Apple iPhone 4 Vs. Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S) – Which One is Better?

iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Captivate

AT&T has recently announced a handful of new Android handsets and among them, Samsung Captivate; also known as Samsung Galaxy S on carriers like Sprint and Verizon, has been receiving a lot of rave reviews.

So how does this Android 2.1 device compare with Apple's iPhone 4? We will take you through the key differences in features and performance between the two devices.

Operating System: 

iPhone 4 comes pre-installed with Apple's new iOS 4.x.x that includes more than 100 new features.

Samsung Captivate is powered by Android 2.1 that offers a slew of customizations including the ability to add widgets and custom alerts. This is in addition to functionalities like free turn-by-turn GPS navigation, voice-to-text and the ability to add any app of choice. 

However, the functional difference between a Samsung Captivate and iPhone 4 is one of personal choice and users who prefer simplicity and minimalism will find iPhone 4 appealing. 


iPhone 4 comes with a gorgeous 960×640 pixel retina display, which is one of the major features of the new iPhone. AT&T Captivate, on the other hand, comes equipped with a 480×800 pixel Super AMOLED display. Both the displays come with advantages of their own. While the Super AMOLED screen on Captivate will offer a brighter screen along with reduced glare and power consumption, the higher resolution display on iPhone 4 renders better video quality. The difference in video quality rendered on the two screens may be more pronounced because of the fact that the pixels on Samsung Captivate are spread over a larger screen area. You may note that the Captivate comes with a 4" display that is slightly larger than the new iPhone's 3.5" display.


The processor power of both these devices are impressive. Samsung Captivate is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor with a 512MB RAM. The iPhone 4 on the other hand, is powered by Apple's native A4 processor that too runs at 1GHz  though the RAM specifications are unknown  and comes with 512MB RAM. Speaking of the external casing, TiPb points out that while the back casing on iPhone 4 may appear to be marginally more scratch-prone than Captivate, the iDevice however feels more solid and better built. 


Both Captivate and iPhone 4 come equipped with a powerful 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and support for 720p HD video capture. However, Apple wins the competition hands down due to the availability of LED flash along with support for on-board video editing features and video chat functionalities. Captivate also does not have a front-facing camera like iPhone 4.


Folks at TiPb point out that the Captivate may not be an ideal device for Mac users. Unlike the iPhone 4 which only requires the user to plug into iTunes to sync content, the Captivate will require several workarounds to achieve the same task. Also, MobileMe users may find it difficult to restore content while switching handsets.


Heavy users of smartphones may find the battery life offered on Samsung Captivate disappointing. As many of our readers have noted in the past, the new iPhone 4 offers significantly improved battery life that comfortably lasts for a day in most cases. However, this may not be the case with the Captivate and as TiPb points out, the battery may not last a work-day if you are a heavy user.

Here is a comparison chart detailing the technical specifications of the two devices: 

iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Captivate

iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Captivate

You can checkout feature videos of Samsung Captivate and iPhone 4 below:

As you see, there is not much to choose between the two phones in terms of hardware specs at the moment though in our opinion iPhone 4 is better than Samsung Captivate due to iOS 4.0, the massive App Store, which now houses over 238,000 iPhone apps, better battery life and front-facing camera, which has brought video chat features like FaceTime. 

But as we have mentioned earlier, the important thing to note here is that Android phones like Samsung Captivate, HTC EVO 4G will keep Apple honest and put pressure on them to keep innovating (not that they've needed the pressure), which is always a good thing from a customer point of view.

Do you like the new Samsung Captivate? Do you prefer Apple iPhone 4 or Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S)? Which one will you buy? We would love to hear your views in the comments so do drop us a line.

[via Wirefly, TiPb]

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  • Roderick

    The Jailbroken Iphone 4! Can't wait!

  • Yeah, thanks for pointing it out as we had covered it as well, updated the post.

  • J

    Iphone still! The only thing I like about android phones are the widgets!! but I'd stay with my iphone.. 🙂

  • V

    Good job, android, of copying and trying to keep pace with iPhone. Too bad your OS / device fracturization will be your undoing.

  • J

    i had the old skool samsung i730…and the battery life wouldn't even last till lunchtime. lol. i could see the battery drain as it was checkign email for the first time in the day. only thing keeping me with att is the iphone….i can get a call failed while it's dialing out.

