Avoid this phone, there are better options for android April 3, 2011
Reviewer: my name "amazon shopper" (cali) -
I have had my captivate for some time now and it has been an exercise in frustration since day one. Simply put, it is just a broken phone and I don't think samsung cares about it, or their image. Constant lagging, like minutes long lagging. Random shut downs. Sometimes it freezes and you have to remove the battery. Slow and incomplete media scans that does not recognize apps that are on the phone, I can see them in the file browser but not in the app drawer. GPS problems all the time. Constantly deleting my widgets. I could go on and on, this phone is terrible. At first I thought maybe it was just the android os, but none of my friends phones have these problems, so I put the blame squarely on samsung. I love android so much and I love customizing my phone, but this phone makes it difficult to do so when it freezes or shuts down and everything I have done is deleted and I have to start over. Oh and the battery sucks.
However, the screen is great. There that is the one nice thing that I can say.
Screw you samsung, you suck.
Fantastic phone-and more March 24, 2011
Reviewer: Computer Book Lover "computer book lover" (Illinois, USA) -
This is a fantastic phone, and does so many things.The screen is very sharp and clear. I have literally over 100 books on the phone, and read them regularly with ease, and my eyes are 55 years old. Any time I have a minute or two, I can get in a little reading, or catch the news, or sports or Tweets, all with ease. I can easily take notes with several different apps that all synch with my computer, i.e. My Writing Spot. I also use dropbox and Evernote, both of which are extremely helpful in sharing any and all info with any of my desktops (I have three-2 pc's and 1 mac)and my iPad (which I use a lot) and even with my wifes iPhone 3Gcs.
The iphone 3gcs (ATT) is very nice - easy to use. I love it for its ease of use, but the Samsung has better resolution, and a little easier on the eyes.
If you are connected to the pc world and do a lot of stuff with google, this is the phone for you.
I can also sync all my devices to my To Do list using Toodledo (GTD). This is a must for me. Anytime, anywhere, I can check, or add to my to do list and it automatically goes to all my devices/computers, including macs, ipads and iphone. A really good phone is a must. The right apps are crucial.
If you are really connected to apple, then you may want an iphone. But the iphone 4 for 200 buck, vs this phone for a penney? This one wins ever time - unless you are a millionire.
My only real complaint is the battery life. I like to leave wi-fi because I use it so much, but it really drains the battery. Even with it off, I still have to charge it every night, and often times sooner, so I have a usb cord at work and plug it in there, and also one in my car.
ONe other minor gripe - but it is more with ATT, than with the phone (but really - what't the difference. If you get this phone, you get ATT) and that is that ATT charges $10 a month for the map/gps program. I should be free as I am already paying for data.
Average and overly underrated phone... January 26, 2011
Reviewer: Narsilflameofthewest "Zein"
Well, first off i'd like to say that this phone is alright. All of those reviews out there about major bugs and all that jazz are wrong....unless you get it from some random 3rd party seller. It has an amzing amoled screen meaning that the screen is aligned with the buttons (integrated for short) the swype texting a fun and also the internet it fast.... im on this phone from a samsung eternity.. BUT i've used my friends iphone 4 and not impressed with it. The customizable freedom on the captivate is amazing and the calls are clear
My main cons are:
1. SOMETIMES the phone wont mount to the computer therefore making me take the sd out and putting it an adapter(problem fixed)
2. There aren't that many good, sleek (protective) cases out there, but don't get me wrong the ottor box defender case is ver very protective (and what i have)
SO, overall i still am giving it a 3/5. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a highly customizable OS.....hope this helped you!
*Update* 11/15/2012- I have recently been through a handful of phones prior to my purchase of the Captivate. Galaxy S2, S3, and finally an Iphone 5. Now that I look back on the phone, it may have seemed powerful at one point but now it is a shadow.
