The Epic 4G might just win this. August 31, 2010
Reviewer: Harkanwar Anand (New York, New York) -
I have been playing around with both phones and because I belong to Sprint for the rest of my life's tenure, I shall let you know that these are the two best phones available in the market but let's compare which is better at what.
Appearance - The Evo 4G does not have a slide-out QWERTY keypad like the Epic. The Epic despite the keyboard is about an ounce lighter in weight and that says a lot about the AMOLED screen and the absolutely flawless design on this phone. The charging port is located on the TOP of the phone and also has a little slide you need to drag open before accessing the MICRO USB/Charger. The phone looks a terrific black (like the best looking iPhone, oh yeah we care, no sarcasm) when the screen is not on. UNLIKE THE EVO, the standby key is on the right hand side of the phone and does the same thing. On first appearance, the design of the Epic is mouth watering. I've always found Sidekick like phones cheesy and even that DROID from VERIZON looks very plastic to me but I shall diss no more, the Epic might just win on this account (but I know plenty of Evo users who would disagree but this is my opinion). Because of size, weight, 4-inch screen (Evo's 4.3), design of the slide out, the Epic wins this round.
Call Reception / Loud Speaker -> While playing music, I noticed the Epic was a little louder than the Evo is but at full volume, it can be a tad too loud too which is obviously such a WELCOME FEATURE. The Evo has a loud speaker alright and also a dedicated home page where you can easily play your music but what matters is the sound because both phones offer excellent customization.
Battery Life - This is one of the primary reasons the Epic is likely to do good. I fume when I hear people say the DROID X has a better battery life than the Evo. On Epic, the AMOLED screen ensures you don't need to charge this phone more than once a day. I managed to make this last for atleast a day but I did find the battery readings to be inaccurate from time to time. Maybe this happened because I was trying the phone on Airplane mode and then switching to CDMA so that could be it. There was a difference in the battery life, sometimes the bar would be short and sometimes substantially longer. Maybe it is just a software update that is required but at the end of the day, You can have all the features on a phone but what matters a lot is battery life and the Epic takes this round too. By getting the Evo you will need to buy an extra battery unless you like carrying your wires everywhere you go. If you're getting the Evo make sure you get an extra battery charger and oh save yourself some money and NEVER INVEST ON EXTENDED BATTERIES. You wouuld think Samsung and HTC are more clever than not to have come out with the extended battery in the first place. Feel free to discuss, throw things at me on the comments column.
Screen Brightness - HTC Evo is about AS BRIGHT AS THE SUN, absolutely incredible brightness, it's like watching the most expensive HDTV sometimes. The phone even on low brightness is surprisingly bright and I always appreciate brightness. While the Epic is not dull, I'll be lying if I say the screen is as bright as the Evo or even comes close to taking this round. The Epic has a jaw dropping display but the brightness and screen quality while you're on a webpage makes Evo the winner here. The brightness may come at the price of battery life but when you drive a HUMMER, you worry not about the battery life but about the drive.
Build Quality of Plastic on the BACK - The Evo certain feels a little more solid and smooth. The back on the EVO is better than the INCREDIBLE. Evo's kickstand is an added feature but the quality of the plastic on the Evo is 15% better than the Epic when you're holding the back though Epic is quite good as it is. **Caution** Do not remove Epic's back size by the SPEAKER, you may damage the phone cause you're such a strong individual, locate a small opening at the end and then LIFT UP the back plastic covering the battery. The back is obviously not RED like the HTC EVO.
Bundled Accessories - Epic comes with a 16gb card, in ear earphones, a thicker BASIC manual I haven't opened and read yet. The Evo comes with an 8gb card and no earphones. They both come with a Micro USb Cord which coverts into a wall charger. I have tried and used almost all earphones bundled with phones and have never seen any Sprint phone with such good quality "in-ear" earphones which provide NOISE CANCELLATION. An excellent extra for the fifty bucks you pay depending on where you're buying the phones from. 16gb is like having 2 x 8gb cards.
Mobile Hotspot - DRAW
Task Killer App - If you hold the home button down on the Epic, an excellent task killer pops up. It is so easy and fun to use that this alone was a big big big deal for me. I've used it on the Evo before but it's just so much hassle free and cleaner on the Samsung, it tells you the percentage of the CPU being used for variety of apps in REAL TIME! Deal-MAKER for me. EVO owners, please correct me if I'm wrong.
CAMERA *BIG DEAL FOR ME* - Epic. Epic. Epic. Epic. The customization is Godly. Samsung is slowly becoming very clever. The camera quality is that of a digital camera, I dare say. Also if people are moving and pause for a second, the phone still takes an absolutely astounding photograph. The Evo makes things yellow and although it's 8megapixel, the camera doesn't quite seal the deal. The other thing is that the Evo doesn't have that many customizations for the camera. Samsung has pulled a magic trick with this one. Some envious Evo users tell me that because the screen looks better on the Epic, the images look better but if I were to upload these to my computer, there'd be a difference. This is my response to people who say something like that. How often will I be uploading these pictures? Maybe once in four days, I will be mostly viewing them on the phone so I don't care about that. Mind you, though I haven't uploaded anything yet, I shall upload them and send you a sample picture if you request one. PLEASE BARE IN MIND, while the SAMSUNG has more options, it will take a real techoholic to want to figure out each and every feature, I'm still getting WARMED up to it.
Google Sync - The google sync on both phones immediately got all my contacts into the phone, there are a ton of applications so if you have a gmail account even with a blackberry, all your contacts are gonna be SYNCED with either the EVO or the EPIC. Google has a very funny deal-sealing way of having the google sync on the BLACKBERRY. If you're dumping your blackberry, make sure you do google sync and sync all your contacts before activating the EPIC. Ask a store rep to do it for you before buying it BLINDLY from them.
