Samsung Captivate User Reviews
Please note that each user review reflects the opinion of its respectful author and not of PhoneArena.
Decent starter smartphone, but I'm ready to upgrade
ChrisG has owned it for more than one year before publishing this review
I got the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate a few months after it came out via a great upgrade deal on Wirefly.com. It came with Android 2.1 (Eclair), which was old even then, but it eventually got Android 2.2 (Froyo) and then, shortly thereafter, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
From a software standpoint, I've liked the Captivate quite a bit. TouchWiz is pretty well-implemented, especially in Gingerbread, and Swype is a great keyboard for texting or composing emails. Voice recognition works quite well, too. The Android updates each sped the phone up noticeably, though unfortunately the update to Gingerbread introduced some oddities. The phone tends to freeze/lock up fairly often, and I find myself having to hard-restart the phone (by pressing and holding the power button and the volume up/down buttons) at least once per day. I've been unable to identify any particular cause for these lockups. Also, whenever I plug the phone in to charge it, and also when I unplug it after charging, there's a series of two messages about a "Tethering Manager" app that stopped working and needs to force close, so I have to tap "Force close" twice. Annoying, but no big deal. The lockups are much worse, as they're unpredictable.
In terms of hardware, I've loved the phone. The display, while not high-res compared to current phones like the Galaxy S III, is beautiful: bright, great contrast, and vivid, saturated colors. The processor seems quick enough for Android 2.x, with the UI seeming quite fluid and largely...
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Report
Really great phone if hardware issues were resolved
rejoicefulone has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review
I fell in love with this phone when I purchaced it online. The first month and a half was awesome! It has the best display to captivate my internet experience. It has great sound quality as well. I never have any trouble with playing music or taking pictures with this phone. After having this phone for over 2 months now the problems began. It freezes frequently, powers itself off, and gives me error. I call warranty and was told that this phone was recalled and needed to go to a Warranty Depot in my area to replace it. This is where I get to spend my Saturday. :)
Great phone for casual or business use
shimmyx20 has owned it for less than year before publishing this review
I got this phone in July 2010, my previous phone being an iPhone 3G. Both phones have their strengths, but for me, the Captivate is the better phone for me.
The display is beautiful. The 4 inch screen Super AMOLED with high resolution makes doing everything on the phone a pleasure. You can also view documents and webpages with great clarity. On previous phones I would have to zoom in to see text clearly, but on this phone, I can remain zoomed pretty far out and still read easily. The display is made from Gorilla Glass which makes it pretty durable. If you have the opportunity to do so, load some HD movies to the phone to really see it shine. The video player played divx movies and tv shows with no issues, and no stuttering.
The AT&T network is great in my area, so I have no issues with reception, and I haven't had any dropped calls yet. It pulls down a pretty fast and consistent data connection, around 3 Mbps down, and 1 Mbps up with the ROM I have loaded. (It seems AT&T has disabled HSUPA by default for some strange reason)
The UI is actually not too bad to start out with. I think people give Touch Wiz too much crap. But after a couple months, I wanted something different. I loaded different ROMs, and have recently settled with Darky's ROM which has Android 2.2.1 . This is when the phone really let loose, and I was able to put the 1GHz processor through it's paces.
Camera is OK, just don't try and take good pictures in low light situations.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Report
Just about Perfect (Except for TouchWiz)
The design of the Captivate is a major departure from the other Galaxy S devices. A nice faux carbon fiber soft material cover the metal battery cover, which itself has a unique design.
Let's get down to the guts of the phone. The TouchWiz UI is just something that brings this phone down. Replacing the TouchWiz launhers with a launcher like LauncherPro Plus for example really bring this beast to life. With some more tweaking, most of the lag and slow downs from the stock version are pretty much gone.
(This phone can also be rooted and non-market apps can be enabled, yes you CAN side-load apps if you take the time to figure out how to do it.)
1. GPS Issues need to be addressed with a software update. (hopefully)
2. Signal meter fluctuates all the time. (Have never dropped a call because of it though.)
3. Soft key lights only stay on for 2 seconds when you release screen. This needs to be adjustable in the settings.
8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Report
Favorite Phone - But a few issues
smurrile has owned it for less than month before publishing this review
The worst thing about this phone, and this almost made me sell it and buy another phone, everytime (EVERYTIME) I make a call and talk with the phone on my shoulder and cheek (I do a lot of driving) the phone hangs up because of the end button. The phone has NO LOCK on it while on a call. To fix this, I was able to download an APP called CheeKey (free) and this APP locks your phone while on a call, and you press the Back button to unlock it.
