Jul 12 AT 12:54 PM Taylor Wimberly 86 Comments

AT&T Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S) unboxing

It was a long wait, but customers who walk into an AT&T store finally have a legitimate high-end Android phone to purchase. The Samsung Captivate is AT&T’s version of the Galaxy S and it goes on sale July 18th for $199.

The most notable feature of the Samsung Captivate is its 4 inch Super AMOLED display, but I think I’m most excited about the PowerVR SGX540 graphics processor. This GPU offers 2x the performance compared to the previous SGX530 core that was found in the Droid and Droid X and I can’t wait to see how it performs in our round of benchmarks.

We will be posting a full review later this week, but check out our quick unboxing video to hold you over. If you have any questions or things you would like to see addressed, please leave a comment and we will do our best to respond.

Package contents include:

  • Samsung Captivate
  • Lithium ion battery
  • Stereo headset
  • Wall charger
  • USB cable
  • Quickstart
Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Anthony Milano

    Can you let us know about side loading apps? Did AT&T Gimp the Captive like the other Android phones they have?

    Can you use ADB to side load apps?

    • geniusdog254

      I’m sure gAyT&T has crippled this one as well. Why would they change their policy here?

      On the bright side, you should be able to use adb to sideload apps still.

      • http://Website kenan

        Actually, with one of the official screenshot, it appears it has front facing camera as well. Samsung Captivate Impressions

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah it’s just a simple command to load the apps (adb install app.apk). I’ve already loaded several with no issues at all. I understand that AT&T makes you jump through a hoop to protect the normal users and I think that is ok.

  • http://Website Jeremy

    It would be nice to see a solid spec sheet including all the features this phone actually does have… its been confusing to understand what is on which version of the galaxy S. since you have the phone, it would be cool to put out a full spec sheet. covering and confirming exactly what features we are getting in this phone.

    • http://Website Derek

      Excellent point. I’ve been thinking the same thing. I think I want to get one of these Galaxy S phones, by my only concern is WHICH one of the 4 do I want? A side by side comparison of the specs of all 4 would be great.

    • http://Website Balthazar B

      There’s a detailed spec sheet for the Captivate here:


      Now I would consider this preliminary and hope that Taylor will confirm the major points as he tests the device. Spec sheets for the Captivate’s SGS siblings can be found at pdadb as well.

      • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

        Yeah it looks like all their specs are correct except for the “Built-in:Secondary_Digital:Camera” part. Only the Sprint Epic 4G has a front facing camera. The Captivate, Fascinate, and Vibrant do not.

    • http://sundazed.net iSunday

      Just for future use… this “intomobile” site has a pretty solid spec sheet for all of the phones that I’ve looked at recently. From the ones that I have experience with, they look accurate.


  • http://Website Jouten

    I heard that the some functions are laggy due to the Touch Wiz 3.0 UI. Is that true?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I haven’t noticed any lag yet. Everything feels very snappy so far.

      • http://Website TS75

        Thanks for your video. It was very helpful and informative. How can I get the luminescence live wallpaper on my Evo? I got few of the other Samsung Glaxaxy live wallpapers but not this luminescence live wallpaper.

  • http://Website skitch beatz

    it would be nice to see some Night Mode shots

  • http://Website Spencer

    Sideloading apps: yes or no? Will this have the same root method as the other Galaxy S phones? thanks for the great video, I can’t wait to get this phone!

  • http://Website pacman

    In your next video could you please tell us how the phone feels in- hand, build quality, and overall physicals impressions you might have had. The software is pretty much known already, and Android and me is the first to have the captivate unboxing. Also whats going on with that back cover, is it textured or just carbon fiber chekers or what? kinda funky…..thanks

    you guys are awesome.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      In the hand it feels really awesome. This is the slimmest Android phone I have seen but it’s super solid. The back cover is just plastic, but the words Galaxy S are raised up. Also like I said the battery door lock is one of the best I have seen and I like the sliding door for the micro USB port.

      • http://Website watbetch

        The Vibrant is the slimmest version no?

