New potential user - questions, comments, thoughts, etc.


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  1. iceman718

    iceman718 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hey guys,

    So it's about time I upgrade from my little Samsung flip phone by now. I've decided to go the smartphone route, and I'm torn between devices at this point, namely the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Captivate. I apologize for the length of this post, but I'm a college student spending my hard earned money on this phone and the data plan to go with it, so it's very important for me to get something that'll last me two years. I can't afford to upgrade every time something better comes out, so I'm looking at what's high end right now, and I don't want to regret my decision later.

    I've been following the release of both phones pretty closely and have been reading these forums and Android forums a lot. Here's the story:

    When the new iPhone was introduced, I was highly considering buying it. With all the new features, it's the first iPhone I'd even thought about. Then all the problems started coming out, and I was glad I hadn't preordered it. Then I read about the Samsung Captivate and I like it as well. So here are some of my thoughts and comments about each. I know this is an Android forum, so I'm just going to ask to try to keep the fanboy talk and Apple bashing to a minimum, and help me make the best decision FOR ME.

    I want a phone that'll basically do anything I want it to do quickly. The majority of the time, it will be used for web browsing on wifi, checking email, texting, and making calls. I don't game a whole lot, but if I've got some free time, they're fun - just like reading stupid stuff like TFLN. I want something smooth, fast, and fairly customizable. I charge my phone every night, so it's gotta be able to last one full day with moderate use.

    So for the iPhone 4... I really like the sharp display. No disputing it's the highest resolution right now. It really looks great. I am familiar with iOS (I own an iPod Touch) and it's definitely nice and simple. Not a fan of how locked it all is, so if I get it, I'll definitely jailbreak it. I like the new camera and iOS4, but I'm concerned about durability. I'm definitely careful with my stuff (don't think I've ever dropped my Touch) but still, the whole outside of the phone is made of glass. The only protection I'd want for my new phone is an InvisibleShield type film. I'm also concerned about the reception issue. Whenever I browse the web on my Touch, I hold it in my left hand covering the weak spot. Then there's all the other problems it's been experiencing, and the fact that it's Apple so they'll never admit they messed something up.

    CLIFFS... like the display, like the new features, like the OS (when jailbroken), concerned about problems, concerned about durability, not sure about how I like the ergonomics of the sharper edges (kinda hard to tell with the big anti-theft device stuck to the back of it).

    Now for the Samsung Captivate... it's also got a gorgeous and larger display. I'm not really familiar with Android, but from playing with it a bit at the store, I like it. I know it'll get Froyo soon enough, and meets the requirements for Gingerbread, so even if Samsung doesn't release it, I'm sure someone will make 3.0 run on the Captivate. It seems pretty easy to tweak things to make it a lot smoother (use different launcher, kill background processes, remove AT&T crapware). I like how open it is, and I like the widgets that give a bunch of info without having to open an app. I like the look of the phone, the camera is good, and I really like the Swype keyboard. It seems more durable than the iPhone, but it also has an issue with losing reception when held a certain way. I also haven't had any experience with Android apps. The only ones on the demo unit were the ones that come with the phone. Accessories, apps, etc aren't nearly as universal as with the iPhone, and the phone to computer integration doesn't seem as seamless. Now for some questions. How do you enable pinch zooming on photos? I heard it only worked on web browsing, and that was true for the one I played with in the store, but I just watched a comparison video on youtube and the guy was pinch zooming photos on the Captivate. I also heard it has a great auto-correct keyboard, but the one I used didn't, but it did have Swype. Is there a different keyboard that does auto correct? How do you switch between them? What are some of the 'must have' apps for Android? I've read using Launcher Pro will make things a lot smoother vs TouchWiz. How easy is it to switch between the two? How easy is it to download/install apps, themes, widgets, etc? The store demo unit wasn't signed in to the marketplace so I couldn't try any of this stuff.

    Cliffs... like the screen, like the OS, like the look and feel and features, concerned about reception issue, not sure about apps, few Android questions.

