Pros + Easy to use Android interface
+ Amazing and large AMOLED screen
+ Fast...real fast
+ Free google maps/navigator
+ Sleek and thin
+ Android market apps, quality over quantity (still more than 60,000)
+ Didn't have to join steve jobs church
Cons - It likes the battery, especially with WiFi enabled
- Can't add/remove home screen icons (email icon is useless if you have gmail)
- No LED flash on camera
- Speakers on back of device (muffles sound when its on its back)
Summary This is my first experience owning a smart phone, that being said, I'm not new to technology. I have to say that this phone is quite immpressive. I originally was going to go with an iphone, however, I just couldn't feel good about it. Maybe because every tween and their mom has one. Maybe bad press. Maybe b/c I thought apple had "we know what's best for you" attitude. But I'm straying. I heard about the captivate, demoed one, and fell in love. The huge AMOLED display is crystal clear and much larger than any other out there. I found that the calls are clear and do an excellent job of filtering noise, however, occasionally you do have a digital sound to your voice. However, keep in mind, you're talking through a little computer basically. I've heard people say that they are upset by being limited to android apps. I found that there were amazing apps in the android store, ranging anywhere from referance apps, games, ringtones/wallpapers, you name it. The touch screen is very responsive and the phone (with its hummingbird processor) is lightening quick. It has swype (a function that allows you to drag your finger across the keyboard for texts) which is surprisingly accurate. I think one of the biggest pros is that, since it has such a large screen, everything is bigger. This means if you have big fingers and find texting difficult on most touch screen phones, you should have no problem on this one. The phone is surprisingly intuitive, in that, if you don't know where something is, there are usually multiple ways to find what you're looking for. That's mostly thanks to Android though. Overall, the only at&t phone that can compete with this is the iphone 4. There are some areas where the iphone wins out (video chat, camera flash, etc), but I'm convinced (having had hands on both) that if you are looking for the better overall phone and multimedia device, you would be more happy with the captivate. Unless you've already sold your soul to apple.
Pros SCREEN! Color saturation and contrast ratio are better than most HD TVs I've seen. The size of the screen is just right for *really* using the web browser. Text is very sharp and easy to read. Very thin, fits in my pocket comfortably. Fast UI.
Cons Windows 7 won't recognize it, the driver install errors out. Had to transfer my music using the memory card shuffle method. Backlight on the hardware buttons times out too quickly, making it awkward to use at night.
Summary The form factor is spot on for someone who plans on using their data plan more than their talk minutes. The screen size is right in between the Incredible and the Droid X, but the quality of the screen blows them both away. The phone has been rooted already, so if AT&T gets too heavy handy with their policies, I'll just work around them.
Pros -AMOLED screen great for viewing pics and videos
-Android 2.1 runs smoothly
-5 MP camera great in well-lit settings; records HD video
-Good music player with 5.1 surround (only with earphones/external speakers)
Cons -No LED flash or LED notifier
-Battery bar inaccurate
-AT&T Navigator/Hotspot apps auto run, even if you don't use the service
-Some apps simply automatically launch, and you'd probably want to kill task to preserve battery/memory
-No physical qwerty
Summary My biggest gripe of all is these AT&T apps that auto-boot upon bootup. I didn't realize this until I downloaded Advanced Task Killer from the Market. Even after I kill task, at random times throughout the day, AT&T Navigator turns on again. Honestly, I don't want to pay 10$ a month to use this app. I won't use it, but why keep shoving it in my face? Why can't I just delete this app off the phone?Thanks to bobbyfg7 for pointing out that I was wrong about the 4 bottom apps. I shouldn't have listened to what most people have said about it not being customizable, but I don't think I would've really figured it myself. It's rather hidden.
There are other apps that are set on auto-boot, and I have no idea if there is even a way to disable that. I've read that you can remove these AT&T apps if you root the phone, but why should I void my warranty right after I got my phone? Also, even regular apps like the Video Player will turn on randomly in the background without you knowing. It's unjustifiable that I need to keep using my Advanced Task Killer app to keep killing apps that automatically boot for no reason at random times. Can't say if rooting a phone can fix that.
Another annoying thing is that samsung's email app is stuck on your dashboard. Those 4 apps on the bottom cannot be modified. That email app SUCKS, and it doesn't even sync to your contacts. I don't use it. All of my emails are gmail, so I just use the gmail app. It's a shame that I have to have one of my 4 permanent icons be something that I will never use.
I miss having a phone with LED flash. I've always used the LED as a flashlight on my old Nokia E63. I see no reason in why samsung should ever put out a high-end smartphone without flash! Furthermore, this phone does not have a blinker to notify you of messages or anything when it's idle. I can't consider this phone to be very smart if I have to hit the power button just to view the unlock screen to know if I had missed messages or calls or anything.
The GPS issue is known, and samsung did acknowledge it and said that they'd put out a fix for it. But here's my concern: from the fix that's available that you can find, people are claiming that the issue is simply something wrong with the factory settings that shipped with the galaxy S phones. I'm not sure if this is true and that samsung's "fix" will be simply tweaking these factory settings; however, if that is the case, I will certainly not want to use this phone. Reason is, part of the fix is having to enable wireless networks to help locate those GPS satellites, and enabling it allows google to automatically retrieve 'anonymous data' at all times--even when gps apps aren't running! That just creeps me out, and I'm not sure if I want my battery draining any faster than it already does when apps are turning on by themselves.
