Samsung Captivate First-look Review

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UPDATE: This preliminary review was written based on a relatively short time with this smartphone. A much more in-depth review has now been published based on extensive testing:

Samsung Captivate Review

 

The Samsung Captivate is AT&T’s first Android OS model with cutting-edge features like a WVGA (800 x 480) Super AMOLED display and 16 GB of internal storage.

This smartphone landed in my hands a few hours ago and what follows are some of my first impressions after playing with it for a bit.

The Captivate is set to debut on Sunday, July 18, and will sell for $200 with contract.


BUILD & DESIGN

The Captivate reminds me a lot of the original BlackBerry Storm in that it’s not so much a long device as much as it hasa wide body. Totally dominated by its 4-inch screen, it grabs you with its impressive display.

Samsung Captivate from AT&TThe Samsung creates and sells many of the screens used in today’s mobile devices, and its Super AMOLED display is its latest. The advantage over this screen to other OLED ones is that it’s thinner, more energy efficient, and doesn’t have the inclination to wash out completely in direct sunlight. Suffice to say, it’s impressive — and when the clouds break in my region, I’ll be sure to test its ability to not be washed out.

Until then, I took note of some interesting similarities between the Captivate and the Nokia X6. The Captivate is almost like a squished X6 – it’s about half as thick, but half-again as wide. Both device keep a clean profile on the sides and rear, but the Captivate is even slicker here with very few buttons and ports (3.5mm and covered microUSB portson the top, power/lock buttonon the right, and volume on the left).

Like the X6, the Captivate sports a 5 megapixel camera. I’ll get some more acquaintance with this aspect of the device for the full review.

The battery cover feels like a hard plastic or carbon fiber. After some initial confusion in how to remove it (you slide the panel below the battery), I saw an impressive 1500 mAhbattery, plusthe SIM and microSDHC card slots.

The Captivate doesn’t come with a microSDHC card, but should take up to a 16 GB card with no problem. Add this to device’s 16 GB of internal storage and you have quite a bit of capacity.


PERFORMANCE

The Captivate comes with Android OS 2.1 (Eclair) and the usual suite of Google applications: calendar, contacts, email, maps, music player.

There are seven (7) homescreens which can be used, and by default four of these are filled with content. There’s the usual spread of Android OS software — Calendar Gmail, Google Maps, etc.

In addition, AT&T has added its own collection of apps — software (Family Map, HotSpots, Maps, Music, Radio, and Navigator), and some neat applications such as Mobile Banking and Write and Go — the latter is like a note pad which also functions to update status messages on social networks, memos to calendar, and can be sent as an SMS.

In my full review, I’ll check out the wireless capabilities,including 3G, Wi-Fi, and GPS.


PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION

So far I like the Samsung Captivate. It will be interesting to see how much this device has developed some of the day-to-day aspects of Android OS. While the selling point is the screen and apps, there’s always more to a device than shows up in the specifications list.

Stay tuned for the full Brighthand review in a week or so, after I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.

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