Google Maps is a standard part of the Android package and we’ve covered it many times before. It offers voice-guided navigation in certain countries and falls back to a list of instructions elsewhere. You can plan routes, search for nearby POI and go into the always cool Street View.
The app uses vector maps, which are very data efficient and easy to cache. The app will reroute you if you get off course, even without a data connection.
You can also find your way indoors with Google Maps too. The latest version of the software brings you indoor navigation of a number of shopping locations and airports across America (for the moment at least). We found the function to be quite neat, despite in Beta form.
With a 1GHz dual-core CPU and powerful new graphics, the Captivate Glide can run every Android app designed for phones. The NVIDIA made CPU is especially capable when it comes to video games – there are a few titles which are exclusively made for it.
The OS version is 2.3.5 so you won’t have any problems on that account either.
After its major overhaul, the Android Market has become the place to go not only for apps and media, but also books, movies, and music. Its interface is simple and intuitive. The search function at the bottom right corner will assist you in finding anything you can possibly need.
The Samsung Captivate Glide is aiming for the interest of a special group of people – the messaging and social network junkies, which abound here in the United States. We believe that, especially for those who are already fond of Android, the device will be a welcome upgrade. It also has plenty of appeal for potential OS converts.
We liked the hardware QWERTY of the device a lot – it is a perfect addition to an already familiar package. Having it on board, along with the Exchange ActiveSync support and virtual private network access and device encryption capabilities, makes the Samsung Captivate Glide a serious business alternative – something which until recently was almost exclusively reserved for the offerings of a certain Canadian company. In the case of the Captivate Glide however, you are bound to have a much better experience in terms of OS and sheer entertainment capabilities.
The rest of the smartphone’s hardware is more than adequate. The presence of an NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU made us raise our brows at first and be a bit skeptical. It turned out that there is no reason for such feelings – it performed up to our expectations. Plus, you get access to the graphics-rich Tegra-only games in the Android Market.
We gotta admit, the lack of full HD recording is a bit of a letdown. The other fault is the lack of any Galaxy related branding. Like we mentioned earlier, Samsung and AT&T have overlooked the brand potential here – the Captivate Glide is more than capable of carrying the Galaxy moniker. Besides, its predecessor on AT&T, the Samsung Captivate, was marketed as a Galaxy S phone.
The Samsung Captivate Glide is priced at $199.99 with a two-year contract on AT&T’s network. Currently there are not many Android alternatives on the market. It appears that the manufacturers had their focus elsewhere this year.
Motorola Droid 3 on Verizon Wireless is a capable alternative. It sports a more solid build and an extra row of keys on its QWERTY. Its screen is also of higher, qHD resolution. The Droid 3 will set you back the same amount of money as the Captivate Glide.
The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide is another QWERTY option. The HTC made device is essentially a keyboard-equipped Sensation 4G, save for the screen resolution. It does however, offer a brilliant 8MP shooter with enough modes to put some point and shoot cameras to shame. You must keep in mind though, that the T-Mobile customized UI of the device might not be to everyone’s taste. The MyTouch 4G Slide currently sells for the highly acceptable $99.99 on a contract.
The above two are the only Android alternatives with dual-core CPUs on the U.S. market at the moment. If you are the strict business type, it is worth taking a look at the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9810. Both RIM devices offer comfortable QWERTYs to go with their business credentials. You can find them on AT&T for $199.99 and $49.99 respectively.
The Samsung Captivate Glide is a well-rounded device, despite coming a tad late to the market. It should be a welcome upgrade to the single-core Android QWERTY users, as well as an interesting alternative for the business crowd. We do believe that with a proper marketing budget, it will have its share of success. The lack of serious QWERTY-equipped competition will certainly help its cause.