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3.11023622047244 32 5 0
3.11023622047244
127 VOTES

The Samsung Captivate (SGH-i897 in the US, SGH-i896 in Canada) is a high-end smartphone running Google's Android version 2.1.

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Pros

stunning 4" Super-AMOLED display @ 800 x 480px, takes phone displays to a new level (esp. color, contrast, viewing angles & brightness)

12 agree

runs a current generation high end 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU by Samsung (Hummingbird)

8 agree

5MP backside camera with HD video recording (720p @ 30fps)

7 agree

stunning graphics acceleration (PowerVR SGX540 GPU): 90 million triangles/sec (iPhone 3GS: 28 million/sec; Snapdragon Adreno: 22 million/sec)

7 agree

WiFi (802.11b/g/n) and 3G (HSPA max downlink 7.2 Mbit/s, max uplink 5.76Mbit/s) connectivity

7 agree

runs the latest version of the open source Android OS (2.1)

4 agree

incredibly thin (9.9mm)

3 agree

Support for CyanogenMod so you can upgrade the O/S to their popular flavor of Gingerbread

2 agree

Corning® Gorilla® glass (environmentally friendly alkali-aluminosilicate thin sheet glass that is both scratch resistant and durable)

2 agree

memory expandable with standard microSD/microSDHC cards

2 agree

one of the first mobile phones to support DivX HD

2 agree

user-removable Li-Ion battery with 1500mAh capacity

2 agree

very responsive UI

2 agree

3-axis gyroscope plus accelerometer for precise 6-axis sensing (same STMicro chip as on iPhone 4)

2 agree

16GB built-in flash memory

2 agree

charging/data transfer via standard microUSB port

2 agree

GPS with 3D maps

2 agree

bootloader is unlocked & Samsung released their code for the Galaxy S - will make it an excellent phone for hackers and consumers looking for custom ROMs and "unofficial" OS updates

2 agree

The capacitive touch buttons can be modded to display notification status

1 agrees

great battery life - gets through a day easily even with above-average use

1 agrees

Swype keyboard included (faster than any other keyboard input, predictive text, can also be as normal keyboard)

1 agrees

supports Bluetooth version 3.0

1 agrees

Atmel maXTouch sensor for multi-touch (high precision, very low power, can detect indefinite number of points on the screen)

1 agrees

standard 3.5mm headphone jack

1 agrees

Samsung provides a desktop sync app ("Samsung Kies") - Outlook contact sync, SMS backup, tethering setup, etc.

1 agrees

Similar to other Galaxy S phones and the Google Nexus S, so it gets a lot of community support

1 agrees

Can be upgraded to CyanogenMod running the latest, greatest versions of Android OS

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Cons

no camera flash

8 agree

no forward-facing camera (international version Galaxy S has 1.3MP front-facing camera)

6 agree

GPS accuracy problems

5 agree

no HDMI output port

5 agree

dedicated menu, home, back, and search touch buttons aren't illuminated at first and can be hard to find in the dark

3 agree

no FM transmiter for in car stereo wireless audio

3 agree

Battery life isn't the greatest. Screen can suck a lot of power.

2 agree

charge port is at the top, which makes it annoying to use while charging

2 agree

No dedicated Camera button

2 agree

Samsung has never provided a premium UI / good support for their mobile devices

2 agree

extremely glossy glass screen atop the display

2 agree

lots of extra bezel above and below screen, makes the device fairly tall

2 agree

takes a long time to charge

2 agree

CPU feels underpowered, especially with all the newer dual-core smart phones coming out like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

1 agrees

awkward placement of screen lock button

1 agrees

runs pretty warm after using for a while

1 agrees

amy

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Edit

 

The Samsung Captivate (SGH-i897 in the US, SGH-i896 in Canada) is a high-end smartphone running Google's Android version 2.1 on AT&T (US) or Rogers (Canada). Being a Samsung Galaxy S line phone, the Samsung Captivate is essentially the North American version of the international Galaxy S as it sports basically the same specs and features: a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, 7.2Mbps HSPA, a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, 5 megapixel camera with 720p recording, a 3.5mm headphone jack, 802.11n WiFi and 16GB of onboard storage (expandable to 48GB via microSD). At the time of its release, the Samsung Hummingbird integrates the most powerful graphics accelerator found in mobile phone processors: Its PowerVR SGX540 processes 28 MPolys/s and 1Gpx/s@200MHz. As a comparison, the iPhone 4 and 3GS use the SGX535 (14 MPolys/s, 1Gpx/s@200MHz) and Motorola's Droid X uses the SGX530 (14 MPolys/s, 500Mpx/s@200MHz). The Samsung Captivate's US siblings are: T-Mobile Vibrant, Verizon Fascinate, and Sprint Epic 4G.

