Hardware Review: Samsung Captivate
Recently I made the decision to break up with Apple as far as what device I would use for my personal mobile phone (Sorry Steve, it's you not me). I decided to try out an Android based device and with my contract still being with AT&T, the only Android phone worth checking out was the Samsung Captivate.
The Samsung Captivate is part of the Galaxy S line of phones finally available in the US. Each carrier is getting a version with minor hardware differences but fundamentally the same phone. Getting used to the Android OS was a major adjustment, not because it was hard, but because iOS is so simple in comparison. You pretty much have to switch your thinking to “what CAN'T I do to customize it?”
Anyway, this is a hardware review and not an OS comparison so lets get back to the actual review.
The Captivate comes with version 2.1 update 1 (Eclair) of the Android OS and will be updated to 2.2 later this year. The basic specs are as follows:
1 GHz Cortex A8 “Hummingbird” Processor
PowerVR SGX540 GPU
16 gigabytes of internal memory (1.7 gigabytes to store apps)
Micro SD slot supporting up to a 32 gigabyte card (no card included)
4″ Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen 480×800 resolution screen
5MP Still camera and 720p (at 30fps) video
Accelerometer (six axis)
WLAN b/g/n and DLNA support
Micro USB connection
Removable 1500 mAh battery
TV out via the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The first thing you will notice about this phone is that it is extremely lightweight. One of the lightest smartphones of comparable size, makes you wanna be very careful with it.
The Super AMOLED screen is amazing; colors are very bright and everything has a very nice pop to it.
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I do have some difficulty viewing it outdoors in direct sunlight but with a little adjustment it isn't too bad.
The interface used is Touchwiz 3.0 and to be honest, as my first android device I know little of the differences of the previous versions to make a comparative statement.
I have heard that previous versions were nothing to write home about and 3.0 is leaps and bounds beyond those.
There are an awful lot of preinstalled applications that you most likely won't want or need, but a quick search online will give you the information you need to remove them. AT&T apparently likes to lock the phone down, so you can only install applications from the Market, but again with a little bit of looking around you easily change that.
Performance wise, the phone is very responsive and has plenty of horsepower for just about anything you can think of doing with it. For those that are interested in benchmarks, in Quadrant, out of the box the phone scores in the upper 800's and once you apply the lag fix, you instantly shoot those scores up to 2200+.
Since I purchased this phone, I have had no buyers remorse or even miss my previous phone in the least. I think that I have played more games in the month that I have had it then I did in the 2 years that I had my iPhone.
The form factor made it an easy switch and I am loving the Swype keyboard.
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I would highly recommend this phone or any of the other Android equivalents on other service providers.