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Review: Samsung Captivate

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap-Up Comments  27  

Music Camera Pictures/Video Browse/Customize Bloatware Extras  


The Captivate is one of the first phones to ship with Bluetooth 3.0+HS. Bluetooth 3.0+HS is supposed to allow devices to pair and connect via Bluetooth, and then establish a Wi-Fi link between them for faster file sharing. It took some time, but eventually I got it working. Using just regular Bluetooth, I sent a 6MB MP3 file from the Captivate to the Vibrant. It took just over one minute. I then turned on the Wi-Fi for both devices and sent a different 6MB file. This time, the transfer took 5 seconds. I think I am going to like Bluetooth 3.0+HS very much.

It also supports regular pairing with mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets. This feature functions perfectly well. Call quality was good through mono headsets and stereo music playback was OK, but not stellar. I was able to pair it with several PCs, and pass image files back and forth without too much trouble.


As with many Android phones, the time is displayed in a large digital read-out when the screen is woken up. Pressing any button wakes the screen, and you can easily read the time from an arm's length away.


The Captivate comes with both Google Maps and AT&T Navigator. Google Maps is free, and at this point is a known entity. It offers simple-to-use features, free turn-by-turn navigation, and generally works well. AT&T's Navigator software commands a monthly fee, and does the same things. Since to me there's no real advantage to either, you may as well stick with the free Google Maps. If you find it isn't enough, you can always try AT&T's software.


The Galaxy S line of phones will all come with Samsung's MediaHub software on board. This piece of software is a place for users to search for, buy and download content, such as music and movies. The service isn't up and running yet, so I couldn't test it. Samsung couldn't say if/when it would go live for U.S. customers.


Out of the box, the Vibrant runs Swype's predictive text entry software. After many trials and tribulations, I've decided it's just not for me. Thankfully, you can go with either the stock Android keyboard or the Samsung keyboard. Both are decent alternatives. Swype, though, might work well for many users.


The Captivate comes with AT&T's Mobile Video service as well as MobiTV on board. AT&T's Mobile Video lets users access free streaming video clips. Quality was terrible. Stuttery, heavily pixelated, and off-beat sound. MobiTV requires a subscription. In the trial that I ran, quality was better than AT&T Mobile Video, but it was still garbage.

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