Review of the Captivate: from an iPhone 3GS user


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  1. mattjns93

    mattjns93 Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hello everybody. I just got a Captivate on Tuesday and I thought I'd give my initial impressions and review of it. I noticed I couldn't find a lot of information about users going from the iPhone 3GS to the Captivate, and I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation, so what the heck. Here goes:

    Why I Switched:
    I'm no noobie to the iPhone/iPod touch OS. I was a 1st gen owner of an iPod Touch, and then I bought a 3GS last August. For starters, I was never "disappointed" in my iPhone. Everything worked as advertised: it was relatively quick, very reliable; it basically did whatever I wanted it to do. It was also one of the most polished devices I've worked with. However, being the power user that I am, it got boring. I jailbroke it, and while that was fun, I just wanted something more. Little things like changing my icons, or making my iPhone look different than everyone else's were things Apple didn't want me to do. iTunes was a PITA overall. I want to drag and drop stuff, not sync this and sync that and lose everything else that it overwrites. Quite simply, the phone was just too watered down for my likings. One of my biggest pet peeves about it was the home screen. You have the app icons and your dock. That's all. It was TOO simple.

    I've been drooling over these high-end Android phones since mid summer when I realized how much more I could do with an Android phone. Too bad ATT didn't have any of them, that was, until the Captivate. Sure, touchwiz didn't look all that appealing (why on earth would I want to move from an iPhone to an Android, only to be greeted with an iPhone-like interface?), but overall, it still looked quite promising.

    First Impressions:
    AMOLED. Enough said. It is a gorgeous screen. The colors pop, it's perfect sized, I love it. The build quality was respectable too. It felt solid in my hand. I love the low profile look of it to be honest. Very sleek. After admiring the outsides, I delved into the beauty of Android customization. Finally, I could chose which apps stayed in my Application menu and which went to my homescreen. No more clutter, pure organization to MY tastes. I can put Widgets? This is great! Within 20 minutes of playing with my phone, I called my friend (who kept telling me to dump the iPhone for an Android phone) and said "Why didn't I get this phone earlier?". It was clear, I'd been converted. I knew that this phone was going to satisfy all the hungers that the iPhone had left me with. Needless to say, I've been converted. Goodbye IOS, hello Android :D

    The Switch from IOS to Android:
    The switch wasn't perfect though. It took time to get used to the Menu/Options capacitive button. I kept forgetting that I had to press that within each app to see that app's specific settings menus. The keyboard also felt a bit different, but I soon was typing close to the same speed. Also, Android doesn't feel as polished as IOS in some ways. Things are a tad clunkier, less smooth and fancy animations, etc. The browser is very "featureless" compared to Safari also. I miss the tabs style and overall fluidity of Safari. It seems to take 5 clicks to do what I could do in one in Safari. Most noticeable though, what's up with the stock SMS app? IMO, it's garbage. It felt so unpolished and undeveloped. By my second day, I downloaded Handcent SMS and configured that to my likings. That's what I love. I don't like something? Change it. It's Android, you can do that ;) Despite these minor annoyances, I've grown accustomed to the phone in a matter of 2 days.

    Last Words:
    Am I happy with my decision, despite the road bumps? I certainly am. The phone is an eye-popper. I pulled it out to show my friends and they are like "Oh hey that's pretty coolOMG" as soon as I turn the screen on. I've certainly impressed quite a few people, Droid owners, and even some iPhone owners. There are still some things I prefer about my iPhone, but after using this phone, the pros of it definitely outweigh the cons. There is always room for updates and improvements to fix the minor annoyances.

    Within the last two days, I've really fine tuned the phone to my tastes, something the iPhone wouldn't let me do. I've downloaded LauncherPro (which is fantastic), put some new widgets on my screen, downloaded the right apps. It's the little things that count, especially for me.

    Change the scroll speed between screens? Check
    Change app icons on the dock? Check
    Change the amount of docks? Check
    Fine tune the look of the phone to your preference? Check

    The list goes on and on. It's these little things, along with the big things, of course, that drew me towards the Captivate (Android) and away from the iPhone.

    Is the Captivate for you:
    Very simple:

    Do you want a powerful phone with games and apps that you can customize to nearly any way you want it? Get the Captivate

    Are you a power user? Get the Captivate.

