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Samsung Galaxy S/SGH-I897

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Samsung Captivate
Samsung Captivate.jpg
Model Number: SGH-I897
Manufacturer: Samsung Samsung-icon.png
Release Date: Jul. 2010
Operating System: Android Android-icon.jpg
Dimensions: 4.18 x 2.5 x 0.39
Weight: 4.5 oz
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 3110
Display: 4.0" WVGA 480x800 SAMOLED
Networks: GSM/GPRS850/900/1800/1900 MHz 3GUMTS/HSDPA (850/900/1900/2100 MHz)
Wifi: Not Known
Bluetooth: 3.0
NFC: Not Known
GPS: yes
Video out: Not Known
Camera: 5MP Auto-Focus
Secondary Camera: No
Internal Memory: 512MB RAM, 2GB NAND
Memory Card: microSD, microSDHC
Battery: 1500 mAh
Additional Features: TV out, Proximity Sensor, Magnetic compass, Orientation sensor

A very comprehensive FAQ / wiki is available here

The Samsung Captivate (SGH-i897 or SGH-i896) is a Galaxy S Android smartphone released in July 2010. It is currently available in America under AT&T and in Canada under Rogers. The Samsung Captivate has a PowerVR graphics processor yielding 90 million triangles per second, making it the fastest graphics processing unit in any Android phone to date. It was the first Android phone to be certified for DivX HD,[4] and at 9.9 mm it was the thinnest Android phone at the time of release.

Hardware Design

The Captivate has a design that is different from the other Galaxy S phones in that is not a rounded rectangle shape, but rather has a curved top and bottom. The front is Corning supplied Gorilla Glass, while the back and side is plastic. The battery cover is metal, and is easily removed by pulling down the bottom of the phone. The buttons on the bottom are not physical, but still offer tactile feedback if you choose. The power button is on the right side and the volume rocker is on the left. The phone features a 4 inch Super AMOLED Display which is very sharp and saturated (often overly so). It has a 5 megapixel camera without flash.


The phone shipped from stock with Android 2.1 (eclair), but has received a Froyo (2.2) update. The phone employs the latest proprietary Samsung TouchWiz 3.0 user interface. Unlike TouchWiz 3.0 on the Samsung Wave, it allows up to seven homescreens. However, different from other Android user interfaces, TouchWiz 3.0 allows users to add, delete and rearrange homescreens. The program launcher is also different from other Android user interfaces in that it has an iOS-like program menu which allows customization of shortcuts. In addition, three of the four shortcuts at the bottom of the screen can also be customized. The most important aspect of all three generations of TouchWiz is the widget interface. The most prominent widgets that come with the Captivate are the daily briefing, weather clock and the buddy widget. In addition to Samsung widgets, standard Android widgets can be added and removed from the homescreens. The Captivate comes with support for many multimedia file formats, including audio codecs (FLAC, WAV, Vorbis, MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MID, AC3, XMF), video codecs (mpeg4, H.264, H.263, Sorenson codec, DivX HD/ XviD, VC-1) and video formats (3GP (MPEG-4), WMV (Advanced Systems Format), AVI (divx), MKV, FLV).


The phone has drawn criticism due to the presence of preloaded AT&T apps (many of which incur monthly fees when used), removal of side-loading, and censoring of certain apps from the market. All of these issues can currently be circumvented with root access. Additionally, users have complained of issues with obtaining a GPS lock and software issues with the TouchWiz UI, which users complain is slow and unresponsive. Some users report hearing from Samsung that a software fix is currently in the works to improve GPS functionality, and alternate homescreen launchers such as LauncherPro and ADWLauncher reportedly improve UI responsiveness as well as the several custom ROMs available from XDA. Many also criticize Samsung's slow response to problems, often leaving it up to the community to fix serious issues with the phone. Samsung has released a GPS fix that fix the issues for some.

Another criticism is the lack of a camera flash.

Official Documentation

- User manual

USB Drivers

- Complete USB Drivers Package & Device Installer for Windows XP/Vista/7 (v5.02.0.2)

- Windows 64-Bit

- Windows 32-Bit

Note: If you already have Samsung Galaxy series drivers loaded, connect and see if it works before loading any additional drivers. The Samsung Galaxy S3 driver on existing Win7 64bit worked with this phone.


- Kies Mini v10082.8.1 is primarily used to upgrade the firmware on the Captivate. It's the scaled down version of Kies for the Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000 series, but you should not use the full blown version of Kies on the Captivate. On the same note, if you search the web, you'll find a lot of people who have problems with the full blown version of Kies.

If the above link does not work, Kies mini can also be found here (v11011_4)

If you are starting with stock Froyo and want to upgrade to stock Gingerbread, Kies Mini can be used to automatically update to UCKK4 (2.3).


The Captivate has a very active development community here on XDA. The quickest way to get involved is to head to the Samsung Captivate section of the forums. Below is a list of links grouped by categories. Most links point to the 'official' thread in the Captivate forums for each hack/rom/kernel/etc. If you're a developer and have created a new hack/rom/kernel/etc please add a link and description in the appropriate group below.