    I'll probably think of more later but for now, based on what I've said and your experience, which do you think is better for me? I'll definately end up making my own decision, but I certainly value the opinions of people more knowledgable about the whole smartphone game. Seems some of you guys even have multiple smartphones on multiple carriers, and I'd really like to hear your thoughts and explanations, especially those who aren't totally loyal to iOS or Android exclusively.

    I really appreciate your input, and I appreciate the 2 or 3 people who will actually read my whole post.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. ajerman

    ajerman Active Member

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    Well, as someone who has had both, I have to first tell you that you need to decide what you like best. Do a little research on what's important to you, then play with them a little more at the store to make your decision.

    As for me, I got the iPhone 4 when it came out, then returned it for the Captivate on Monday. So far I've been very happy. The iPhone is quickly becoming boring to me, but that's because I like tinkering, so obviously Android fits me better. I think both phones and operating systems are very nice and I can't really put one ahead of the other. It just depends on what you need the phone to do for you.

    So, to compare a few things, the iPhone screen is definitely smoother, but the blacks and colors are better on the Captivate. Both screens look amazing, and I'd have to say it's a tie. You won't be disappointed with either one, but in the end, I opted for the bigger screen and it still looks very good even if it's not quite as sharp as the iPhone 4.

    As for durability, it's kind of hard to say so far. The iPhone is glass, but I had a Bumper on it. It took one fall out of my lap to the curb, which probably could have easily broken it, but it hit on the side and chipped the glass a little, but wasn't too noticeable for the most part. A second fall with the Bumper took a chunk out the Bumper, but the phone was fine. With the Captivate I got the Body Glove gel case, but it hasn't taken a fall yet (knocks on wood). It does feel less solid than the iPhone, but no phone feels as solid as the iPhone. The Captivate definitely feels solid, but the bigger the screen is, the easier it is to break, so I'm still worried. Bottom line, either one of them could break if you drop it. I wouldn't say either is necessary more durable than the other. Either could break on it's first drop, or last forever. I would definitely suggest some kind of case on an iPhone though. The Bumper gives the phone a good feel, adds very little bulk, and obviously adds extra protection.

    As for the questions you had...

    - Pinch to zoom works everywhere on the Captivate out of the box.
    - There are a lot of keyboards you can try. Swiftkey is supposed to be pretty nice, and I do want to install it and try it myself, but I haven't yet. Swype is kind of a gimmick, but if you're new to a touch screen phone, it might be a good place to start. In the end, I feel like I can type a lot faster by tapping keys. All you do to switch keyboards is do a long hold in a text box, tap Input Method, and choose the one you want.
    - I'm not really sure what the must have apps are yet since I've only had it for two days. Lookout is about the only thing I'd definitely suggest, it'll do contact, photo, and call log backup, antivirus, and lost phone location from their website, all for free. If you've got some other friends on Android, get TiKL is a nice PTT app. Quickoffice is free for the Captivate, at least for now. KeepScreen might be important to you if you want to make sure the screen won't turn off in certain apps. That's about all I can really think of as must-have type apps. Past that I have my online radio stations, weather apps, some games, etc. I'll let others give more suggestions on this part.
    - I've dumped TouchWiz for LauncherPro as soon as I got home with my phone, and I'm very happy with it. You can download an app called Home Switcher and then it's a simple tap to choose which you want as your default.
    - Downloading apps, themes, and widgets is simple. Just search for what you want in the market then click install. I still haven't purchased an app yet, so I can't say anything about that, but I assume it's just as easy once you have a payment linked to your account.

    You sound like you'd be pretty happy with either one. The iPhone is a little more simplistic, which is nice, but Android is more customizable if that's what you like. Like I said, both are very nice, and I like both, but I'd been waiting for an Android phone for a long time, and I'm very happy with the Captivate so far. It's annoyed me a few times for sure, but so did my iPhone. I don't regret the swap though.

    Oh, and one other thing to mention. The Captivate definitely feels faster doing comparable tasks. It's hard to directly compare the two since they are entirely different platforms, but web browsing, for one, seems very fast on the Captivate. If I'm on wifi it loads pages at almost desktop speeds. The iPhone was very fast as well, but it always seemed to take it's time to finish loading a page. Not to mention we still have 2.2 coming for the Captivate which should make it even faster.
     
