A weekend on the road with Captivate; road test.


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  1. Infinite-t

    Infinite-t Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    OK, with the the posts here with people having issues, and toubles, I thought I would post up a story, or review of a weekend out of town with the Captivate. On this little trip I really put the phone to a good test to actually see if I was going to keep it, or keep looking.

    I start by saying this is my second Captivate. My first one had a couple of fatal issues that kept me from using the phone reliably.

    So, with no further adeu:

    Last weekend we went across state to attend my cousins wedding. My wife did the driving (we were in her SUV and she loves to drive) so that left me sitting in the passengers seat free to mess around. On the way, I listened to music for about an hour, using the included headphones. The music sounded nice and clear and well defined and did a decent job of blocking some of the noise from the open sunroof and we spead along at about 80mph. After an hour or so I got a phone call. So i used the headset for the call, again the call sounded clear and the caller (i asked them) reported that I sounded great and there was little or no background noise. (Remember there was an open sunroof just above my head).

    After the call I decided to fire up Nesoid (a nintendo emulator app) and played some oldschool Nintendo games until we arrived to our hotel. Throughout the trip, I used Google latitude to update our location to our expecting family accross state, and several other vehicles in our carivan of family and friends as we traveled across state. Most of the time, my signal was locked on in less than 10 seconds.

    That evening, we where winding down in the hotel room. I decided to watch Avatar on my phone. So for the next 3 hours or so we laid there in bed watching the movie. It played back great! The quality was excellent, and better than what you would expect watching a movie on your phone. After the movie, I plugged in at 36%.. no too shabby.

    The next morning, we woke up and relized, OH MY GOD! We didn't bring any coffee! I opened my phone and activated voice search and said, "Locate Starbucks" within about 15 seconds, I was shown there was one just a few blocks down from the hotel. Hooray. Throughout that morning I used the phone off and on the hotel wifi to check things online and such.

    That evening it was time to head to the wedding. We relized we forgot to bring the invitation so we did not know the address of the church. My wife did remember the name of it. She tried to call a few others in the family to ask, but they must have been away from their phones, no doubt prepairing for the event. I thought I would try using Google Navigator to see what woud happen. I said, "navigate to, blabla bla church" and to my surprise (since all this talk of broken GPS) about 15 seconds later, the phone started giving directions to the church. It successfully and accuratly brought us to the curch accross town without issue. I used the google navigate 3 other times and it successfully brought us to our desired destinations (the reception hall, a gas station, and a super market) without issue. That night, I forgot to plug in to charge, but even after all that use, and sitting overnight, I noticed it was at 53% when I woke up. Again, that was with wifi, blue tooth, and gps on, and a few widgets running and updating various things. So i figured, screw it, lets see how long i can go before it dies.

    On the trip home, I used latitude a handful of times, an hour or so of music playback, and an hour of Nesoid, and about a half hour phone call.

    In the evening, after getting home, I used it more on wifi to read some on these forums, a few posts, and some catching up on news and engadget articles. When I finally pluged in again, here are the stats:
    Since last charge:Battery Charge; 9%, Time since charge: 27h 7m. Display 4h 29m, Idle 22h 39m, maps 41m 39s, Media player 1h 4m, Nesoid 56m, phone calls 27m, wifi 2%, OS 2%, Blue tooth 3%.

    So, in a nutshell. I used the phone as I normally would and most folks would on a trip out of town. I was very happy and even surprised by the performance. At no time did I feel dissappointed or let down by the performance or features. It worked near perfectly for all the things I did with it. Even the GPS. I will say though, that the area we were in where I was using the navigation was kind of a desert type area. Few trees and a lot of wide open spaces with only small hills surrounding some areas. In town the buildings were fairly small, none of them more then 5-10 levels tall. Latitude did take about a minut or more to update when we were going over the mountain passes where we were surrounded by trees and very tall, rocky peaks.

    So, after this weekend of really putting the Capt thru the paces (in my opinion) I am very happy with the performance, it kept me up to date, entertained and even saved our asses in a few situations (getting to the church by name only). I think Im going to keep my Captivate!