BROWSING - Browsing on the Evo is the best browsing I have ever seen. It still wins over the Epic by just a single point. Epic still gets a 9/10 while Evo because of it's multi-touch gets a perfect 10. There is no lag while browsing or using the touchscreen at all. This is a dream come true for people who've ever had the Samsung Instinct from two years ago. These two phones make my Blackberry look so bad and that's one thing to love and admire about Androids, the fact that they have such capable awesomse fast, intelligent browsers. I have no complaints whatsoever. I have an iPod touch and its half as good at best and I'll tell you the iPod touch is amazing. EVO wins by a life because it's the best at it. Epic is still about two and a half times as good as my Sprint BOLD.
On-Screen Typing : On screen typing on the Evo is way better because of HTC's on screen Qwerty. Swype comes built in with the EPIC. I've never used it, I don't believe in it, just looks too cheesy. Evo has a great typing mechanism but EPIC assumes that unless you're typing casually, you will use the physical keyboard to type. The Evo's typing is better than the iPhone's or the iPods. I haven't played with the iPhone 4 yet.
SLIDE OUT / PHYSICAL KEYBOARD : I will go for the Epic over the Evo because it has a wonderful, non-cheesy, idiot proof keyboard slide out. This is the best addition possible besides the camera and the bundled accessries. I despise the Moment's keyboard in comparison though Moment isn't a bad phone. The EVO is supposed to be Sprint and Samsung's replacement for the SAMSUNG MOMENT.
I've been away from my 2 day old Epic. I will discover more things and shall let you know. Any cons? The capacitive keys on the front could've been a touch more responsive. On the Evo they seem more responsive. I'm in no hurry for the Samsung Epic to get 2.2 and I'm sure they won't disappoint.
Wallpapers look brighter, more alive, sleeker, sexier, more sophisticated on the Epic. When you're in your menu on the Evo you go from top to bottom while on the Epic, if you click Applications you go left right right right. So it's horizontal menu browsing on the Epic and vertical on the Evo.
There is so much more for me to discover. I told someone earlier this year that no phone will ever match the iPhone but technology has an astounding way of shocking me. I'm an absolute geek and am glad that the Epic exists. It's like action sequences on the Lord of the Rings : Twin Towers while Evo is like the Matrix chase scenes from Reloaded. Both are feature packed phones but I love to type and the additional keyboard is fantastic for typing.
Wi-Fi Browsing : If both phones were used on the Wifi, the Epic is blazingly fast and obviously an easy hands down winner. I didn't try browsing on both using the 3G signal in Manhattan though it loaded a youtube video and downloaded an mp3 rather fast.
MISCELLANEOUS THINGS: Epic comes with a game, it also a Samsung HUB, it doesn't have an HDMI port but has something called DLNA which enables you to wireless connect the phone with compatible televisions and monitors. The AMOLED screen is Samsung's proprietary format I read somewhere, Samsung will invest $2 Billion in the next year or two for making screen for all touchscreens.
I'm sorry about how random this review might seem but I really wanna go back to playing with the Epic so see you later. My conclusion is obvious from the subject.
Samsung Epic has four buttons when you slide out the keyboard. One is for the Home, one is the back key, one is the menu, one is the features Key. These behave just like the FOUR buttons on the front beneath the screen when viewed vertically.
I'm falling in love with the wallpaper options. The HTC Evo has something called scenes and the profile customization is exciting, I wonder how ANDROID 2.2 will look on the EPIC.
Please buy an invisible shield when you buy this phone, I'm looking for an Anti-Glare one for $10. Any suggestions?
I saw a lady with the Samsung Epic today, she had a cheesy black plastic case on her EPIC. POOR CASES can make the Epic look like the Samsung MOMENT (Sorry, Moment owners, no offense, just honesty). I am not going to use any case for this phone, what a waste of a gorgeous phone.
I also thought I should add a note that I have never bothered investing in a SAMSUNG phone for myself but the EPIC really made it an easy decision. The Galaxy S series is remarkable. I live in New York and get no 4G but I do get unlimited data downloads, video calling and that's all. I don't mind the $10 extra fee but it may hurt the price conscious user but SPRINT is still a better deal than the other carriers so don't OVER THINK it.
4G has been launched in NEW YORK and I can download a 3mb song from gmail in 13 seconds.
Shazam takes a second to tell you the name of the song that's playing.
Does consume a lot of battery though.
UPDATE 05/06/2011 - To people who are thinking about getting the Epic, there is soon going to be a new 4G phone so please RE-CONSIDER because there is the NEXUS S out. It doesn't have a keyboard mind you and yes it is based on Sprint's WIMAX 4G.
READ THIS REVIEW!! :D September 6, 2010
Reviewer: ss "ss" (Los Angeles, CA) -
BEFORE YOU READ BELOW PLEASE READ THIS: Make sure you set aside time to play with this. Your girlfriend or wife is going to hate you for it if you don't. ......haha..trust me I learned from experience.
I was a blackberry user for years, and I never wanted to switch. But I wanted to see what 4G was like. Sprint is testing 4G in many more markets than are on their website (Many places in the San Francisco area and Los Angeles). Here is a break down of the pros and cons
1. Once you get use to "Swype" typing, you'll never use the keyboard. I bought this phone becaue of the physical keyboard (since I came from a blackberry) but I never use it. "Swype" is great. Go look up a video.
2. Battery life is pretty good despite what people say. Since the Amoled screen does not use power with black pixels. I made my wallpaper solid black. Improved battery life drastically. Trust me on this! .....Now if you use 4G it drains your battery quickly. See below. Also charging time takes a long time. It takes maybe twice as long to fully charge this phone than a blackberry and the MaH is only slightly stronger (1500). Use the "Power Widget" to very easily turn on/off things like 4G, Wifi, Adjut brightness. This will help greatly.