  • jdb

    "iPhone…2?" (last phrase in paragraph: camera)
    Sorry iphonehacks. English ass here…

  • Jayb

    LMAO, Apples Win hands down due to the availability of LED flash. Wait i think many of Apple heads said they didnt need a flash. Now it makes a difference.

  • i did

    i've had ever iphone but the iphone 4. the last year i had an iphone is was not fun… i was hoping os4 was going to be this big break through… it wasnt… so i switch to the captive and android and couldnt be happier… i dont know if all the android haters have ever even tried it or tried it a long time ago… but its super fast and easy to get to everything i want… you can customize the hell out of it… also 2.2 is coming out soon then 3.0 later this year and it will be even faster… you can also root your phone to speed it up even more and get rid off all the att bloat wear…

    i do agree it might be hard for people with macs alittle to sync but not that much… also the gpu on it is better than the iphone…

    oh one thing apple has over it is high end games… android market is lacking in that area but other the end apps i had to pay for my iphone are cheaper or even free on android.

    but a stock iphone vs a stock android captivate i'll pick my captivate… if you're iphone isnt jailbroke its not so great… i just got tired of jailing breaking my phone to get simple things like sbs toggles…

  • Thanks for pointing it out, fixed it.

  • Strambo

    the tech specs say 13hours/750hours standby for samsung and 6hours/300hours for iphone, in your last paragraph (below the video) you say iphone has better battery life…i know that this page is pro iphone but something is wrong here 🙂

  • Sonny

    love iphone 3GS ang hate junk losing signal like hell iphone 4. I think 3GS is better and shitty iphone 4 is worse compare to galaxy S. just my 2 cents.

  • i did

    the samsung does ok in low light… but i have a nice digital camera… but it would be nice to have the led flash like the European version of the phone… it also has the FFC which i dont care about… i mean if im on a wifi connect and the person im talking to is on a wifi connect there is a pretty good chance we have our computers with web cams near by and we can gmail video chat or skype.

  • i did

    also the video of the captivate on here is not the phone i have… thats a test model and the final gui and over speed is different.

  • Wave

    That's true. I wonder what would have been the iPhone 4 if there wasn't any competition. IMHO I think Apple doesn't move fast enough or make major leaps when it comes to software upgrades. To me the OS has lost its novelty. And it's getting pretty frustrating with the cat and mouse game of jailbreaking. I am used to a jailbroken iPhone and it's really hard going back to the regular OS. SBSettings is a major reason why I jailbreak. Wanted the Galaxy S but don't offer it with my Carrier so I went with the Wave and I am satisfied.

  • sentano

    y does the screen and scrolling on the android looks like a 98% clone and ripoff from IOS? even the icons, except the page dots are at the top?

  • i did

    thats an att thing.. you can change it… its not the default way android scrolls through apps… also the apps are different area and arent on the main pages unless you make a short cut for them. the default apps is list form in alphabetical order… short cuts and be arranged however… i have icons mixed with widgets just like my notebook computer.

  • bible camp

    That's how i was. I hung on hoping Apple would wow me again, but it hasn't happened since 2.0. Then I made the switch. The thing that pushed me over the edge was going to android site like this one. I rarely saw people post comments about how they were made with android and how they wished it had something it didn't like I see here everyday. Instead it was people happy about the new thing android has added or after updating the improved speed of there phone. Seemed like every time I update my Iphone it just becomes slower and slower.

  • bible camp

    There icons. You could say they look just like my old windows 95 icons. It's basically just a desktop. Not many ways you can change that up.

  • Brezzy

    Ppl talk about how the galaxy s is faster and bla bla bla …. :s but i am sur that with the quality of my iPhone last longer than all those Samsung galaxy and wat ever ,Samsung start to copy the touchscreen of iphones nor they still find a way to copy the S of iPhone 3gs i fill sorry for them 🙁

  • Asd

    Samsung epic 4G is the phone to compete with the iPhone 4. But with time will see how they both stack up.

  • Amalio

    At least if doesnt make a big F'in deal over features that come with $25 phones!!! They should have compared to the Samsung vibrant. It kicks the iphone 4's ass and I have both!!!Ragedy ass antenna!! Go to hell.

  • Key

    just wish the iphone would play my AVI files. hate having to convert to mp4 and the jailbreak programs kinda suck

  • AV

    The only thing that is missing with iPhone 4 is the flash….. other than that way better than the Samsung Captive.

