on December 16, 2011
This is great phone but has its disadvantages. I've noticed the software has gliches from time to time. I usually have to reset it once a day, and it freezes when I'm trying to make a call.
on November 6, 2011
The first phone I got lasted for about a 4 months and started having issues, like shutting off on its own. I got a refurbished one back from Samsung and it worked ok. I'm 2 months away from contract expiration and the phone has started to shut off unexpectedly. Not good when one relies on it to wake you for work or to receive calls from work.
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reviewers have stated this is an excellent smartphone the rapid pace of emerging technology has in my opinion made it outdated in a short amount of time.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 October 30, 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2011
Previously a Blackberry Bold 9000 user, I ordered a Captivate to hopefully avoid some of the problems that plagued the Blackberry. I have had it for just a few days now but thought it might be useful to write a review while the memory of the Blackberry experience was fresh.
There are many nice things about this phone, and some rather glaring and fundamental omissions as well. First off, I researched what others were saying and here are my responses to the common complaints.
1. No keyboard - a big concern for me when deciding, but it is no problem. If I had to peck it might be but after doing the Swype tutorial it is truly brilliant and I can quite easily type at least as fast as I ever could on the BB.
2. No camera flash - to me no problem. Flash on a cell phone is of limited value and any photos taken with it sure look like it. The low-light performance of the Captivate camera is quite good and so photos in most situations where I might think flash would be necessary are easily possible and come out well without any flash.
3. Short Battery Life - So far I am finding this to be very true. I was prepared for less life than the Blackberry, but I am still disappointed. Most striking to me is that it takes longer to charge a given amount of charge than it does to use it. 20 minutes of use (an app or two, a bit of browsing) takes nearly 20% off the battery, while it can take twice that plugged in to a wall to charge that 20% back. With a USB charger in my car it charged 3% in an hour drive. When the screen is locked (phone not in use) it seems to hold a charge very well, it is just the rate at which it drains when in use that is alarming.
4. Poor GPS performance - I am also finding this to be the case. Outdoors, holding the phone it seems to locate fairly well, just a matter of seconds for it to get a lock. But in a car, where I imagine many might want to use it, it has been unusable. I looked up online and downloaded a Samsung "GPS fix" from the Android Market and it made no difference. In a 30-minute drive the GPS had a fix for roughly 5 minutes, with 20 minutes before the first fix and the first fix lasting only a minute or two. I am glad to have a dedicated GPS unit and not to have expected to rely on the phone for it.
5. AT&T bundled apps not removable - no problem for me (I don't use them). Display is customizable so it's easy enough to get them out of the way and forget about them.
Some other things I have discovered that have made me concerned (I am still considering returning it):
Email - It synced with my POP email accounts no problem. What drives me nuts is that it automatically downloads 50 emails total, no more. For me that represents four or five days worth of emails if that, and I need to be able to access them when I have no signal. It is possible (with a signal/wifi) to "get more", but then that takes time as it downloads a day or two at a time, and then if you turn the phone off it resets to just the 50 emails. Trying to access an email from three weeks ago is just not practical. There are no options for adjusting this, like with the Blackberry that will keep emails for 30 days, I confirmed that with Samsung customer support.
Text copy/paste - I am dumbfounded by how limited the copy/paste functions are. For example, impossible with email except with new text you write. The text from the email your friend sent? Not possible. It is possible in certain applications and in the browser but it is very cumbersome and extremely limited, for example in the browser it just uses one touch - no adjustment to the area copied and no scrolling. If I keep the phone I will likely purchase Documents to Go to have somewhere I can copy and paste, but it seems silly to need to do that for a phone like this.
Browser - The browser is not turning out to be as "full html" as I was expecting. One surprising example - the only bookmark included out of the box is for Samsung Captivate Support, but that site does not display properly in the browser (!) and the fields are illegible. I copied the address (by hand) and used a desktop computer. Sites with drop-down menus are quite difficult to use, it seems to take numerous tries to get a menu do actually drop down. Of course, on the Bold this was not possible in most cases so this is an improvement but not meeting my expectations.
Now the good - The phone works well. Not as intuitive as I had hoped, I've had to spend quite a bit of time researching how to do things but I am finding in most cases they are possible. Calendar is great, no more mysteriously deleted appointments (Blackberry..)I am finding applications from the Android Market are necessary to make up for some of the capabilities the phone lacks out of the box, but at least that is possible and the selection is very good. Download time for apps is impressive. Ability to view PDF's out of the box is great. Ability to customize it is great, I feel comfortable with being able to set it up as I like. Wi-fi performance is much, much better than the Bold. The touch screen works great. Basically it does what it's supposed to do (hence 4 stars) but I'm disappointed by some of the things it wasn't made to do.
Edit: after having the phone for another week a few more comments about the above. First of all, the battery seems to be lasting quite a bit longer now, seems it needed a few charges to get all the way there. I can now comfortably make it through a day of medium usage on a single charge. The Blackberry was probably still a little better but this is quite acceptable now for my needs. Second, I found another email client in the Android Market that allows local storage (phone or SD) of up to two months of messages AND cutting and pasting. I've decided I'm keeping the phone.