Surpasses the iPhone by a country mile! January 21, 2011
This is coming from an iPhone user for over 2 years and thought there was no phone better than the iPhone. I was also being told by my fellow "iPhoners" that I would find nothing comparable...WRONG! This phone WAY passed ALL expectations! I have only had the phone a little over a month and have found so many more useful apps on this phone! The camcorder made a BEAUTIFUL video of my nephew's 1st Christmas. Picture quality and sound quality were wonderful without me even trying. I loved the Navigator...the phone uses the whole screen and it is a very clear picture and volume is very clear so the directions come through loud and clear even with other people in the vehicle talking. YouTube video quality in my opinion is so much better than the iPhone! I could go on and on! It was a very smart move on my part and well worth the switch! I am so glad I gave it a try! In my book, an iPhone killer definitely! The only thing I do miss on my iPhone is "Words with Friends" but I will get over that! I will never go back to Apple!
Going to Captivate from Blackberry January 20, 2011
Reviewer: David Smith (New York) -
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.
GPS does not work...phone randomly looses service December 25, 2010
Reviewer: Abhinav Bhatnagar (Hackensack, NJ, USA) -
GPS does not work now...phone randomly looses service.
I am really really frustrated.
I wish, i had bought iPhone 4 :(
Dont buy if you will be using the phone for navigatioj November 29, 2010
Reviewer: Manivannan Devarajan
Gps + google map doesnt work at all. I tried the firmware fix but still no luck.
So I would recommend not to buy this phone if you will be using google map app.
Great phone November 10, 2010
After breaking two iphones, I knew it was to delicate of a phone for me. So, I switched to the Samsung Captivate, as the battery is easily removable (to dry out in case of water spillage). Now I can't remember what I miss about the iphone. The apps are great, I love speech to text. My hotmail account was able to be set up as an emaiil app(had problems with the iphone and windows phone) Driod is user friendly and you can arrange applications on different home screens. I did learn that you cannot set specific text notifications tones to specific contacts. Tip* you can change the text notification tone from messaging screen under settings, instead of going through the settings application function.* I am sure most people could figure that out, but I had the chicken dance song stuck as my text alert and couldn't figure out how to remove it. I did install samsung kies, and when you work around it, you can store your contacts and import music. I am not a techy so I hope the I used the right terminology. The phone just needs a flash. Good Luck !
Closer to a Laptop than a Phone... September 29, 2010
This is a first-impressions review. I'm pretty particular about my phone equipment; I've had a cell phone since 1992 and have had service with every carrier. We were pleased with the Sprint signal, but didn't want to pay the extra 10 clams for the 4G service that's not in our area yet (central Indiana) which was required for me to upgrade my phone to any of the Sprint smartphones. So, the search for a new phone/provider was initiated.
I've been carrying a Blackberry 8330 for two years, and it has been a very reliable piece of equipment. But, the small screen makes the navigation hard to decipher, and the browser lacked the functionality of the newer smartphones. Long story short, after a month of research on the 'net and stopping at phone stores to play with equipment, I landed on the Samsung Captivate. With ATT's plans, it made sense for my wife to get one, too, as the lower-end data plan is cheaper than the available plan for the messaging phones.
Likes- 1-screen is fantastic; 2-web browser is extremely fast (I use my for product research in my historic art business, and am often trying to do quick artist searches in people's homes); 3-availability of Google apps that actually do something (rather than just the 'look at what my phone can do' apps that have no useful functions...) 4- paper-thin form that fits comfortably in my pocket(I didn't want a slider phone and this is the only Samsung Galaxy S that's not a slider); 5-Google navigation is superior to the Google Maps I had downloaded to the Blackberry and the voice command feature is nice- with a 4.3" screen, I have no need for a separate GPS appliance. 6- WiFi feature- saves the data minutes on the package and automatically connects to open WiFi services
Dislikes- Admittedly, I had a Blackberry and could type a novel with one hand, so it takes some getting used to all the swiping and scrolling. I've had it for almost a week now, and the major complaint is that the phone functions seem secondary to the 'everything else' functions. I have figured out that the Google voice search will complete a 'call' command and search the contacts database for the appropriate number. Less functional than my one-letter speed dial on the Blackberry, though. The on-screen keyboard is a 'getting-used-to-it' feature, too, but I do find the Swype keyboard quite handy. Enable that feature, for sure. Also, don't like the fact that ATT's signal in my house isn't as good as Sprint was, but it's tolerable.
