Very good phone, but know what you're getting into January 11, 2011
Been using this phone for 40 days now, which I feel is enough to warrant some credibility to my experience. I'm going to make this short because many of the reviewers before me talked in details about the pros and cons of the phone.
The screen, looks, feel, size, speakers sound quality, reception (all WiFi, GSM, and 3G), and responsiveness are all great on this phone, more than I can wish for. I doubt anybody would find a complaint about these.
Here are the aspects of the phone that could be improved:
- Battery life: With moderate to slightly heavy usage (a few voice calls, light web browsing, maybe some games) expect a full charge in the morning to be almost completely drained by the time you go to bed. There's a way to turn off 3G and use EDGE all the time, which will help out a little. Google it or drop a comment below if interested.
- GPS: It's not as bad as it's made out to be. It's definitely usable, albeit not reliable. If you keep in mind while using it that it might stray off for a second, then you'll be able to cope just fine with it. It still locks to position really fast though.
- Some of the default apps: I immediately replaced the default Samsung interface with LauncherPro. The default music player is too basic. The battery indicator at the top is very coarse, get a battery widget or BatteryMinder for accurate charge percentage.
- No Froyo yet!
These gripes might be a big turn off for some people, but for me they were overshadowed by the delightful experience of the OS, the apps, the beautiful screen, and the sheer responsiveness and snappiness of the phone. And the web browsing is just a please to perform. Plus when Froyo comes around, I'm expecting better accuracy from the GPS. (if it doesn't in the next few months, I'm definitely rooting my phone - probably putting the Cognition ROM)
So there you have it, the phone isn't perfect, but then again all phones have their gripes and annoyances. I'm really, honestly satisfied with this phone, and I had a pretty good one before it (Nokia E71 Unlocked, just check the reviews here on Amazon).
Disappointed with lack of updates January 6, 2011
Reviewer: Christopher C. Mulkey (Denton, TX USA) -
While pleased with the hardware, I'm very disappointed with Samsung and AT&T regarding the lack of updates this phone has received. I bought mine in August, after hearing Android 2.2 would be rolled out in an OTA update (over the air update) in September. It's now January and I still haven't received an official update.
In addition to the lack of updates, many users experience issues with being able to acquire a GPS lock, and having their phone "mount" as a logical volume (like a flash drive) when they connect their phone to their PC with a USB cable.
Luckily, the XDA community has alleviated these issue by making unofficial versions Android 2.2 available with fixes for these problems... but average consumers aren't going to have the patience or desire to manually update their phones (nor should they). And, there are risks involved in doing so -- from potentially not being able to receive future, official OTA updates to potentially bricking your phone.
Steer clear of this device! Other manufacturers offer comparable hardware with better software release cycles.
Very Nice Phone December 20, 2010
Reviewer: Keith Heiy "uncbuck" (IL USA) -
I think it is a very nice phone I have had it for 4 days so far. The first day I had it it was very frustrating and almost returned the phone. I am not a person who reads instructions but messing with it to figure it out instead. After the first day when I had most of the phone figured out I is when I started liking the phone. The one thing I am having trouble with is that the wallpaper keeps changeing back to the factory default wallpaper. But this is my first smart phone and my first Android and over all I am liking it.
Potential not realized December 17, 2010
Reviewer: suave (Michigan, USA) -
I am not going to repeat all the nice things said about this phone. Yes, it is very fast, and the screen is beautiful, sound quality is excellent, and Android has not been mangled too badly by AT&T. I had to take two stars off though and for following reasons that have to do with basic fuctionality of the device: one star for GPS - it just plain doesn't work, so far it hasn't been able to see one satellite, by the window, outdoors - doesn't matter, nothing. As a matter of fact, I feel that the lack of concern that Samsung and AT&T show regarding this issue deserves an extra star. The second star is taken for non-functioning Skype. I spend a lot of time in buildings with no cellular reception but coverred with wi-fi, and using Skype as an alternative way of voice communication has been my plan when I bought the phone. Skype, however, does not work on Captivate, at least not with current software. Supposedly this will be rectified when Android is upgraded to 2.2, but so far AT&T is silent on this issue, and it is not clear when and if such an update will be released. So all in all, the hardware has great potential it just seems that neither manufacturer, nor carrier have particular interest in making it work properly.