  • http://Website Darkseider

    OK the gimping of the phone’s ability to load apps from untrusted sources is ridiculous. Having to use ADB as a workaround is even more ridiculous as the average user won’t know or generally have the ability or wherewithal to perform such a task. AT&T is using the excuse that it is protecting its’ users. Well what about apps like Gameloft games and Sirius XM as examples. They can only be obtained for the companies site and not from the Market and they are reputable and responsible companies. AT&T needs to stop this crap and just give its’ users what they want, no deserve, an unadulterated Android handset.

    • http://Website Hussam

      could you explain more, please?
      what is the ADB? what is the differences between this & the vibrant?

    • http://sundazed.net iSunday

      To be fair… “the average user” doesn’t need to side-load apps. Everything that is submitted is accepted. I don’t see the average user beta-testing applications, and I don’t see them looking anywhere other than where they are used to for getting their apps… the “app store” <— insert strike-through font here… market.

  • http://Website Daniel C.

    Will this phone have Google Navigation (as part of Google Maps) and car mode, or did AT&T Navigator replace those? And ditto on the sideloading apps questions.

    • http://Website gflare

      I’ve read somewhere that you do not have a designated ‘Google Navigation’ shortcut, but if you update the google maps application in the app store you will gain the ability to start navigation from inside maps.

      So it seems that AT&T is just hiding the direct access to navigation in order to promote their own app. I don’t mind this extra step, because I would look up a location in google maps before starting navigation anyway.

      • http://Website Steve

        I read the same thing you did, that navigation was in maps it just doesn’t have its own icon, but I also read that after you use google navigation for the first time the Navigation icon will be added.

  • http://Website Floppy

    I would like to know if there is an option to sync with outlook (standalone without Exchange) the calendar, contact and tasks. I hope there is something like yhis to really compete with the eyephone

  • http://Website Jouten

    Have you tried using mfe yet? Does it work with Google contacts/calendar and email?

  • http://Website Jouten

    Can’t believe I just wrote that! LOL It’s Monday indeed! I meant mfe in general for like coporate and maybe even Live services.

  • http://Website Jonathan Martis

    How does it compare to the Evo 4G as far as snappiness? I had an Evo 4G and the scrolling was laggy and choppy. I plan on getting the Captivate but am hoping it’s as smooth as my iPhone.

  • http://Website bostonphoneguy

    Do you know what the full retail price is for this?

    • http://Website Pacman

      It’s rumored on phone dog.com to be just 349$ off contract !!! that’s real cheap if u ask me…. Def worth it if u want to skip the 2 years. But I’m not going anywhere soon so il prob pay the 199 and suk it up.

      • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

        The T-Mobile Vibrant is $449 so I guess the Captivate will be in that same ballpark.

  • http://Website Travis c

    I would really like to see how well the six axis control works if you get a chance. Thanks!

  • Zijan08

    During the unpacking you mentioned the headphones. Do they have a microphone to take calls when your using them or are they just plan headphones? If so could you test it out and tell us what kind of quality to expect.

    • http://Website watbetch

      Looks like the standard headset so I would say yes it does have a mic.

  • http://Website RAE

    A quesion I have is: How well does the GPS work for you? I’ve been reading that many people have problems with it maintaining consistent connection to satellites.

  • http://Website Jon

    Can you update Google Maps and verify that the Navigation shortcut is available in the App drawer. I read somewhere that the Navigation shortcut is not there, but I find that hard to believe. Also does this have FM radio?

  • http://Website Inspiron41

    Battery Test!!!

    See if covering parts of the phone affects reception (with hands)

    Photo quality test against other android phones (nexus, droids, evo, and iphone)

    FPS test

    Call Quality (noise cancellation?)

  • http://Website Inspiron41

    Oh and is it visible outside??!?!?!

    • http://sundazed.net iSunday

      I’ve watched video demos that show that the screen is much MUCH better outdoors than most. I can’t wait to couple that with an anti-glare screen.

      Check this out! One of the main reasons I will get this and root + upgrade to stock 2.2.

      • http://sundazed.net iSunday

        My apologies… I forgot the link.

        No phone is great in direct sunlight, but the colors in the display make it viewable… aside from direct sunlight, I’ve seen videos in moderate lighting where the color really pops despite glare. Do a search on the screen comparisons, and you’ll see!

  • http://Website Hussam

    could you explain more, please?
    what is the ADB? what is the differences between this & the vibrant?