My wife, less a tech-goof than I, is having a ball with this phone, though. She upgraded from an LG Rumor, so this is like discovering the wheel for her... ;-) And, yes, she's found things (settings, features) on the phone before I have which have helped me in the transition.
My favorite thing, though, is the Mabilo ringtone I downloaded...it's the 1960's Star Trek communicator sound that is now my text message notification. Cool, huh?
Oh, and don't forget the fact that Amazon had this phone for about 30% of what ATT charges for it. That was a real decision-helper, too, and I'm also not an I-Phone clone, either.
Love the Android Aspect of it... July 17, 2010
Reviewer: Skeletronis (Arkansas) -
Thank the heavens AT&T didn't drink all of the I phone cool-aid and finally offered a Android phone that was worth while. This model is no where near the best of all the android phones out there, but it is by far the best one offered by AT&T... It runs on android 2.1 and has a very nice AMOLED display that looks very nice!!! Battery is a pain if you do all the things this phone is capable of doing...I have had it for 3 days and have had to charge it every day....
Like the phone so far... just wish there were more choices with AT&T for androids...
Would be good but a major software bug November 19, 2010
Reviewer: Steve S "network_head"
I picked up my samsung captivate android a couple days ago, Nov. 16, 2010. It works beautifully as a iphone contender when "it is on", but it has a major software bug which turns the phone off, and people calling are directed to the voice mail. The bug can be worked around with app called "Captivate Keep alive" which tell the phones cpu to stay awake. It does seem to work, but it drains the battery faster and does take a few cycles from the CPU. I would rate this product a 4 to 5 star product, but samsung and att won't admit to the problem, but I do know that people at AT&T know about it because a person at their stores has a similar issue and told me the work around. I would definitely tell people to buy the product if you are ok with the work around.
Don't sign contract with AT&T May 15, 2011
I love the phone but AT&T screws it up so much that I just want to smash it to the wall. The example is AT&T prevents it from installing Amazon AppStore, so, basically, we can't not get any of the free or purchased apps from Amazon. They put up a website promising to work with Amazon on the AppStore. It has been weeks already, what's available? NOTHING & NOTHING. It's just a lie, delay tactic by AT&T. Did I even mention the signal is really, really suck? Drop calls all the time. Funny thing is, at my house, I got 2 bars but can't make or receive calls. 3G? I'm paying for it but, to get any data, I have to use my own wifi. Calling tech support, they are just as clueless as a plumber trying to repair computer. 2+ weeks and many hours on the phone with them, I still can not use the phone at my house...
If you're in the market for a new Android phone, save your soul, go with other models in the Galaxy S family from another provider.
Excellent Phone!!!! August 7, 2010
Reviewer: Anthony Richards "Richie Rich" (Wash DC) -
great phone...the only gripe I have is that it takes 3 hours to charge, but other wise it is a really good phone, and very esy to use and the reception is by far one of the best on any at&t phone, sround my area at&t phones don't work in the Target, but this one does...great job at&t and Samsung
Buggy, unstable, loaded with crapware March 24, 2011
Reviewer: Jesse Taylor (North Idaho) -
This is a very nice piece of hardware, but unfortunately, it's loaded with AT&T and Samsung crapware and has a buggy power system that randomly shuts off the phone (you can download the "Captivate Keep Alive" app from Google market to fix this). The touchscreen keyboard is difficult to use, and often doesn't respond properly. Overall, the software is buggy and unstable, and due to the closed (yes, I know Google marketing claims it's "open", but let's be honest with ourselves ...) nature of Android, there is nothing that you can do to fix this, short of downloading a rootkit and hoping you don't trash your phone. I wouldn't recommend this phone to anyone.
nothing as advertised February 19, 2011
Reviewer: Third Wish J. Young (Michigan) -
This phone is nothing but headaches. The first one I got kept randomly shutting on and off. The next try at it bricked when I tried to updated it. Now my latest phone randomly misses calls and texts, the media player tells me there is not enough space in the music database for my music player. Unless you have every attention to root this phone a negate the warranty stay away from this phone. After reading multiple forums I believe every Samsung product is like this. After dealing with these headaches I will never buy a Samsung product again.
