2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2010
my first andriod phone was the HTC ARIA I got on amazon, it was good the first week then I started having issues, like locking up texting, had to push hard on the screen, swiping wasn't as smooth and senstive as new. Amazon let me send it back and exchanged for Capitvate. I really like this phone, why? compared to the Aria here are the pro's...
call quailty is better, I can hear the callers better, speaker phone is louder, its still pocketable, screen size is perfect, tad faster (1000mhz verse 600mhz), texting is easier due to larger keyboard, so I make less mistakes, love the address book, can add alot of info on each contact, 16gb of space AND you can add a transflash card. Screen is clear and bright, record video at 720HD, does well taking photos even with out flash, but I didn't buy it for that as I have Canon EOS. I installed an app killer, so when I boot it, I kill back ground apps, then stop services I don't need and after 3 charges I'm easly getting 2 days of use, once 3, all depends on WIFI, internet use and bluetooth. Like everyone else you turn down the screen brightness which helps and its still bright at the lowest setting. Pairs up fast and easy to my moto bluetooths. I have had the phone since 9.22, still getting used to all the features but after 18 days I am really happy with this phone and doesn't look like I'm giving it up. I would say if your on the fence about getting a smartphone and have ATT, I would say check this one out, the IPhone4 or HTC Aria. Iceing on the cake was I paid $60 for this phone and although the HTC Aria was 1 cent, I am whey happier with this phone and was well worth the upgrade cost. For Neg's, I would say the speaker phone could be a tad louder, flash for night time shots would be great and wish I could get a solid 3 days of use, otherwise I keep a charger in the car just incase.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I originally wrote a rave review of this gadget; after a year of using it during my 1 1/4 hour daily subway commute, I have changed my feelings. I am on my second copy, as the first one died about 6 months ago. I'm going to have to get another replacement soon--the one I have is on its last legs. Here are some good points and bad points:
-Perfect size, at least for me--fingers can accurately hit keys/icons and also easily reach across screen.
-Excellent screen--looks great, very responsive.
-Very good for typing documents with a decent app like Quickoffice.
-Camera works extremely well--much better than droid x which I tried for a day. Focuses accurately with options for exposure, scene, anti-shake. Pictures come out sharp, detailed, not too noisy. No flash, but I don't mind that. A friend took some comparison pics with her Iphone 4 and they were not nearly as sharp as mine; they also had a terrible magenta cast.
-Excellent video IMAGE recording (see below for sound).
-Kindle works very well, I've got tons of books loaded up.
-Music player sounds great, as good as my Ipod.
-TERRIBLE phone service. Constantly missing calls, phone doesn't ring, freezes up when I try to make a call.
-Apps frequently open by themselves and have to be closed via a downloaded task manager app. This even happens while using other programs; an uninvited app might suddenly interrupt in the middle of a game. Sometimes the phone shuts down by itself if overloaded with apps.
-Voicemail service is poor--there is no indication of who called and when, and when I listen to messages I am connected in the middle of the recording.
-Very poor sound recording for video...if you are recording a moderately loud amplified band the video will look fine but sound like an unintelligible, distorted mess.
-Complicated to use and not intuitive...e.g. when you connect it to a computer you have to pull down a little usb icon and "mount" in order for it to be recognized as a storage device.
If I were not locked into using this phone for the next 8 months, I would try out a newer Samsung model (believe it or not). They seem to have worked out most of their problems and have some great deals. Love the screens and they seem to have the best phone cameras around.
on November 1, 2011
I've had my Captivate for just under a year and am very pleased with its performance & functionality. I did have to return my original Captivate for a new one because the first one kept shutting down by itself which was a known problem about a year ago. Today however because it lacks 4G connectivity and a dual core processor it is not competitive with other current offerings. In fact AT&T has a replacement Captivate that does have 4G & a dual core processor about to be introduced to replace this model. The new one will also have a slide out physical QWERTY keyboard.
While as many reviewers have stated this is an excellent smartphone the rapid pace of emerging technology has in my opinion made it outdated in a short amount of time. Since I tether my phone to my laptop the dual core processor & 4G connectivity are important features.
Many Captivate owners have had a big problem with the GPS function being accurate. Fortunately I've never had that problem, my GPS is accurate.
