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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
This phone will not connect to a Windows 7 64 bit pc for Kies update, USB mass storage, or media player. Therefore it's pretty useless to me, unfortunately I'm stuck with it. I'd love to be posting a solution to this problem here for others to google, but I've been at it for a couple of months now to no avail and have given up.
I suppose it is ok as a phone, but will look elsewhere for an Android development platform.
USB Device Not Recognized
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 March 11, 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.
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.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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 July 5, 2012
When it works, it works OK.A bit slow with an annoying amount of lag. The big problem is with lock ups. Happened twice today. I seldom go more than a week without a problem.
The GPS works well. But the latest version is full of bugs. AT&T must know about this because you can opt out of the update.
Audio playback over bluetooth has some annoying pauses.
Audible.com audio playback is also a but buggy with occasional lock ups. And it will sometimes lose my book marks. Very annoying.
Voice dialing is very poor. Just about useless.
Oddly, voice recognition is pretty good. I use it for texting and email.
Hopefully the latest version III is more reliable. (The two is several years old). Still, I'm going to wait for the iphone.
Oh... yes... it works very well as a phone.
on June 11, 2012
I've had this phone since August of 2010. CANNOT WAIT TO UPGRADE.
I was in love with it for the first few months. Then it started with random lock-ups that could only be relieved with a battery-pull. And, the phone is S-L-O-W with everything it does, although I make sure I have nothing running in the background. It really is not a pleasure to use at all.I've upgraded the software twice (it came with with Eclair and I upgraded to Froyo and now Gingerbread). Samsung does NOT make upgrading the software easy either.
I use this phone for work, and it has proven extremely unreliable with the lock-ups. The reception is very weak as well, compared to an iPhone 3GS and 4S and because of this I use an AT&T M-Cell, which gives me 5 bars.
The screen on this phone is stunning and the size is nice, but I can't tell you how many times I wanted to throw it against the wall due to these irritating lock-ups and slow response.
This is what I get for trying the FIRST version of hardware. I'd like to think that Samsung has ironed out the bugs with this phone with later releases, but think I'll try HTC next.
on June 11, 2012
Alright I truly have to say that i have been disapointed with this phone. It locks all the time, it shuts off for no reason and it has been replace twice. The worst part about it Im stuck with it Att wont change it for another one. My first experiance with a smart phone.
on June 6, 2012
My first Captivate was in the batch Samsung recalled for the power-off-after-a-full-charge issue. The second one has been great. I'm very disappointed in how long it takes AT&T to certify and release updates for devices (Gingerbread took another 6 months after Samsung OK'd it) but we have Gingerbread now (and that's as far as it will go on stock ROMs). I'm happy with the speed, the capabilities, the photo and video quality, and the speed (although multi-core CPUs are now taking over and are faster). My battery life is greatly improved since Froyo - I can make it to the end of the day with 30-40% battery remaining with normal/light usage while it used to be about dead by then with Froyo. Still a good phone if you don't want to pay $100-$200 up front.