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Samsung Captivate Review

Samsung Captivate

Posted: , posted by John V.

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Camera:

Just like how we were somewhat baffled by the lack of an LED flash on the Samsung Galaxy S I9000, our rapport is unchanged as the Captivate also sorely lacks one. Despite this shortcoming on a flagship Android smartphone, the camera interface is basically unchanged as you'll be presented to a decent amount of selections to optimize your shots. Thankfully this time around there's an option for macro mode to get you up-close and personal with the things you're shooting. Sizing up at a respectable 5-megapixels, the camera's production quality indoors is average at best as shots tend to have a fuzzy haze to them while colors are softer and lighter in tone. However, taking shots outdoors in good lighting is a bit more respectable as detail and colors improve. By no means are they stunning, but the Captivate's performance should be more than enough to swallow for most people.

Camera interface - Samsung Captivate Review
Camera interface - Samsung Captivate Review

Camera interface


Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review
Sample pictures taken with Samsung Captivate - Samsung Captivate Review

Strong - Indoor samples - Samsung Captivate Review
Medium - Indoor samples - Samsung Captivate Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Samsung Captivate Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

Indoor samples



When it comes down to shooting videos with the Samsung Captivate, it's ability to capture them in 720p was surprisingly good thanks to its smooth capture rate of 29fps. Videos taken in both indoor and outdoor locales are detailed and for the most part consistent with an occasional jerkiness to them, but we'd imagine that the quality should be more than pleasing to the eye during playback. It would probably be less noticeable if you have a steady hand, but hopefully manufacturers can somehow implement anti-shake in video recording down the road. However, we did notice that there was this constant wind sounding noise that can be heard in the background even though we were indoors and away from any wind.

Samsung Captivate sample video 1 at 1280x720 pixels
Samsung Captivate sample video 2 at 1280x720 pixels


Multimedia:

When it comes down to music playback, the Captivate is one of the few handsets that excel in both presentation and performance – catapulting it into the upper echelon of the pack. The tabs on the top of the music player allow sifting through your collection by artist, album and playlists, or display all at once. Landscape mode brings along some eye candy like CD cover flow-esque interface or an alphabetical wheel, to pick your music poison. Sharing the song via email or Bluetooth is done from the context menu while playing. The current song keeps going in the background when the screen is locked, and you can pull down the notification area then to display the controls. Aside from showing the album cover while playing a selection, we like how there's an option to enable a visualization to run. Tunes emitted from the phone's speaker were more than powerful, while still retaining a level of clarity when placed on the loudest setting. However, we adore the notion of 5.1 channel sound effect in place when throwing on a pair of headphones – without it enabled, audio sounded more muted and softer.

Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review


What's more fun to do than anything else when you pack on an above average sized display? Naturally watching videos easily comes to mind and there's no arguing that the Captivate is one compelling handset in this category to provide the best level of performance. The high-flying handset didn't even stutter at all when playing a video encoded in H.264 720x306 resolution – at the same time, colors were vibrant and easily showcased Super AMOLED's superior performance in this sector. If there's a handset you want to draw attention with, then the the Captivate will undoubtedly be able to accomplish just that.

Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review

The multimedia files get organized in the Gallery, which offers some 3D effects, batch view by date/time, and grid view. It automatically indexes the pictures and video on the card and in the phone. The gallery syncs with Picasa upon launch, assigning different icons to the pics depending on their source. The Picasa images are just thumbs and you have to download them for a full view. Images can be rotated and cropped right in the gallery, uploaded on Google's Picasa, or sent via email, MMS or Bluetooth. The Samsung AllShare function is also here, if you happen to have a DLNA capable TV to watch the pics or videos from the phone on the big screen. Videos can also be uploaded straight from the gallery, to Google's YouTube.

Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review
Samsung Captivate Review


Connectivity:

The Samsung Captivate is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and tri-band UMTS (850/1900/2100 MHz) handset which makes the perfect solution for the global trotter. In addition, it packs 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi for an alternative internet connection and Bluetooth 3.0 to pair up with various devices for wireless transfers.

The default browser worked wonders on the huge capacitive screen. Multitouch feels well for precision zooming, but you can also double-tap for crude enlargement. The WebKit based browser is minimalistic, which we always like – just a thin green line at the top notifies of page loading status, and it loads, scrolls, and reflows text quickly. Hit the context menu, though, and a plethora of options for window management, bookmarking and downloads show up. Great experience, which will probably get even better when Froyo comes up for the Samsung GALAXY S series, and brings along an even faster and Flash 10.1-enabled experience. Until then we have to rely on the default YouTube client, which carries its duties with pride.

The default browser of Samsung Captivate works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung Captivate Review
The default browser of Samsung Captivate works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung Captivate Review
The default browser of Samsung Captivate works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung Captivate Review
YouTube app - The default browser of Samsung Captivate works wonders on the huge capacitive screen - Samsung Captivate Review
   

YouTube app

The default browser of Samsung Captivate works wonders on the huge capacitive screen


As it stands now, most high-end smartphones find 16GB to be the size of choice in order to satisfy the growing demand of media centric features – such as 720p video recording. Thankfully the Samsung Captivate does come in at that size, however, we found that there was approximately 13GB of free storage out of the box – which still is a decent amount, of course. Moreover, you can always supplement it with a microSD card if you find yourself eating away quickly on the phone's internal storage.

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Samsung Captivate

Samsung Captivate

OS: Android 2.3 2.2 2.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.78 x 2.50 x 0.39 inches
(121 x 64 x 10 mm)
4.50 oz  (128 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 5.83 hours talk time

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