- (Guide) rooting and adding CWM Recovery to 2.3.5 with Corn Kernel Uses adb and download mode to flash a modded corn kernel with custom CWM Recovery. Use CWM to root the phone. I found this to be the easiest/fastest way to root GB 2.3.5 (5/18/2012)

- One Click Root / Unroot for PC & MAC by TGA_Gunnman: This a quick and simple way to root your phone. It doesn't do anything else but root your Captivate. Doesn't work on Gingerbread (2.3.5).

- z4root is a one click solution to root and un-root your device. It is known to work for the Captivate. The only known method of installing non-market apps is by purchasing "Non-Market Apps Enabler" from the Android Market. (07/28/2012)

- SuperOneClick for PC (not sure about MAC) by CLShortFuse: This is a one-click root that works with Froyo on Captivates. It works with almost all phones and all android versions.

Custom ROMs

Recommended for Beginners

Andromeda, Apex, Cognition, Serendipity.

Newer Roms

STILL UPDATED - LANIGHT (Project eXtreme Butter) by AceofSpades90: LANIGHT is a pure AOSP build, meaning it is NOT CM or built from CM source. This is a very stripped down ROM which runs VERY fast and stable on every Captivate. It's currently based on Android 4.1.1 source code. View the forum thread for more information.

STILL UPDATED - Apex by Watsaa: Also based on JS8, great performance, great battery life, Gingerbread theme.

STILL UPDATED - Cognition by designgears: A custom ROM designed to improve the performance (with help from the Voodoo Lagfix) of the Captivate and clear out the bloatware and restrictions placed on the phone by AT&T and Samsung.

STILL UPDATED - CyanogenMod 7 by atinm: CyanogenMod 7 Gingerbread 2.3.4 for the Captivate, THIS IS STILL BETA, but usable as daily driver.

STILL UPDATED - DRAGON by DAGr8 : Speed and Stability Based of ZNKP5 Froyo 2.2.1 ( for the i9088 Device ) This one aims at being different with ALL of the latest features for the SGS serie like the no clock toggle and 6 lock screen (NO LONGER UPDATED)

STILL UPDATED - Fasty by LOSTLOGIC89: Based on 2.3.5 kk4 captivate leak, a super fast and stable rom with 9 lockscreens and much more.

STILL UPDATED - [1] by [2] MIUI (based on CM7)very usable and customizable fit for daily use.

STILL UPDATED - Mosaic VIII by The Collective ROM built on JVT i9000 with Dark Core Kernel, also can flash Talon with BIGMEM mod. Great ROM for anyone especially those who like themes as this ROM offers a variety of themes (Check the themes section for related themes)

STILL UPDATED - Phoenix by adamholden85: description soon...

STILL UPDATED - Serendipity by MikeyMike01: Based on JS7, lots of features, Gingerbread theme.

Older Roms

FINAL - FireFly by xtremekilla09: Based on Rogers 2.2, custom themed and packed with features. It includes a custom app that allows over the air updates to be downloaded to the phone. Updated weekly on Thursdays.

Discontinued - Andromeda by TeamKomin: A ROM built from Armani Captivate i9010 with custom kernel and HSPA speeds. Focused on functionality and stability. This is a great ROM for the beginner, or those who wish a stable interface with all the additional functionality of a modded kernel/ROM.

Discontinued - aospMolecule by a.n: This is based off AOSP but with cyanogen influences.

Discontinued - Assonance by MikeyMike01: Another tweaked Froyo ROM with more goodies.

FINAL - Axura by adamholden85: This ROM is based off the unofficial Froyo JK2/JK6 For Vibrant.

EXHAUSTED - Captivate / Vibrant Hybrid by eugene373: Awaiting description

EXHAUSTED - Captivate-Deodexed-JH7 by rajendra82: this ROM is JH7 (leak) fully deodexed and zipaligned.

Discontinued - Doc's ROM by MikeyMike01: A ROM with delicious goodies.

FINAL- Frankin-Twiz by eugene373: This is an attempt to tweak Samsung settings and themes to eugene's liking which tries to look as AOSP.

Discontinued - GeoMod by geokhentix: A ROM with custom theme and Setiron's Kernel using the JPP modem. This has its own cooked apps.

Discontinued - Perception by designgears: A very fast ROM based off of JK3 from the i9000m phone which works better for USA captivates. This has Setiron's Kernel which has Universal Lagfix, Backlight notification and other fully featured goodies. Bloatware and restrictions not included.

Custom Kernels

Newer Kernels

Semaphore: This kernel has tons of features and works for Jelly Bean 4.1.1. For a full list of features, take a look at the thread on XDA.

LAST UPDATED 12/03/11 eXistZ Captivate Kernel by existz: Based on Froyo source code, OC/UV, BLN, etc.

LAST UPDATED 13/01/11 Firebird 2 by DesignGears: Voodoo Sound v4, Lagfix, Color, Sharpness and Much More!

LAST UPDATED 02/20/11 Speedmod for Captivate by hardcore: This is a port of Hardcore's speedmod Kernel from the i9000, reoriented for the captivate.