Differing from the international version of the Galaxy S, the Captivate does not feature a front-facing camera, has a different body design, and has four main buttons on the front (instead of three).

Features
  • Android 2.1 OS
  • 1GHz Hummingbird processor
  • PowerVR SGX540 (powerful graphics accelerator integrated into Hummingbird processor)
  • 5 megapixel camera with 720p recording
  • 4-inch Super AMOLED display
  • 802.11n WiFi, 3G, 7.2Mbps HSPA
  • 16GB of onboard storage (expandable to 48GBGB via microSDHC card slot)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Post Review
Erik
08/27/2012 03:27

I've had this phone since Nov. 2010 and it's still going strong. I've been flashing the bleeding edge CyanogenMod versions, and have been extremely happy with this phone. I have it running CM10 (Jellybean) right now and it's actually doing quite well for a single-core processor. Because of the continual software updating I've been doing, I haven't felt like I "needed" a new phone like the SGS III.

Nm
12/13/2011 06:39

i bought this samsung galaxy captivate 3 months before. now my displays screen always changes to green color i'm not able make a call or anything..after removing battery and again putting it works but now it is also not working..
if anybody knows the solution pls let me know

Erik
03/08/2011 10:12

I flashed the first test release of CyanogenMod 7 running Gingerbread 2.3.3 on by #samsung_captivate_sgh_i897 phone this weekend and I love it! The process is fairly complicated and involves flashing back to stock, flashing to speedmod, flashing CyanogenMod recovery firmware, then finally installing CyanogenMod 7 using the recovery mode.

This ROM in spite of being an initial release is by far better and almost as stable as other custom ROMs I've tried (Perception, Cognition, Serendipity). The update process is a very simple Recovery Mode install, so I'm looking forward to future releases from the CyanogenMod team.

I feel like my Android phone destroys the iPhone now, however, they need to get out of the test stage before other would agree with me. (Random reboots on WiFi sleep for example).

Learn more here (I recommend watching the video vary carefully): http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=978150 Josh from Mobile Tech Videos does an amazing job stepping you through the process.

I've done the mod twice now (I mistakingly flashed the Galaxy S version instead of Captivate and had to restart). I can help anyone who asks.

Erik

Erik

03/10/2011 02:30

I've installed the 2011-03-09 update and it went perfectly smoothly. The initial install of CyanogenMod is a pain, but updating is a snap. It's way easier, and faster than iOS.

Lisa
02/18/2011 10:39

Does this phone have a front camera if not can you buy something to adapt to your phone to do this

ScottP

ScottP

02/18/2011 11:11

It does not have a front facing camera. There is not an after market accessory you can buy for this phone. The #samsung_epic_4g_sph_d700 and the #google_nexus_s both have front facing cameras.

Omar
12/20/2010 03:33

Alright. Here we go... I just played around with @erik's #samsung_captivate_sgh_i897 today at lunch and I have to admit. It's pretty good. The custom ROM he's using addressed my biggest concern, which was the sluggish responsiveness when swiping and all of that. On top of that I found the act of opening apps to be extremely fast, much better than what I've seen with iOS.

Compound the slow opening apps with the archaic icon grid of iOS and I have to say that Android is really moving up in my mind.

Now, it's still ridiculous that things are so fragmented with operating system versions and all of that, so I still can't give it a full recommendation, but the future looks bright.

Erik

Erik

12/20/2010 03:38

Oh, what a difference a week makes. At this rate, by 2011 Omar will be an Android evangelist like the rest of us.

Omar

Omar

12/20/2010 03:46

Let's not go crazy here.

I am getting tired of iOS and the whole app-wall. With WinPhone7 and Android having much better widgets/tiles, folders just aren't going to cut it in 2011.

Wifi tethering Microsoft! WiFi tethering!

Omar

Omar

12/20/2010 03:49

Oh, and the WinPhone7 browser is supposed to be pretty horrible. I mean it's based on IE7 for crying out loud.

Right now... if I were to buy a new smart phone right now... I'd have to say I'd go with the Captivate with custom ROM. Thankfully I'm not currently in the market for a new phone so I can see how things play out over the next 6 months or so.

