakage is faster. It would often take 1 to 3 seconds to respond to input. I had maybe a dozen apps installed on it: if it ran out of memory, it should tell me; I never could figure out the sluggishness.

* The camera lens is *raised* from the housing, where it's vulnerable to wear; it was scratched beyond usability within a matter of months, despite being kept in a pocket without any sharp objects.

* The Android 2.1 O/S is a work in progress in and of itself; the extra stuff AT&T adds to it adds up to a lot of clutter (and you can't remove it, at least not without rooting the phone which I never wanted to do).

For those of us on older cell-phone plans that can't be re-upped, we actually have to pay cold hard cash for our phones: this one certainly wasn't worth the big bucks it cost me, and I wouldn't even recommend this one on the freebie promotions being offered these days (you'll wind up having to pay cash out of pocket for any repairs it needs). Keep shopping, find something more rugged.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2011
With the Captivate's specs and amazingly gorgeous screen, it has a lot of potential, but unfortunately with poor quality control it doesn't live up to that potential.

I got my first Captivate in September. It dropped most calls after a period of about 30-90 seconds, and four out of five outgoing calls I attempted would not connect. So after a week, I took it back.

The second one had a bad radio or bad antennas, so most places where I should have been getting full signal, I got no signal at all. So on the very last day of my 30 day return period, I took it back.

The third one connects calls, but is incredibly slow and unstable compared to the first two. Apps crash for no apparent reason, and occasionally when I restart the phone it takes two or three tries to get everything to load correctly. (A couple of times I restarted and even after a few minutes had no apps in the apps menu.) Before the Froyo update (which came ten months after Google released it), I even had trouble with the software processes that manage the phone part of the phone crashing. The Froyo update fixed a lot of the random FCs, but not all; now it just hangs at random times. Over the course of the last couple of months, I've begun having trouble with the proximity sensor not working. The screen comes on while I'm in the middle of a phone call, which results in buttons on the screen being pressed by my face (usually mute, but sometimes it's the keypad and even End.)

I have had some problems with Ford Sync in my car (sometimes I have to restart the phone to force it to connect, and a lot of times it will keep playing music after I have turned the car off - especially when I'm listening to the radio and not bluetooth audio), but when it actually connects it works fine - I'm able to make and receive calls through Sync, and bluetooth streaming works with the steering wheel controls. (From reading on the Sync message boards, this is not always the case with all Sync users.)

On top of the major quality flaws, there are also some minor annoyances. I was surprised to find that some settings were different, and in different places, among the three individual phones I had, and in true Linux fashion, sometimes it takes a an hour or two of research to figure out how to change settings that should be straightforward and one or two taps from the homescreen. After the Froyo update, the screen no longer stays on and unlocked when the phone is plugged in, which is annoying when using the phone as a media player, and dangerous when using it as a GPS unit, because rather than being able to glance at the map quickly and back at the road, you have to actually turn the phone back on and unlock the screen. (The Widgetsoid app has a way to disable this, but it has to be done every time the phone is rebooted.) The music player app works really well for playing music, but there is no good iTunes-like way to synch music between the phone and a computer, so it has to be done manually through folders.

All that said, the calls (on one that is actually able to make calls) are just fine. The reception is good - on par with the iPhone 3G and Blackberry Bold 9700 I had before - and I can generally understand what people are saying. The camera is at least as good as my point-and-shoot, and the video quality is nice too (though not as nice as the iPhone 4's). And it has the absolute most beautiful screen I have ever seen in my life. Several of my friends and coworkers have Droid Xs, and their grainy, washed-out screens look just plain old in comparison, and compared to the Captivate's Super AMOLED, even the iPhone 4's "Retina" display looks a little bit sad. The brightness and clarity of the screen make it look about like the faked, pixel-less sci-fi displays, and earns this piece of you-know-what its second star.

Features: **** (4 stars out of 5)
Reliability: * (1 begrudgingly-awarded star out of 5)
Quality: (0 stars out of 5)
Screen: ************ (12 stars out of 5)

EDIT 7/3/11: The phone randomly buzzed a few times last night as I was going to sleep, and when I woke up the screen was what would pass for black on another phone (but is more like a dark gray on the AMOLED.) I had to remove the battery to get it to come back on.

It seems to be coming up with new annoying tricks every day...

8/27/11: It's gotten to the point where I treat it like an old Windows 95 computer, and just reboot it every day. Today it froze while shutting down.

8/28/11: The calendar seems to be having trouble syncing with my Exchange calendar at school. Some of my classes (which I've put in as repeating appointments) show up multiple times, some don't show up at all, and some show up multiple times only on the first day. A lot of good it does to have a smartphone that's supposed to sync with Exchange when it doesn't actually do so.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2011
Yes, the official version of android 2.2 was released in February 2011. Late, yes, but available through Samsung mini keyes (a download on the samsung web page). Android 2.2 is FAR better than 2.1. Not counting the little things, 2.2 is at least twice as fast and far more stable.
And don't forget that FROYO has flashplayer.

Also noteworthy:
The Samsung galaxy S series (including the captivate) uses a hummingbird processor that is faster than the snapdragon (of the same generation).

Now to the review. I ordered two of these from Amazon. I was originally hesitant, as opposed to ordering directly from ATT. But, beyond the 30 day warranty each offers, all you can do is rely on the manufacturer. Amazon delivered promptly. Out of the two phones, mine has had no problems, while my wife's was glitchy and sometimes powered off by itself. Research online suggested no fix. We contacted Amazon, which sent a replacement before requiring the original to be sent back first--- far better service than I ever recieved from ATT online. The second phone started to glitch as well, but by this time android 2.2 was officially released.

After installing 2.2, the phone has become stable. I'm still watching it for any glitches, but it's been over a week without problems.

So, for the verdict? Ther are only three top of the line choices for android on ATT. If you want to pay $60-100 for the Inspire, vs the 1cent for the captivate, go ahead. The captivate comes with more internal storage, and a faster processor. Reviews suggest better phone call quality as well.The Inspire has slightly more RAM and a larger screen.

The captivate can do anything android can do with the best of them. Far more customization than IPhone and windows phone 7. I wouldn't trade a free captivate for a $300 iPhone 4 anyday.

Amazon offers great service and unbelievable prices. I have to say I've been impressed.
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