  3. iceman718

    iceman718 Member This Topic's Starter

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    I really appreciate your detailed response. I'll certainly end up making my own decision, but I wanted some opinions from experienced users since I'm not as familiar with Android OS.

    Good to hear about the pinch to zoom. I was actually pretty impressed with Swype, but I wish that it had auto correct if I decided to just tap keys instead. But it sounds like it's easy to switch between them so no big deal.

    What exactly does LauncherPro replace? I've seen videos on youtube and stuff, but so far I'm not really clear what's stock Android, what's TouchWiz, and what LauncherPro changes. Does it make opening/closing apps faster? Sometimes when you hit the home button from within an app, it seems like it didn't register your touch, so you hit it again, but I think a lot of the time it's just a second or two of delay closing the app. Is that something that can be sped up?

    Also, coming from an iPhone, was there any app you wanted that wasn't available in the Android market?
     
  4. ajerman

    ajerman Active Member

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    LauncherPro and TouchWiz are going to be your home screen elements and your app drawer. This includes the icons at the bottom of your home screen, the widgets, and how the app drawer looks and functions. There are simple Android widgets that work on everything, but there are also widgets made specifically for TouchWiz that won't work on LauncherPro, and... well just one widget so far for LauncherPro that's unique to it. For the most part it's just the look and feel of your home screen and how it functions.

    LauncherPro does actually speed up the Captivate a bit, though I suppose that TouchWiz will be updated eventually to fix the lag issues it has. For now I'm just as happy with LauncherPro, so it doesn't make much difference to me I guess other than the speed. There are people who have found a fix to make the phone faster, but I haven't dug that deep so I don't know if it's something that's system wide or a TouchWiz thing, or maybe systemwide but it helps TouchWiz a lot. I'll probably mess with it sometime when I'm bored messing with everything else. I think you needed a microSD for the fix though and I don't have one yet.

    The only app I miss right now is a proper radar application. I'm very much a weather nerd, and so far no one has written an app that will natively pull the radar data from the NWS and draw it on the screen. I don't want WeatherBug's pre-rendered radars. There's a lot of other radar products to be seen than just the base reflectivity models that you see in all the apps like TWC and WeatherBug. That's it so far though. Oh, and I miss Fieldrunners, haha. I need to find a good tower defense game to waste my time with on Android.
     
  5. Surfer

    Surfer Well-Known Member

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    This is a long post so feel free to just skip my response.

    Hello, and let me just start off by saying, this is basically a preview of the whole phone so feel free to skip this answer if you already know all the specs etc, and I am not an iPhone fanboy, nor am I an Android fanboy. I believe each system is great, but has there own faults.