Erik

Erik

12/20/2010 03:54

Ya, waiting a bit, might be the right strategy. It's pretty tumultuous right now in the smart phone arena.

Dom
12/09/2010 10:22

I love that Samsung Captivate! Awesome 4" Super-AMOLED display, 16GB internal storage plus microSD expansion, great reception & call quality, loudspeaker with ample volume for navigation, Google Maps Navigation, that awesome central notification system of Android. widgets, and infinite customizability.... only downsides are that Skype isn't working yet though it installs (Skype's fault, again...) and AT&T permanently disabled non-market app installs.

Erik

Erik

12/09/2010 11:24

Join the club! Interesting that AT&T disables non-market app installs. That begs the question: are you going to be rooting that bad boy? Installing custom ROMs?

Dom

Dom

12/10/2010 12:40

I really would have loved to install CyanogenMod 6.1 which just came out, but unfortunately they dropped the Galaxy S phones from their promised device additions. Are there any other stable ROMs for the Captivate? I'm still thinking about rooting, but the Froyo update seems to be awfully close, so I guess I'd do that when I got my hands on Froyo.

Erik
12/07/2010 03:00

I just got my #samsung_captivate_sgh_i897 and seeing this on the front page of ProductWiki made me a little jealous. Android Gingerbread 2.3 out of the box and the front-facing camera are what get me the most. I'm only consoled by the fact that this phone will never see the light of day in Canada.

Yale

Yale

12/07/2010 03:22

why do you think that? The Nexus One is everywhere today - currently even Mobilicity carries it officially. I guess that's now yesterday's news, though. I wonder if the the recent Android / Samsung love by Canadian carriers means we are more likely to see it?

Dom

Dom

12/08/2010 11:33

funny Erik, the same happened to me.... although, I got a ridiculous deal on the Captivate. I got it unlocked for $80! That was at a fun(d)raising luncheon/auction for a community service organization I'm part of, and there were also three smartphones among a ton of other stuff.... the BB Torch, iPhone 3GS 32GB, and the Captivate. The two others sold for only $60, which is interesting...

Erik
12/04/2010 02:33
Erik

Erik

12/04/2010 02:44

Step 1: Rooting: Complete!

I used the z4root APK file from here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=833953
Minor snag. I had to reboot my phone to get passed the "running exploit in order to obtain root access" stage in z4root. No biggie.

Erik

Erik

12/04/2010 03:37

Step 2: Install ROM Manager app: Complete!

No, real snags. Get it from the market.

Erik

Erik

12/04/2010 03:38

Step 3: Flash recovery image: Complete!

This was tricky. It didn't seem to "take" properly. I was getting weird messages in recovery mode. I finally got it to work, after trying: "Fix permissions", rebooting, reinstalling flash recovery, rebooting.

Erik

Erik

12/04/2010 03:56

Backup was successful. Now, looking into what ROM I want to test out. Leaning towards Cognition. Nervous about this step, since the ROMs are designed for AT&T phones.

Erik

Erik

12/04/2010 10:52

Step 4: Flash ROM: Paused...

Realized that Cognition ROM is the way to go. However, I've decided to wait a bit before pulling the trigger. Apparently, the Rogers Stock ROM is pretty good: GPS, Facebook contact sync, WiFi tethering, no bloatware. I'll sleep on it.

Rory Kw

Rory Kw

12/04/2010 11:25

If you do decide to go with a different ROM, all you need to do is make sure you input Rogers' APN information... Other than that, you should be good to go:

http://thekidd.ca/blog/2009/05/rogers-apn-configuration-for-android-phones/

(I've used these settings a few times already since I keep messing around with my Spica... They're accurate.)

Erik

Erik

12/05/2010 05:15

I changed my mind and decided to flash the Cognition ROM. @Rory KW, I didn't need to input the Rogers settings, they were already there. Some problems so far:

- poor GPS (trying this fix: http://www.mmacleod.ca/blog/2010/11/fixing-gps-on-cognition/)
- worse tethering

It is significantly faster than Eclair 2.1

Rory Kw

Rory Kw

12/05/2010 07:03

Oh wow cool. That's a huge plus... I hate putting the APN information in.

Too bad about the GPS and tethering... is it worth it overall or do you think you'll switch back and wait for a proper Froyo release?

