Great features. Only decent as phone. 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.
Awsome Andriod phone, its a keeper October 10, 2010
Reviewer: eric hellgren
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.
Great Design and Features--Very Buggy Performance and Poor Quality Control August 7, 2010
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.
Great Phone, but getting old November 26, 2012
Reviewer: Keane O'Kelley (St. Charles, IL) -
Pros: Beautiful SAMOLED screen, not as good as the newer ones but colors and blacks still look better than conventional LCD displays. The 5 MP rear camera is fairly decent in well-lit conditions, and the video camera performs well also. The construction of the phone itself is superb; it is made of sturdy plastic, the backplate is made of metal (much better construction than its successors, which are plastic), and the screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass. I have intentionally tried to scratch it with nails and screwdrivers to no avail. Because of the construction, the phone has an above average resiliency to drops. I have dropped it from 9ft onto a hard floor, and it has taken violent falls during mosh pits at concerts, sustaining only a small dent on the side. The construction is definitely a plus. While the phone is officially upgradable to 2.3.5 Gingerbread, there is a huge development community behind the phone for all those who are interested in software modifications. The device can already run the latest (as of today) 4.2 Jelly Bean, and still continues to receive support from developers despite its age. The device's 1GHz Hummingbird single-core CPU and PowerVR GPU can handle basic multitasking and gaming without too much trouble. The audio hardware in the device is great (also not found on newer models). The battery, SIM card, and MicroSD are easily accessible under the backplate.
Cons: The device is becoming aged and simply can't compete with devices from newer generations. It performs similar tasks much slower than the Galaxy S2, which is dual-core. The phone will struggle under heavy multitasking. The 512 MB of RAM isn't very much, and will frequently run out, resulting in lag and launcher redraws. The device's GPS is handicapped due to a design flaw, and is almost unusable in some cases. Unlike all the other Galaxy S, this one does not have a front-facing camera. Additionally, there is no flash on the rear camera. The device essentially receives no more support from AT&T or Samsung.
2 years later... November 23, 2012
I've had this phone for 2 years and thought now would be a good time to review it. At first, this phone was awesome. It was fast, sleek, and built sturdily. The only complaint I have about the physical features on the phone is the lack of camera flash.
The phone is built like a hockey puck. The back case is metal, and I've dropped it several times without a case and it's just fine.
Now that I've crossed the 2 year mark, things have gone a bit downhill. There's definite lag when opening apps or even switching between pages of apps. Its' new habit is turning off randomly. It also runs pretty hot. The speaker likes to crap out randomly while streaming music, and the only way I can find to fix it is by going into my settings and previewing a ringtone. Since I use it as an alarm, this can be a bit of an inconvenience.
Overall, it's been good to me. But, I am ready for an upgrade. I will, however, miss the sturdy feel of the phone.
By far the worst phone i've ever owned September 30, 2012
From Nokia "bricks", to Blackberries, to HTC, i've owned a vast array of phones throughout the past decade. To date, this one has been the worst;It is not the worst for lack of technology-this it does possess. My major gripe with this phone is its reliability.
Whether I am texting, typing in an address, or any other function that utilizes the keyboard, it will sporadically quit or lag on me (this is for the two years I have owned it).
Another major frustration I have with the phone is its ability to lock into a GPS signal. It will take several minutes if ever to get a signal. 95% of the time, it ends up losing signal while I am driving ending with me getting lost repeatedly.
Talk signal is average.
Camera is fine although a flash could have been appreciated.
I would never recommend this phone to anyone.
Don't Buy This Model, Lots of Problems August 14, 2012
This is my first smartphone, and I must say that I prefer the reliability of the old brick phones. This one freezes all the time and requires the 3G to be turned on to receive simple picture messages. The old basic phones did not consider picture messages to be media/data. Very annoying. I hate the touch screen... it is too sensitive and it always looks dirty. It is scratched easily, so you have to buy a protector if you don't want it marked up. It feels much more vulnerable than other phones and I drop it more because it is so long and thin that it flips easily or slides out of pockets/purses. It is oddly shaped and not easy to hold. The phone easily unlocks itself and things get turned on without my knowledge (like Bluetooth or apps get opened, etc.). Also, you cannot rest the phone on your shoulder while talking to someone because your face will turn the mute button on or hang up on people. The horrible service provided by AT&T is probably what really seals the deal on this being the worst phone ever. I almost never have reception, so the phone turns itself onto flight mode to preserve battery power. Every time I pull it out of a bag or walk into a new building, it shows no service and after about two minutes, it will finally say "Auto Update of Date & Time" and then allow me to make calls.
I realize this was an early version of an alternative to iPhones, so I hope that a lot of these issues have been corrected in newer models. I love Google, and have been impressed with their other products, which gives me confidence in their later models.
My advice: Get a newer version of these phones and stay away from AT&T.
Good features but too many lock ups. July 5, 2012
Reviewer: Mitchell Munroe "Lawndart" (California) -
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.
Locks Up Frequently! Not Recommended!! June 11, 2012
Reviewer: BB (Upstate, NY) -
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.
Garbage June 10, 2012
Reviewer: C. J. Paniagua
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.
Great phone, especially with latest firmware June 6, 2012
Reviewer: Robert Tuck (OR United States) -
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.