I use my phone for business rather than entertainment and one point worth noting is if you use Hotmail Windows Live allows auto synching w/ Outlook (contacts, calendar, email).
If I was rating this phone before the 4G dual core processor models were available I would probably give it 5 stars but today I really don't see why anyone would choose it. It is also worth noting that shortly there will be 4G dual core processor phones available using the Ice Cream Sandwich Android platform (version 3) which is the latest version (some may already be available). This phone uses Froyo and will shortly be updated to Gingerbread.
There's nothing wrong with this phone it's just not currently available state of the art technology.
on March 12, 2012
I've been stuck with this phone over a year now, it's so bad that I can't bring myself to upgrade, instead will be forced to leave AT&T in the hope one of the other carriers will give better service; couldn't possibly be worse.
This "device" is a horrible phone, sound quality of internal and external speakers is very poor, reception is very poor; it really barely qualifies as a phone. Think tin cans and string here.
Software has been buggy from the start, and often renders the device unusable as you can't clear the search screen quick enough to use any other functions. It is impossible to upgrade to a newer version of the OS because not only is the installed software buggy, Samsung's upgrade software in non-functional; 2 major Android upgrades have come and gone for most users, but this phone is stuck with eclair.
Neither AT&T or Samsung have rushed to roll out any updates for this device, which would have been nice if the were installable. AT&T's over the air upgrade never ever happened.
The drivers are so poor, even the last resort of modifying this thing with a custom OS is not an option because nothing Samsung works on a Windows computer.
This phone is so bad that I am currently using an old flip-style RAZR while this Samsung is given to my 4 yr old to play angry birds on....it does that OK, I guess. It's too bad that I have to pay data charges for the term of the contract that I signed, but AT&T and Samsung are not required to supply me with a working device per the contract that they "signed"
I for one will never use AT&T for any service once this is expired, nor will I ever buy anything made by Samsung again.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
For me, cell phones have always been an annoyance. Something I needed, but tried to use as little as possible. I absolutely hate talking to someone who isn't right there, and why anyone would endure the annoyance of texting has always baffled me. The only positive was that it saved me from having to wear a watch.
For the past year or two I've watched with annoyance as one after another of my friends and co-workers have bought an iPhone or other smartphone. I never wanted one, b/c I didn't want the added monthly expense, the added bulk, and the even more annoying and distracting features. But my old cell phone was starting to wear out, and I had to get something.
The one crack in my steely resolve not to become a smartphone owner was the fact that I'm a linux and open-source geek. I love it when a free, cooperative, global, merit-ocratic effort kicks the behind of a corporate behemoth. Apple is rapidly losing ground to Android, and Microsoft never had a chance. Anyway, the thought of having a linux root prompt on my cell phone was too much to pass up. For $30, it was worth a shot. But which Android phone to get ?
One issue I struggled with was whether to go for a large screen like the Captivate or a smaller (more pocket friendly) model.
A : You want the big screen. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.
I also wondered if I really needed a gigahertz CPU.
A : Yes, you want a fast CPU. Trust me. Everything should just happen "now". With the Captivate it does.
When shopping, I was waffling on those issues. Now that I've had the Captivate, I can't imagine how I could have even considered anything else.
Hardware-wise, I must say that in person, the screen is absolutely beautiful. I picked a gorgeous photo for my desktop and I'm still struck by the richness and detail. Originally, I considered carrying the phone in my pocket. No way ! I have a secure, belt-mounted case for it.
The overall quality of the device is pretty high, and although it really is gorgeous, I have mine protected in a (sticky, lint-covered) silicone skin for safety.
Back to my hatred of cell phones.... One thing I always despised about my old phone was all the garbage that ATT stuck on it : "Hey, how'd you like to give us even more of your money ? Pick a button, any button..." The thing that sealed the deal on the Captivate (Android, in general) was the ability to root the phone and get rid of all that garbage. Maybe it's not for everyone, but for someone reasonably comfortable with reading (and following) directions, there are many options for modifying or replacing the software on the the phone. I picked a "ROM" called Cognition 3.04. A few minor issues at first, but now it's all good. No stupid bootup sounds, shutdown sounds, cheesy animations, or un-removable greed-ware from ATT. Plus, if I want, I can plug the phone into my laptop and share the 3G link ("tethering") without having to pay the absurd extra charges that ATT tries to slap you with.
