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Samsung Captivate vs. Apple iPhone 4

Posted: , by John V.


Samsung Captivate vs. Apple iPhone 4

Calling quality was just the same on both handsets as they were average at best as voices sounded muffled on the Captivate while static noises can be heard on the iPhone 4. When it comes to raw power, the Captivate's earpiece emitted some stronger tunes which made conversations a little bit easier to comprehend in areas that are noisy. Just like playing music, the Captivate's speaker was clearly stronger, but screechy sounding at the highest volume level. Unfortunately, the iPhone 4's speaker phone volume was obviously lower, but still manageable when it comes to distinguishing conversations.

Using the smartphones in the same exact location, the Captivate generally displayed one less bar than what's seen on the iPhone 4. In any respect, we didn't notice the Captivate drop any of our calls or data connections to the network. Although we did experience bars fluctuating on the iPhone 4 when holding it on the lower left corner, this did not degrade calling quality or cut out our connection to the network.

Implementing a larger capacity battery over the previous iPhone 3GS model, the iPhone 4 managed to present a longer battery life against the host of Android phones we've pitted it against. Finally, we have a true competitor with the Samsung Captivate as it managed to beat our expectation. We've all heard about how Super AMOLED technology provides for a lower power consumption on paper, but our testing in real life situations made us believe it to be true. Setting both handsets to automatic brightness and using them heavily, the iPhone 4 was able to live at least a day, but it was almost to the 20 percent mark by the time our day was up. However, the Samsung Captivate was only at 50 percent battery life after a full day of heavy usage. Taking into consideration that you can extend it by lowering he brightness and turning off non-essentials like GPS, we wouldn't be surprised to see this get 3 days on heavy usage.


AT&T customers will no longer have to resort to siding with mid-range Android offerings as the Samsung Captivate easily leaves all of its competition in the dust. It definitely has the hardware to make the iPhone 4 sweat in its tracks as the Captivate offers a responsive interface, gorgeous Super AMOLED display, and one battery life that's truly amazing. At the same time, TouchWiz 3.0 overlaying Android 2.1 is a refreshingly new experience for AT&T customers as it's able to provide users with a myriad of useful information directly from one area – plus it just looks so good! However, the iPhone 4 continues to excel in the camera department as both its photo and video capturing prowess are unbeatable. In addition, Apple's finest is still backed by a rich, industry-leading catalog of apps and games.

Some may have believed that Android's presence on AT&T would've been limited due mostly to their partnership with Apple, but the Samsung Captivate breaks down the barriers and easily stares down the iPhone 4 at the same level in a broad range of categories. Priced accordingly at $199.99 for each handset, it'll be one difficult decision for any one to make – but to tell you the truth, both are wonderful solutions that you won't regret.

Samsung Captivate vs. Apple iPhone 4 Video Comparison:


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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. rtimi26 (Posts: 42; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)

Now this is how reviews should be done. Give your opinion and be fair with it. Yes you gave the Captivate an 8.5 overall and 9.5 to the iphone i don't know why but at least anyone that reads this review will know it's up to their preference.

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 08:24

2. rtimi26 (Posts: 42; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)

Great review by the way

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 09:33

3. appleeater (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Jul 2010)

Can you say FANBOY!!! What a totally biased review. Take it from someone who has been studying both of these phones for almost a month now(hands-on and online) and almost buying an iphail, the Captivate is the superior phone,from screen to proccessor. "equally impressive 1GHz Cortex-A8 Hummingbird processor" haha you mean superior.

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 12:52

4. BlackSirius16 (Posts: 84; Member since: 21 May 2010)

But the build quality on the captivate is terrible compared to the iPhone. you should probably just get the hell away from AT&T

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 14:35

6. rtimi26 (Posts: 42; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)

Actually the captivate does way better than the iphone just check the browser comparison on pocketnow.com