LAST UPDATED 12/03/11 SuckerPunch by existz: Based off Speemod's with OC/UV, Voodoo fixes, BLN.

LAST UPDATED 09/28/12 The kernel du jour! by pawitp: A custom kernel for CyanogenMod10 Nightly which offers overclock up to 1.6ghz,Great Camera For Video Capturing,Great Battery Life Jelly Bean Mods,Silky Smooth, undervolting, BLN, and is constantly updated.

LAST UPDATED 03/18/11 Trident by ytt3r:This is a massively overclocked kernel for CyanogenMod 7 which will be consistently updated.

Older Kernels

LAST UPDATED 12/23/10 I9000 Froyo kernel reoriented by xcaliburinhand: This should make life a little easier for those who want to use an I9000 kernel.

LAST UPDATED 12/20/10- Setiron's Kernel by Setiron: This kernel is Backlight Notification, Universal Lagfix, OC/UV support and a few other awesome tweaks.

LAST UPDATED 12/27/10 Reoriented i9000 for Cyanogen ROM by glitterballs: This is a Captivate-d version of the beta cyanogen kernel so cyanogen beta will work for the captivate.

LAST UPDATED 10/04/10- Unhelpful Kernel by Unhelpful: This kernel will give you the ability to overclock or undervolt your Captivate.

EXHAUSTED- Voodoo EXT4 Lagfix for Captivate by atinm & supercurio: See Lag Fixes below for description. Look at Setiron's kernel for your own lagfix needs on the Captivate.

Lag Fixes

- Lagfix Thread: This thread highlights three different lag fix options. These work by putting a small EXT2 or EXT4 partition on the phone to handle the I/O of the system's operations rather than relying solely on the slow Samsung filesystem.

- Voodoo Lagfix (Captivate) by atinm & supercurio: This lagfix entirely replaces the slow and clunky Samsung filesystem on the Captivate with the faster and more modern EXT4 filesystem. See Setiron's kernel for Universal lagfix that includes EXT4.

Recovery Options

- Odin3 One-Click Downloader by designgears: Odin3 is the factory standard, however it is a terrible program which provides no error correction. When a program is flashed onto your phone with Odin3, it will be loaded in whatever condition it is received, regardless of poor transmission from cables. Odin3 One-Click is used for restoring to the STOCK ROM so the phone will be just as it was when you bought it. This should not be confused with the 2.2 Odin3 One-click branded with the name DesignGears, which is a 2.2 Beta version.

- Odin Stock Restore WITH 3-Button Fix by C3P0LOL: This is based on designgears' 3 button fix but an Odin flashable Stock JF6 that restores your phone to STOCK WITH the button combo fix.

- ClockworkMod Recovery by Koush: Allows you to easily make full backups of your phone's software, including apps, in an easy to use package so you can switch between ROMs or different backups easily.

References to heimdall are required... Heimdall is currently the safest method of flashing. --AdamOutler 22:07, 13 May 2011 (CDT)

If you see the "Phone--/!\--PC" screen, this means a flash was not completed. If you see this symbol on your phone, it is not bricked, it is only waiting for you to reflash the proper firmware onto it. Use the 3 button fix, or a 301kohm resistor to put the phone into download mode. Under certain flashes, the phone will enter download mode without displaying the familiar download mode icon. The only way to tell if you're in download mode is to connect it to the computer.

If your phone is black-screen bricked, meaning it performs the same with or without the battery and is unresponsive to buttons or button combinations, then you should try a 301Kohm resistor between pins 4 and 5 on the USB cable. If this fails, currently, your only option is JTAG.

Captivate Bricking

There are two levels of "brick"

  • Soft Brick - displays "Phone--/!\--PC", error message, dimly illuminate black screen, or "firmware upgrade fail! try using recovery mode"
  • Hard Brick - appears to function the same with or without the battery.

Soft bricking occurs when the phone has received an incomplete flash. It is an indicator that the phone requires reflashing.

A hard brick, on the otherhand, will work the same with or without the battery. This is caused by flashing an improper primary or secondary bootloader. The hard bricked phone will output minimal data on the UART port and there is no known method of recovery other then UnBrickable Mod or JTAG.

In general, it is best to stay away from flashing PBL or SBL as they can lead to hard bricking if they are flashed with an improper version or bad USB connection. Odin3 one-click will automatically flash a new PBL and SBL every time.

Unbrick the Captivate

WORKING- How to unbrick the soft bricked Captivate by thekurrgan: 3-button method to get the captivate into download mode to re-flash back to stock using odin3. This usually works when the phone displays "Phone--/!\--PC"

WORKING- Unbrick Captivate w/o cutting up USB for $0.99 by ademarne: This method uses only 3 resistors to get your phone into download mode. No cutting or soldering, just resistors and tape. Use odin3 to flash back to stock after getting into download mode. This always works when the phone displays "Phone--/!\--PC"

Misc Tools

WORKING- One Click Unlock by Bowsa2511: Unlocks Android 2.1 (Eclair.) This has not been tested on Froyo. Does not work on Gingerbread.