Recently I picked up the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate (i896) smartphone at a local Rogers Wireless store. Once the box is opened and you look at the phone, the first thing you notice is the gorgeously large 4″ Super AMOLED screen that Samsung chose to use for this phone.
The screen on this phone will literally captivate you (pun intended) with its vibrant colours and its real estate as well. It is at a nice size where it isn’t too big like the HTC EVO’s 4.5″ screen and it has more screen than the iPhone’s 3.5″ screen. It has one of the best screens currently on the market and I think it gives the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 its run for the money with the Super AMOLED. It is actually easier on the eyes and is a very high quality screen. The screen on this phone is very responsive as one would expect from a high end smartphone.
Hardware wise, it has a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, either 8 or 16GB of space depending on the model, in which some of it is occupied by the Android OS and other necessary apps, a 480×800 4″ Super AMOLED screen, Bluetooth 3.0 and supports 802.11b/g/n wireless connections. This is also a world ready phone, so if you do want to do some traveling, you can take this phone along. Also there is built in GPS and A-GPS (assisted GPS) for those who wish to use this phone as a GPS on their car.
With the stock browser that is included on the phone, the experience is very smooth. Everything will load quite speedily, although Flash-heavy sites will slow it down. The good thing about the browser and also about Android 2.2 is that the OS has Flash 10 designed right into it, so this gives it a leg up on iOS which does not allow Flash on their hardware.
The Android Marketplace is a great place for more open source apps compared to the App Store on iOS but the selection is a bit lacking at the moment because there are quite a bit less users that use Android compared to iOS at the moment. There are still some gems within the Android Marketplace like Angry Birds and GameBoy emulators.
There is a navigation app on the Galaxy S Captivate which is very convenient and works quite nicely. It gives you turn by turn instructions and does it quite accurately although there is the odd time where the GPS signal is lost, but it will still give you a general area ranging from a 10-15 meters to a few hundred meters depending on local cell tower locations.
There is a music and video player that are in this phone which is great. It acts somewhat like an iPod Touch in that sense where you can find albums, artists and songs easily. The only thing is, like any handheld device, the lower end of things and also fine details is a bit muddled and has a tendency to get lost while using the external speakers, so listening with earbuds or a good headset is recommended.
There is also a camera that is capable of taking 5MP images and 720P HD videos. Shooting outdoors is good with both for pictures and video, although if you encounter low light situations, you will encounter grain in your shots.
Of course as a phone you will be using it to make and recieve calls. The call quality on this phone is excellent. I have had no dropped calls yet on this phone and also the audio quality is also pretty good. Contacts are easily found with groups you can create and also with the lettered tabs at the side.
Battery life on the Galaxy S phone is typical for any smartphone with a large screen. You will ne able to squeeze a full days worth out of the battery of you are a moderate user, but if used extensively, the battery may run out on you in the evening. I would recommend turning wifi, GPS and anything that is nonessential off when not in use to help the battery get through the day along with a good task killer available in the Android Market.
My final summary on the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate is that is a very solid phone that gives the iPhone 4 a run for its money and I’m giving it a 9/10. It is chock full of awesome features that make it an awesome device. I highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy S for anyone that is looking for a quality smartphone because of its high end screen, quality hardware that is going to last, an awesome open source OS and a great touchscreen.
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