    Do you want a phone with games and apps, but didn't understand half of the stuff I talked about in the previous sections and don't want to deal with all the technical mumbo jumbo? Get the iPhone. :p

    Last, I thought I'd finish it off with a list of pros and cons if you don't feel like digging through all of the information above. Also, I missed some smaller stuff that I figured I'd just toss on this list.

    Pros
    The AMOLED screen is amazing
    Customization
    Very open (compared to the iPhone)
    Camera is very good for a cell phone (video and pictures)
    Feels solid in hand
    Customization
    Battery life is close to my 3GS (with a couple of hours of "hard" usage, I'me at 20% by the end of the day)
    Customization (getting the hint?)
    The notification bar is awesome
    Lockscreen (I like the puzzle pieces and music integration)

    Cons
    Some parts feel unpolished compared to the iPhone (browser, SMS)
    Touchwiz (it's good for what it is, but it's a bit sluggish and much too iPhone-like)
    Facebook (the app is very underdeveloped coming from the iPhone)


    Hope this review helps all those out there who where in a situation like me, or even those who are considering getting a Captivate.
     

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  2. RedRyno

    RedRyno Well-Known Member

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    Good review...
     
  3. fireonhigh

    fireonhigh Well-Known Member

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    yeah the industry milks consumers year after year after year after,
     
  4. CrimsonPride

    CrimsonPride Well-Known Member

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    about the bookmarks in browser you can download firefox beta, its alittle weird to get used to but you slide the screen to the side and your bookmarks and stuff are right there. it is a beta though so its a little glitchy
     
  5. tysj

    tysj Well-Known Member

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    Takes me one click to get to the bookmarks....
     
  6. mattjns93

    mattjns93 Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'll have to take a look at that.

    That may have been a bad example. I'll scratch that from the list.
     
  7. Cuerbo

    Cuerbo Well-Known Member

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    I went from a Captivate to an IPhone4, couldn't stand the GPS issue any longer as well as some other minor ones. The other big beef I had was the USB support with my Honda's radio, it simply wouldn't work, ended up buying a 3.5mm cable in order to hear my music. You also can't compare a 3Gs' display against that of the Captivate, the Captivate looks better by miles. However, after having one and now having the Retina display, the Retina is sharper and much better for reading.

    I loved Android and like you, felt it was unpolished in some areas but I agree with you the freedom of it is nice. The only thing for me was, I wanted a phone that worked out of the box and one that was polished. The Captivate unfortunately isn't there yet. I know others have loaded different ROMs and have been happy, I didn't feel like doing that after spending $200 for a phone.

    Anyways, I know how you feel, the phone does have its Pros and they are good ones. I hope A) Samsung fixes the GPS issues before you encounter frustration with this portion of the phone B) Hope Froyo lands soon, have a friend that has an Evo and having Flash is another big Pro for Android.

    Enjoy...!!!
     
  8. xnoctis93

    xnoctis93 Well-Known Member

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    I really liked this review. :)
    coming from a 3GS too, I felt after having it for a year that things were getting a little boring. Captivate coming to my carrier in a matter of days. Look forward to seeing how it fairs in light of your review, although im sure i'll be able to customize it just right :p
     
  9. CodyO32689

    CodyO32689 Member

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    I too came from the iphone 3gs. I feel confident to say that anyone who has made the switch to android has to be excited about all if the customizable possibilities of the android OS. The only way to get close was to jailbreak your iphone/ipod. Good review.
     
    hd779 likes this.
  10. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member

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    Nice review. :)

    Be sure to check out the Captivate FAQ if you haven't already: FAQ - CapFAQ

    Yeah bummer about no tabs on the stock browser but once you get used to the "windows" feature you can switch around pretty fast. I like the way that tabs are being done in Firefox for Android... similar to Dolphin although I could never really get into the Dolphin browser. But as I play around with Firefox I could definitely find myself preferring it to the stock browser.
     
  11. Smoghog

    Smoghog Well-Known Member

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    I came to the Captivate from an iPhone 3g. I remember the transition feeling distinctly like someone taking their hands off from around my throat. Everything I had to jailbreak, hack and wade through dozens of steps to accomplish on the iphone, I was able to do right off the bat with the Captivate. I no longer hack my phone just to get it to do what I need it to be able to do, I hack it to see just how much more it's capable of.