3. 4G..It drains your battery, and mean quickly. God's honest truth......3G is fast enough. I mean 4G was cool to test out, but it really doesn't make a difference when browsing. Maybe downloading music or video (yes) but how often do you do that. When it comes to apps and browsing 3G is fast enough. I teathred my phone to my laptop, and the 4G speeds were barely faster than 3G. 3G speeds were about 1MB per second download. 4G was 1.2. Now if you run a network speedtest on the phone at [...], it's fast...4-5 MbPS.
3. Customization - Awesome, nothing like it. I love it. No complaints. You'll love it.
4. Feel of the phone - Overall a little too thick for me. Once you add it the protective case, that thing aint goin in your pocket. It makes it to thick. So if you like a thin phone, this one is not for you. As I mentioned above, with the "Swype" technology you'll never find yourself using a keyboard. The keyboard also "wiggles" around a bit.....
5. Charging Port - Kinda funny that's its on top of the phone, but not a big deal.
6. Bluetooth - Great Quality (3.0 BT technology). Good reception from a number of Bluetooth pieces I've tried. It's also cool streaming podcasts /music to your bluetooh. Cool feature.
7. Apps - App market is great. Again customizing this phone is one of the greatest features. Apps will randomly start for some reason. I don't know if they suck up battery life or cpu usage. The sprint guy told me they don't.
8. Unlocking the phone - PHone has an auto lock. You have to touch the power button and then slide the screen to unlock. Get an app on the market for this called "Screen Mode" to customize this. Now I can lock / unlock my phone by just hitting a button.
9. Youtube videos are great to watch on here you can watch them in HQ. Sometimes when you do, you'll have to reset your phone for it to work. I know it sounds funny, but this is a minor flaw. Youtube in HQ is great!
10. E-mail and Web Browsing. Seamlessly hooked up to my company's exchange. So much more superior than using a blackberry in that regard. The way you can view the e-mails and attachments are great. Also synced with Yahoo and Gmail. Again. Awesome. No complaints.
11. Web Browsing - NO other phone like it! plain and simple it's great.
12. The google search feature. I know this is available on other droid phones. But the voice activated or type features are awesome!
13. Phone reception / quality - Perfect.
Overall. If you can get over the thickness you'll love it.
Great - I chose over EVO 4G September 27, 2010
Reviewer: M. Cordoba "mxc" (USA) -
Just wanted to share where my point of view comes from before I start:
- This is my first Android phone
- I used a Palm Pre for the past year and a half (love it, really hard to give up)
- I used an EVO for about 3-6 hours, side by side with the Epic. Plus:
- I read about 50 different professional reviews online about both the Epic and the EVO to decide which one to buy
Quick Review (if you want all the details read more below)
- Battery Life
- Too many hidden Apps open by themselves all the time (Android inherent and not just this phone)
- VGA front camera (lower resolution than phone screen...)
- No SMS/IM integrated area/application (you have to open 2 different apps at least)
- Back camera lens comes all the way out, so I am constantly putting my fingers all over it.
- Youtube videos come out in low quality, small rectangle (lots of wasted space, the EVO uses HQ videos that expand the entire screen)
- Super Amoled screen. It is truly gorgeous.
- Android Market Place (90,000+ applications and counting)
- Fast (I use the phone for web browsing quite a bit, this one loads pages faster than even the EVO)
- Design: plastic matte back keeps it finger print free, front glass piece, flushed black design looks really good.
- Main camera quality. Wow. For pictures with good light, you can truly leave your point and shoot camera at home. Picture quality is really, really good.
- Graphic processor can be 40% faster than EVO. I won't be playing games much on it at all, but I figured some people will be interested in that.
- Includes decent headset and a 16GB micro sd card.
What I didn't care for:
- Physical keyboard (I chose this phone despite it. The keyboard is fine, I just find myself using the touchscreen keyboard 95% of the time) I would have loved to have a skinnier phone, or a beefier battery over the physical keyboard. However, I must confess that when I am going to type a long email, I slide out the physical one, I can type a lot faster on it, and it's overall more comfortable.
- Android buttons are backlit (Home, Menu, Back and Search) so they will be using up battery all the time they are on. By default they hide after a few seconds. For someone unfamiliar with Android it was really annoying to have to guess which button to press (you cannot see them at all) to get to the option you were looking for. You need to go to the settings and make this last as long as the screen is on - at least at first. The nice part about it, is the phone looks clean and totally black when watching a video, playing a game, reading a book, etc.
Why I chose over EVO:
- Faster web page loads (tried both side to side with the same wifi connection and read reviews online)
What the EVO has that I like better:
- HTC has proven that it will update to new versions of Android in a timely fashion. Samsung on the other hand...
- HD youtube that uses all the screen real estate
- Build quality - feels heavier and more durable (it's a close call, but it feels more expensive than the Epic)
My main complaints with a small review of each portion.
1. Battery life
By comparison my Palm Pre lasted me more, about 24 hours with normal use - granted about 18-22 of those hours where standby - however with data sync enabled, so chat, emails were synching every hour or so, and google chat was constantly on.
What I did to get better battery performance:
* download Advanced Task Manager (allows you to see all the open apps draining your battery, you'll be surprised how many apps android likes to open - more on that later. Use this program to constantly kill the 10+ programs that creep up on the background) NOTE UPDATED: After using the phone more, I while I believe this helps, it doesn't help very much, you might gain a few minutes a day, the big saver for me is the next one:
* download Juice Defender (the free version) (allows your phone to turn off features when the screen is off. Like 3g, you can customize to connect and synch at specific intervals, like once every 2 hours or so) when the screen is off - simple but genius.
