on March 20, 2012
I bought this phone 3 months ago for 60$ and have been using it since. The screen and battery are probably the best part of this phone. he youtube videos look very crisp and i seriously feel like the scree almost has depth to it. It lasts the whole day while texting, using 3G and phone calls, so it gets an A in the battery depertment.
In terms of functionailty, there are some major issues. The camera frequently freezes when changing between modes and sometimes it just freezes for no reason. I know they just released a android 2.3 update, but I cant get it to download on my phone properly.
If i paid retail for this phone, I would be more unhappy, but I got it for so cheap. Ill get a new phone as soon as my next 2 year upgrade comes along.
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.....
on September 30, 2011
It's an OK phone but a very bad android device. I am on my 2nd phone. I would return it today if I could.
Email client with the phone will not work with Yahoo. The Yahoo app locks, gives notification of new email but they don't show up, locks when you try to delete multiple mails etc.
The OS (Froyo) is two years old and ATT has abandoned the phone. They NEVER push updates. They prefer to suck in new customers to new products.
The address book disappears. The SD card is loaded but doesn't show up sometimes.
The camera and phone features are not bad. The screen is very good. These don't offset the bad features.
The apps cause the phone to lock up frequently.
I think the good reviews from people that write a review after little use or don't use apps. My friend turns off his phone except when he makes calls, guess what? He likes it. However, if you have used an IPhONE you know how sorry this device is.
I finally gave up, bent over and surrendered to ATT. My 3rd phone shuts off frequently. I just decided to cancel. ATT is not willing to work with you and give you a different phone. They will offer you a credit of "maybe $35" for a new phone.
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.
on September 29, 2011
It has NOT been a year yet and this is my 4th Captivate phone. I have downloaded the Top internet/app protection on my phones and it STILL catch a bug. Im tired of it not Unlocking when I place in my code and it Not Locking when I need it to. I am tired of it not being able to send out my calls or Text messages when i have all 5 bars. I hate the fact that I cannot Receive Anything unless It feels like accepting something. Ill go to the store and ask what's going on and itll act just fine. When I arrive home the phone becomes stupid Again. No matter How many times I Restart my phone, let the SD/Sims card along with the battery sit out for it still Acts up. I am Tired of not receiving important calls; tired of my phone company trying to give me an entirely new Captivate knowing that it Still will not act the way its supposed to. This phone is CRAP. My company said that they've gotten the same complaints that I always give...If the cell phone companies are aware of the constant problems then Why Havnt They Fixed It Yet?? This phones' performance is so poor it doesnt even Deserve a overall rating (poor) star!!!
on March 5, 2012
I loved my new phone for 2 weeks and then the problems started. Camera would not work and the phone would freeze. I returned the phone under warranty and received a new one. This one worked ok for about 6 months. The new phone shuts off for no reason. I was out of warranty with Amazon so I contacted Samsung. They told me I was out of warranty because my invoice didn't match the IMEI number and they could do nothing for me unless I wanted to send them $65 for testing. I was a believer in Samsung products before this experience. Not anymore.
on March 3, 2011
I bought this from Amazon at the new year 2011, but I waited for the Android 2.2 upgrade to see if the GPS was fixed. Now that the 2.2 is released and installed, I can certainly agree with everyone that the features are wonderful. The screen is beautiful and the performance is great.
But 2.2 was supposed to finally fix the GPS, and it just simply hasn't. The reality seems to be that Samsung Galaxy S GPS's are just not very good.
This is a major feature of modern phones, so I think three stars is about the maximum this phone deserves.
on July 29, 2011
I bought this in December, and this is the third phone I've had since. The first time the screen crashed, and now, the speakerphone has died. Again. Two times I've had to replace it because of the speakerphone. The screen takes on a life of its own when you try to get it out of sleep mode. Sometimes it sticks altogether. This is a worthless attempt at a smart phone by Samsung. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! Wish I had never bought it!
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.
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.