The camera quality is not a good as I thought it would be when I was looking to purchase a new phone. I thought it would have been greater. The color quality isnt great and sometimes hard to capture pictures without a lot of movement.
I bought this phone with 16GB of external storage. I am able to download pretty much anything I want with 32GB of total storage (16GB Internal) Its great. The color quality of the screen is bright and wonderful color. The phone has a lot of options/APP's that come with it like Navigation, Live Radio, YouTube, Chats (google, yahoo, MSN), etc.
I would recommend this phone to anyone looking to buy a Samsung.
Really good phone.
THEKI1N9J has owned it for more than one year before publishing this review
I picked this phone up 2 years ago as my first entry into the adnroid market right before 2.2 froyo was released. i fell in love with samsungs (then) superior design and ability. the phones screen was bright and full of colors and larger than i was used to. i came a long way to get to this point and samsung definitley made me fall in love with android OS. i have had all 3 major phone Os's. the only one coming close to me is windows. The build quality is actuall better than the SGS2. though the SGS2 is much better of course overall. the camera was good for its time amd the SUPER AMOLED display blew evrything out of the water. Overall great phone even till this day for any first time Android user.
So disappointed with Samsung!!!!
prman1975 has owned it for more than one year before publishing this review
I am so so so very disappointed with samsung. This is my 3rd samsung phone and the other were great. This was my first smart phone and was so very excited when I received it. I did do my research on the phone before I purchased it. At first the phone worked great because I was a beginner and new to android. Once I learned all that android does was very very discouraged. The glitches that the captivate has unbelievable. Had to hard reset my phone 3 times. Had to send my phone back to samsung once. Then when they sent me a "new" one I had to reinstall Froyo 2.2 on. Still having the same problems as I did before. Of course samsung is no help when you call them for help. This will be the last samsung that I purchase for sure.
Do not bother purchasing this product.
malia001 has owned it for less than year before publishing this review
It has NOT been a year yet and this is my 4th Captivate phone. I have downloaded the Top internet/app protection on my phones and it STILL catch a bug. Im tired of it not Unlocking when I place in my code and it Not Locking when I need it to. I am tired of it not being able to send out my calls or Text messages when i have all 5 bars. I hate the fact that I cannot Receive Anything unless It feels like accepting something. Ill go to the store and ask what’s going on and itll act just fine. When I arrive home the phone becomes stupid Again. No matter How many times I Restart my phone, let the SD/Sims card along with the battery sit out for it still Acts up. I am Tired of not receiving important calls; tired of my phone company trying to give me an entirely new Captivate knowing that it Still will not act the way its supposed to. This phone is CRAP. My company said that they've gotten the same complaints that I always give...If the cell phone companies are aware of the constant problems then Why Havnt They Fixed It Yet?? This phones' performance is so poor it doesnt even Deserve a overall rating (poor) star!!!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Report
Custom ROMs unlock this phone's capabilities
mmuonio has owned it for less than year before publishing this review
In it's stock configuration this phone is only average. But root it and run a custom ROM and you will be surprised at how things leap to life. I rooted and switched to Launcher Pro to escape the lag of the Touch Wiz standard interface. I tested several ROMs including: Cognition, Perception and Cezar before settling on Assonance for the overclocking, undervolting which deliver incredible battery life while running at 1.2ghz. This thing POPS now. I have 85 apps loaded and no need for any task killers, either.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Report
Uggghhhh....I HATE this phone!!
poppinc has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review
Bought this phone to replace my Samsung Impression (which I LOVED but the touch screen stopped working rendering it useless). This phone randomly stopped playing any type of sound (except for the little beeps when I am on a call, and once in a while when I am in the MIDDLE of a phone call all of a sudden the ringtone will randomly start blaring in my ear although I can still hear the person I am talking to at the same time)! I have NO SOUND as far as ringtone (have to keep it on vibrate at all times in the hopes of catching phone calls and messages), I have NO MUSIC, I have no sound when playing games, etc. Apparently this is a HUGE issue with this phone. When going online I find tons of comments about the same issue, although most people say that all they had to do is "press hard" on the little speaker box and the sound returned. I have tried this numerous times with no luck. The battery life is ridiculous....Not ONCE have I EVER made it from morning till night without having to re-charge. I always buy Samsung phones as my first 4 were fantastic, lasted forever, worked flawlessly, etc, but I seriously want to huck this thing in the trash right now. Time to call the warranty place and spend at 12 hours on the phone with them to see if I can get a replacement (although given the choice, I would definitely choose a DIFFERENT replacement phone)!