A Nice Smart Phone with One MAJOR PROBLEM... January 14, 2011
Reviewer: Introspective Falcon (Reno, NV) -
I have owned this phone for a few months now. It is my first smartphone and I've enjoyed many of the cool features: high resolution screen, mp3 and video player, cool apps on the Android market, syncing with Google email and contacts.
However, the major drawback or shall I say the MAJOR PROBLEM with this phone is that it SHUTS OFF automatically several times throughout the day. You have to click on the power button and wait several minutes before it's operational. It's frustrating and very annoying. If you want a reliable smart phone, don't buy this product.
UPDATE (4/1/11): The Android Market offers a free app called "Captivate Keep Alive." It prevents the phone from automatically shutting off. An excellent solution to the problem noted above. I love my phone now!
Frustratingly dissapointing January 8, 2011
Reviewer: BillyTheKid (Long Island, NY) -
I was very enthusiastic about this Galaxy S phone, brilliant 4" touchscreen, Android OS and a host of other smartphone features, what else could I ask for? So I purchased one through Amazon Wireless in September for $99 with a two year upgrade on my family plan.
Unfortunately I was not prepared for the reality. Some features simply did not work right and others didn't work at all. Even more frustrating has been the epic wait for an upgrade to Android OS 2.2 (Froyo) One drawback that I knew of and decided to swallow was allowing AT&T to decide which apps would be available for your Android. After all the hype about openness and freedom to use the device the way you want, AT&T's Android phones all disappoint. Many of the best apps are not available (Firefox, Skype, and a bunch of other ones that are available on Verizon's Droids.) This has been increasing frustrating the longer I have had the phone.
Let's continue in chronological order with the problems I found after purchasing the Captivate:
First, I found out that email forwarding and sometimes replying would truncate the original text in the message after about one line of text. It was very embarrassing trying to forward a message to someone only to have them respond, "What are you talking about?"
Second, I found out that Wifi, by default would turn off as soon as the screen turns off, meaning that if you were listening to Pandora on Wifi and you had a limited data plan, you could quickly find yourself over the data limit, even though you thought you were using Wifi. (cough*AT&T conspiracy*cough) There is a hidden menu within the Wifi settings menu that allows you to set the Wifi sleep policy to never. More recently I have been having problems with Wifi where it appears that I am connected, but there is no internet connectivity, even with my home network. This has been a big issue for me as I have a 200MB monthly limit on data, and that would not be a problem if Wifi worked.
Third, I found out on my Thanksgiving trip that the GPS DOES NOT WORK. I had read some complaints about the GPS on forums before, but didn't realize it was a problem affecting ALL Captivate phones (perhaps all Galaxy S phones)
Maybe I was spoiled by my previous phone (Blackberry Curve 8310) which now seems much more plain than anything else out there, however, everything on that phone WORKED! emailing was flawless, GPS and Wifi always performed as expected (it didn't have Wifi ;)
Samsung finally released a GPS "fix" called "GPS Restore" in early December that was supposed to calibrate the GPS and eliminate the problem for good. It turned out to be just smoke and mirrors. I don't use the GPS all the time but when I do, I need it to work. While trying to find a gas station off the highway earlier this week, I almost ran out of gas driving around, not knowing where I was. The GPS placed my two exits back with an accuracy radius of at least 2 miles. A few times the radius shrank down to a few hundred feet but still placed my in the wrong location. It just doesn't work and it is unacceptable.
Finally, and this has been a problem from the start, we were promised Froyo within a couple of weeks, back in September. It is January and we are still stuck with android 2.1 while the Nexus S, which is practically the same phone, is running android 2.3 (Gingerbread) I blame mostly Samsung for this as other Galaxy S phones are also stranded waiting for the update. Interestingly, the rest of the world with a Galaxy S phone has already been updated to Android 2.2 so perhaps AT&T should take part of the blame here. You may not think 2.2 vs 2.1 is a big deal, but believe me, it is. Froyo would allow you to forward emails and it even allows you to edit the text you are forwarding/ including in a reply. Supposedly it would fix the GPS issue, although I am skeptical of this and it would allow your phone to run much faster by fully utilizing its resources.
