Samsung Focus vs Samsung Captivate

Samsung has been on a roll for the better portion of the last few months as consumers all around the world are praising their meticulous work in bringing out the stunning Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. With AT&T, the Samsung Captivate provided the number two carrier in the US with a much needed high-profiled offering to stand prominent in this competitive space – and that's exactly what the Samsung Captivate managed to accomplish. Establishing itself as a venerable smartphone maker, Samsung just recently entered the market with their first Windows Phone 7 powered device for the carrier; the Samsung Focus. Since both smartphones are currently vying for attention on AT&T's lineup, it's only inevitable to see these two look at each other straight in the eye to find out which one offers the superior experience – not to mention which device is right for their customers.


There are quite a number of similarities between the two that are taken directly from the original Samsung Galaxy S – like their exceptionally streamlined looks that make them pocketable. However, they're placed on the extreme opposite sides from one another in terms of materials as the Focus mainly relies on glossy plastic whereas the Captivate has a sturdier metallic skeleton. Even though the plastic shell of the Focus might scratch more easily and attract fingerprints, it's still one pretty looking handset with its curvier design that makes it natural to hold. Conversely, the carbon fiber-esque rear cover of the Captivate is durable enough to withstand most punishment while repelling smudges like no other. Still, they both present a sense of quality workmanship that makes them feel solidly built all around to give you peace of mind.

Being their most striking features, the Super AMOLED displays employed by both smartphones prominently stands out more than anything thanks to their stunning clarity, saturated looking colors, and high resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Not only does it deliver some sharp looking visuals that'll melt your eyes, but their flawless viewing angles enable you to maintain a level of visibility at almost every angle you look at them. And since they are identical in size at 4”, they're more than manageable to use without feeling too overbearing to use with one hand. In essence, you're not going to notice that one is better than the other in terms of display quality seeing that they perform in the same identical manner.

Even though capacitive buttons are in use with both devices, we actually prefer the ones on the Focus seeing that they're spaced further away from one another to reduce the amount of accidental presses – which is a problem for the cramped layout of the Captivate. When it comes to their physical buttons, they're all identical in terms of tactility and placement, but we like the distinguishable feel of the Captivate's dedicated power button over the recessed one of the Focus. In addition, the dedicated shutter key offered by the Captivate is naturally appreciated. Finally, both the 3.5mm headset jacks and microUSB ports are found on the top edges of both phones – and it's nice to see their sliding latches aiding in keeping out debris from entering their charging ports.

Endowed with 5-megapixel auto-focus cameras, it's only the newer Samsung Focus that's graced with an LED flash for illuminating your photos. But when it comes to removing their rear covers to gain access to their inner compartments, we like the mechanism employed on the Captivate as it feels more secure versus the easy to remove cover of the Focus.

Samsung Focus 360-degree View:

Samsung Captivate 360-degree View:



1. kurtshuge

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 19, 2010

It's really frustrating when you read this article and come to the conclusion. Both of these phones naturally are good phones and when you read a conclusion like the one above where he says...oo both phones are good so either choice would work out just isn't enough. I don't understand why you can't choose which one is slightly better based on specs or opinion instead of saying either would be good. Normally when I see a title such as Focus vs. Captivate I was expecting to see an opinion which phone is better at the end. Instead of saying how shoppers would weigh the benefits when buying, you should list a few to make the ending strong and summarize these benefits. The overall article was an enjoyable read but the ending, no offense, was terrible.

2. Saad073 unregistered

I was actually deciding between these two handsets and was going to go see them in person at an AT&T store to pick. I'm glad I saw this article first, but yeah the overall conclusion leaves much to be desired. I'm still not sure which to pick, but I am really leaning towards the Focus. I love the Captivate's design and look, but I have high hopes for WP7 and I think going for it now is going to be a pretty good investment in the long run. Plus I think I would get pretty frustrated with Android's upgrade issues, while WP7 pretty much guarantees all devices will get the system updated around the same time.