  • Enok

    Plus that Apple 'flash' is about as useful as holding a lighter in front of your iPhone to take a oh, pic and call it 'flash'

  • Jcm800

    That Samsung comes with pre installed Haptic pro style feedback, and a neat text feature called 'swipe' (or similar)..oh and a font swap is pre installed.
    Pretty decent phone IMO.

  • Free

    And I believe that most people with macs also have access to PCs.

  • ?

    "Feel sorry for them"??? Then how do you feel about Apple who buys parts from Samsung for the iPhone? And did Apple patent the touchscreen and the letter "s"? There have been touchscreens before and I guess Apple copied the 4 from Evo 4G.

  • bible camp

    the vibrant is the same phone… its just the tmobile version

  • bible camp

    or you can do talk to type with the android keyboard pretty much anywhere you can write text.

  • Krew_92

    Of course this sites winner would be an iPhone 4 since its a god damn iPhone site! If this was a tech site, I guarantee it would have ended like this: "In the end it only comes down to personal preference of each phone" Instead of one side.

  • Krew_92

    I also "fill" sorry for you.

  • Jayb

    I agree on that. My tilt 2 can dual boot from WM to DROID and wow android is suprb. Its a little buggy the driod boot no external sound nor music but it beats WM.

  • Jcm800

    'Angry Birds' is out or about to come out on the Android 2.1 🙂 – in fact i'm really tempted, That Galaxy S is bloody nice.
    Dont get me wrong, i love my JB 3.1.2 GS but Android's are tempting me away..

  • Jcm800

    This is the 'Samsung Galaxy S' Iphone Hacks, wtf is that thing in your video?!

  • bible camp

    the captivate is the american version for att… each us carrier has their own name for it… the att and tmobile is pretty much the same… the epic for sprint has a pull out keyboard and the verizon is more like the euro version shown in this video i believe

  • Jcm800

    Tks i appreciate that, but it looks like a totally different phone to me, and inferior to my take on a Galaxy S too..the UK Galaxy S is certainly a match for an un-jailbroken iPhone 4 imo.

  • Shrivatsa

    LOL! Well said

  • James bond

    The galaxy feels junky and its sluggish

    I played with one at tmobile

    Iphone 4 FTW

  • Don't get me wrong, but this has nothing to do with hacks, keep your original theme, that's what makes blogs worth it, otherwise you'll just be swallowed by MacRumors or Engadget

  • Kishi

    It's Simple… iPhone 4, and wait for hackers to port Android 2.2 as a dual boot on it.

    Then we all have the best of both phones and can switch when we feel like it.

  • rfg

    I saw this too. But no comments from anyone including iPhoneHacks.

  • Jayb

    To port it on the Iphone 4 …. Well the only progress so far is on the 3g since its the only Iphone that can be messed arounf with out it bricking.

  • Joe

    You left out that the Captivate's camera has a 4x zoom built in.

  • brezzy

    apple looks for the best in evry smartphones and add it in the iphones samsung too and befor iphones touchscreens there wose no samsung with touchscreen and you no, what you dont no is older than you ;)and i am 98% sure that if it wosent tne antenna blem of di iphone 4 you wont even be there mr the iphone hater

  • bible camp

    sorry but apple wasnt the first phone with a touch screen. sony had a phone that had 3g, 4gb hd, touch screen and a media player pretty close to a year before the iphone came out. plus all the palm phones… apple genius is that they took something that other people had done and did it right and work amazing.

    but sony was coming out without with some amazing phones in 2006 just the ui wasnt that good… they even had a 5mp phone come out around the same time as the iphone… so hardware wise apple isnt doing anything new… its in the os and ui that was revolutionary

  • I owned the Captivate for 2 1/2 weeks. After owning the 3G and 3Gs iPhones, I have to say I was skeptical, but interested due to friends who have Android devices. The Captivate was a decent phone that had lots of features that kept it right on line with iPhone 4. I will have to attest to the battery life being REALLY BAD, until I added a "battery saver" app (which made my email syncing lag drastically behind because the app "managed" data transfers). I also felt the OS was just not as seamless as iPhone OS….too many things to go through to complete a simple task like add a contact from an email you've received. The voice controls were really nice and its integration with Google Voice is AWESOME! But, when it came down to it….I am now back on the iPhone 4 and the Captivate is back at the AT&T store. Apple is still just that far ahead of the competition….hardware and software wise!