Ok, now that I have that off my chest, there are some very good qualities about this phone that I love, if only I had sound.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Report
Great on day one
Nowthatsucks has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review
I will never in my life own another samsung. I purchased this phone the day after i was having problems with the phone just cutting off. So I called at&t and they sent me a brand new one and I had the exact same problems with that phone so, over all I am happy because I did not really use my upgrade to purchase it. Now it is ime to get a new phone and I am happy for that going ATRIX, GO MOTOROLA do not waste your time or money on samDUNG
Won't be buying Samsung again.
Drew has owned it for less than year before publishing this review
I got this phone for Christmas of '10. When I first got it, it was amazing, compared to my prior Samsung Solstice. I loved(and still do) the Android OS. Unfortunately, Android is the only thing this phone has going for it after 5 or 6 months. At first, it was flawless. No hiccups, nothing. Then, the Samsung problems arose. The battery started lasting less and less, to the point where I'm lucky to make it 12 hours ON IDLE. At first, it never got hung up. Now, about 6 times out of 10 it'll get stuck while I'm texting. I'll have to wait about 30 seconds, then it'll let me start typing again. Even when I'm simply scrolling between screens of apps, it'll get stuck. These were the same problems I was having with my Samsung Solstice, which is why I said they were "Samsung problems". My friend has the HTC Inspire, and another has the HTC Thunderbolt, and neither of them have these problems. Sometimes it will turn 3G off, for no reason. It won't let me use the default browser unless I'm using Wifi(But Firefox works?). It DOES have a front-facing camera. But AT&T DOES NOT let you use it.
1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Report
Matt has owned it for less than year before publishing this review
I really enjoy this phone, I really enjoy the picture quality and the screen size. It's not heavy or bulky, and a really a fun phone to play with, this phone has many capabilities. There are some downsides to the Andoid applications that my inhibbit the phones capabilites with would be the only down fall to this phone besides the battery life and no flash or front facing camera.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Report
cwb386 has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review
This is an excellent phone. The display is awesome, so much nicer than the droid2 or Iphone 4. I actually find the touchwiz UI to be a nice addition, it's a lot easier to use and cleaner to look at than stock android. I text a lot, and though the samsung and android keyboards are all right (voice to text is pretty cool) swype is AMAZING! So cool, lets me type as fast as a qwerty, and actually very easy to use. After 10 minutes I was a pro at it. Widgets are nice, especially feeds and updates and daily briefing.
I've only had a few problems, usually dealing with new apps, but once I uninstall the problem is gone.
Works fine as a phone. Battery is solid, no problem lasting one day but struggles to last 2.
And in my opinion this phone looks much nicer than the other galaxy s ones.
I would totally recommend this to a friend.
Note: Get the advanced task killer and apps organizer apps from the app store. They are free and must-haves.
Great, but fatal flaws
Not-so-captivated has owned it for less than year before publishing this review
This is to put it simply, seems like a wonderful phone. The build quality is amazing, the swype keyboard lets you input text at blazing fast speeds, and the screen both gives a stunning picture, and is very visible in sunlight. On top of all of that, the phone screams with its hummingbird at 1GHZ, defeating (some) other android phones by up to 10fps in 3d rendering benchmarks.
And if all of that wasn't enough, the thing is built sturdy as a bar of steel; it sits cool, and firm in your hand.
And then we have its fatal flaws...
First, I hate to be the person posting this particular flaw, but I have had bad gps problems with this phone. It takes almost 1 minute to lock on (and even then it gives a very inaccurate location) at home, and when I took it out of town, it wouldn't lock on at all.
Take that with a grain of salt though, as my friend's captivate performs gps functions properly. I guarantee you this is not an isolated case however, just google search "captivate GPS problems" there are literally hundreds of results...