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 17:18

9. spoonb1 (Posts: 77; Member since: 02 Jan 2010)

the captivate feels great and looks it too... im not personally a fan of the glossy gunmetal colored plastic that exudes samsung but it does feel nice, the textured carbonfiber'ish metal battery cover adds a nice touch. the glass of the iphone is still fragile as I have seen several-- yes, in person-- and owners stated that they merely dropped them from waist high(while putting(well, attempting) to put them in their pockets andthe expected result... a few shattered iphone 4 backs, and 2 fronts. also, for what its worth, the iphone 4 will not focus properly in complete darkness... it still needs "some light" to get a good focus, then will snap a pretty good pic. while, not sure what captain jitters was doing while taking the picture samples in this review of the captivate, but I have personally transferred unedited pics from a test unit over to the pc and the pics look great-- and sharp. both are great phones, and agreed that it may be a hard choice for the folks that are neither android nor apple fanboy types.

posted on 18 Jul 2010, 06:52

14. Windsponge (Posts: 92; Member since: 01 Nov 2009)

I agree with you very unfair. Even size of pictures were not correct. No real mention of documented droped calls. I am beginning to think phonearena is being paid by apple. I have been researching everything I can find on phones and checked out in person and I must say that I don't see the great quality of I Phone.I feel it looks like it is a little cheap around the glass. Just my feel. Apple should be scared , very scared.

posted on 20 Jul 2010, 09:53

20. de2philly (Posts: 31; Member since: 30 Jun 2010)

Build quality? You mean the uncovered Antenna on the iphone4 where when you touch it and youre not in 5 bar perfect signal your call may drop? Thats not good "build quality" in my book, no matter how the phone feels or looks.

posted on 08 Aug 2010, 20:11

34. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)

I think when it comes to build quality Apple always accomplishes the visually appealing design. They have mastered that aspect with pretty much all of their products on the market. I think everything beyond that point comes down to personal preference. I carry an Android device right now and personally think that iP4 has a better menu design than the Captivate, but when it comes to HTC's Sense IU or Motorola's menu design I would disagree in this case. TouchWiz just doesn't do it for me but again its just personal preference.

posted on 27 Aug 2010, 15:38

41. E46titan (unregistered)

Better screen?, Better processor? The Captivate's screen is not nearly as high resolution and cannot display as much detail. The Iphone 4 is faster too so how is the processor better? The proff is in the facts. Looks like you're nothing but a hater.

posted on 16 Oct 2010, 22:34

49. LOL (unregistered)

Fail, the processor on the captivate is faster. While the A4 in both phones are meant to run at 1 ghz, the iphone 4 is downclocked to 800 mhz. Unlike the captivate that runs at the original 1 ghz, and with some rooting, can be overclocked to 1.2 ghz and such. Also, the samoled is absolutely gorgeous. now if you were a graphic designer you would want the ips panel of the iphone because it is more color accurate, as in closer to real life, but the samoled screen of any galaxy s phone, makes the picture look more vibrant and in return, better than real life. So, Graphic Designer-> iphone Average Joe -> Captivate Plus the fact that the sgx540 in the galaxy s phones rape the sgx535 in the iphone 4 in the ass. Captivate= winner

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 13:16

5. Supraman21 (Posts: 391; Member since: 09 Jun 2010)

Oh and ive actually seen both a video taken with the iPhone and the Galaxy S on a 42 inch tv and the Galaxy S definitely wins.

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 15:31

7. zyoose (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)

Question PhoneArena, why does your review state that there isn't a front facing camera on the Captivate but when you look up the specs on your site it says that there is an additional camera. Can somebody who has played with the Captivate help ?

posted on 16 Jul 2010, 17:09

8. spoonb1 (Posts: 77; Member since: 02 Jan 2010)

there is no secondary cam on the captivate... there may have been one in the works on the original galaxy s when the specs were typed here on the site, prob an oversight of the web editors, but the captivate has but the one main cam on the back...

posted on 17 Jul 2010, 20:29

13. zyoose (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


posted on 16 Jul 2010, 23:24

10. spiceguy (Posts: 10; Member since: 09 Jul 2010)

I'm pissed off about the little plastic unlock button on the side of the Galaxy. A function that must be used every time you use the phone should be prominent. The search button on the bottom right is never used and is the obvious choice to unlock the screen. A MAJOR Fuck-up! . If I can get over that then the Galaxy is the clear choice for me. I've had the Vibrant for 2 days now and I'm thrilled with the larger screen and Swipe is the deal breaker. Sorry apple.

