Samsung Captivate Glide First Impressions

Aaron Baker
Writer from  Dallas, TX
| Published: November 29, 2011

Out of all of the devices I received in my latest shipment last Friday, the Samsung Captivate Glide may be my favorite.  It may sound odd considering the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was one of the devices in the shipment, but Captivate Glide is firm proof that QWERTY doesn't have to go hand-in-hand with mid-range specs.  Packing a 1 GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, it hits the ground swinging with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, a front-facing camera, 1,650 mAh battery, and Android 2.3.5 with TouchWiz 4.0.  It's a nice little powerhouse that performs really well, and it's available at AT&T now for $149.99 with a new contract.

  • Captivate Glide packs a dual-core 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2, and it blows through tasks with ease.  Seriously, I haven't seen a single slowdown since I picked up the unit on Friday morning.  Browsing the web, running multiple apps, and quickly shifting between things pose no problem for this device.
  • The 4-inch Super AMOLED display packs 480x800 pixels, and it's a nice little sweet spot between today's display options.
  • You'll get the usual Samsung build here, so those that prefer metal accents and lots of glass will want to take a look at other devices.  It's plasticky (as all of Samsung's high-end devices are), but it doesn't necessarily translate into cheap.  It feels sturdy in my hand, and the texturized battery cover makes it harder to drop.
  • The volume rocker is on the left spine, the power button is on the right spine, and the 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB charging port (which is covered by a nifty sliding door) can be found on top.  The power button is the only real complaint I have about this phone, as it seems off on my review unit.  It's like there's a short in it; I have to press and hold several times to turn the display off (it's really frustrating when I try to turn the phone off).
  • Captivate Glide offers Android 2.3.5 with TouchWiz 4.0, the latest version of Samsung's UI.  In terms of usability, it's very similar to the Galaxy S II series, and continues to be one of my favorite interfaces.  It's a great experience, and I haven't encountered any lag yet.  You'll get the usual carrier-installed apps like AT&T Navigator, Code Scanner, Featured Apps, myAT&T, and ypmobile (all of which can be uninstalled by the user).

  • It's got a roomy four row QWERTY keyboard, with a dedicated row for the space bar and commonly used symbols (and if you read/watch my reviews, you know how much I love that).  The keys?  They're a mixed bag.  On one hand, they're nice and roomy island keys, but on the other hand, they're so recessed into the device that it's nearly impossible to get any tactile feedback from them.  A few days into using it, I'm still finding myself making mistakes that I shouldn't be.  Regardless, it's nice to have the physical QWERTY keyboard, but my guess is you'll be disappointed with it if you're coming from something like the Motorola DROID 3 or BlackBerry Bold 9900.
  • So far, signal strength has been very good.  My house sits in an AT&T trouble spot (I'll stop short of calling it a dead zone since I typically get 0-2 bars of service), and the Captivate Glide has consistently performed well.  I took the phone to an actual AT&T dead zone over the weekend, and was able to connect calls, despite it being so choppy I couldn't really use it.  It doesn't offer 4G LTE, but is capable of HSPA+ speeds up to 21 Mbps, and so far, data speeds have been acceptable.

  • The Captivate Glide has a 1,650 mAh battery, and while that seems on the small side, it performs decently given the size of the unit.  With what I consider "moderate use" - calling, text messaging, surfing the web, downloading apps, and taking a few pictures, I'm easily able to make it through the day with some juice left to spare. 

All things considered, the Captivate Glide is one of my favorite Android phones on AT&T right now, just behind the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and HTC Vivid.  It's a nice phone that also packs a decent QWERTY keyboard, so those that message regularly can snag it without being concerned that they're missing out on high-end features.  Stay tuned for more coverage!

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