    I look forward to the updates, I cant imagine what this sucker is going to be in a few months.

    If you think Im a Capt. fanboi or anything, think again. Read some of my other posts of issues and troubles I had at first. I was ready to give up on this thing. But after exchanging my first one, this second one rocks!

    Please feel free to post your road test stories here as well. Try to stay factual and on subject of what you did, how you used it, and under what conditions. If you had issues, how did you fix them? Or were you able to? What apps did you use to do certain things.

    I want these to be factual, usefull and informational about the ups and downs of this phone. Please refrain from complaining, arguing and flaming, there are plenty other posts for that crap. Hopefully we can have a few good informational threads about others sharing their stories about using it in different situations, which apps and features you did/didnt use and your overall experience with the Captivate. For those of use who like it, lets help eachother get the most out of using them.

    Thanks! I hope you find some of this useful and informational.
     

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  2. Regalicious

    Regalicious Well-Known Member

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    Good post. Real-world usage anecdotes are always the best.
     
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  3. PGP_Protector

    PGP_Protector Well-Known Member

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    Nice real world review :thumbsup:
     
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  4. ewingr

    ewingr Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great, and everything I looked forward to using it for. Regarding your GPS experience, that is what I would expect, given the situation you describe. Mine worked great, until I got in an area that was more congested with roads. Then it had no idea what road I was on.

    I am anxious for them to fix it so I can acquire it again.
     
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  5. thindery

    thindery Well-Known Member

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    Was this with the stock firmware or the jh2 leak?

    I have used Jh2 and navigation works really well within about 10 seconds. Google maps is a little slow to respond but in about 15 seconds it finds me with accuracy of 10 meters. Maps bounces a little, about 10-15% of the time. But the jh2 is a drastic improvement over stock for me.

    I was going to take mine back but after testing jh2 and hearing samsung's announcement I am keeping it. It will only get better.

    I to love watching movies. I have about 40 episodes of House I downloaded and I just fire an episode up whenever I have a few minutes. I can switch between emails and text and back to the show flawlessly. Love it.

    Also love how you can listen to pandora, and the navigation will come in and tell you your next turn. I wish there was a way to have it just fade the volume down a little and talk over, rather then completely cutting it out.. but that's just me being picky :D
     
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  6. jeremytanner

    jeremytanner Well-Known Member

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    My wife had been wanting to learn geocaching, so I added the c:geo app. Used the gps to locate a cache site near us, then we navigated to it by car, using the phone's GPS.

    Once we reached the site, we used the GPS to get close in. This is where the GPS issues started bugging me. Even though it said accurate to 10m, it jumped all over the place. In the end, I walked in a circle twice around the area I assumed it might be, looking at the "distance to" data, and I was able to figure out an area about 5m square, which made it fairly easy to locate.

    Then, while my wife logged her visit on the cache log, I updated our finding on the geocaching.com site, took some photos using the phone, and let her MMS those photos to her parents to brag.

    Overall, it was a nice way to go through the geocaching motions all from one device, although the fine-tuned navigation left something to be desired. Still, we were successful. :)
     
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  7. Infinite-t

    Infinite-t Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    This was stock firmware. Athough it probably helped a bit that I was in optimal conditions, it seems to work fairly decent for me for what I use it for. I will wait for the official Samsung update... if it does this good now, it will be just as good as the one in my car or a dedicated handheld unit that costs the same, if not more, than the phone itself.

    A thing also to remember. The Google Navigate says it is still in beta. Maybe some of the issues people are having might be from the program too.

    Thanks for the thanks ;) and keep the good, subjective, informational, on subject stories/reviews coming! :D
     
  8. abc2000

    abc2000 Member

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    The other day i went with a friend to pick something up at some unknown ranch so i type the address in the GPS and it guided us all the way there we even missed a turn and in less than 5 seconds it rerouted us through another way. I loved it.
     
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  9. Bearsyzf

    Bearsyzf Well-Known Member

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    i have to say, these are the threads i like reading. Thanks for the write up and i hope this gives people a little more faith and respect for this phone.
     