I'm not a tech illiterate, and have tried many fixes, but somewhere along the road, I just gave up.
Second, It's running Android 2.1.
Android 2.2 came out
Android 2.3 came out
Really? You Can't even use Flash without 2.2, and this phone has very little update support from Samsung. Don't expect a upgrade
With phones like the Iphone 4 out, and the soon-to-be-released Motorola Atrix, there really is no reason you should buy this phone.
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Report
So good, but one fatal flaw
ken has owned it for less than month before publishing this review
I upgraded from a samsung eternity, which was actually a good phone, and stuck with samsung and bought the captivate.
It turned itself off between 2-10 times a day.
The battery would be fine (80-90% even), it would be left alone on my desk and turn itself off. It did it before I added apps, after I added apps, and after factory resets. 6 out of the first 7 days I had this phone it turned itself off.
After 2 weeks of frustration I had to return it. I talked to a guy at AT&T and he said it was a common occurrence.
0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Report
officialFphone has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review
Wow, this phone kicks some serious @$$!!! And I mean that.
I have had every HTC/AT&T smart phone the ever released. I've upgraded, unlocked, broken and warranty'd just about any and every phone I have owned. All that to say I am a techie and phone enthusiast. I use my phones for FAR more than just,"Hello? Mom...for God's sake YES, I'll take the garbage out. damn."
Being a huge HTC fan, it is safe to say I was more than skeptical of the Captivate. I hadn't even heard of any legitimate Samsung smartphone worthy of checking out. Furthermore, having a physical qwerty has always been a big thing for me as well. Needless to say, when I say this phone first come out I just laughed at it like it was a joke, maybe just a little bit better than the motorola backflop. I had no interest at all.
Eventually curiosity (mixed with boredom) got the best of me as wirefly.com was selling them for around $69 and my upgrade wouldn't have even come close to that with AT&T. So fine, worst case scenario I will get the phone, hate it, and give it to my wife in exchange for her Aria.
But on the real...EFF all that!!! This phone is the business. it is the real deal. From the call quality, to the screen size, to the UNHEARD of on-board 16GB + 32GB microSD slot, to the video recording quality (with which I have actually shot a music video) this thing is truly captivating! Samsung really nailed it with this one. It is not perfect and has its qwerks, but Samsung will only get better. Get this phone!
got it in august and now i cant stand it
Matt has owned it for less than year before publishing this review
well everything began shortly after i got this phone, at first i did not pay much mind to it, but the phone likes to randomly turn it self off, this is before i rooted it and flashed a custom rom on it, the gps has never locked on at all, and at&t and there absurd wisdom wont let me do a warranty exchange because some of the paint on the back of the phone is flaking off, so now im stuck with a phone that half-assed working, guess im switching to big red after all.
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Report
This Phone is A BEAST
The phone is excellent. I have had it for 2 months now, and am still not sick of it at all. Swype works extremely well when you get used to it, the screen is instantaneously responsive, apps work awesomely, it connects to all my wifi networks at home/in the city roaming/on campus with no issues, camera is AWESOME, I could go on and on. The phone is solid and i accidentally dropped it on bricks and there is zero damage whatsoever. The screen, even without a screen protector, is crystal clear still. Not a mark on it yet. Android allows you to customize everything you need to, and the vibration is strong and the alerts are loud enough I haven't missed any calls, texts, or alarms yet. Absolutely recommended.4 separate dedicated iPhone/iPod touch users have proclaimed to me they want this phone rather than the shiny Apple device they are so attached to. And, another person, after just sending a few quick texts on my phone, was so amazed by the crisp display and "perfect touchscreen" (his words), decided he was going to get this RATHER than the iphone he had been bragging about all month. Excellent phone all around.
8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Report
I too thought the charging port was an issue until I realized I did not have the door all the way open. You have to open it all the way to the right until it snaps. Once it's open completely, the USB cable that comes with the phone will insert completely and snugly and should remain intact. I have not had any problems with it falling out.
Now, if you want an extra USB cable make sure to find one that looks exactly like the OEM one or it will not fit as nicely. I found one online with the same shape on the mini USB part and it works very well.
10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Report
Good Phone, One Issue
**Note: This is a review of a brand new, never used Samsung Captivate. This is NOT a refurbished phone.**
I've owned this phone a couple days which has given me some time to get a feel for it. I won't give you a grocery list of the many positives of this phone, as I feel multiple users before and probably after me will do. Rather, there is only one glitch I find, and this is a hardware not a software issue so the blame falls on Samsung and not Android or AT&T.