Bottom line, If you are at all enthusiastic about this phone for any reason, you will be disappointed.
Otherwise you may find it works for you and it is just fine. After all, it is has the best screen on the market, 4" Super AMOLED with the best colors I have ever seen on a phone. Only the iPhone can compete with the screen but on different parameters - its resolution is better
The 1Ghz processor is fast, although it would be much faster on Froyo or Gingerbread if there is ever an update.
The camera takes great pictures where there is enough light (no flash) and the video recorder is also surprisingly sharp for a phone.
SWYPE is awesome, the best text entry experience on a phone.
The Vibrate is very weak and I often do not feel it.
Adobe Flash also doesn't work, maybe its not the latest version, maybe it just doesn't have flash, I don't know but it doesn't work.
Finally, support has been a joke. AT&T consistently tries to pass me off to Samsung, which tries to blame Google's Angroid for many of these issues, AT&T's update in September was supposed to fix the email issue and it appeared to fix it once, so that I get off their case, later on, I still couldn't forward messages. After describing all of these problems to Samsung they said they will be happy to fix everything if I only send my phone in for 6 days and let them reset it to factory settings (Thanks, but no thanks.)
I will think very carefully if I ever want to get another AT&T phone or another Samsung phone. Verizon's Droids seem a much better alternative but I would love to get my hands on a Nexus S, unfortunately I am locked in for another 20 months before I can even dream of dumping AT&T.
Simply the best Android January 7, 2011
Reviewer: LCD Man "LCD Man" (Parsippany, New Jersey United States) -
Two words Fantastic Phone, does everything you can imagine and more, it's like carrying a PC in your pocket, great design, vivid color display, great features through an through.
Extremely easy to operate, and has an enormous amount of useful aps you can download, just make sure you use your WIFI when downloading.
Android phones are great at giving directions December 17, 2010
Reviewer: Gregory Orton (seattle, wa USA) -
My wife got this phone and I was amazed at the garmin like on-screen mapping and directions. Way better than the iphone...
Beautifully Functional touchscreen powerhouse.... December 3, 2010
Reviewer: Merdith Roach (Houston,TX) -
I'm not going to write a book about this phone, like some geeks do, but this geek is impressed mostly.
My only real complaints are that I can't remove those silly ATT apps, and android really doesn't like Yahoo, it' all about the google.
I am a bit upset that I can't turn off 3g service for talking. I don't care about using data, I just want a clear call in my area. If you live on the edge, no pun intended, then it will switch back between 3g and edge and drop calls.
I assumed that there was a toggle switch to change from 2g to 3g, it does it on it's own when 3g looses signal, and that causes dropped calls.....the reason, AT&T controls too many options on this phone.
A 350-400 phone for 1 cent. I think it's great deal, however,
I really do not like AT&T removing features on this Operating System, Phone or whatever.
I should be able to remove any app that I want. Who uses,
att music, allshare, where, att radio, att maps, att navigator, att family map, Latitude, what is that? instant messaging, come on, talk, It's a phone why do I need talk? Places? Who cares, att hot spots, that starts up on startup every time, can't stop it unless I go to running apps and manually stop it after startup, write and go, Mobi tv, mobile banking, YPmobile, mobile video, Mini Diary, ridiculous, daily briefing, who's idea was that....Waste..........
The question is,,, Does ATT really think I'm going to use that stuff just because they lock it in my phone, No, eh, No. and No...
That's a bunch of wasted space on my phone I can't remove unless I root it. I really don't want to go through that process...
On the plus side the battery gets better after a few weeks. At first it died pretty fast now I get 2 days from one charge....
This is the best free phone I've ever seen or used bar none, but it's like Att punishes me for getting a phone for 1 cent....Sorry no 2-3G switch, and enjoy ATT Where, What and Why????