* Screen brightness all the way down (it is still plenty bright, I left it just 1 level above, to enjoy that screen more) I also want to point out that
* No live backgrounds or widgets that constantly connect online on your home screen (facebook, etc)
* if you have a weak 4g signal, turn it off (downtown I can use 4g, but the radius of the antenna coverage is about a mile at most). Note - what drains the battery is not 4G itself, is the phone connecting/disconnecting constantly between 3G and 4G to retrieve data. IF you have strong 4g coverage you'll be fine.
Optional things to increase it further:
* Turn off background sync (this has a decent impact, but even accessing the marketplace somehow requires background data to be active, so a lot of application won't work. If you don't charge your phone overnight, turn this off then.
Having these things on will let the device last you the entire day with normal-light use. You can choose to only turn these apps when you need them. I know most people charge their phones over night, but I am usually out and about in the later afternoon/night so I have gotten used to charge the phone at work, since I am always at my desk. My goal is for the phone to last me from 5pm to about 1pm the next day (when I'll start to charge it)
Basically without the changes above, the phone drains about 5% of it's battery per hour when in "idle". With all those changes it goes down to about 1% or less. The phone is truly in idle then. (Updated10/03/10: simple having Juice Defender and setting it to disable data access when the phone is idle does the trick)
Much has been said about how the Super Amoled screen save battery because the black pixels are off. This is one of the reasons the black levels are so deep - there is no light (unlike the EVO screen for example).
However, this is not presently the case. I am not sure of the reasons - it's possible that the actual lit pixels (any other color) use so much power as to offset the gains from the black pixels. Either way, after using the screen for maybe 30 minutes (for a game) my battery indicator (checks all the power on the phone and how it's being used)
Claims that the 30 minutes I used it, used about 15% of the battery life.
To give you a clear picture - I just started testing to see how long it would last with all the optimizations and light use (which I do several times a week)
- The screen has been on for probably 30 minutes, maybe 45 minutes.
- I had a 25 minute phone call, and made a couple of short calls (less than 2 minutes)
- I have sent and received a total of about 10 texts
- Browsed the web for about 30 minutes (using 3g)
- Browsed the web for 10-15 minutes (using 4G)
- Watched about 5 minutes of Sprint TV (over 4G)
- Streamed Pandora for about 45 minutes or so. (using 3g)
- About 15 minutes of email checking, responded to 1 email.
- About 40 minutes of listening to MP3s from the external speaker and headset (about 20 mins each)
- Some minor things (like alarm clock settings, used the alarm this morning, synching emails manually a couple of times, turning on/off 4G, using Advanced task manager to shut off applications that start running in the background, etc)
The rest of the time, say around 20 hours, it's been in idle.
Currently the phone has been off the charger for just over 25 hours. And the battery use says:
Remaining charge: 27%
Voice calls: 14%
Phone idle: 13%
Media server: 4%
Android system: 2%
The good news is that you can make it last about 30 hours with light use. But you do give up a lot of the functionality that makes the phone special. (syncing constantly).
If you are playing games, and listening to music, it will last about 4 hours. The one day I played a game for like an hour, the "display" indicator said the screen had used 55% of the battery (out of 6 hours unplugged). With medium use and no optimizations (other than lower screen brightness) I had to charge twice a day, it really wouldn't last much. At work without using the phone it lost about 50% of the battery life for example. (not even 1 text, that was simply the phone synching things and connecting/reconnecting to 4g/3g by itself. Note - I am beside a window and have strong 3g signal.
Another advice - given how much battery life the screen uses, I'd recommend changing whatever applications you can to use a dark theme (and by dark I mean black). Basically black background with light text. Same with your background image.
2. Not Epic specific but Android as a whole - apps sucking memory all the time, no way to close them other than by downloading a custom application. I'm not sure what the point of it is, or why they are doing it, but that's the route Google decided to go with Android.
3. VGA front camera (spending just a couple of dollars more would have allowed it to have a 1.3MP camera so that it works better with all the apps coming up - skype. It is lower resultion than the screen of this phone, making video chat look bad... Not sure why they didn't spend the extra money on the better front facing camera (the EVO has a 1.3 one for example)
4. Currently no app in Android to combine chat/sms/im in a single location. I couldn't even find anything in the 90k + apps in the Android market. Basically, the Palm Pre (and Blackberry as well) you open up a Contact to chat, and you have all the text messages and instant messages from google talk, facebook chat, etc. So you can follow the whole conversation you've had with someone. In Android (and the custom layer added by the many manufactureres, in this case touchwiz is lacking such a feature. You may not think it's a big deal, but it's what I miss the most about my Pre - thought it's close between that and the ability to close applications and true multitasking - webOS (palm pre's) card system is light years ahead of what anyone iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian)
5. Cannot change "most used" icons on the bottom of the phone. This one falls on Samsung and their touchwiz user interface. I like the fact that they let you keep 4 icons on every one of the 7 home screens, so no matter where you are you have quick access to the Phone, Contacts, Text Messages App, and the all application icon. While convenient, those happen to NOT be my most used apps. In fact, only 1 of those 3 are. And Sprint/Samsung decided to not let you choose which are your "most used" applications. Here is to hoping they realize how backwards that is, and actually release a patch that lets you choose those applications. (Like say: email, web browser...)