    Lets start off with a couple of basics, OS and Android are VERY different. OS is quite simplistic, with a larger app market. These apps include more games, but either than jailbreaking it, there is no way to truly get free apps. Android however has more of a PC life interface. It has 7 different screens, its updates are a bit more noticeable, and it also has a smaller app market, but the apps include more "widgets" which are basically applications you put on your homescreen.
    So for interface, seeing as you already have an iPod touch I suggest the Samsung Captivate.
    In terms of looks and build quality, its somewhat up to preference. I won't lie, the iPhone looks VERY nice, it uses high quality material, and it's screen is very good. The only downside to this is that the phone therefore becomes a bit heavier than the captivate and also a bit more fragile. The Samsung Captivate has kind of a love or hate kind of look on the back. The battery cover is somewhat carbon fiber looking, but I am sure they will sell other colors sooner or later. It has just as good as a screen, and honestly I think it is a bit brighter.
    This choice is up to you, I often drop my phone a lot so the Captivate wins that for me, but a nice case may be good.
    Now lets look at performance. In numerous tests that I have seen on youtube, and other video websites, I have seen that while connecting to a web page (engadget was the one I they loaded) the Captivate would load the web pages about 4-5 seconds faster while connected to the same WiFi. They can both pinch to zoom and tap to zoom, BUT os does not support Flash like Android Does. In terms of call quality I can't vouch from personal experience but from what I have read, the iPhone lacks great call quality and even reception due to the "deathgrip" which has been said is on EVERY iPhone 4. Of course that problem can be HELPED but not fixed via a phone cover, but a software update WILL NOT FIX IT. Now performance wise, the iPhone seems a bit snapier, but they both are quite fast. For texting now I have to say that Swype is a great way of texting, and also you can resort back to a normal keyboard so you can't have enough options with android. The iPhone keyboard is truly, just a plain touchscreen keyboard. Memory wise, the iPhone has either 16gb or 32 gb build in while the Samsung has 16gbs + Space for a micro sd that can be as big as a 32 gigabyte adding up to a whopping 48 gigs. (The memory card isn't too expensive maybe around 40 or 50 for a class 5) Battery wise, they are both good, but the Samsung will last a bit longer because there background screen on the application menu is black therefore conserves a good amount of energy, plus the battery is a 1500 as compared to the iPhone 1300-1450 I believe. Now one more thing that I would like to cover is the camera. They both have the SAME megapixel at 5.0 Megapixels, but the iPhone has a nice LED Flash. The Captivate does have an option for night pictures, changing resolution, and they might soon have a flash developed but that is truly not 100%. Now the iPhone DOES have a front facing camera, but seeing as you can ONLY use it for Wifi it seems a tad useless because you might as well use a plain Laptop/Netbook with a webcam, but that is just my 2cents.

    - On a side note, if you look to buy the 200mb Data plan rather than the 2gb, I suggest the iPhone because the Captivate will be contiously updating itself due to widgets.

    ALL IN ALL, it comes down to preference seeing as one phone isn't super ahead of the other. Yes the iPhone has problems with reception, and that is a downer, and yes the Captivate will not be able to install 3rd party apps (as of now) but I am sure sooner or later all those little kinks will be fixed. As for me I am set on the Captivate just because the iPhone seems a bit too simplistic for me. I truly hope I helped because I have already debated this. Sorry this had to be so long but I try to give you the best input I possibly had.
    Source(s):
    I have done EXTENSIVE research on both of these phones (frankly because I can't have the EVO 4g) and I have used trustworthy sites, unboxing and reviews, and basically every source you will find.
     
  6. korath

    korath New Member

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    I just took the plunge to test out an android phone, and I'm glad it was the captivate. I was planning on going to buy the new iPhone 4 but decided that I would drop it and ruin my investment.

    Coming from a 3gs, there is a lot to learn and plenty of things done differently. Personally, the new iphone has a sharper screen, a flash and plenty of the apple commitment to staying the best. What swayed me was: insurance on the captivate, decent resolution, fantastic colors, sunlight visibility, and the freedom to customize on the fly.

    I'm still testing this phone out for 30 days, but I think I will unlock and sell my 3gs simply because this phone is fast, open and going to get better. That and when I crack the phone, replacement won't be an issue.
     
  7. JuneNYC

    JuneNYC Well-Known Member

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    I'll just write a list of features that swayed me to the android phone:

    1. Removable battery
    2. SUPER AMOLED
    3. Removable/interchangeable memory card
    4. Google
    5. Fastest growing mobile platform
     
  8. iceman718

    iceman718 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for your informative post. Like you, I've been doing research, reading reviews and forums, and watching youtube videos. I'm more familiar with iOS, but at this point, I'm confident that I could walk in, buy the Captivate, and know what I'm doing with it. I like the little widgets I can put on the home screens rather than actually having to open an app. I like all the personalization options.

    I'm confident that the Captivate would be more durable if dropped. I like how thin both phones are, so I really wouldn't want more than a skin to protect it. I have a Zagg skin on the back of my iPod, and a Power Support Crystal protector on the front and am very happy with that. I know at this point Gadget Guard makes a full body skin for the Captivate, and I'm sure everyone will make one for the iPhone.