3. edsum unregistered


4. Thelostone

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

I ended up with the focus myself. It mostly comes down to the OS and a flash camera. I didn't care to much about the flash camera, but i cared about the OS. While the Windows OS is young, I am confident that it will get much better and I like the feel of it. I had heard of people having issues with Android phones, like any open source product, they seemed to have some compatibility issues and crashing

5. Frippe unregistered

I have the Focus and I am very "split" in my opinion about WP7. Obviously the hardware of the phones is nearly identical with the lack of a flash being the most apparent difference. Likes with WP7: Fast, fluent, very easy to use, very easy to configure et cetera. Issues with WP7: The SD memory card (fiasco) where it becomes totally integrated with the OS - however, I have not been able to use it as a USB memory function where you can simply add/remove files/pictures/documents. You can use Zune to sync music and movie files but not regular files (that I know of). Also, the SD cards will only be sold by the service provider to ensure "quality" (read $$$$) and for those who often switch SD cards = forget WP7. Other issues: lack of copy/paste function, not very customizable other than what color and which tiles to put on the start page, can't start to dial a name/number on the keypad to find the contact you want to dial, can't click on the battery or Wi-Fi icons to get more info/change their settings, and from time to time it locks up when trying to go to market place. Finally, the apps are much more expensive here than with iPhone or the Android.

6. aricept

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 17, 2010

The keyboards pictured for the Captivate are all layouts for the Samsung keyboard option; there are two other full keyboards included, Swype and the default Android keyboard which includes voice to text input.

7. forsaken77 unregistered

I went with the Captivate. The Android platform has alot more features than Windows 7. The WP7 is better if you're all about the camera because it has a flash and the Captivate does not (God only knows why). The Captivate excels with the Android marketplace with thousands of free and paid apps to choose from. There is also an app made just for the Captivate which if basicly Microsoft Excel or Office for business users and it's FREE. I would recommend the Android phone if you're more into apps and customization of your phone. It is NOT complicated like the article says. I would go with the WP7 if you're more into taking alot of pictures. Other than that... WP7 is too new and doesn't offer any offering over an Android phone. Possibly in the future it will, but not now.

8. Zeffir unregistered

Its definitely a good review. Truthfully though, you have to decide which is better in the end. I'm a captivate owner and ill say its quite impressive. I've tried the focus and the same can be said about that. Both are entirely different devices though. If you want a solid phone without having to invest too much time in it then Focus is definitely the one you'll want to get. Captivate comes with excellent hardware out of the box but its software is slowed down with all the at$t crap loaded into it. I took the time to root my device and install a different rom in it. Right now its running froyo and its blazing at speeds that weren't possible in its original out of box state. I definitely love it. Its just if you don't know your way around a computer then it could pose a challenge to optimize your captivate. If you take the time to, then definitely the rewards will out pass the time it took you to install it.

9. johnnyb unregistered

I had the captivate... it was complete garbage and not having a flash makes the pics look like they are coming from a 2mp camera in low light areas.... windows 7 is amazing on the focus and it does everything that the captivate does but does it better. Plus i know that if the phone is this good now with WP7 it will be absolutely amazing once it takes off more.

10. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Seriously, why buy a phone from a company that is pretty much like APPLE?? Get the ANDROID version, get it rooted....and get a 2.2 FROYO ROM with FLASH with the 2.3 GINGERBREAD keyboard....AUXURA works great and has excellent want games...get an emulator.....

11. at&towner unregistered

what is 2.2 froyo rom and how do u download it ?

12. Alexia unregistered

The whole point of the article is that the phones are so closely matched in the categories that neither is necessarily better than the other. Its your job as the consumer to read through the article and decide what is more important to you. Do you want a flash on your camera? Go with the focus. Do you want a better social networking experience? Then go with the captivate. Do you drop your phone all the time? Go with the metal backing of the captivate. As far as call quality, battery life, screen resolution, camera, etc. the phones are pretty much the same. Maybe now you need to go read an article now the two different operating systems, because that is the next major deciding factor.

13. Bluecham unregistered

I think it is a personal choice seeing they come out so similarly- I mean really, if you are so incompetent that you cannot make a decision for yourself... I just went yesterday to ATT to play with both phones. I loved the feel of the Focus in my hand. It was simple to use and the display was amazing, but I hate the look and function of the tiles. The Captivate felt more bulky but I love the control of personalizing its platform. Captivate has a great forum online where you can learn tips and tricks and really get the most out of the phone. Captivate wins my money- and that is my choice based on my ability to make one.

14. DCNotDMV unregistered

I have the Focus and I am trying to switch to the Captivate. Not because the phone is bad , its very good but Windows isnt the service I want. Androids have more apps and you can have ringtones on the Captivate. Unlike the Focus where you have only the standard tones and until Windows upgrade, that is what you'll be stuck with. Also syncing the Windows ID and Zune to your phone is not as easy as you may think. Its too much work to get apps and that is why I am going to the Android side again. Perks of the phone:battery life, great camera, ease of use, lightwieght Cons:not many apps,no ringtones,

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