Samsung Captivate Review

by Reads (61,208)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service, Warranty & Support
    • 9
    • Ease of Use
    • 8
    • Design
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 5
    • Value
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 8.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Awesome screen
    • Long battery life
    • smooth graphics performance
  • Cons

    • Heats up too much
    • Menu/nav buttons occasionally unresponsive
    • Camera images fuzzy for zoomed in images

Quick Take

The Captivate has a lot more going for it than a pretty screen.

Google Android OSThe Samsung Captivate is the AT&T variant of the Android OS-based Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. The calling card for this line of mobiles is the inclusion of Samsung’s Super AMOLED screens — which offer better color and use less power — and the new Samsung Hummingbird processor clocking in at 1 GHz.

From a specifications side, the Captivate delivers on what many expect from top-of-the-line smartphones. But, devices are more than their specs, as I have found out with my time with this deviced.

The Captivate is available now for $200 with a 2-year contract from AT&T. Off contract, the price is $500.


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

Samsung Captivate from AT&TScreen
I was initially very pleased by the screen on the Captivate, and weeks later I continue to be impressed. Probably the biggest reasons have been the performance in direct sunlight, and the lack of need to clean off the screen of fingerprints.

The contrast of the Super AMOLED screen compares quite well to the transreflective display on my Nokia N97. The WVGA (800 x 480) resolution, while fine, still means I can see pixels with some screen contrasts and in some icons — but 4-inches is plenty to view movies and web pages, and it makes the overall device just large enough for most pockets.

I’ve been reasonably pleased with the refresh rate when watching videos or doing gestures. I do notice some lag with some gestures — a lag that is oddly not as present when using Swype for inputting text.

This is really a well done screen, and if not for a slightly different calibration with T-Mobile’s Vibrant (also a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone), I’d probably say that its one of the best screens on the market.

Other Buttons and Controls
The Captivate has very few buttons — Power/Lock and Volume up/down. This would usually lend to a slippery device, but the hard plastic and metal (?) battery panel keeps the device easily in hand. The width also helps here as well.

While I’m fine with the minimalist design approach, it would have been good to have dedicated camera button. As I’ll talk about later, the user interface of the camera application could use one to become a bit simpler and faster.




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