    The faster web browsing on the Captivate, even without Froyo, really draws me to this device. Since that's a large portion of what I'll be doing, faster is better, plain and simple. Flash support is also cool, as I do visit several sites with Flash content. From what I've seen, it comes with Flash Lite or something like that, and Froyo will bring full 10.1 support. What's the difference here, and can either of these be enabled/disabled quickly? For sites with a bunch of Flash ads and stuff that I don't care about, it'd be nice to be able to turn it off for faster loading.

    From what I've seen, signal degredation from holding it is a problem on both phones, which is pretty disappointing. Apparently there's not much I can do about this though.

    In my short experience playing with the Captivate at the store, I think the lack of good transition animations makes the iPhone seem like it loads or closes apps faster or smoother. Is this something that LauncherPro would fix?

    As far as battery, I've heard/seen wildly different reports about this. Captivate's a little better, iPhone's a little better, iPhone doubles the Captivate... idk. I guess it's really up to how it's used.

    I don't think I'll use the camera ridiculously often, and even less in low light, so I'm not terribly concerned about the lack of flash. That being said, why they chose to omit it is beyond me. The fact that the iPhone's FFC can only be used with another iPhone makes it pretty useless, as anyone I'd consider video chatting with won't be getting an iPhone. If I'm somewhere with wifi, I'll probably have my laptop anyway.

    I'm really really glad you brought up the point about the data. Something I hadn't thought about. For the majority of the time, I'll be on my campus which has a super fast wifi network everywhere. Here at home, my house has wifi. How much data will these widgets pull and how often do they update? I won't be without wifi very often, which is why I thought the 200mb plan should be plenty. I guess I'll just watch my data usage pretty carefully the first few months.

    Thanks for all your input.
     
  9. Sledutah

    Sledutah Well-Known Member

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    Great reviews guys, thanks.
    I've had a 3gs for the last year and loved it. I had the iP4 for 3 weeks and just never felt good about it. I had some major problems (proximity sensor) and some minor (reception issues and bluetooth problems). I just didn't feel like apple was going to "fix" my problems, so I sent it back. I'm now using my 3gs again, until I get my upgrade eligibility backdated.
    I've spent a little time playing with the Captivate and think that is what I'm going to get next, at least the android direction. Before the 3gs I had a WM phone that I had installed custom roms. With the 3gs, I jailbroke it within a few months of getting it. So, I'm looking forward to a phone that I can get my hands dirty with.
     
  10. iceman718

    iceman718 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Just a quick bump to see if anyone can answer some of the questions from my last post.

    Also, went back to the AT&T store today to play with it some more, and someone had signed in to the market, so I was able to download and install Launcher Pro to check out the differences and it was pretty nice. Scrolling between home screens was definitely smoother but scrolling up and down lists wasn't quite perfect. I see that it was a TouchWiz thing to swipe between pages of apps, rather than scroll down a list. Opening and closing apps today seemed fast and not laggy. I can definitely make it drop a couple bars by holding it. Went to the SpeedTest website, but couldn't run the test because it said it was missing a license or something. Don't know what that's about. Anyway, still thinking this is the phone I'm going to go with, but I just wish I wasn't seeing so many threads about problems people are having.

    Thanks.
     
  11. rajendra82

    rajendra82 Well-Known Member

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    You are thinking Captivate has a signal loss issue, just like iPhone 4, but that is simply not the case. Apple has admitted that the algorithm for bars in iOS 4.0 is messed up and it draws more bars than it should which suddenly drop to nothing, what's worse is that death grip causes the exposed antennas to short and change length which results in data loss and dropped calls. The Captivate on the other hand seems to be using a very strict algorithm for the bars display (possibly dictated by AT&T due to the iPhone 4 debacle). As a results the Captivate shows fewer bars than the iPhone 4, but even with zero or one bars, I've never dropped a call, failed to get a call, or been disconnected from the internet. Focus on the real life results and not the number of bars shown on the screen.
     
  12. DontMindMe

    DontMindMe Active Member

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    I just wanna jump in here real quick-

    if you get either phone from best buy, instead of an AT&T store, its something like $6 to insure, and from how the guy i talked to described it, it covers everything. He said if you drop it and break the screen or something, you can bring it in to any Best Buy Mobile store and they'll give you a brand new one, unlike the refurbed one + the restocking fee that AT&T does.