    You made a great choice, and I'm glad you're happy with your decision. =)
     
  12. Andrewdroid

    Andrewdroid Well-Known Member

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    Can someone tell me why Handcent is so much better?
     
  13. PhuTran87

    PhuTran87 New Member

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    You guys should also check out chompSMS and Dolphin (browser). ChompSMS has a very crisp and more sophisticated look than handcent (which looks childish to me) and dolphin is not in a beta. Oh yea, and flash cognition...that should polish up your phone a bit.
     
  14. CrimsonPride

    CrimsonPride Well-Known Member

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    i can agree with chomp. i used to use handcent, changed to chomp and havent looked back. i like the popup option it has, only thing is its ad supported so i may end up having to buy it
     
  15. mattjns93

    mattjns93 Member This Topic's Starter

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    I've tried the chomp SMS but I prefer the "Android" conversation style of Handcent to the iPhone bubbles.
     
  16. JP_GXP

    JP_GXP Well-Known Member

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    Nice review, I came from an iPhone 4, as well, after owning 5 iPhones, 2G, 3G, 2 3GSes (both jailbroken), and the 4, I'm very pleased with the Captivate.
     
  17. Ethere

    Ethere Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a nice review. I can't wait to get back to the Captivate. I currently have an iPhone 4, and like you said, even though it's jailbroken now, I don't want to feel like I've done something wrong to customize my phone to my liking. There's absolutely zero customization with an iPhone unless you jailbreak. The 27th can't come fast enough :)
     
  18. mattjns93

    mattjns93 Member This Topic's Starter

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    UPDATE
    On the cons list, I said the GPS didn't grab like my 3GS. Well maybe I got lucky, but it works for me. I went outside, turned on the gps, clicked "Locate" in Maps and within about 10-20 seconds I had a 100ft accuracy location. Haven't done much testing other than this, but I was impressed, especially with what I've been reading. And it was even cloudy out :)
     
  19. sharkhark

    sharkhark Well-Known Member

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    100 feet?
    ...hmm? guess my desire to get a captivate next week and use it as a golf gps are out.
    yardage measurements that could be off by 100 feet? oops...in the water...oops..over the green...oops my car just missed the right exit of the highway and now i am lost.....100 feet? is good?
     
  20. haeffnkr

    haeffnkr Member

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    I to came from the 3gs. On comment to the original poster, since he "conned" the default browser..... get the Dolphin HD browser, lots better than the default one and has the refresh/stop button at the end of the address bar like the iphone browser.

    Now if I can just get the darn gps to work when I need it.

    thanks Kevin
     
  21. mattjns93

    mattjns93 Member This Topic's Starter

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    :eek:
    For what I do, 100ft is fine. My 3GS only got in the 25-75ft range if I was in absolutely clear skies with no obstructions what so ever. On average, the 3GS got 75ft-300ft. For golf? Don't get this. For me, I rarely use the GPS, so that is fine.


    I gave the Dolphin HD Browser a chance. Maybe it's because I'm getting used to the stock browser and forgetting the Safari browser, but Dolphin felt a bot to "bloated" to me. I felt overwhelmed almost. I'm going to give it a shot again though. I've been finding that, despite not liking some apps on the first usage, when I go back to them I like them more.
     
  22. monica619

    monica619 New Member

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    I also came from an iPhone & I LOVE my captivate. I only have one issue, is there a way to take a screenshot like you're able to do with the iPhone?
     
  23. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member

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    The Captivate FAQ is always a good place to check first:

    Taking screenshots - CapFAQ
     
  24. sharathk

    sharathk Active Member

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    i too had an iphone before moving to captivate/android.

    iphone pros:
    Apps- i still use my iphone to play games i haven't completed yet. LOL

    iphone was simple and intuituve. you really don't need a guide/booklet to start using iphone. this could be a pro/con.

    netflix - i used to stream movies on my iphone. can't do that with android.

    Android pros:
    android is a hell lot more customizable than iphone for sure.

    widgets - thats cool

    call quality - my captivate has better call quality than iphone.
     
  25. AndreaCristiano

    AndreaCristiano Banned

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    I am also a previous iphone owner (every model) i had android in its beginning stages as well and decided to return because after all these years iOS has gotten completely stale to me as well. I love android and like the captivate alot. I think unless iOS dramatically changes i'm part of the android army!
     

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