When attempting to charge my phone, the charging port (which we all know is located on top) is very small and flimsy. When I plug in the oem charger that came in my original manufacturer box, it has a tendency to fall out very easily. Which, as you can imagine, would be terrible if you plug your phone in at night, wake up in the morning, and see a dead battery because the charger popped out on it's own. It's not a tight fit and very poorly engineered, in my opinion.
Aside from the charging port being poorly made, I don't see any issues with this phone. Make sure you download Advanced Task Killer from the App store and turn off the haptic feedback (it just drains your battery). Battery life for me was very good thus far.
Finally, if you are considering this phone (which I still feel is a good choice), be sure to watch YouTube reviews to get an idea if this phone is for you or not. I did prior to purchasing it. I highly reccomend Phonedog as their...
9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.Report
I truly love this phone. I am a ex-BlackBerry Addict turned iPhone Appjunkie. When I switched to the iPhone I thought I made it to mobile heaven. Nope...not even close. The Samsung Captivate / Galaxy S is a sweet phone.The quality of the my phone calls jumped 10 points when compared to the iPhone. I hated the way my iPhone 3g handled my calls. Half of them would get dropped. With the Captivate I have not had one dropped call. The camera on the Captivate is great. Much better than what is on the iPhone. It does not have flash but the quality of what they do have is so good its ok. The Captivate's camera has so many options and extras I have been using it more than my Nikkon. I could care less about a front facing camera. Sure it is cool and the commercials are cool but I personally would not be using it. Maybe in few more years or so.The screen has awesome clarity. I love the living wallpaper option. The screen size is perfect. I don't need anything bigger and surely would not want to go smaller again. I like this AMOLED technology. The processor is fast. I have not had one problem with it. A total blessing after using the iPhone for the last couple of years.I love the physical design of the Captivate over the iPhone. It is smooth and sleek. A nice black and dark charcoal case that feels durable. Very easy to hold and I don't have this fear of dropping it lurking...
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Report
I LOVE THIS PHONE. I had an Iphone 3gs for about a year and then I upgraded to this phone because I wanted something new and different. I love it. It takes beautiful pictures. Even though there is no flash if you have good lighting the pictures come out very clear. The video camera is amazing. The accuracy on the keyboard is way better than my iphone was. And you can choose which keyboard you want to use. I love the apps on the Android Market way better than the apps that were available on my iphone. The live wallpapers are soooo cool. Another cool thing is that there is an available HDMI cable you can plug into it so you can watch your 720p HD videos on your TV. It doesn't come with the phone but it should! The only thing I don't like about the phone is that I thought I would get email notifications in the notification menu bar and I don't. I have to manually check them....but other than that I love it!!!
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Report
i don't have a lot to say.the graphic processor it's great. in must of all games, arrive to 65FPS Vs 26 from the Nexus One.The style it's soft but strong. I like so much the cover.good camera but no flashnice sound and excellent screen (big and colorful)(the black it's black, the white it's white, none of gray)
7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Report
finally Android worth buying on AT&T
Overall this phone isn't going to disappoint you. The wireless card is great, overall phone is fast, designing is sleek and catchy, phone call quality is clear, and the screen size is perfect. The size of the phone fits well in your hand and makes it great for using the on-board keyboard. As a guy it fits well in my pocket and doesn't feel bulky or heavy. My only complaint in the design is the USB port on the top of the phone. However the sliding cover for the port was a great idea.The screen has clarity above what the average user will need and the definition of the dark color range is impressive. The camera takes pictures above my expectations and the night mode is better than what I hoped for. The lack of a LED flash is a let down but I think I would use it more for a flashlight than an actual camera flash. The battery life is about average; I could go 2 days on a full charge if I wanted too. Sometimes it may only last a day with heavy usage but that's not surprising taking into account how clear the screen is.People keep complaining about the lack of a front facing camera but I don't see the need. The available technology in the wireless industry does not push the market to make a front facing camera a necessity yet. There are very limited times and opportunities that I would use the front facing camera for video calls. This is coming from a person who tends to stay up to date on phones and current technology. While other phones can use a wifi signal for video chat; I would...
17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.Report