Update. After a visit to AT&T store and a soft reset GPS now works well outside and in the car. There is no reception indoors, but that really doesn't bother me that much.
Awesome phone! December 16, 2010
Reviewer: Lyra Shanti (Fl) -
I've only had my Samsung Captivate for a few days now, so perhaps this is a bit premature to write a review. But I'm so excited about it and wanted to say that it's a great phone. There are SO many great apps on Android and the speed of browsing on the Captivate is lightening fast. The screen is gorgeous and it takes great pics and HD video (even without having a flash for the camera) I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't have a dedicated camera button on the outside, but I'll live. ;)
Only other con is the email app takes a little while to load, not sure why... but the call quality seems decent so far and everything else has been a joy. I'm pretty certain this is the best Android phone on AT&T. Definitely worth the penny special, if not the full price!
Absolutely love it!! November 27, 2010
Reviewer: Reader "fresh_bread" (USA) -
I was hesitating about getting this phone because of some of the complaints about it. But Amazon's penny deal was just too good to pass up. I've had the phone for a week now and couldn't be more pleased. This is my first smartphone (my previous phone was the Nokia E71X, but I didn't have a data plan) and it is SO easy to use! I love swype, it's so much easier than other texting methods and I don't miss my physical keyboard at all. Voice search is also available and works well.
I have absolutely no complaints other than the quick battery drain. However, I plan to buy a spare battery and keep that charged (can't do that with an iphone). Other than that, this phone is like magic!
Update: I still love this phone (though I wish Samsung or AT&T would finally give us either Froyo or Gingerbread). However, I have experienced some random phone shutdowns when I think the phone is sleeping. I downloaded the Captivate Keep Alive app and this seems to work.
Great Phone But needs Flash October 15, 2010
Reviewer: Adam "Gamer Maddness" (Los Angeles) -
Love alot of the Features on this phone, The Screen is well Done, i just wish Adobe Flash would work on it.
Dumb phone January 31, 2011
I bought the phone in Nov'10 as I was expecting that Samsung will upgrade to froyo 2.2 shortly.
As it turns out, rest of the world has got froyo 2.2 upgrade except USA. Samsung customer service is horrible as they just do not care for the customer's experience.
Well, it is good hardware with a dumb brain as Samsung is still twisting AT&T to get something in return before they release Android 2.2 upgrade in US, and in turn loosing their own reputation and market.
DO NOT BUY IT.
Great phone but shipment was delayed October 5, 2010
Reviewer: Book Junkie (CA) -
This is a great phone, and the price I got it for is literally unbeatable, but be aware that you might not get it right away. There's a credit check process you have to go through with AT&T that delays shipment by about a day. After that, Amazon delayed shipping my order two more times, so I finally got my phone about a week and a half later than promised.
I didn't need the phone immediately, so this wasn't a problem for me, but it's something to consider if you absolutely need the phone to arrive on time. Also, luckily for me, the price of the phone dropped during the delay period, so I canceled my order and re-ordered at the lower price. You aren't billed until Amazon ships the phone, so if your shipment is delayed and the price drops you can definitely take advantage of that! Highly recommend.
Unlocking the Captivate. September 30, 2010
Reviewer: James Gregory (Sausalito, CA United States) -
If having an unlocked phone is important, or if you are not comfortable struggling with flaky software, then the Captivate may not be the best phone for you.