  • bible camp

    you might have had a bad phone cause my battery last all day and i use it a lot.

    Adding contacts is pretty simple. its the same as on the iphone in the number of steps… also a lot less step than it takes to turn your wifi or bluetooth on and off without using sbs setting on an iphone…

  • Sumkinduvmalice

    You said iphone4 has longer battery life yet in the spec chart it says galaxy s does. Are they reversed on accident?

  • ShaQ1nJ

    I love my Captivate's battery. And I love using the gameboy advanced and psx emulators. Very fast and responsive. IMO, i think the gameboy emulator is much smoother than the real thing.

  • steve


  • Call Out

    Fanboy alert!

  • Nikki

    I have been an iphone owner from day one from the 2g to the iphone 3gs . I ran it both factory and jailbroken and i loved it. But while trying to get an iphone4 i came across the captivate and was completely blown away! So i bought it brought it home and started tinkering with it! I can say that i dont know why i ever owned an iphone! The android phones kick major ass! I love the design of the captivate and honestly dislike the look of the iphone4! I have let friends use my captivate that own iphone4 and they wish theyd seen it prior to purchasing their iphone! Id never go back even though buying the captivate was an impulse buy… ive never been more pleased with a phone! Captivate rocks!

  • birdie9or11

    Let's be honest here: Apple favours style over substance. All my friends who hav iPhone 4s have taken them back to either get my Samsung Galaxy or the iPhone 3GS.

    The screen is bigger on the Samsung, but because the screens are still small in comparison to TV the resolution does not matter – everything on it still looks HD.

    As for complaining about Samsung not having a Flash, it does and it is the most important Flash – Adobe Flash! iPhone won't strike a deal with Adobe and therefore half the internet is inaccessible on the iPhone, this is the beauty of Android and Pc verses Mac or Apple – they are not so arrogant as Apple.

    Back to the original Flash – if you love photography so much don't take pictures with a phone. I don't care how many megapixels it has that means nothing in photographic terms, only the lens matters. And have you seen how lens get bigger on professional cameras whilst everything else is trying to get smaller? Hence a phone will never be a great camera because it can never have a professional lens.

  • husky

    wow really? you have nothing else to nitpick at the galaxy S for so you say samsung copied the S in 3gs? and it's an S encased with a box in which there is no space between so it's 3gs not 3g S.

    also samsung copying the touch screen? well i don't believe apple has a oled screen. as for capacitive touch screeb, well they have been used in other devices way before apple ever laid eyes on it. so really who's copying who now.

    it's saddens me that all the iphone fanboys are thinking. OH apple invented everything and everything they make is revolutionary. well no they made a deal with other companies who develop the product and use it in their own. or copied from another company and declared it their own.

    let's be realistic here, everyone is going to get technology from other companies and use it in their own products so enough of the everyone is copying iphone. because lets face it the arrangement of icons i could say apple stole it from palm, and other oses before it. etc…

  • Ditching-My-iPhone; Gaining-Freedom

    It must be pointed out: Mac-compatibility issues aside, not having to use the bloatware known as iTunes should be seen as (for indeed it truly is) an ADVANTAGE.

    Galaxy: drag & drop an album onto the phone (as if it were a jump-drive); done.
    iPhone: drag & drop an album into iTunes, create a playlist, do a lot of GUI shit, hit sync and proceed to have your entire music-collection examined for differences and updated (all or nothing, there is no individuation here)—and don't even think about moving that folder, if you ever intend to sync again!

    I could go on quite a ways about iTunes; it's such a frustrating hassle, and a waste of time and energy.
    Good riddance to it! Hello, Galaxy!

    Things unmentioned in this article
    Battery: Galaxy's is removable. That means, one can carry around extra batteries (for trips and such), and pop in another where required. Touché, Apple!

    Storage: Same principle as above—extra Micro-SD cards = Galaxy possesses potentially limitless storage capacity. (This brings me back to the old Ericsson days.)

