When the Captivate was announced earlier this year, expectations became high. But no one expected the phone to become this big as it has now. The U.S carrier AT&T has got a power-packed smartphone that can finally give sleepless nights to the Google Android phone creators. It is even said to have the potential to challenge the might of the Apple iPhone. The iPhone? We thought it as a little far fetched and set out to find out if the Captivate was as big as it was said to be. Go through the Samsung Captivate Review to see if it is really as great as it is promised to be.
The tussle is really between the Android, iPhone, Nokia and Blackberry. Or so people think. But in the last few months, Samsung has consistently proven itself to be the dark horse. There was the Galaxy S, the Fascinate and a few other winners. Now comes the Samsung Captivate that is being billed as the newest power machine.
Samsung Captivate Display
The large display of the Samsung Captivate is the first thing we noted about the phone. At 4 inches, its screen size is bigger than iPhone or Google Nexus One. The awesome Super AMOLED technology powers the capacitive touchscreen display which boasts of an 800 X 400 pixel WVGA resolution. It produces about 17,000 colors in amazing clarity. The screen is also equipped with multi-touch, proximity sensor and light sensor features.
Samsung Captivate Design
As we took up the phone, we were amazed at its light weight. The Captivate weighs a mere 128 g (4.5 oz) which makes it leaner than iPhone 4 or Motorola Droid. Its dimensions are 121 x 64 x 10 mm. The phone sports a slim candy bar design and is only 0.39 inches thick. This offers good grip on the phone and you can comfortably use it for long conversations. The phone comes with an angular design, not the rounded type you can see in HTC phones. But it is pleasant nonetheless and gives you no discomfort while using it for long periods.
The Captivate comes with a unique design that sets apart from most of its contemporaries. It may be similar to the Galaxy S phones in form, but it also has its own individualities. We liked the presence of four buttons just beneath the large touchscreen. These are the Menu, Home, Back and Search buttons. The buttons made our operations faster and easier. There are also some other external buttons like the standard volume rocker on the left side, the power button on the right and a 3.5 mm headphone jack and microUSB port on the top. We liked the microUSB conceal feature which means the slot can be kept away from view behind a hidden door. This hides it when not needed and keeps it safe from dirt or dust particles. Unfortunately, it lacks a HDMI output.
Samsung Captivate Hardware
The phone is powered by a 1000 MHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor which makes operations lightning fast. There is 512 MB RAM and a built-in memory of 16,384 MB. You can expand this to up to 32 GB with microSD and microSDHC cards.
Samsung Captivate Specs
The Captivate offers you full functionalities befitting a smartphone. Connectivity is seamless with the hone thanks to GSM, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA 7.2 Mbit/s support. We were very pleased with the Android browser that supports HTML. There is full support for messaging and e-mail with IMAP, POP3, SMTP and Microsoft Exchange. The Samsung Captivate Wifi is superb once connected, but setting up the network can give you some initial problems. There is Bluetooth 3.0 for access to other phones and devices.
The Samsung Captivate multimedia features are cool as well. The built in music player extends support to a wide range of file formats such as MP3, MIDI, AAC, AAC+ and WMA. The music quality is decent and it is amplified by the headphones that come along with the package.
The Samsung Captivate Video quality is superb. The sharp display lets you watch videos 1280X720 pixel resolution. You can enjoy movies and HD videos in amazing clarity. The video player is friendly to formats like MPEG, H.263 and H.264. There is also an inbuilt YouTube Player that lets you enjoy your favorite videos on your most loved video sharing site. We loved watching the High-def videos on Youtube and shared them as well.
All that talk about videos reminded us of the Samsung Captivate camera. The 5 MP Captivate camera is neat and sports a whole lot of features like Auto focus, smile detection, multi shot, self-timer and digital zoom. You can click sharp images even in outdoor environment and even well-lit indoors. Sadly, the camera lacks Flash. That means no clear night photos. You can capture videos in 1280X720 pixel resolutions at 29 fps, meaning you can also shoot HD videos.
Samsung Captivate Software
The Smart phone is loaded with Android 2.1 OS. We got smooth operations as we had expected and surfing was fast and comfortable with the Android-powered Captivate.
As if keeping its competitors in mind, Samsung has loaded this phone with lots of widgets. We loved the ‘Feeds and Updates’ widget that displays updates from your Facebook, Twitter and Myspace accounts. The Samsung “Daily Briefing” widget shows news, stock prices, weather information and calendar on a single screen. There are also plenty of other handy tools like Buddies Now which allows to call or text a contact with a single click. Other notable widgets include Dual Clock and Calendar Clock. You have to check out the Samsung Captivate Manual, as we did, to know about these in detail.
Applications are one of the hottest points of the phone and the credit for this goes to AT&T. We were surprised how many applications AT&T has powered it with. There is Mobi TV, Mobile Banking, Instant Messaging, AT&T Family Mapp, AT&T Radio. Really useful apps we would say. You are going to need them because AT&T has again disabled side-loading third party apps into the phone.
Samsung Captivate Battery
A 1500 mAh battery powers the Captivate. It offers a talk time of about 6 hours and a standby time of 300 hours. But with heavy usage, we got a talk time of a little over 4 hours.
Samsung Captivate Accessories
The phone comes with standard accessories like headphone, charger and USB cable. The USB supports data speed of up to 12 megabits per second.
The market is flooded with a range of accessories for the Captivate, including speakers, cases, pouches, screen protectors and skin cases. You can buy any of these Captivate accessories. The phone is tough and resistant to scratches. But a fall from a good height can seriously damage it. For better protection of your Samsung Captivate skins, or skin cases, can be a good idea. A good skin case will protect as well as decorate your smartphone. You can probably get good Samsung Captivate cases in most major mobile outlets.
Samsung Captivate Price
The Captivate is available in the US in $200.
Samsung Captivate Release Date
The smartphone has been officially launched on July 18, 2010.
With the Captivate, Samsung and AT&T has upset all calculations and definitely managed to deliver a message loud and clear. Apple, Google and Nokia are not the only biggies you should watch out for. With the Captivate, Samsung has arrived and how! The lack of flash in camera, inability to side-load applications and no HDMI output are the only factors working against the Samsung Captivate. But it scores with all else it has. It is a solid improvement on all previous Samsung models. The cool features, terrific functionality and stunning design that the phone comes with give it a big edge over iPhone or the Google Android phones. It definitely has the potential of being an asset for your pocket.