UPDATE 10/03/10 (more on battery life)
I have slowly started enabling more services (turned background synch on, not running "advanced task killer" as much) but have kept the Juice Defender on. I must say, that the phone does quite well in general just with the Juice Defender. I have been getting about 50 hours with very light use, and have had no problem with my regular use to charge around noon each day. In fact, it usually has about 35-40% charge left then. The big trick is juice defender - basically the phone is incredibly efficient when in idle - a lot more so than any other Android phone. Samsung is doing something quite well with it's processor during that time. Today before charging it up, that phone had been unplugged for 54 hours, and still had 12% of battery left. Again, this is light use. When using it constantly, (say watching a couple of movies for example) the battery will be gone completely. Basically Juice Defender is awesome, the free version is plenty, but I am going to purchase the pro version of the app just as a thank you for the developer. It really has made the phone usable for a couple of days with light use, something I thought impossible when I first purchased it.
UPDATE 10/14/10 (battery...)
After the latest firmware update, battery drainage while idle became really poor again, maybe worse than ever. The main culprit according to the indicators is "cellphone standby", I have tried all the normal tricks without luck, it's draining about 4% per hour while on idle (3g is disabled, screen is off, nothing can sync during this time) I have tried multiple things, but ended up finding a running DRM service introduced with samsung media hub recently, shutting this off improved this after a phone reset. Note - Media hub enables this service in the background and it connects every 11 seconds to a server, so it keeps your phone processor from sleeping as well as keeping your data connection turning on. I must say that despite disabling this, the phone is still not as efficient as I had it before, but at least good enough again. Again, it's another reason to consider going HTC (EVO) over Samsung (Epic) - HTC is working harder on Android software updates, and don't have a DRM service running in the background killing your battery life.
Now for the positive things:
The device is simply fast. With 4g on (or using wifi), it feels like I'm on a PC browsing the web. Pages load within a couple of seconds. It feels about 3-4 times faster than the Palm Pre. It consistently took about 1 or 2 less seconds than the EVO on my tests. This cannot be understated for me, since this is one of the 2 big reasons I chose it over the EVO. I use it for most of my web needs. Opening apps is quick, etc.
2. 4G - it's faster than the wifi (2mbs) I use at home, so it feels very fast. Obviously it's just starting so I don't get the super high speeds, but it's about 2-3 times faster than 3G in my area. Unfortunately as I said, it's only available downtown in my area. But still, they say by year end it'll be covering most of the area. We'll see. I feel like I am a bit more ready for the future with 4G, if speeds increase I'll have the benefit already.
UPDATE 10/11/10: You can actually see tiny little pixels on the screen if you look hard enough. I don't mind them, but some people do. For comparison purposes, you cannot easily distinguish pixels on the EVO, the iPhone 4, and most other high resolutions phones. This is strictly an issue with the Super Amoled screens.
3. Screen. You can read it anywhere, see it anywhere. Even diehard EVO fans cannot claim thire screen is better. It's basically a fact that this screen is the best on the market. iPhone 4 has a higher resolution, but color saturation and black levels are just stunning. Watch a movie on this phone vs anything else and there is just no comparison. Not saying EVO and iPhone screens are bad, it's just that this one is superb.
4. Applications. (Android in general) I couldn't get an app for my bank on the Palm Pre, it's in Android. Then you have the barcode scanner to check prices, google goggles to see information on landmarks by taking a picture (claims 80% accuracy) and more. The integration with Google Voice is simply awesome. You can just select it to use it on international calls, so you just dial directly to your friends/family abroad and pay GoogleVoice rates (really cheap) while using your regular phone app. It's very seamless.
You really can't go wrong with the new phones out there. Android OS has matured enough, and these phones are premium products. The Epic's screen and speed makes it stand out from the crowd enough to give it a slight nod above everything else out there. Android though, lacks the unity/polishness of webOS (Palm Pre) or iOS (iPhone) but makes up for it with the effort Google is putting to optimize the speed, the integration with google service, and freedoms for developers to create applications with few restrictions. This phone leverages all of it very well. It also provides a physical keyboard for those who want it (it is very big and easy to type on). I wouldn't recommend this phone for "work use" because if you constantly need to be synching and retrieving emails/calendar updates while you are in meetings (and any areas with low signal strength) it will blow through your battery life and you will be an unhappy customer. But for personal use, it's among the best cellphones, if not the best, out there.
10 Days with the Epic and the Evo September 25, 2010
Reviewer: Eric Martin "yodude" (chicago,il) -
The initial plan was for me to upgrade to the Epic and my mom to the Evo (family plan) That way I got to get hands on with both phones and make my decision. Unfortunately, ma wasn't eligible for an upgrade so my master plan was foiled. Damn you Sprint, Obviously with the Evo being out of stock everywhere.. I was happy to get the Epic, since it was the phone I was leaning towards. Plan B- I figured Through B.B. I could start with the Epic, switch to Evo and back to Epic on day 30.
Epic- As a previous Palm Pre guy, I liked it in the hand. It felt good and very simliar to the the rounded shape of the Pre, only bigger. Noticeably bigger.. but what great phone isn't now days. As someone who has never used ONLY a virtual keyboard, I figured between that and the Super Amoled screen it was a no brainer, Epic all the way. The screen is Unreal. As said in each and every review, there's no question there. The keyboard initially had me saying "eh". It was very roomy, the exact opposite of the Pre. So it took me some time to get use to.. but once I did, I'll take that keyboard over the Pre's anyday. As for the phone and its software, Wasn't giddy but very nice.. However Android won me over. Wow, I thought WebOS was decent but Im a Droid dude now.. And probably for life. So this added to the excitement of the Epic most initially.
So its time to see if this phone can act as my new daily phone. I played with it alot, but not to the extreme and the first thing I noticed was "Crap, this battery is defintely worse than the Pre" but also expected from Epic or Evo reviews. Uncharged at 8am this phone was screaming for the charger by arrival home at 5pm. Which from some reviews I take that as good, as other (defected?) phones say they only got 3-5 hours before needing juice. Now here was a big hang-up for me. From 8% battery the Epic took 3.5 hours to fully charge to 100%?? WOW! My Pre took 30-45 minutes so this was definitely a distraction. But Im one who usually charges my phone while sleeping so I just figured I'd use the phone less, and make it last the day. That never was achievable but I figure I'd figure something out later because I did like this phone.