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  10. chuckyost1

    chuckyost1 New Member

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    I went to Best Buy in Knoxville, TN today to get my $50 refund (paid $199 on July 18th, they are now $149 at BB). Picked up a windshield mount while there, so I thought I'd try out the GPS on the trip home (28 miles). The phone is in stock condition, with only the 'supl.google.com' fix applied.

    I opened Google Navigator, spoke 'Home' into the mic, and then clicked the 'locate' button for current location. It located me in about 15 seconds, and then directed me out of the parking lot. I followed the GPS home, and it performed very well. I even intentionally missed the suggested exit, and it recalculated an alternate route in a few seconds. As I pulled to my house, it flashed a Google Street View image of my home, and announced that I had arrived at my destination.

    The only issue I noticed was it briefly placed me on an access road to the right of the interstate, and directed me to get back onto I-40 at the next exit. However, it corrected itself before I reached the exit.

    All in all, I was pleasantly surprised, as it accurately tracked me all the way home, crossing bridges, lakes, etc., at the appropriate time on the screen. My previous phone was an LG Xenon, and the Captivate is so much of an improvement that it is not even comparable. Needless to say, I will not be returning my phone.
     
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  11. Infinite-t

    Infinite-t Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Awesome, Keep them coming, they dont even need to be GPS related, just any expierence you have had while out and about on your daily use, good or bad. What have you found that works, doesnt work, what apps you used, etc. As long as they are factual, on subject, and of good civilized communication as they all have been so far!
     
  12. DT

    DT Well-Known Member

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    Wow! I'm sure everyone really appreciates all the time you took to write that up, very thorough and well done!

    I'm taking a little trip to DC this week, so I've got my Flight app, my Metro app, 3 EPs of Futurama and Up! both in HD (actually HB'ed to 800x480, they look _amazing_) so this will be my first business road trip with the phone. I also have my untested mobile Hot Spot installed if the need to tether should come up. :D
     
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  13. Galroc

    Galroc Active Member

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    Driving down a highway or road may or may not show the GPS issue. Take a walk or ride a bike with the Samsung S and the poor GPS will show itself.

    I am a runner and bicyclist. My previous phone was an iPhone 3G before the Captivate. The iPhone 3G, now two years old, would be rock solid as far as producing GPS tracks. I have done comparisons between the iPhone 3G and the Captivate along the same route and the Captivate is just dismal and unusable.

    Below is a track I took yesterday with the Captivate S. It is a normal bicycle ride along a rail trail, which is very straight. It should be one single track, along the former rail line, and a return trip back to the start. Zoom in and see how it is all over the place like I am doing zig zags.

    Bike Ride - Google Maps
     
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  14. Galroc

    Galroc Active Member

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    Nope. I am not using Google Navigate. I normally use a paid app called Runkeeper, available on the iPhone and Android. Only the Captivate has the issues.

    I switched to Google tracks for testing because it will inform me that it is using cell towers or wifi to lock instead of satellites. You can get a very close approximation of your location with wifi and cell towers and I think this is why people think the GPS is working fine, when it is not.
     
  15. DT

    DT Well-Known Member

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    The obvious answer is you were intoxicated during your bike ride.
     
  16. TDQuiksilver

    TDQuiksilver Well-Known Member

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    Most definitely! [​IMG]
     
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  17. Infinite-t

    Infinite-t Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Well, cool DT keep us posted on how it does on your buisness trip!

    Galroc, thanks for sharing your experience. I havent used mine yet for tracking me on foot or bike. I have heared folks say the same as you. It is a shame that this issue got thru Samsung's QC department and that it took so long for them to address it (since there are reports of the Euro version released a few months ago had it too). I was happy to hear they finally fessed up and announced that they are working to fix it and gave us a general ETA.

    This thing has some serious potential, lets hope that we get to use it. From the looks of people testing some of the "leaked" firmware and froyo progs, this thing is going to a a friggin monster in a month or so!
     

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