written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/18/2011
The Samsung Captivate aka Samsung Galaxy S is one of Android's best bets against the iPhone 4. As an Android device, does the Samsung Captivate have what it takes to compete against the iPhone 4? Here we compare the phones in various categories.
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Design and Form Factor
Let's get straight to the point and compare the Samsung Captivate vs iPhone 4 blow by blow, in terms of their features. First up, lets see how these two smartphones stack up against each other when it comes to design and form factor.
The major difference when it comes to design and form factor between these two phones is the fact that the Samsung Captivate does not have any metal parts, be it on the back or front. This is what turns me off with any Samsung phones, including the Samsung Captivate. Samsung could not do away with using plastic material. For some this is a turn off as those plastic materials make the Samsung Captivate not as classy and solid as the iPhone 4. But then, there is one major flaw with the iPhone 4's design as well, and that is the full-glass back panel. For some, this is not as durable as the plastic material. When it comes to the perennial problem of getting hairline scratches, the iPhone 4 is more susceptible than the Samsung Captivate because of the glass back panel.
Don't get me wrong here. Both phones are as durable as their manufacturers say they are. So, it's up to your daily usage to determine which one is really more durable.
When it comes to form factor, the iPhone 4 is slimmer than the Samsung Captivate - 0.37-inch vs 0.41-inch thickness. But when it comes to weight, the Samsung Captivate beats the iPhone 4 by being a bit lighter - 4.41 oz vs 4.83 oz. For the mobile phone user, weight is a big factor since it determines comfort and ease of transport on a daily basis.
In the looks department, both the iPhone 4 and Samsung Captivate are stunning in their own rights. You couldn't really say which one looks better than the other.
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The most interesting category in which we can compare the Samsung Captivate vs iPhone 4 is of course with regards to their display screens. Both smartphones utilize screen technology that delivers stunning, ultra crisp and clear display resolutions. Retina display vs Super AMOLED? Which one is really better? Technically, the iPhone 4 boasts of a 3.5-inch LCD IPS display aka Retina Display. If you've been watching Apple's demo about this, you'll know that the iPhone 4's retina display is capable of providing more details when it comes to display. The iPhone 4's resolution is at 640x960 pixels in 16.7 million colors. In other words, it's the best display resolution for a smartphone. Compare this with the Samsung Captivate's 4-inch Super AMOLED display at 480x800 resolution with support for 16.7 million colors. So, which one has the better display? Having seen both the screen of the iPhone and Samsung Captivate, I would have to say that you can't really tell the difference. Both displays are bright, crisp and clear. And the decision as to which display is the better will vary based on individual preferences.
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Battery Life Comparison
Having used the iPhone since the 3G version, I would have to say that the iPhone has the perennial problem of being a power hog. When put into full use, there are many things in the iPhone 4 that use its battery juice. Hence, it consumes power faster than most smartphones. Fortunately for Apple, the Samsung Captivate suffers the same fate. Comparing these two now when it comes to their published battery life will give us 300 hours standby time for both phones. When it comes to talk time, the iPhone 4 lasts a bit longer than the Samsung Captivate - 7 hours vs 5 hours.
But then, this will still depend on your usage patterns for these phones.
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Both the iPhone 4 and Samsung Captivate support all the standard connectivity features common to most smartphones today - EDGE, GPRS, 3G, HSDPA, Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Both allow internet tethering, allowing you to use the phones as Internet connections for your laptops. One feature that the iPhone 4 doesn't have, though is the ability to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple wireless devices.
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When it comes to this category (Applications) it's really hard to compare these two smartphones. The iPhone 4 has an exhaustive catalog of applications as compared to the Android apps for the Samsung Captivate. But that is a given edge of the iPhone 4 over the Samsung Captivate for the simple reason that the iPhone App Store has been around longer than the Android Market. Because of this, apps available for the iPhone are mostly better than the apps available for the Samsung Captivate. But in time, I'm pretty sure the Android Market can catch up with the App Store.
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Our Final Say
So, which is the better smartphone, iPhone 4 vs Samsung Captivate. Again the answer is neither. Both smartphones have their strengths and weaknesses that even out their differences and similarities. Since these phones use different platforms, you can't really say that one is better than the other. There are advantages with either.
So, which should you get, the iPhone 4 or the Samsung Captivate? Again, the answer depends on what your preferences are. If you want a smartphone with full support from mobile applications developers, the iPhone 4 is for you. If you want a smartphone that can match up against the iPhone 4 minus the Apple logo and brand, you'll consider getting the Samsung Captivate.