Day 10- I did encounter a major software issue with my phone that my AOL account would not push my emails. All settings were set correctly, and it would push for a couple time then stop. So I Figured it was about time to put myself on a waiting list at B.B for the Evo, as planned. To my surprise they had one. Guy at the store says he's never seen that happen, and sure enough 5 minutes in while changing phones, a guy comes in asking for the Evo. First Impression and I cannot explain why but... Giddy. This phone just felt better right off the bat. Better in the hand.. better first 30 minute impression playing with it.. This phone just right with it powered on or off. But I didnt want to get ahead of myself. My main issue was.. Battery. I thought the Epic was bad but heard this was even worse?! My plan initially was if I liked the Evo better.. I could always go with the 3500 MaH extended battery. The Epic has one on its way too, but for both it adss bulk.. And the last thing the Epic needs is bulk. So after playing with the Evo for about an hour with a Smile pastered on my face for unexplainable reasons I decided to charge it up and give it a test run the next day.
Ok so.. I drilled this phone! Work was slow that day and I was on it almost 'all' day. Kinda like I was the first day with Epic only just alittle more. First impression.. by 5pm my phone still had 46% Battery. What??! I thought this battery was suppose to be worse. I really wanted this thing drained so I could see how long it took to charge. So I turned on everything.. 4G, GPS, internet.. just to drain the battery. By 10:30pm I got it down to 6%. I figured ok.. let's test it. Put it on the charger and checked it at 11:30pm. Mind you like clock work the Epic, would charge roughly 30% battery per hour, so after one hour charging the Evo... from 6% to 72%. Ok I'm in love! Not only is the battery better than almost any phone ive ever had, it charges 2 hours faster than the Epic. On top of that, my AOL emails pushed as set in my preferences. This phone had me at hello and I admitted to what I thought after first laying my hands on the EVO... This phone will not be traded on day 30.
Screen- Epic screen is like watching an HD tv.. Its awesome! But the Evo's isnt too shabby either, and will not have you thinking damn I REALLY wish I had the Epic's screen. As well the .3 difference in screen size is noticeable nice.
Keyboard- Epic has a great keyboard and my biggest fault to the Evo is the fact I havent gotten use to using the vitual one yet. if ever?.
Battery- No contest. Epic= Terrible! Evo= Great! Light to medium use I could probably find a way to make the Epic's power supply last a full day. Under the same conditions I could make the Evo's last 2 days plus! Ive never had a day where I had to pre-maturely charge my evo. Even with medium to heavy usuage where the Epic would literally shut off by 5pm.. The Evo would hit the charger at bedtime with more than 10% everytime. As I write this.. My Evo has 32% battery with 22 hours since last charge. And yep I've used it today.. Both these phones are awesome, its almost impossible not to.
Touchwiz/Sense- I dont know if this is one of the subconsciuos reasons I love the Evo over the Epic? Something tells me it might be but cant explain why. HTC just seems more polished in my opinion.
Interent- Both seem equaully fast, with the edge maybe even going to the Epic. Considering its not even running Froyo yet, thats impressive. As for the fluidity only.. Definitely the Epic. Simply smoother.. But the Evo still surfs nicely.
Camera- Epic's camera is great. And I read reviews and tests that it has a slight edge over the Evo. From the onscreen I can see it, Every Picture looks amazing on the super Amoled. But onced tranffered over to CPU.. Still good, but the screen has alot to do with it. I actually think the evo wins in picture quality but the Epic has the edge in Video and software (which is one of my favorite things about the Epic, Love the cartoon pics) But their are too many great camera apps in the Market to make me forget about 'The Simpsons' option.
Tangibles- Evo Evo Evo! Hold both in the hand and it just seems like a tyson vs. me prized fight. Not that the Epic feels bad. But its bulky, and with an extended battery as a neccessity, it would be a brick. The Evo's squared construction suprised me, I thought it would have been the opposite. As well, the two part construction of the Epic eventually becomes an irritant. And the power button is in a position that I dont think I'd could ever get use too.
I could probably go on and on in comparisons. But the bottom line is both of these phones are incredible. Expecially if your upgrading from something inferior. However, I'm really surprised to see any Evo owner switch over to the Epic. Unless you use your phone to watch moves and T.v alot, It just doesnt compute to me. Both phones have their advantages (ie. Epic has a superior internal and external speak to the Evo, But as well has an annoying "buzzing" sound when on the phone.) But the Epic has some huge issues the Evo doesn't. If the Epic is the phone for you I get it, and you have one super phone.. But if you haven't given the Evo a 10 day test yet to compare, you're making a mistake. It's worth the wait.
Great features, but... September 21, 2010
I like quite a bit about this phone, however, in the end I returned it to get a refund and reverted back to my old phone. The phone was fast and responsive, the screen was great, and I need a phone with a keyboard. The Sprint everything plans are a good value. However, there were several drawbacks that made me not want to keep this phone for the next two years:
1. GPS. It was not as accurate as my prior phone. It took a very long time to get the location and many times even outdoors it just didn't work including in areas without tall buildings. When it did, it was accurate within 2-3 blocks which made it useless for pedestrian navigation, something I do often when I travel. When driving, if not extremely careful, you can turn down a one way street the wrong way when its off a block. I know Samsung claims to have improved it over other Epics but it's hard to switch to something less accurate than my prior phone.