Regarding ATT : No I don't hate them. I get fantastic reception, good service, and never had any unpleasant dealings with them. The reception (in my area) is _so_ much better that I would never consider changing carriers. My only gripe (as subtly hinted at above) is that I'm a cheapskate, and really resent it when somebody continuously tries to gouge me for real or imaginary "services" I don't want.
For the Captivate (with tethering in mind) I decided to go with the 2 gigabyte monthly data plan. Another choice I am now very happy with. Turns out I haven't bothered with the tethering yet, but I'm so hooked on apps and mobile web surfing that I'm easily going over the 200 Mbyte level. At work, and seemingly everywhere I go around town, there is free wifi. So my only 3G usage is at home. Video is a little tedious on 3G, but web surfing and downloading apps are pretty smooth and reliable. And I'm finding that many of the apps that I like and use require some (but not a lot) of connectivity. With 2 gigs per month, I can just go ahead and use them without having to keep one eye on the meter.
As suggested, I have "come around" and decided that having a smartphone is in fact a good thing. The apps available are sufficiently powerful and useful to actually be worthwhile. If you are on the fence, I'd encourage you to take the plunge. Using a smartphone (as it turns out) can be both fun and satisfying. Even if you hate to talk.....
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2010
I was extremely excited to purchase the Captivate because it is a wonderful phone, running a wonderful operating system (Android 2.1), and has an incredible screen. When I bought it from Amazon, I tried it out for a few days and loved it so much that I bought one for my wife.
Android 2.1 (Eclair) is great, but the only reason I bought this phone was because of the promise of the upgrade to Android 2.2 (Froyo). Not only is 2.2 faster, but it integrates Bluetooth voice dialing, which I desperately need in my car to keep my hands on the wheel. I am thinking of Rooting the phone because I want to get rid of the AT&T bloatware (none of which I will be using) and I want to be able to use some incredible apps that are only available for rooted phones (Titanium Backup for one). The Captivate handles everything very well. The movement of the programs and the transistions is very fast. If you are seeing any studdering in the transitions or program loading, I would recommend changing the display Animations in the settings to Some instead of All.
The capactive buttons at the bottom are a little bit of a hassle. I would have preferred real buttons. I hit search button all of the time when I meant to hit the back. The back button and the search button should be reversed because I will use the back button 10 times more.
The phone is actually too thin. I knew after the first day that I would have to get a case for this phone to effectively hold it while I am using it. I bought the Body Glove case (the one without a stand) and I recommend it. It fits very snug and adds very little thickness to the phone while make it fit more securely in my hands.
The battery life is good and it could be better, but I know for a fact it is better than most smart phones. I ordered a car charger and I am planning on getting an extra wall charger for work so battery life will be something I never need to worry about.
So, the bad news... The GPS on both my phone and my wife's phone does not work at all. I knew this could happen before I bought them, but I still bought them because of Samsung's promise to fix the issue. Some people have problems with the GPS taking too long to get a signal, our's doesn't get a signal after more than 15 minutes. This has to get fixed! Samsung, you promised a fix, DON"T SIT ON YOR THUMBS ON THIS ONE! I can send mine back for a replacement, but it seems at least half of the phones have this problem, so a fix is all that will take care of it.
So, all in all a great phone. Once the GPS fix is out and Froyo is available, I will consider this phone to be as great as I expected. I know the missing flash for the camera is a bad thing, but I bought it knowing it didn't have one. I am already enjoying this phone and I will be enjoying it for the next two years.
on February 27, 2012
This is a very nice phone - if it only worked.
Folks, this is a "Smartphone" that can do all kinds of applications, BUT somehow, Samsung's own computers do not recognize this "Smartphone". That's right I can neither register or update this phone becuase Samsung does not recognize it and will not permit updating. So, the expensive smartphone I have had for three months with the pretty screen they are so proud of, cannot be maintained...or take advantage of the registration "beneifts" because ... Samsung's main computers aren't smart enough to recognize thier own product.
I have spent over ten hours dealing with this Samsung problem. I refuse to send in a 3 month old new phone for an ATT "refurb" which was already someone elses problem. Why would I want a rebuilt problem from a company that cannot get the new one right?
