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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Chris Dehghanpoor
Chris is an Android devotee based out of Houston, TX. He enjoys indie rock, general geekery and long walks on the beach. If you can't find him online, he's probably playing Plants VS Zombies.
  • Aaron Gingrich

    I hate you. I got a (pink) intercept, and you got 2 Galaxy S's.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Hey, I got nothing. I hate both of you.

  • http://www.ghduk.org/ ghd straighteners uk

    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.

  • Yaronkle

    How is the gps on these devices? There have been numerous reports with gps lock problems on the original galaxy s.

    • Marcelo Hincapie

      Still crap. I got two that I'm returning tomorrow.

  • Steve

    Am I understanding you correctly in that you mention the Captivate feels "less plastic-y" than the Vibrant? Can you comment a bit more on the build quality comparison?

    • Chris Dehghanpoor

      Yup, that's correct. It's pretty much all to do with the battery covers -- the one on the Captivate is textured and matte, where the one on the Vibrant is glossy..it's kind of hard to explain. I went into more detail in a video that I meant to upload with this post, but had issues doing. I'll get it up tonight though, and hopefully I'll answer your question in there.

  • klm

    Waiting for the video for details, plz be quick. I am going to buy one of them and go Europe, so any comments for those kind of buyers???

    • Jose R. Ortiz

      If you're planning on taking the device with you to use while in Europe, be sure to get the unlock code first. T-Mo is pretty good about providing the code but AT&T can be a struggle. Usually they don't release unlock codes during the first 90 days.

  • Omar

    What about bands, i know the 2 have different bands for gsm/hdspa. Which is supported more in europe/asia

    (also moving overseas with my phone)

    • Mitch

      Im also moving oversees and have heard conflicting reports regarding if this work on the 2100 Band 1 or only on the 1700/2100 band IV. Tmobiles website lists both which would meen it should work but anyone have any more info?

  • Steve

    I bought the Captivate and also like the feel of phone over the Vibrant. The back battery cover is really solid and locks in tight. Thanks for the great review and the tip!