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    Samsung Captivate (AT&T)

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    Samsung Captivate (AT&T)

    Post by SPADEZ on Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:14 pm

    The good: The Samsung Captivate features a gorgeous
    Super AMOLED screen, a 1GHz processor, and 16GB of onboard memory plus an expansion slot. The Android 2.1 device also offers great call quality, full wireless options, and a HD video capture.

    The bad:
    AT&T won't let you sideload apps. Camera lacks flash.

    The bottom line: The Samsung Captivate is easily
    AT&T's best Android offering to date, delivering great performance, tons of features, and an easy-to-use interface.


    Samsung Captivate

    Editors' note:
    Portions of the User Interface section were taken from our review of the
    Samsung Vibrant since both phones share the TouchWiz UI.

    Out of the four major U.S. carriers, AT&T
    was the most in need of a solid Android smartphone, and it's finally
    got one in the Samsung Captivate. Part of the Galaxy S
    , the Captivate is by far AT&T's most powerful and
    feature-rich Android device, boasting a gorgeous Super AMOLED touch
    screen, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and some great multimedia
    features. It won't win any beauty contests, and we wish AT&T would
    stop restricting app access, but overall, the Captivate delivers and is a
    great alternative to the iPhone 4. The Samsung
    Captivate for AT&T will be available starting July 18 for $199.99
    with a two-year contract (voice plan and minimum $15 data plan

    Like many of today's touch-screen smartphones, the Samsung Captivate
    features a slate design that's not particularly sexy. In fact, it's
    rather lackluster, but the look is clean and simple. At 4.18 inches tall
    by 2.5 inches wide by 0.39 inch deep, the device is a bit of a handful,
    but Samsung managed to keep the handset pretty thin, so you can still
    slip it into a pants pocket. Plus, the Captivate has a much more solid
    build than the Vibrant, which comes at a price of a little extra weight
    (4.5 ounces vs. 4.16 ounces), but we much prefer that to a cheap-feeling

    The Samsung Captivate isn't the most attractive phone, but it
    has a solid construction.

    The front of the device rocks a 4-inch Super AMOLED
    capacitive touch screen, which supports 16 million colors and a WVGA
    resolution (480x800). It's one of the best-looking screens we've seen on
    a smartphone, showing off rich and vibrant colors and a sharpness that
    makes text easy to read. Aside from the brilliance and crispness of the
    display, there are a number of other advantages to Super AMOLED screens,
    including wider viewing angles and improved responsiveness. They also
    consume less power.

    The Captivate's touch screen was responsive and fast. We were
    able to quickly swipe through the various home screens and menu pages,
    and the scrolling experience was smooth, as was the pinch-to-zoom
    gesture. The display also has a six-axis accelerometer, which comes in
    handy for gaming, and it was fast to change the screen orientation
    whenever we rotated the phone.

    The Captivate uses Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 user interface, but
    you also get some controls below the display.

    Below the screen, are four touch-sensitive Android shortcuts:
    menu, home, back, and search. On the left side, there's a volume
    rocker, and a power/lock button sits on the right. There's a 3.5mm
    headphone jack on top, as well as a Micro-USB port, which is protected
    by a sliding cover. As usual, the camera is found on back, and just as a
    quick tip: if you want remove the battery door to swap out cells or
    access the SIM card or expansion slot, slide out the bottom portion of
    the phone first before removing the door. AT&T packages the
    Samsung Captivate with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a wired stereo
    headset, and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone
    accessories, ring tones, and help page
    . User interface
    Like the rest of the Galaxy S series, the Captivate runs on Android 2.1
    with Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 interface. The latter is definitely improved
    from previous versions, with some enhanced functionality and a more
    polished look. To start, there are new widgets, including one
    called Feeds & Updates and another called Buddies Now. Feeds &
    Updates streams updates from Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, and you can
    choose to display content from one, two, or all three of the
    social-networking sites, as well as set the refresh rate, ranging from
    30 minutes to once a day. Buddies Now is like a favorites list and
    allows you to immediately call or text those contacts, as well as
    comment on any of their updates. There are a number of other Samsung
    widgets, as well as Android widgets and other shortcuts, all of which
    can be added to one of seven home screens. The home screens can
    also be personalized with live wallpapers, but there are two elements
    that can't be changed: the pull-down notification tray on top, which now
    includes wireless manager and profile functions, and the toolbar along
    the bottom with quick-launch buttons to the phone app, e-mail, browser,
    and applications. Pressing the latter takes you to a nice grid view of
    all your apps; they're spread out over several pages, which you can
    swipe from side to side to get to. We much prefer this layout over the
    standard Android one, where you have to scroll up and down. It feels
    more natural and easier to navigate. Admittedly, we missed some
    elements of HTC Sense, such as the Leap screen, which provides a
    thumbnail version of all your home screen panels, but for the general
    consumer, TouchWiz does a good job of making Android quite user
    friendly, almost to the point that it doesn't even look or feel like an
    Android phone.

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