    App-store: iTunes' App-Store is not open-source (and neither is its OS), and this really blows. Those who're paying attention are doubtlessly aware of the ongoing battle between Apple's programmers and the Jailbreak Dev's…. What's not mentioned here (and you'll never hear it from Apple) is how incredibly restrictive the company (Apple) truly is. To illustrate: I had an iPhone 3G, and this I had to hack in order to obtain Cycorder (a video-camera app). Yes, 3G had video-recording capability (~12FPS + sound), but Apple didn't want anyone accessing the camera except through its own (clearly insufficient) API. For this reason, much was held back—despite the abundance of capable apps and programmers. Simple things, just were not allowed. This behaviour stifled innovation, and continues to, and Apple possesses an extensive track-record in this regard (despite its hypocritical "We're Different" PR campaign). Imagine buying a Toyota, and Toyota threatened legal action, and turned its back on you as a customer because you decided to go and put rims on the thing…. More: not having open-source/Jailbreak means that I lack SBSettings (which means I've no pull-down drawer with convenient, customizable options & toggles—wifi on/off, 3g on/off, brightness adjuster, quicknotes, dock, etc.), no % battery indicator, no cell-tower locator, no Reboot button, no Face-Time outside of WiFi area (that's right, you'd have to hack your phone to Face-Time over the more-than-capable 3G network), no icon/GUI themes, no (controversial) GBA/PSX/SNES/Genesis emulation, no this, no that…. As it stands, people are refraining from updating their OS simply because they'd rather keep their Jailbreak than obtain a minor update (or even a significant one—like a blue-tooth fix, or a proximity-sensor fix, or a game-network addition). Oh yes: jailbreak = unlock -> travel hassle-free.

    Display: Super-AMOLED > Retina, for sure: bigger screen, deeper blacks, more vibrant colours, less power-consumption, reduced glare, greater viewing angle…. All it lacks, is the pixels-per-square-inch that Retina has—which is nice, but actually negligible in comparison, considering. Side-by-side, the pixelage is not at all noticeable from one or two feet away (do you really read your phone point-blank?), whereas the other features, are—and indeed, very much so.

    Although they make sexy-looking phones, and have at least one thing going for them (the LED-flash—good job), Apple, is largely over-inflated, closed-source, hyped-up and expensive, gimmicky hot-air. Like a stereotypical corporate fat-cat, Steve Jobs is milking this cow for all it's worth; that's why I'm jumping ship, abandoning this company, and opting instead for the underdog—which better suits my tastes. For the record, open-source was the deal-breaker.

    That's my review.


  • i love jesus christ

    I have both but i am happy with my samsung! It is much faster battery life is better, the screen is better is bright places and it functions a lot better then the ios 4. If apple want to stay on top they need to do better this iphone 4 was a flop just like their ipad. samsung came out with a pad that runs android and it offers more. i think over all samsung apple needs to think different.

  • NULL and Kale

    I didnt read all the comments but i would like to point out that the galaxy s has a 90 million triangles per second 3d render rate while the iphone 4 has an 8 million triangles per second render rate… That and it will soon be updated to froyo which will have flash 9 and the ability to use your phone as a free wifi hot spot that and it is very easy to root allowing full access to the phone unlike any i phone which is a hassle to jailbreak oh and the memory is expandable

  • andre

    I just got the galaxy S vibrant and I have to say I am in love. I have seen smartphones over the years but I made a promise to myself long ago to never buy an apple product as long as I live.

    So I cannot really compare the 2 products, just give my biased opinion that the Galaxy S rocks.

    Ok it doesnt have a flash, minor bummer, but like stated many times above, so what?

    according to the article above, it doesnt have a forward facing camera, this is untrue and video conferencing is available thru skype or other apps (though I havent used this feature yet).

  • Mikah

    When you update iPhones they become slower…
    When you update Androids they become faster…

    I HAD a iPhone 4 but now I HAVE a Captivate…
    Im tired of jailbreaking…

  • nabil

    no customization on iphone exept changing wallpapers and creating folders….ok iphone users…keep doing that…lol….

  • BOB

    i have a Galaxy S, and it does have a front facing camera, and that video is not what my phone looks like, so i think this website has gone mental

  • JNH

    Had captivate for 4 days the os was slow battery life was horrible and I rarely used the phone. Saw they had antivirus programs for it and ran like hell!


  • eric

    All of you apple people are so ignorant and need to pull your head out of apple’s butt. You’re like north Korea and apple is like Kim jung-il apple gives you no freedom and you follow him blindly while he forces you to use the phone you paid for the way he wants or your warranty is void.