Erik

Erik

12/05/2010 10:02

The GPS fix didn't work and I'm having problems with my Exchange server. I don't Cognition is worth it yet, in spite of the speed and battery improvements. So, I tried recovering back to an image I made right before going to Cognition. Semi-brick :(

After the initial panic wore off. I began my search to find a solution. Turns out you can't recover to stock Rogers from Cognition using Rom Manager/ClockWork recover. So, I used Odin to to flash back to a Stock firmware first to unbrick it. Now, I'm recovering back to my Rogers ROM with all my apps and widgets.

Possible:

Rogers Stock ROM -> Cognition
Cognition -> Original Factory Reset Rogers Stock ROM using Odin -> Rogers Stock ROM recovery using ClockWork Recovery

Not possible:

Cognition -> Rogers Stock ROM recovery using ClockWork Recovery

After a wild ride, I'm left with a rooted phone, and my original Rogers Stock ROM with all my apps, settings and data. I may try again. It's been a good learning experience so far.

Erik

Erik

12/11/2010 10:55

I've decided to give ROM flashing another shot, this time with Perception 8. I have to say I couldn't be happier. I've resolved all my previous issues: GPS, exchange server, WiFi hotspot. I'm running Froyo flawlessly fast with the awesome Gingerbread keyboard. My only problem is that I've become addicted to Android modding and ROM flashing. Assonance next?

Dom

Dom

12/15/2010 02:58

wow, Erik, thanks for posting your ROM'ing experience. It's nice to know that Froyo will still add in speed to an already very fast phone. I wonder what the other differences between the Rogers and AT&T ROMs are -- AT&T definitely has its bloatware, and non-Market app installs disabled, which sucks. But I hear that CyanogenMod 6.1 (Android 2.2.1) progress on Galaxy S phones is already as far as BETA 3. Their ROMs really rock and are easily updatable with ROM manager / ClockworkMod.

Erik

Erik

12/15/2010 09:16

Ya, I've been following the CM6.1 thread on XDA, and it seems like they're making good progress. I'll probably switch to Cyanogen when it's available because of it's ease of update and from the praise it gets. For now, I'm happy with Perception 8. The Rogers stock firmware has all the things you mentioned, plus better GPS, and WiFi Access Point built-in to the settings menu.

Erik

Erik

12/18/2010 10:06

My Android ROM flashing obsession continues. I had some problems with Perception 8, so I was forced (albeit happy to do so) to go back to stock and flash a new ROM. I decided to try out Assonance 5.0. Overall, it has Gingerbread theme, and is a rock solid performer. I love the lock screen that allows you to change to vibrate mode without unlocking, as well. One thing that I missed from Perception, was the ability to see the actual % remaining of the battery in the status bar.

What ROM next? It looks like it's a race between Cyanogen 6.1 which is now in Beta 4, or a port of the Nexus S Gingerbread ROM which has already undergone it's first successful boot on a Galaxy S series phone. I'm rooting for the latter. No pun intended. There is also a long shot possibility of Rogers getting into the foray, but they need to get Froyo released first, so that seems extremely unlikely.

In other news, Perception is up to version 9, and Cognition is up to version v2.3b8. Both are recent updates this week.

Erik
12/04/2010 02:30

I just wanted to point that out that in Canada, on Rogers, it goes by the model # SGH-I896. AT&T is the SG-I897

Erik
11/24/2010 10:55

I tried #google_maps_navigation out for the first time yesterday on my #samsung_captivate_sgh_i897
IT IS AMAZING. It is better than any consumer GPS on the market, and it's free. The traffic and satellite layers are great, and with a simple press of the screen you can go into street view. The analogy for me is Google Maps Navigation to All Other GPS units is Google Maps to MapQuest. If that makes any sense. (@dom have you tried this bad boy out?)

Omar

Omar

11/24/2010 10:58

Have you figured out if you have 2.1 firmware or 2.2?

And can you do voice search with the navigation app? I'm almost certain you can with 2.2, just not sure if it's in 2.1.

Erik

Erik

11/24/2010 11:04

It's 2.1 for sure. 2.2 is due out in early 2011 for Rogers customers. I'm anxious for Froyo, since the OS is reported to be about 5X faster than Eclair, and the updated browser is claimed to be the fastest in the world.

Omar

Omar

11/24/2010 11:06

So can it do voice search?

Erik

Erik

11/24/2010 11:10

Ya it does, but not in my version for some reason.

Omar

Omar

11/24/2010 11:18

Oh, that's strange... I saw my friend use the voice search and it's pretty damn sweet. So if you think the app is good now, definitely get voice search working.

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