I bought a pair of Captivate phones three weeks ago to replace a pair of aging Palm Treo 650ies. We need unlocked phones for overseas travel. After being assured during several conversations by both Amazon-wireless and AT&T sales and support staff that AT&T would unlock the phone for me, a long-time customer, I bought the Captivates. Once the new phones were set up with my contacts, etc., not a trivial exercise, I called AT&T to request the unlock codes. Guess what? They won't unlock them. Amazon-wireless now says that I was misinformed and AT&T now says that they have an agreement with Samsung under which they will not unlock this phone. Had I know this beforehand, I would not have bought this phone.
My software gripes are irritating but not deal breakers. The most annoying problem so far is that it was very difficult to get the phone to synchronize with MS Outlook. There is an application called "Kies" that syncs the phone with Outlook. It can be downloaded for free from the Samsung support site. But after it consistently trashed my Outlook contacts and calendar files, I gave up on it. Fortunately, I found another synchronizing application (gsincit) that, although not free, did work. I was spoiled by my old Palm Treos that would sync everything by pressing a button on the charging stand. In comparison, the Captivate's synchronization approach is a step back into the technological Stone Age.
In other respects the Captivate is a fine phone. Screen legibility and voice quality are excellent. The user interface is nicely configurable, however, it is also frequently not intuitive, and the learning curve is pretty steep.
There is much to like about the Samsung Captivate, but there are some significant minuses. There are still a few days left before Amazon-Wireless's 30 day return period expires. I may or may not keep the phone.
[[ASIN:B003TLMQG8 Samsung Captivate Android Phone (AT&T)]]
watch a hd movie to see how gorgeous the display is.... August 19, 2010
Reviewer: Arun K. Inapakolla (San Jose, CA USA) -
simply -- the display rocks!!
It is hard to watch other phone displays or even my samsung 46" lcd tv after I got used to this gorgeous display. it is much better than some of the high end hd tvs out there in market.
Android is awesome!!
Various Problems, backed by many Android Forums December 20, 2010
Reviewer: Manish Bhatia (San Jose, CA USA) -
All right guys - So here is the review which you all have been waiting for.
Yes the phone looks great and you may really like to show it off to your friends.
I purchased the phone with a lot of expectation thinking it is Android, 300k activations a day, well remarkable numbers. So I decided to purchase the best on ATT network (other than iPhone) "Samsung Captivate". But this phone, even though attractive, has many issues which are all backed by many Android forums (Try Searching Online)
1. The phone will power off after long inactivity. Its like sleep in night and wake with your phone dead. Even though the battery is fully charged. This is a standard problem which neither Samsung nor ATT has addressed since its release.
2. There is no software comes with the phone (Like iTunes). IF you search online, you may find "Kies" which is Samsung software available outside of US. But even if you download, say from Singapore website, it wont recognize the phone. Why? Because Samsung has put the restriction. Just crazy!
3. There are many many problems on installing the driver or not finding it on Windows 7, primarily with SD card. You may have to follow a few workaround steps to get through.
4. Samsung support is extremely bad, well at least by my and many other's experience. Try clicking their chat support and it always says "due to higher volume, we are unavailable"
5. ATT and Samsung way too behind in providing an OD upgrade. Google as of Dec 2010 is out with Gingerbread, and there is no sign of even Froyo on Samsung Captivate.
6. Phone comes bundled with many ATT useless applications which simply consume the phone storage. There is no way you can get rid of them.
7. No flash support which Android claims (unless Froyo or future versions are available for this phone).
So do your research, and get the best phone that suits your needs. Yeah it can even be even Samsung Captivate, but keep the above points in mind.
Update 02/16: After using this phone for almost 3 months now, I still hold on to my review. The device has no comparison to iPhone.
8. No Front Camera, No LED Flash
9. GPS does not work (till date)
10. Data Hogger Android (You cant even download an app unless you have background data enabled), will consume your data plan fairly quickly.