2. Battery life. With heavy internet use, lots of email, I'd get 4-5 hours of battery life. My prior phone could go the whole day without charging. It's hard to charge when away from the office the whole day and that's when I need to be connected. I know, I can turn off many of the features to extend battery life and I tried, but it barely mattered because I need the features that consume battery.
3. The screen is great, but it is hard to read outdoors.
I do miss it. My two year old phone is a bit slow at times in displaying the screen and reacting to touches. However, I can navigate with it, use it for the whole day and read the screen on a sunny day.
The best phone on market right now! August 31, 2010
Reviewer: Corey Fisher (Las Vegas, Nevada United States) -
I currently work in the wireless mobile industry and this device is simply stunning. Everything from the very fluid interface and the awesome and currently, top-of-the-line graphics are the best you can currently get. The power VR chip in this phone rivals pretty much anything out there. Another thing that I truly love about this phone is true DLNA support, which is essentially capable of home-networking to ALL of your DLNA Home Theater equipment. Also, the speed is nothing short of stunning. The 4G on this device offers a much more pure experience on this phone and it actually rivals some DSL and Cable Technologies in raw speed. I understand that 4G is not available everywhere yet, but it is a new technology and Sprint is rolling it out and at an incredible rate. By this time next year, most Americans will probably have 4G coverage at either there home location or a nearby popular place or city. With that being said, in areas where there is 4G, this phone is ridiculous. The touch screen is absolutely fluid and clear. The super AMOLED screen, despite what a lot of critics will say about the technology is currently the nicest I have seen and I have seen ALL the different display tech out there and the colors and blackness on this screen are perfect. Hold the phone up in a pitch black room and all you will see is icons floating in the air. All in all, I have had a lot of time with this phone and it has everything everyone could want. It has the best display tech, it has 4 different ways to type or text and that includes, swype, thumb-tap, voice-to-text and a flip-out keypad. Even with the $10 premium data package, it is still cheaper then other companies with similar coverage and phones and you also get the addition of 4G. I loved the EVO 4g when that came out, but this takes home the cake, for me. This is literally the best phone on any carrier right now and it's on Sprint! If your even considering this phone,don't even read any further or hesitate, buy it right now and whatever your thought is on it, you will still be amazed and surprised if you buy it even if you think you know about this phone... now I just need to add a second one to my cart and I am ready to go!
*NEARLY* Perfect October 2, 2010
Reviewer: J. McDonaldSmith
-Amazing GPU, the Hummingbird + 540 graphics chip are a very impressive combination
-Physical Keyboard, great for emulators, and hopefully an upcoming GameGrip product will attach to it
-Great reception in my area (19333,19460,19406)
-Amazing speeds over 802.11n
-Very easy to Root
-Can't have Wifi search and 4G radio enabled at the same time
-GPS is buggy
-Back button fails to register taps in certain application menus (actually a hardware issue, am exchanging my Epic for a replacement to fix it)
-Battery cover is a bit of a pain to work with, had a creak when pressure was applied to it near the camera button (am exchanging my Epic for a replacement to fix it)
-Unlimited calling nights (starting at 7PM!) and weekends
-Phone usable right out of the box
-If you work for any major employer, you can probably get a discount (I got 23%, and my place of employment does no work with Sprint)
-You can roam on Verizon Wireless for no extra charge (roaming fees apply only outside the US)
-Plans are cheap, and good *in the areas I primarily reside*
-WiMAX. This is the pseudo-4G that Sprint uses, and is actually rather fast when you can get it (7mbps down)
-4G WiMAX ends about 100ft from my house, which is sort of unfortunate, but not an inconvenience as I use 802.11n 35mbps Wifi at my house
TIPS for new owners:
-Do NOT buy the "Body Glove" phone protector in the Sprint stores, it is a horrible plastic product that scratches the phone
-For the first few days you will think the battery is the WORST on any phone, but after a couple charge cycles it gets a lot better
-There is a configurable shortcut menu in the Android Main Menu that allows you to set hotkeys (like Search+B on the slide-out opening the Browser)
-Seidio Products are very nice, and they are releasing a 3200mAh battery soon (from the 1500mAh that comes with the phone). This does not mean your battery life will double, necessarily, but you will probably be seeing 12.5+ hour battery life with it.
-Buy a case from Siedio [...]
Rooting is the process by which you can enable previously locked down capabilities of the phone, either due to carrier restraints or concerns by the manufacturer. In the case of the Epic 4G, you can root the phone to enable Wifi Tether, Wired Tether, and other apps like SetCPU, Screenshot, and more. Rooting also allows you to load different versions of Android. There are versions of Android 2.1 (same version as the Epic by default) that have removed certain features (like the DRM scanner) to improve battery life GREATLY. "Tha Boss ROM" is one such version of Android 2.1 for the Epic 4G which can get you 2-3hrs+ in battery life.
Lost a star on:
-bad back button on first unit
-bad battery cover on first unit
Why to buy from Amazon:
-Quick exchange if there is a problem
-50$ cheaper than Sprint stores
GREAT phone to replace the 3Gs September 1, 2010
Reviewer: S. Orban "orbanator" (Austin, TX) -
Earlier this week I shattered my iPhone screen, so rather than pay 100 dollars to get a phone I am already starting to hate(IOS4), I went ahead and switched to Sprint. With ATT I was paying 98 dollars and that is with my 15% discount. Sprint, I will be paying about 85 dollars which includes the insurance plan. I have only had the phone now for about 24 hours and after a good wall charge, I am happy with the phone. More so than I ever was with the iPhone. The display is pretty nice to look at. The keyboard is nice when writing long emails.
To save battery life, shut down things you are not using. Hold down the home button to get to the task manager.
