My unbiased story of another users experience leaving the iPhone to Android. Originally an iPhone user he finally made the break of Apples tight grip of an OS to Android. First choice was the Samsung Captivate, a Galaxy S phone. I think it was the obvious choice for him as it was the best option of the 3 Android phones from AT&T at that time. Not to mention I was very happy with mine. First impressions as an owner was not the greatest as he quickly noticed some problems. No easy 1 button click to a silent mode and syncing email to exchange was problematic from the start. Soon he updated to Froyo 2.2 (found here) and quickly followed with using custom ROMs, via ROM Manager and Cognition. His happiness was only short lived with the Captivate and the new ROMs as he began to have the phone shut-off at random. This seemed to be strictly a hardware issue and was resolved with a trip to AT&T and getting a replacement. Since email was high priority use of his phone and the issues for email continued, He actually contemplated going back to his iPhone. Enter the htc Inspire, the latest Android phone from AT&T. Within 28 days of first purchasing the Samsung Captivate he had, upgraded to 2.2, used custom ROMs, replaced the phone and finally traded it back in for the htc Inspire. He has only had the Inspire for less than 24 hours as I write this, but has implied clearly that it has been a better purchase than the Captivate and may lie on the same playing field as the iPhone.
So to summarize the issues and ratings he has suggested; Captivate had problems with exchange and playing music stored on the phone. He rates the Captivate under the iPhone for these reasons and currently rates his new htc Inspire at the same level as the iPhone. He is as of now still currently happy to be away from Apple and I will update this once he has had the Inspire longer.
I tried to keep my own thoughts and opinions away from everything up to now, you honestly didn’t think I would leave my opinion completely out did you? Some things I would like to point out is obviously the no easy button for silence is user preference, working with anything custom is always prone to bugs, however he did point out that he had the email issue prior to touching the OS. I know of another Captivate user that seemed to be having problems with email as well. His wasn’t exchange, but actually Yahoo. Myself I get to much personal email to mess with my main Yahoo email, so I send only a very small amount to my Gmail account which I get on my phone. Another few that I’d like to point out is that the Captivate and Inspire have the same speed CPU. Captivate has 4 times the internal memory and a Super AMOLED screen. The Inspire has an 8megapixel camera with an LED flash as well as .3 inches more of a screen. Inspire is also a 4G phone, although it’s not wide spread yet. I think the biggest thing to point out is that the Inspire comes with Froyo. This is huge because it works and is made to work and will be less likely to have bugs unlike the Captivate which is sure to have many since Samsung doesn’t care. Having 2.2 can only be accomplished using custom ROMs’ or custom upgrades which although helps getting flash and hotspot ability, it also brings more bugs. Overall I think the Captivate was a big shot that only has become a failure due to the lack of OS support and updating from Samsung. The biggest example of this is the GPS a feature that only works well if you have used a custom ROM. They have taken a great piece of hardware, shoved it out the door and never looked at it again.
With all the devices coming to the market at increasing speed, everyone’s phone is sure to be outdated by the time they get it home. So, I guess what should become a big part in the decision of you next phone isn’t as much the hardware, but more will the maker support the damn thing after you get it home and update the OS. Samsung obviously won’t. Will I trade in my Captivate for the Inspire or the upcoming Atrix? No, I’m still going to stand behind my Captivate and keep it as it still does what I want it too and works pretty well. -Greg