Samsung customer support's solution was to try three things and then say, wipe the phone, if that doesnt work, send it in. (After an hour of messing with it and support.) So, either I get to wipe it, lose data and spend more time restoring it and MAYBE it will work and/or I get to send the phone in and get a rebuilt problem that someone else has already returned. What a choice.
ATT - well, they just passed me on to Samsung customer service in the first place, but I really didnt expect anything different from ATT. I mean ATT is just that kind of company.
For those who love the Samsung products good luck, keep drinking the Kool-Aid and I really, really, really hope that yours doesn't break down - you are on the Samsung trapeze - it doesnt come with a net.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2010
I've been a HUGE iphone fan for the past two years, but have seen the android light!! If it wasn't for the antenna and face recognition issues with the iphone 4 I probably would've bought it since it was time to upgrade. I loved my iphone 3G but after seeing the 4, it made me realize that apple was definitely into making money rather than satisfying their customers so I started to venture elsewhere. I had been following the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones and after seeing all the reviews for the Captivate before and after it was released I was sold.
This phone is simply incredible. Like personalization? You got it! Everything and anything on this phone can be personalized for your pleasure. I was kinda under the impression that Android phones were for geeked out PC users, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
My ONLY complaint for this phone is the music player. I'm probably just still way used to how it worked on the iphone, but as of now I've got a few issues with how music is played on the Captivate. For one, you can't play tracks without gaps (seamlessly), the way you search for music to play is a little different, but if not for these qualms I wouldn't have anything negative to say for this phone. It's fast, it's light, the screen is incredible and the android market is stacked with apps.
Again, I was a HUGE fan of all apple products but I finally realized that every new version of the iPhone is nothing but updates to the software. Put the phone in a case (which I always do) and you can't even realize which version you have because that's the only way to personalize them.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2011
I've had this phone for over 7 months now and I really like it. I used to have an iPhone and I prefer the customization that Android allows you. I do miss how polished the iOS software was. The iPhone generally just works and is easy to configure. Android apps occasionally crash like software on a computer might. My email crashes from time to time and Facebook crashes sometimes when I turn the phone on, but works after that. The phone is incredibly thin and light but solid feeling. The screen looks awesome and is very responsive to touch. The battery is also better than other Android devices compared with friends' phones. Bloatware from AT&T is not too bad. Sync with Google and Facebook is great, sync with MS Exchange is not great, but works.
No complaints about the user interface, however I am disappointed that Captivate has still not been upgraded to Android 2.2, which they said was supposed to be released in late September 2010, then end of the year, then beginning of 2011, and it still isn't here. My one other complaint is the GPS, which is practically unusable. They have known about this since it was released, released a patch that did not work, and still have not fixed it. I have read that it depends on the individual device how well the GPS works, but I have a feeling that anyone who thinks it works is really seeing their location through cell phone triangulation, which works ok. I now don't bother to try using the GPS.
If not for no upgrade to 2.2 and the problem with GPS I would give this phone 5 stars, but until those problems are resolved it stays at 4.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2010
I just upgraded from an old LG Shine. This is my first smart phone and first touch screen. The features and customization are great. As with any carrier branded phone, there are a lot of apps that you can't remove. But with so many personalized home screens, you never have to see them.
Camera is ok. Takes beautiful photos and video in good light. Dim light is almost useless. A flash is greatly missed. Apps and websites load quick. The 1GHz cpu is very noticeable if you compare to less powerful phones.
Texting takes some getting used to. Feels cramped even in landscape mode. Swype works good, I'm getting quicker with it after only 2 days. Swype is optional if you don't like it.
I find myself hitting the power/standby button a lot while grabbing the phone. Not major, but annoying.
The call quality is decent. Clear, but not very loud. I work in a loud environment (live music) and can't hear the phone ring. Calls are hard to hear with background noise. If you arent normally in a really loud area, it's fine.
Battery isnt terrible. I used it for 13 hours today and used 1/4 of the battery. That was web browsing, texting, and making about 10 phonecalls. Playing games, streaming music, and watching youtube will always drain your battery...no matter what phone you use.
Overall, the phone is excellent. No phone is perfect, but for my needs...I'm happy with my purchase. I text more than call and use the web a lot. This review typed on the phone after 2 days of use. Will update my review after a week, when the "cool new toy" excitement wears off.