    • http://Website Darkseider

      It is the Android Developers Bridge and is part of the SDK.


      It allows you to manage your device through a USB connection. Yes this method will work in installed an .apk to the phone but is way too much of a hassle for most folks.

      • http://Website Hussam

        is it possible to root it ??

        • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly


  • http://Website Oblivioner

    Hey guys.
    Does Android phones like this one (exclusive to a carrier) work normally outside the US ? In other words: Can I buy one to use it outside the US ?

    Thanks for the preview.

    • http://Website Balthazar B

      You can use it in other GSM areas (Europe, for instance) one of two ways. (1) Via an international roaming plan for voice/data from AT&T. Expensive, but less so than paying international roaming fees. Alternatively (2) you could root/unlock the phone and use prepaid SIMs wherever you travel, which are extremely cheap for voice but often less so for data.

  • http://Accessories? techpilot

    I liked what I saw on the Galaxy S launch site, which included a horizontal-rest dock for a table or desk. Any word if that will be available in the States, and if it is compatible with the Captivate?

  • rolltideburr

    Can you show us what it looks like to get a text or missed call?


  • http://Website Stella

    I’m very excited about this Samung S series. My brother and his wife are with AT&T and he’s been debating on getting a iPhone but the Captivate may change his mind. He doesn’t care about FFC only the call performance and the battery life.

  • Jak Crow

    I don’t see any reason to get the Galaxy S phones at launch. It would be best to wait till they get OS 2.2.

  • http://www.youtube.com/droiddoc97 khuram

    Can u plz check if u can hook up the wiimote app? the wiimote does not work for htc sence so I want to see if u can emulate with the wiimote controller. See my vids to know what I’m talking about.

  • http://Website Sobo

    The European version does TV out through the headphone port using a tv out cable (like can be found here: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.31498). It would be nice to know if the Captivate also has this feature.

    Even if you don’t have the cable (why would you unless you have an old Nokia) maybe you could check the settings to see if the correct options are there. Here is an example of where to find them:

    • http://Website Nick

      Yes, Captivate has “TV Out” advertised on the side of the AT&T box.

  • http://Website Bigherm

    Looks like htc has worked around att.’s non-market app block by install with htc sync. Good job htc. Now, can samsung come up with the same solution?

  • http://Website Ninja

    does it support 3rd party apps

  • http://Website Jon

    Does it come with a screen protector?

  • http://Website Spencer

    I would like a gpu test comparison to the droid x…in the video you say it has the fastest graphics processor, but on quadrant it is quite clear in the results screen the droid x outdoes it by quite a bit…(besides Nexus, just because its on 2.2)

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Droid X is faster in Quadrant, but that is an overall system test and focuses less on GPU performance. We are still awaiting the Pro version of Quadrant so we can run each test individually and see how they compare.

      • http://Website Balthazar B

        Will Quadrant Pro be able to measure things as granular as NAND speed, memory reads/writes, and other factors that would explain the differences between otherwise pretty similar devices?

    • http://Website Balthazar B

      The OMAP CPU in the DX is marginally faster than the Hummingbird, but the GPU in the latter is a little more powerful than the one in the DX. Frankly, it’s like comparing a Ferrari to a Lamborghini. Both are plenty fast enough, so the one you pick will be based more on style than performance.

      FWIW, in my case the choice of the Captivate (over, say, a DX) would be based on the fact that I can root and unlock it, and use it as world phone in Europe with cheap prepaid SIMs available at any train station or magazine shop…and keep all my data and settings with me.

  • http://Website Balthazar B

    One thing reviewers often overlook is the quality of text on the screen. Could you focus on that during your review and compare with other recent devices you’ve seen (e.g., Droid X, iPhone 4, Evo, etc.)? How do the eyes feel after reading an eBook for a while on it?


  • http://ilhama06.student.ipb.ac.id ilham

    can samsung spica upgread to froyo?

  • http://Website adeel

    Yes, it seems very similar. I realized because I hate the look of the BB storm and thus i think the captivate is ugly. Id go wiht tmobile.

