Try to say that title 3 times fast, eh? Yesterday I received a text from my fiancee letting me know that FedEx had just dropped off a package for me, and more specifically, Android Police. After the Samsung Captivate arrived the previous day, I wasn’t expecting any additional deliveries, so I had her rip it open, only to reveal that the awesome folks at Samsung sent a shiny new Vibrant our way as well!


I meant to keep this unboxing and hands-on specific to the Vibrant, but I couldn’t help allowing the Captivate to join in on the fun. I took plenty of side by side shots and video (to be uploaded later) highlighting some of the differences and showing how the Vibrant handles 3D gaming.

There are a few obvious similarities between the two phones – after all, they’re close siblings. Both share the same brilliant, 4” Super AMOLED display, and pretty much the same internals, down to the CPU. After playing with the two though, the Samsung Vibrant for T-Mobile came off as feeling like a more ‘complete’ product than the Captivate.

I’m going to detail the differences in my upcoming (combo) review, but for those of you wondering, here’s a quick rundown of a few of the things that stuck out

  • First off, the packaging. The Vibrant’s box is fun, and you can tell design thought went into it, where as the Captivate’s box is fairly generic.
  • The Vibrant also shipped with a microSD –> SD adapater, where the Captivate did not – perhaps indicative of the Vibrant’s more media-centric spin?
  • The Vibrant also came pre-loaded with a few apps, and a complete copy of the movie ‘Avatar’. Some of the apps I noticed were:
    • The Sims 3 (special edition made specifically for T-Mobile)
    • Amazon’s Kindle software
    • Slacker Radio
  • There are minor, and random UI differences, which confused me – not sure why they didn’t keep it consistent between phones (ie, the system settings menu options have a noticeable ‘bubbled’ highlight that the Captivate lacks)
  • The Vibrant DOES ALLOW 3rd party app installs, where the Captivate DOES NOT

There are also some differences in build quality. I mentioned that the Captivate felt ‘plastic-y’ in my hands-on, but in comparison to the Vibrant, it feels down right solid. Where the Captivate has a matte battery cover that almost feels metallic, the Vibrant’s back is made entirely out of smooth, glossy plastic, which is definitely a fingerprint magnet. The Vibrant also feels to be slightly lighter than the Captivate – I’m guessing this has to do with the components used for the back of the phone. From the front, the Captivate is more angular and sleek, while the Vibrant sports rounded corners, and a more ‘fun/less business-y’ appearance. In fact, the Vibrant looks very much like the original iPhone with it’s accented bezel.

Other than that, both phones, unsurprisingly, felt pretty much the same. It’s clear that ATT pushed Samsung into making more OS modifications than T-Mobile, and that may be why, overall, I like the Vibrant a bit more than the Captivate (this is still an initial impression though, not my final answer).

Overall, both phones are solid, quality products, and both zip around Android 2.1 without much hesitation, which is very nice to see. Again, stay tuned for a more detailed review within the next few days, and until then, enjoy the pictures!

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