    If you can spend a that $6 a month or however much it is, i would say its worth it if youre that worried about dropping your phone and it breaking. And from what ive read on these forums, if you can print off a price thats cheaper (IE Walmart is selling it for $99 off now) if you print that off and bring it in they should match that price, and im not sure if AT&T works like that/is that lenient.

    But other than that, everything i could say has already been said. Im waiting (not patiently at all) to get the Samsung Captivate, and ive watched many video reviews/unboxings of it.

    You said this in a post i hadnt read yet, but now i have. Im not sure about the first part, but i know you can set it up so it updates every minute and hour and other options, and im pretty sure you can set it up so it only updates when you click on the app.
     
  13. iceman718

    iceman718 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the insurance tip. Sounds like a pretty good deal. I've heard of others being rejected the price match at Best Buy because it's technically the LetsTalk site, not Walmart selling it at this price. I asked my local AT&T store today if they would price match, and they said no :(

    As far as widgets updating, theoretically I'd want stuff like news/weather/etc to update somewhat often. I'm still not TOO concerned since I'm on wifi a huge percentage of the time, but I guess I'd just really have to watch my data usage the first few months.


    Also, as far as the reception thing, yeah, it's not as bad as the iPhone, but the demo unit at the store would sit at 4-5 bars, but when I held it a certain way, it'd go to 2-3.
     
  14. fireonhigh

    fireonhigh Well-Known Member

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    save the 6$ and get a live in case.I'm still waiting on otterbox,although body glove is what i have now
     
  15. ZDroid1

    ZDroid1 Well-Known Member

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    You see that with any product reviewed online. If you were to strictly disqualify phones based on bad reviews and problems, you would never buy a phone.

    P.S. I worry about these things too. I analyze the heck out of everything when buying things like cars, phones, and other appliances.
     
  16. iceman718

    iceman718 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah i know, most of the time people only go to forums if they're having problems. Still scares me though lol.

    And yeah, I've been researching and stuff for this decision for a while. Think I'm still going to go with the Captivate though.
     
  17. kidsavior

    kidsavior Well-Known Member

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  18. jmreed97

    jmreed97 Well-Known Member

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  19. DT

    DT Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind wading through my semi-incoherent ramblings, here's my thread on my initial ownership experience:

    http://androidforums.com/samsung-captivate/131579-new-member-new-captivate-ramblings.html


    I can post something a little more in depth based on your questions/comments later (headed to the beach...), but I'll say this for now: if you feel the need to Jailbreak an iPhone to make it useful, I'd say go to an Android device. To me, a JB implies more control, better customization, and not being happy with the standard Apple ecosystem. In my mind the answer isn't hacking up their OS, but migrating to one that has those attributes out of the box.
     
  20. kidsavior

    kidsavior Well-Known Member

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    I've had other people tell me that. But thats only if I buy from AT&T for the $199 upgrade price. If I wait a month until my real upgrade date rolls round I can get it from walmart.com for $99.

    I admit it I'm cheap. Plus I just got married and bought a brand new car so every extra $100 helps.

    Now if I could convinve AT&T to move my upgrade UP a month inthier systems so it shows and I can buy from someplace else, that would be cool!
     
  21. Baldilocks

    Baldilocks Well-Known Member

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    Most people join an online forum BECAUSE they have problems. The overwhelming majority of people probably have NO problems with the Captivate.
     
  22. ric3bowl

    ric3bowl Active Member

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    A lot of things were covered for you in this thread. If I could add one thing it would be regarding the camera. The iPhone 4 has the better camera and not just because of the presence of the flash. That's one thing I miss about the iPhone 4, but I don't miss it that much. The Captivate camera is still very good. Another thing regarding apps. The Android version of some apps seen to be watered down versions compared to the Apple versions. Some minor ui and useful features are missing. Nothing major but it's worth noting.

    Full disclosure: I upgraded from an iPhone 3GS to 4. And a few days ago I turned it in for the Captivate. I'm very happy I did and even if I somehow return this phone I will be staying with Android.
     

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