posted on 17 Jul 2010, 10:54

12. aricept (Posts: 4; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)

The Search button is a required button on all Android devices. You'll see it on every model. Blame Google, whose primary business of course is search.

posted on 06 Aug 2010, 01:58

30. mmj (unregistered)

AT&T actually added that search button - it does not appear on the original Galaxy S. Nor is it a requirement on Android phones, though a lot of them do have it. On the ones that don't, you can usually search by holding down some other button.

posted on 17 Jul 2010, 01:39

11. BlackSirius16 (Posts: 84; Member since: 21 May 2010)

AT&T quarantine I won't have either of these phones because of total fail coverage Captivate is still better though

posted on 19 Jul 2010, 16:26

18. baldilocks (Posts: 814; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)

I have far better coverage with AT&T than any other carrier in my area. What's good for you, isn't good for everyone else. So your comment is FAIL.

posted on 18 Jul 2010, 16:40

15. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

all i have to say, is that for PA to give a glowing comparison next to anything with an apple logo, must mean that its the best phone ever.. lol I do have to say, im quite impressed with the battery life of the galaxy S. I ran it with gps,wifi,google earth, and mobi tv running and it still lasted about 7 hours without a battery warning. Show me another high end phone that can do that.

posted on 06 Aug 2010, 02:01

31. mmj (unregistered)

Certainly, after looking at those photo samples and then at the text analysis, I have no idea how they came to the conclusion that the iPhone took superior photos, it seems the actual photos show the opposite, heaps of detail lost in the iPhone due to over-agressive noise filtering. Compare the indoor, dim lighting samples.

posted on 29 Aug 2010, 15:09

42. dwayne (unregistered)

I test drove the Captivate while waiting for the IPhone 4 and the battery last 5-6 hrs at best. That's after shutting down the 5 or 6 apps that were running in the background. I might have more running that I'm not aware of.

posted on 18 Jul 2010, 17:30

16. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1118; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)

I like how they review the captivate without making it an i-phone killer within AT&T. both phones are worth getting and i think tht its a good alternative while the i-phone 4 works on its antenna issues. I work for AT&T and ive told customers about the phone and what its supposed to do. i think the captivate could be one of the best non i-phones within AT&T besides the Aria, Palm Pre Plus, and the Tilt 2 (when windows mobile doesnt freeze up lol)

posted on 19 Jul 2010, 14:57

17. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

If people knew how good the captivate was - then, it would be an iphone killer - it is an awesome phone - call quality is better than what phonearena states it to be, too.

posted on 20 Jul 2010, 09:07

19. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

the only categorys where the captivate/vibrant/galaxyS doesnt stomp the iphone is Apps and lowlight camera usage. The rest belongs to the Galaxy. I'd say that makes the galaxy the winner. Oh yea, and the galaxy is easily rooted to make it faster, put a better camera app on there, so on and so forth, to make it even better than it already is.

posted on 20 Jul 2010, 09:54

21. de2philly (Posts: 31; Member since: 30 Jun 2010)

So if this competes w/ the iphone4... What will you say for Sprints version that also has a physical keypad AND 4G? Hmmmm

posted on 20 Jul 2010, 20:28

22. applesr4eating (Posts: 32; Member since: 01 Jul 2010)

I want a physical keyboard also. I hate virtual keyboards.

posted on 25 Sep 2010, 11:05

48. thisguy (unregistered)

Sprints 4G network is only available in less than 10 cities nationwide

posted on 21 Jul 2010, 11:30

23. mikeytx (Posts: 2; Member since: 21 Jul 2010)

My wife has the iPhone 4 and she likes all the ease of use like her music. I have the captivate and I like the large screen and I can customize the phone to my personality. I went from iPhone to captivate because of all of the article reasons but, it failed to mention 2 important features. Android 2.2 will have wifi tethering which is expected release for Captivate in fall. iPhone you still need to pay the extra 10 a month and it's cable tether to a laptop. 2nd feature is memory is expandable where iPhone you are set to whatever you purchased. One thing I do not like about the captivate is file management on and off the phone but that's a Android limitation.

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