11. Now honeycomb is out, but this device still runs on 2.1!!
12. AT&T and Samsung sits between you and Google for any update which takes years to pass on
GREAT PHONE August 7, 2010
Reviewer: CONASAUGA (Ga United States) -
HAVE HAD THE SAMSUNG CAPTIVATE SEVERAL WEEKS AFTER AN IPHONE 3GS FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. THINK THIS IS AN IMPROVEMENT IN MOST AREAS. EASIER TO TYPE. CASE DOESN'T SLIDE AROUND LIKE THE IPHONE. I AM A GOOGLE USER AND I SUSPECT SATISFACTION WOULD BE LESS IF YOU DO NOT USE GOOGLE CALENDER, CONTACTS AND EMAIL. VERY GOOD PRODUCTIVITY TOOL TIED INTO GOOGLE SERVICES. SCREEN IS BEAUTIFUL AND CLEAR. AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE 3GS IPHONE. BATTERY SEEMS A LITTLE BETTER THAN IPHONE ALTHOUGH THIS MAY BE BECAUSE IT IS NEW. THERE ARE NOT AS MANY APPS AVAILABLE FOR THE SAMSUNG. MY G'DAUGHTER MISSES SOME OF THE IPHONE GAMES. I WOULD LIKE A QUICKEN APP AND THIS MAY BE FORTHCOMING BUT NOT NOW. I ALSO LIKE THE LOWER WEIGHT OF THE SAMSUNG. THE IPHONE ALWAYS FELT LIKE A BRICK IN MY POCKET. WHILE THIS PHONE IS LARGER IT IS VERY THIN AND THAT WITH ITS LIGHTNESS MAKES IT EASIER FOR ME TO CARRY. I ALSO THINK THE CALL QUALITY IS BETTER WITH THE SAMSUNG CAPTIVATE ALTHOUGH THIS IS A MARGINAL DIFFERENCE.PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I THINK THE IPHONE IS A VERY GOOD PHONE AS WELL, BUT I AM PLEASED WITH MY DECISION.
Dud - but maybe an exception September 14, 2010
Reviewer: Eric Gross (New York City) -
I've been a very pleased iPhone 3G user for nearly two years. But I was due a new phone and after doing a ton of research, I decided to try the world of Android and get the Samsung Captivate. I was really impressed by the iPhone 4, but I liked the bright and brilliant screen of the Captivate and I thought it would be fun learning something new, which also got great reviews. I new that by choosing the Captivate I would be getting slightly inferior screen resolution, no front camera or flash, and a camera that is not nearly as good as that found on the iPhone 4. But the screen won me over.
Last night I picked up my brand new Captivate and was really excited about trying it out. I did express my concerns about the many reports I had read about its poor quality GPS and I was told that I could return the phone if the GPS was not working properly. A store employee told me that I needed to download the newest version of Google Maps to insure that the GPS would work to its best capacity. He did the download, but it was my "impression" at the store, that the download may not have worked correctly. My intuition turned out to be correct.
So I took the Captivate home and tried out the new GPS. Alas, it did not work at all. I made some adjustments recommended at several Captivate forums and still no luck. I moved to other locations and still no reading. I then started downloading several very well known apps like Amazon Kindle and the NY Times and I noticed that after waiting one hour for the apps to show up on my phone, that none of the downloads were working correctly. When I clicked on "market", I was informed that the downloads were just starting.
I decided to return the phone to the store. Even though the store is located in a very heavily trafficked area, even there the GPS could not ascertain a location. Also the store employees agreed that the downloads were not functioning properly. In my view, they acted like they had seen these problems with the Captivate before, but I can't say for sure.
Anyway, I exchanged it for an iPhone 4 which works perfectly right out of the box. I probably got a lemon, but given my problems, I would have some serious concerns about the build quality of the Captivate.