  • http://hitechcoffee.blogspot.com/ Adrian Petrescu


    can you shot a picture with a bottle of coca cola, I like to see the color of the label

  • http://Website tim

    i noticed the normal mainscreen was centered on this phone

    one nitpic about touchwiz was that the home button brought you to the leftmost page rather then center, is this different on the captivate?

  • Ng LC

    It would be nice if Taylor could test out the camera shots,the music app (just want to know if it is better then HTC’s Sense UI) and also compare the graphic performance with iPhone 4 or 3GS

  • http://Website Nick

    I would like to know whether this model appears to go “BACK” unexpectedly like the review model PhoneDog received from Samsung, indicating a potential issue.

    Samsung Captivate problem (fast forward to 6:15, and again 8:35): http://www.phonedog.com/2010/07/12/samsung-captivate-at-t-unboxing/

    EVO 4G problem: http://www.phonedog.com/2010/06/14/some-htc-evo-4gs-experiencing-touchscreen-problems/

    Recently a popular Android phone model was found to have a capacitive touch-screen manufacturing defect where the grounding was not correctly wired up resulting in the need to grip the phone before touching the screen; simple direct touching of the phone laying on a table did nothing to affect the Touch UI.

    New hardware often seems to have minor issues which also seem to get hammered out eventually. I wonder if something similar may be creeping into the Captivate manufacturing process, on your review model.

    Thank you!

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I have experienced none of those issues with my review unit.

  • http://www.socialnews.biz Edward Gold

    I believe this is a promising unit. I’m reading that Samsung will add 10,000 Android users once this device is fully deployed. Android is catching a break with the bad iPhone 4 press too.

  • http://Website John

    Does the phone have a glass screen?

    • http://Website Josh

      I’d really like to know this as well. The last Samsung touchscreen phone I had was all plastic… I quickly exchanged it.

  • http://Website Vince

    thanks for the unboxing video, few questions.
    what is the blue light at the edge of the screen, just above the microphone(?)
    is there an option to turn of touch wiz and use stock android UI, at least on the home screen?

  • http://Website Luis

    Which version of the samsung galaxy s has the most features? On which carrier?

  • http://Website JoshL

    After Behold II fiasco, Samsung will never receive my business.

  • http://sean-the-electrofreak.blogspot.com/ Sean the Electrofreak

    Taylor, you know what I’d like to see. More benchmarks. The GPU stuff was good, now lets see that Hummingbird CPU benchmarked against the OMAP 3640 in the Droid X… ;)

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Waiting on some better benchmarks for Android. Everyone says the Droid X is faster than the Hummingbird because of Quadrant, but we have yet to see a score breakdown.

      • steeldragonnyc

        Hi Taylor, I should be getting my captivate soon but I just want to know if the FM radio is still present Thanks.

  • http://Website Craig

    I’m about to return my iP4, this will probably be my next phone. Looking forward some more detailed reviews.

  • geektronic

    could you show if you can use the normal android homescreen. like on some sense devices where you can disable it.

  • http://Website scastria

    There were two big android screen issues in the past. The multi-touch issue where when you touch your two fingers together, the phone loses track of which finger is which. AND the grounding issue requiring you to hold the phone to make it respond. Does the captivate suffer from either of these? Also, I remember a screen touch accuracy test where a straight line was drawn on a bunch of different phones (iPhone included) and the iPhone seemed to have the best accuracy in reproducing that straight line. How does the captivate match with this test?

  • http://Website lh_newbie

    Just returned my iPhone4 – tired of dropping calls. I’m using my old, crappy phone until I can get some more info on this phone, but it’s definitely got my interest. If I can get one this week and test it out, my wife may return her iPhone 4 and get one, too. We’re both frustrated with the arrogance of Steve Jobs. Just tell us if you’re actually going to fix the phone or if not already, [email protected] :)

  • steeldragonnyc

    I just love this phone. Got mine yesterday for $550 from at&t. no flash no front facing cam, no problem… the only thing is that there is NO fm radio.. other than that its AWESOME!!

  • http://Website Michael Hunter

    Does this support creating a wifi hotspot? Going through the signup process on att.com doesn’t make that clear. FWIR about going through the iphone 4 process there was a clear box to check to pay for that feature.

  • http://Website jason

    this phone is nice but where to buy it?