I love my Cappy! April 15, 2012
Reviewer: Nicholas Gosey "platypi007" (South Carolina, USA) -
I got my Captivate last fall, moving up from an LG Incite with Windows Mobile. The difference was like night and day! The Captivate is a very well-made, very ergonomic phone. It is quite rugged in design and after half a year of usage with no case or screen protector there is only one tiny scratch on the metal battery cover and one extremely small scratch on the screen. (As long as you don't keep the phone in your pocket with keys it should be fine. If you plan to keep it in a pocket with keys I'd invest in protection!)
I love that the Captivate has an internal SD card as well as the optional external SD card. This gives me more than enough space for programs and music. I'm not even close to using up the space on the phone itself and still have the option to get a bigger external card.
The camera works great outdoors (good lighting) but very poorly indoors. However, video works very well in either setting. I think if they had included a "flash" as some phones do then this wouldn't be such an issue.
Buyer's Beware! Nothing but problems April 7, 2012
I really loved this phone when I first bought it. It was my first smartphone so I was very excited to be able to use the smartphone features and have all the apps. However, after only owning it for roughly half a year, it started messing up on me, A LOT. First, it started force closing everything on my phone, even my text messaging. I would have to factory reset my phone just to be able to use anything on it. Then, it started to turn itself off. It's not that it didn't hold a charge; it would just randomly turn itself off, especially if I hadn't interacted with it for awhile. Next, the screen decided it did not want to work. The phone was on and I could hear it working, as in I could hear if someone texted me and I could even interact with the screen. If I knew where the button should be to accept a call, I could answer the phone. Eventually, it started working again. Lastly, and the final straw, was when the power button stopped working. I had thought that the screen decided to stop working again since I could still hear my phone working. However, when I popped the battery out and back in, I realized that my power button wasn't working. Now this wouldn't have been such a big problem if my phone would stay on because I could just pop the battery out and in whenever I need to use it. However, coupled with the fact that the phone liked to turn itself off, the phone has become completely unusable and worthless.
I have had more problems with this phone than any other phone I have ever owned. I am not even writing about the cool features that came with this phone because I have had so many problems with it that they are pointless to mention. Since I am not up for another upgrade until August and there is no way I want pay for a new smartphone, I am forced to buy another phone just to have one. I would also like to add as a closing note, that I am not harsh on my phones in any way.
Not very captivated April 7, 2012
Reviewer: A***P (USA) -
My experince based on a Samsung Captivate (Galaxy breed) purchased at an ATT store on its release day.
Problems with GPS from day one... you may reach your destination before the GPS finds the location
ATT already replaced my first phone within 12 months of purchase because of some issues
Phone reboots itself intermittently
Phone stopped vibrating (hardware failure)... well, I already missed some important appoinments because of this... I am still under my 2 year ATT contract. Warranty doesn't cover the cost after 1 year
A thin layer of transparent coating on the plastic (near the edge of glass) has started peeling off
Speaker sounds too weak
Samsung support: Always responds quickly, but I keep hearing that "do that... do this" which resulted in a couple of factory resets and I ended up reconfiguring the phone for no reason. Finally, I hear from the service person "sorry you are out of warranty" (are you kidding? less than 2 years life for such an expensive device?)
What I like about the phone: The quality of the screen and touch screen response. Reasonable battery life.
Problem Summary: These phones are not built to last for more than couple of months for an average user like me. My 4 year old Motorola phone is still dependable.
My Next phone: HTC or Motorola (I am not a iPhone fan)
Screen is great, OK phone with some major problems March 20, 2012
Reviewer: Blu-estLight "MyEnglishIsGood" (The Beach) -
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.
A terrible smartphone experience. March 14, 2012
Reviewer: J. Robinson "Widgett" (USA) -
It is truly my fault for buying this phone. I accept that. And it may be that I'm just not cut out for Android. I accept that as well. I'm used to upgrades that don't fail for no clear reason and kill your phone. Maybe that's such a 20th Century attitude. My first over the air upgrade did just that, and utterly bricked the phone. Luckily I was within my 30-day purchase window and was able to exchange it. That's right: about a week into owning the phone, it died. Having gotten another one, thinking this a fluke, I was able to upgrade to the next level of Android, 2.2, only to have that kill my ability to get a decent signal. I have had 3G and five bars and been *unable to send a text*. And now trying to upgrade to 2.3 in hopes of fixing my issues, the phone bricks itself again. With no error message given. And I just spent close to an hour with Samsung Live Chat where they weren't even paying attention to what I was telling them was happening and thus giving me erroneous problem determination info.
This is a great phone if you like to tinker and mess around and not get things done. I would have loved it and seen it as a challenge back in the day when I didn't have better things to do. If you need a hobby, then this phone is perfect for you. If you need a phone, however, then stay away for your own good. And if you own one of these and it hasn't made you so angry that you want to punch kittens, then consider yourself lucky.
Could be worst phone ever made 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.
Sorry Samsung 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.
Pretty, but useless 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.
Gingerbread 2.3.5 update available free from Samsung!!! February 16, 2012
Reviewer: J. Weston
This phone was good before....but now with the update it is FAST!!! no Lags in browser searches and no more wifi drop outs....great display with Gorilla Glass(better that iphone!) and takes every App I can throw at it!!! Get them free before they are gone. This is not a HACK update...it was released by Samsung & ATT. only took 20 minutes to update and I lost no apps or data!