Samsung, one of the best smartphone manufacturers in the World, according to OEM market share reports, and AT&T, one of the leading wireless carriers have just announced the upcoming release of the Samsung Captivate on June 17, 2010. This new Android and Galaxy S based smartphone is promised to give AT&T the leverage it needs to (finally) become a major Android seller. Samsung itself is known for its beautiful smartphones, and the Captivate is no different. AT&T is calling this newest edition to Android smartphones as the “…the future of personal entertainment.” So will this Samsung Captivate do just that? Let us look at what it has to offer.
Keyboard, Display & Other Hardware
Virtual keyboard anyone? The Samsung is a full tablet with a touchscreen design, meaning there is no physical keyboard available. However, many avid smartphone users prefer having the full QWERTY on screen, so it is a blessing to some. The beauty of this phone is the Swype technology that is so popular (and also available on the upcoming Droid X). Swype gives the user the ability to type more quickly because it gives the display a better and more intuitive response.
The display itself is a huge four inch AMOLED, but its not just any AMOLED display, it is a Samsung “Super AMOLED display.” Super AMOLED is known for its brightness, and power saving features, which is great for conserving battery power. Additionally, AMOLED is thinner than others are and the color will not bleach in the sun, a feature highly regarded by many smartphone users. The UI (User interface) mixed with the touchscreen technology, Swype, provides for input in various forms such as tapping, dragging, pinch and zoom and long tap, among other touch recognition patterns. The pinch and zoom is something all smartphones should have, and many users hope for and the Captivate provides, using Android 2.1.
The audio comes equipped with a “3D surround sound” available only on the Galaxy S class smartphones from Samsung. Additionally, the video records at full HD status and with a 5 megapixel camera and probably built in editing tools, users sure have a lot on their hands to work with. Considering this fact, the built in 16 GB (expandable to 32 GB) of memory on board is perfect considering all of the pictures and video users can take.
The Power Behind the Phone
The power behind the Captivate is incredible; using Samsung’s own 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird Application Processor, the graphics are better than ever before, especially the 3D graphics and HD multimedia such as videos and games. Additionally, the content download and upload times are cut shorter meaning the waiting time is drastically reduced and mixed with the snappiness of the OS, satisfaction is almost instant.
For the gamers specifically, the Samsung Captivate comes with a “six-axis sensor” meaning that the accelerometer is combines with its gyroscope and gives off a better gaming experience all around. The smooth fluidity is something that Samsung is known for.
In addition, the Samsung Captivate is designed with a six-axis sensor that combines the smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope to provide a smooth, fluid gaming experience when the user is tilting the device up or down or panning the phone to the left or right.
Android & Galaxy S Features
The only thing anyone can talk about is the Galaxy S, the “unofficial response” from Samsung to the iPhone, which is quite ironic since the Captivate will sell exclusively (apparently) with AT&T-the home of the iPhone. However, the Galaxy S powered Android 2.1 smartphone, which was announced in March 2010, seems to draw much of the attention at AT&T in recent weeks with Android’s speedy responsiveness and features that only an Android OS can provide. The Captivate promises a complete Google integration with Maps, Gmail, Talk, YouTube and of course, the Android Market. The Market itself provides for over 60,000 applications, most of which are free to download and use. Combine these apps with the many built in features and you have the perfect smartphone.
Other features and built in applications include the Samsung Social Hub, in which all of the smartphone user’s social networking, messaging, calendar, contacts and email applications are merged together. This Hub will not only keep track of the messaging and contacts but it also allows these two features to initiate the messages, meaning it is easier than ever to send or receive messages from any part of contacts and messaging with no need to close one to use the other.
The Samsung Captivate makes the messaging experience better by offering “group functionality.” Threaded format for messaging and multi media display just extends on these features. The Address book is provided by AT&T, which is a web service allowing online synchronization of contacts and gives users the ability to manage them from anywhere, even the PC.
AT&T is known for its faster service than Verizon; however, the reliability has been a sore spot for years. Considering the complaints from iPhone users everywhere, it makes one wonder why Samsung would contract to AT&T to begin with. Nevertheless, anyone who wants to “captivate’ others with the Samsung captivate must purchase a plan from AT&T; period. AT&T’s HSPA 7.2 Mbit/s download speed is what powers the 3G service connection, in conjunction with the usual GSM, EDGE and Wi-Fi services. The necessity of purchasing the phone and a subscription to an AT&T plan is probably the only downfall to this smartphone.
The Samsung Captivate promises to “captivate’ even the iPhone’s loyal fans. Fighting for space on the website is one thing, taking over is another and believe it or not, this smartphone just might have the power to knock the iPhone out of the top spot it has held for so very long. Watch out Apple, your new AT&T neighbor might just get the better of you.
References & resources:
Brandon Hill, “AT&T Announces Samsung Captivate Android 2.1 Smartphone” ,The Daily tech
Press Release, “Samsung Captivate™ Android™ Smartphone Coming Soon,” Wireless from AT&T