FORGET the iPhone 4! Here's why! August 23, 2010
Reviewer: Jonathan M. Silveira "Jonathan" (Las Vegas, NV) -
I've had the Samsung Captivate for about a week now. After researching extensively, I have finally found a true competitor to the iPhone 4. Well, not really, because the Captivate is much better. I'll just add a couple of things to all the other reviews:
* Larger screen, which is beautiful (4in versus 3.5in)
* Larger on-screen keys and 3 different types of keyboards to choose from
* Android operating system (instead of the closed iOS)
* Add extra storage space anytime with a microSD card (forget that with the iPhone)
* Change the battery anytime (forget this one with the iPhone too)
* A breeze to read PDF files (just download the free Adobe Reader directly from your Captivate)
I have played with my girl's iPhone 3GS for a long time and was in love with it. Then I researched a lot about the iPhone 4 and noticed that there aren't many improvements. Then I found the Captivate and found out how it beats the iPhone 4 in almost every aspect. This is a no-brainer. Sure, the iPhone 4 is a great phone, but the Captivate is better.
I decided not to get an iPhone when my girl's iPhone 3GS started having problems. Its battery is not working properly, so she has to send the phone in for them to install a new one, which would take a week. A whole week without her phone. Thanks, Apple!
Also, if you're not satisfied with your iPhone's storage capacity, you are out of luck! There's no way to increase it.
The battery and storage problems are not even an issue with the Captivate. You can do all of that yourself.
The only thing I think is an issue with the Captivate is that is has no led flash. You get the same 5 MP camera, but no flash. Pictures in darker places don't look as good. And apparently, the sound recording capability of the Captivate is not as good either. I recorded live music at my church yesterday and I thought the sound quality was lower than expected. Maybe it is because of the louder environment. I'm not sure.
I'm very glad I researched enough to find this phone. It's absolutely incredible. Go for it!
GPS issue, buttons not responsive, network error August 20, 2010
In my opinion the phone is great but fails to deliver on some of the key things like the GPS. The captivate is lighter than iphone 4 and the screen resolution is great but i think the look and feel of iphone 4 is bettter. The touch screen is also responsive, the swipe keyboard makes typing lot easier.
It's been almost a week since I got the phone, the GPS doesn't work at all. The 'menu','home','back','search' button on the bottom of the phone is not very responsive and you'll have to press it multiple times.I often get 'network error' when i try to use the internet or any app that uses internet with Wi-Fi connection.
Research the GPS issue in other blogs/websites before buying this phone.
Great overall phone May 16, 2011
Reviewer: Jeff "dowboy"
This is my first Android phone & like it alot. I went from a Blackberry to this Samsung Captivate & the only thing I miss is buttons, otherwise the voice recognition is my favorite part of this phone- You can just speak anything you want to do & its good at interpreting your speech. The web browsing is good, the camera & video are good. Overall excellent.
Amazing Phone, Battery is a little weak! April 18, 2011
Reviewer: Smokey E
I recently switched from a blackberry to the captivate. I was nervous as I had never owned a fully touch screen phone before, but it is an amazing phone and I have fully converted (I might take one with a keyboard too still). The AMOLED screen is extremely bright and beautiful. The phone is incredibly fast in downloads and watching videos online, espcially compared with the blackberry's. You can add all email accounts. The SWYPE keyboard is very cool and speeds up texting especially if you are getting used to the touch screen. The only thing I would recommend is buying one or two extra batteries. I picked up two batteries and a battery charger (wall mount) for $8 on ebay and they have been fine. I leave one charging and buy the time I get home in the afternoon I just switch it out.
best phone from at&t April 14, 2011
Reviewer: Maria L. Cardenas
This is truly the best phone that I have ever had. Best android...I have had this phone for over a year and have had no problems at all. I would recomend this phone for anybody that is planning on upgrading or switching over to at&t
Android operating system (version 2.2) through Amazon when? April 9, 2011
Reviewer: Richard Kwun (Sacramento, CA United States) -
Currently the OS is Android operating system (version 2.1)
When will Capitivate through Amazon have Android operating system (version 2.2)?