Sunday, June 24, 2012

AT&T Samsung Captivate Glide review

The Samsung Captivate Glide is a mid-level Android phone, but it rivals some of the higher end phones. No, it’s not going to put up much of a fight with the Galaxy Nexus, but this phone packs some pretty good specs for $149.99. Here’s my full review, but you can also checkout my initial hands on video.

The Captivate Glide features a 4-row slide-out QWERTY. For a Samsung phone, this one isn’t as slippery and glossy since the back battery cover is textured. I prefer this design as opposed to what the Samsung Stratosphere offers. One negative is that the keyboard is only 4 rows and the keys are a little flat, but I had no problems using it. Overall It’s a nice keyboard, but with phones like the DROID 3 and Stratosphere featuring 5-rows, it’s a disappointment. On the flipside, the Captivate Glide comes in at 13mm thin which is 1mm less than the Stratosphere and the same as the DROID 3. Another interesting feature is a sliding cover for the micro USB port to keep dirt out of it. I like this as opposed to the rubber ones that flip open, which most of the time gets in the way. The final negative point is the microphone is rear mounted which can be a problem for some calls.


For $149.99, the Captivate Glide packs some pretty decent specs. It features a 4-inch (800 x 480) Super AMOLED display, A 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 1GB RAM, 8MP rear camera that can record video up to 720p, 1.3MP front camera, 8GB internal storage, microSD with up to 32GB expandable storage, 1650mAh battery, 4G support at 21.1Mbit/s, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Android 2.3.5.


The 1650mAh battery is more than enough for the average consumer. You will easily get through an entire day with average to heavy usage. Like any device, if you plan on watching videos or streaming music constantly, your time will drop considerably.


The Tegra 2 dual-core processor is nice to see in a $149.99 phone. The 1GB of RAM is also welcoming as this phone performs very nicely. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a mid-level phone. As to benchmarks, I ran the AnTuTu test and it came in at 5043 which is a little below the DROID RAZR, which came in a 5369 and has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. The Captivate Glide runs really smooth and I guarantee that you won’t have any complaints. As with any Samsung phone, the display is nice. It’s not as nice as the Galaxy S II series, but this Super AMOLED display is a treat to look at.


As with any typical Samsung phone, you get their Touchwiz interface. If you’re not familiar with Touchwiz, its a nice complimentary UI that won’t get in your way. You get seven home screens and a launcher that allows you to customize up to 3 apps. When opening the keyboard, the home screens will switch to landscape mode as well. Samsung includes their Social Hub which will take your feeds from sites like Twitter and Facebook. Media Hub is included for all your TV and Movie needs. If you prefer to use the on screen keyboard, you will have your choice of Samsung’s or Swype. Samsung includes the normal variety of widgets which includes AccuWeather, Application Monitor (a task killer), Buddies Now (for contacts), clocks, and agendas.


The rear camera is 8MP and will shoot video up to 720p. Overall it’s a really nice camera, but a slight downgrade from the Samsung Galaxy S II. The shutter lag is minimal and the auto focus is fast. Most people will be satisfied enough to leave the point and shoot at home, but its not the best as colors can be lacking. Here are some samples.


About a year ago, I wouldn’t go near a mid-level phone, let alone an entry-level phone, but things have gotten better. The Captivate Glide packs a lot for the price. With a Tegra 2 dual-core processor, a Super AMOLED screen, and 21.1Mbit/s suport, you can’t go wrong at $149.99. The only real negative to me is the QWERTY keyboard is only 4 rows. If you can live with that, you won’t be disappointed.


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