Review: Samsung Captivate Glide for AT&T
The Captivate Glide is remarkably thin and light for a sideways slider. Most often such devices are thick, weighty beasts, but not the Captivate Glide. Despite the addition of a full QWERTY keyboard, it's not all that much thicker than the Galaxy S II range of devices. The build quality is good, but it retains the cheap, creaky materials that plague the entire Galaxy line of phones. Would it kill ya to use some nice metals, Samsung?
The design makes the proper adjustments to account for the changed form factor, but from six feet away, it looks like any other Samsung Galaxy phone. The front is all black, shiny plastic and the battery cover is textured. In cross-section, Captivate Glide has a slightly trapezoidal shape, with the bottom half a bit wider than the top half. The rounded curves are comfortable in the hand. Thanks to the narrow width, I found it very comfortable to hold and use when closed. It fits comfortably in your pocket.
The Captivate Glide's front face is solid black when the display is turned off, save for the fingerprint smears all over it. The silvery AT&T and Samsung logos each catch light from time to time, making them stand out. Below the Samsung logo, the four Android controls are found in capacitive form. They work well, though I wish they'd stay lit longer.
The volume toggle is on the left. It has a chintzy feel to it, but the the travel and feedback are decent. The lock button is opposite the volume toggle, on the right side of the Captivate Glide. I wish this key were a bit bigger, given how important it is, but it works well enough. The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top, as is the microUSB port, which is covered by a tiny hatch. As long as your fingernails are cut down to nubs (as mine are), you can open and close the hatch easily.
Even though the back surface of the Captivate Glide has a textured feel to it, it’s still slippery. This does not help when it comes time to open the phone up. I had a hard time keeping the Captivate Glide in my grip when trying to slide the top half open. Your instinct is to push up from the left edge of the phone, but its nearly impossible to do so without loosing your grasp on the Captivate Glide. In the end, I had to resort to putting my thumbs on the screen itself to open the Captivate Glide without dropping it. The slider mechanism itself is solid and feels good. It opens with a satisfying thunk, and the travel is smooth.
Regular readers of Phone Scoop reviews may remember that I am not a fan of sideways QWERTY keyboards. I find them to wide and awkward to use, in general. That said, Samsung did a fine job crafting the Captivate Glide's keyboard. Though I wish the buttons had a little more shape and definition to them, travel and feedback are excellent, and the four-row layout means you have plenty of useful keys. There are three rows of letter keys, and the bottom row is for the space bar, punctuation, and other keys. The four menu buttons are duplicated on the outer left and outer right edges of the keyboard, there are four directional keys for fine-tuning cursor control, and there is a www/.com button, emoticon shortcut, a microphone button (to activate voice input) and a key to silence the speaker.
The battery cover is a thin, cheap-feeling layer of plastic. It's no trouble to remove. Both the SIM card and microSD card can be accessed without removing the battery.