I must also comment that Samsung's hardware was never really good at syncing with computers. I had to find a specific driver (took three tries) to be able to connect my phone to windows 7 64bit. Out of the box, you will not be able to just plug and play.
I really want to like this phone. It's AT&T's best alternative to the iPhone; however, as you can see that locking of the Market (you can only download apps off the Android Market, nowhere else), loading it with AT&T Apps that cannot be removed unless rooted (these apps aren't loaded on the iphone!), and the fact that the Galaxy S phones on Verizon and Sprint will have camera flash, AT&T really wanted you to pick the iphone. I'm only on AT&T because I have to be. As much as I don't want an iphone, I can see why it's the best choice on AT&T.
Updated on Aug 10, 2010
I must also say that I did some reading around about the samsung galaxy S having I/O issues. It has poor read/write speeds, but there are some workarounds that people have been working on. It allowed its Quadrant scores to reach 2k+. Now I'm not going to push voiding your warranties, but I do know that if I ever swapped to an iphone4, I would've jailbroken it the first day that I've gotten it. In order to give this phone a fair judgment, I will most likely be rooting my captivate soon and updating my review again on what I find.
Updated on Aug 12, 2010So I've rooted my phone. I got rid of the unwanted apps and widgets that were preloaded, and so I don't have to feel so crappy when staring at them. Rooting is simple, and there are so many guides out there that will help you do what you want with the phone.
As for the lagfix, my phone is running smoother and snappier than before. I can't tell whether it was one of my new clock/weather widgets that was draining my battery, or was it just the screen... but 30 minutes of nonstop texting drained my battery by 7%. I may update on battery life again.
I will most likely keep this phone, since I have an ipod touch on warranty. It's reasonable to believe that an updated ipod touch is coming this fall, possibly w/ retina display and facetime. If GPS is a dealbreaker for you, wait and see if samsung fixes it or go with the iphone. The current fixes aren't 100%, but I do believe it is software issue. Samsung is quite sketchy about this issue though so I wouldn't put too much faith in them.
Pros Good feel, quick operation, variety of features, bright view screen, many apps to choose from, all make it a great upgrade from the HTC Pure phone I had previously running Windows 6.5, with a bigger screen, separate. earphone jack with headphones.
Cons Getting used to the android system takes a little time if you have had 2 Windows phones before. Pictures I had loaded from my HTC Pure would not load to the phone directry contacts, maybe I have to do it some other way?
The phone's almost addictive.
Summary The screen is very bright and clear, there is a separate earphone jack with a good earphones and a mic (not tested yet), including ear comfort pieces for the earphones, a nice touch. Apps are easy to get, there are things that take time to discover on this phone every day, which makes it a very clever phone that isn't an iPhone, especially coming from ATT. There is also a slide cover over the USB port after you are done charging, for normal use, so nothing comes into it, a well thought out feature I didn't have with my HTC Pure. You have to make sure you learn to set the alarm clock, as it can be a bit confusing, along with grouping your pictures and so on. The phone fits in your shirt pocket, it just sticks out just a little bit, but the phone is very lightweight so it is not cumbersome to keep it there. Most of my friends like it and want to get one, too.No longer captivated...sorry, ATT, this is the second Captivate phone I have got from you and it still malfunctions.
Updated on Nov 19, 2010
I had a PURE Windows 6.5 phone that operated flawlessly, but my business partner wanted the same cell phones for everyone in the group, so out it went and then the ATT Samsung Captivate. This phone likes to turn itself off, decides to stop getting emails and generally jam up to the point of me taking the battery out of the darn thing to reboot it. No wonder why the salesman at the ATT store, when he was first setting up my first phone did that for me...ouch. ATT/Samsung: WHEN is that Andriod 2.2 upgrade going to occur? Never? Maybe this model phone will behave by then - or - I can convince my group to dump this phone and get the new Windows 7 phone I should have got all along and waited for it to come out.
Updated on Dec 1, 2010Phone replacement is better, gets emails (now) without having to reboot the phone everyday, it also grabs service faster when it is turned on from off, seems to work as it should have all along, but ATT's service still tanks in terms of call quality and drop offs. ATT also "upgraded" me to a higher service plan recently without my permission so they could raise my bill by 25% more, too, not happy with their lousy customer service.
"On the fence"on by pierce200
Pros Ergonomics (feels light, yet solid)
Great screen (image, size)
Clear, crisp audio on phone calls
Cons Lack of Mac support.
Summary While traveling, I needed to replace my aging AT&T Blackberry 8310, therefore couldn't wait for an iPhone 4 (ya' hearing me Apple?) and had an Android curiosity. Could have switched carriers right then and there but popped into a Boston AT&T store where they had just received this phone.
Idea was to try it for 30 days, at which point Apple would have iPhones stocked and I would switch if needed. Two problems; I don't think the iPhone will be readily available, and I might be falling in love.
I've had the Captivate for 2 weeks and it just keeps getting better. It's ridiculously fun to play with and the biggest obstacle for me is all my Mac, MobileMe stuff, particularly iCal. I have considered using Google as my primary calendar but going down that road could lead me straight (god forbid) into a PC.
All of that just to accommodate a cell phone.
Any suggestions before I destroy my life? Missing Sync perhaps? That just sounds half-baked to me.
Bottom line, the Samsung Captivate (so far) seems to be a serious contender against any device, and by far AT&T's best Android offering.