A Labor of Love September 10, 2010
Reviewer: Aymon Fournier (Bethesda, MD, USA) -
Swype set the world record for text messaging speed. Swype only makes the phone that much sweeter. It comes as the default on-screen keyboard. I chose this as my next android phone because the idea of only being able to clumsily input text on an on-screen keyboard like on all the other new Android device scared me. I am a QWERTY kind of guy.
However, Swype has an extremely accurate algorithm. I find myself responding to text messages in 2 seconds as opposed to 15! It even adds emails and names from your contacts to its dictionary so that you can swype your complicated email! Whenever I know the words I am going to type are in the dictionary, I just Swype it. Its amazingly fast and almost never fails! If I need to type a password which is full of symbols, I pull out the QWERTY. Its godlike.
It really is the phone for the power-user. I spend all day using this phone. (I can't help it; its fast, responsive, intuitive, and beautiful.) I am astounded each time I check the battery, sure that it must be approaching the end of its life, and each time I am relieved to know that I can continue multitasking away.
The screen is simply breathtaking. The phone comes with several vivid backgrounds to show off the beautiful display. The technology is baffling. You can even use the back of your fingernail on the touchscreen just as easily as you can with your finger. That is how close the capacitor is to the screen. It is also why this phone is also incredibly light. I still can't help but appreciate how vivid the colors appear on the screen. I put the screen on the lowest brightness setting, and the vividness of the colors give the illusion that the screen really isn't dim at all -- which means you can increase your battery life without decreasing your experience.
It truly is epic: The Android ROM that comes on the phone is modified. Generally I like vanilla Android. And yet everything they changed is an improvement! When you hold down the home button, you not only get your recently opened applications, but a button right there for a Task Manager! You can end all applications as fast and as easily as you can reopen them, and multi-task. Its amazingly intuitive. That's not all, my dear power users, for they even included a file manager right out of the box. I was about to go get the essentials from the Android Market and was shocked to see it included. It really shows how much thought was put into making this phone the perfect match for any tech-savvy Android user.
They also changed the skin, and the application drawer. I personally didn't like the application drawer at all, coming from vanilla Android. It was cartoonish and didn't seem to fit. However, it is easy to change it back to the vanilla Android app drawer, and I recommend that every EPIC 4G owner at least try out the original app drawer -- Not only does it look better, but its slides in and out 3x times faster than the TouchWiz app drawer.
Here is how to change to the default app drawer:
1. Press Menu (from home screen) -> Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications.
2. Press Menu -> Filter -> All
3. Scroll down and find "TwLauncher", and click on it. (Trust me its there)
4. Click "Clear Defaults" on the TwLauncher detail page.
5. Press the HOME touchkey on the phone. (It'll ask you if you want to use TouchWiz, or the default one. We want default)
6. Check "Set as default" if you don't want to be asked each time you press home AND
7. Select "Home" (the first choice)
Now you will have the default Android app drawer, which is much faster. IMHO it looks much better too. The rest of the skin looks great. They changed the dull flat grey with a vibrant blue. They changed the indeterminate progress bars to look like rays of the sun instead of a spinning wheel. Everything about the phone is beautiful.
All in all I feel like this phone is a masterpiece of intuitive design. The excellent Swype algorithm as well as the qwerty keyboard, and the layout of all the buttons on the phone seem to have been carefully tinkered with to perfection. Everything about both the hardware design, and the software additions seem to have been designed by engineers who were making a phone that they themselves wanted to use. It feels like a labor of love, and I can sense it each and every time I use the device.
-- Post Review:
I originally received an EPIC 4G from Best Buy on release day, and my friend got his from Sprint. I told him my battery life was terrible. He said his lasted the whole day. I was wondering what kind of phone he must have had before to say that he was getting good battery life, because my phone was dying in around 4 hours! When we met up at work, I noticed his phone was a lot cooler than mine! Mine was blazing hot. We checked the battery statistics on both of our phones and they seemed to be identical. We switched out our batteries. When I put his battery in my phone, for about 2 minutes, and he put it back in his phone, his phone reported that the battery had depleted 15% !!! That means my phone was sucking the life out of his battery as well as my own, so we deduced the problem must be with my phone, because we kept all other variables the same. That same day I went and traded it in for another one, and lo and behold, my battery in the new device lasted me the whole day.
It seems that a small number of these are defective. If you are pretty sure your device is to blame, change it for another one!
Epic and Evo, a close fight for the best Sprint phone September 5, 2010
Reviewer: Erik in OC (Costa Mesa, CA) -
I've been an Evo user since June 4th launch day and have had the Epic as my main phone for a few days now. My previous phone to these was a Palm Pre.
Let's address why the Epic is $50 more. The physical keyboard obviously costs more but Samsung also throws in a 16GB micro-SD card (Evo comes with 8GB and I paid $30 for my 16GB card) and a surprisingly decent pair of noise canceling headphones. Those cover the extra $50, but there is one major feature it has over the Evo: the super AMOLED screen.
When I first saw the screen, I thought it looked nice. Then I had my Evo side by side and wow, does the Evo look washed out. It is a glaring difference.
Another big pro to the Epic is the Hummingbird processor and it you plan on playing games with your phone, the Epic will blow the Evo away on framerates, and of course you will have the keyboard for buttons.
I did not have any issues with mine. There are some reports of GPS issues but mine performed flawlessly, just as well as the Evo. Swype is preloaded and works just as well as on the Evo (you will have to dig on the interwebs for a minute to load it), and the voice recognition works as well as the Evo. Are you noticing a theme? They are both top of the line Android phones and unless there's a defect, many features will be a draw.
I have a much longer review of the Evo here on Amazon but I'll compare to the Epic here: the phones are the same size but the Evo is almost all screen (the Epic is noticeably lighter). I prefer the Evo's aesthetics to what Samsung tried to do with the curves on the Epic, which is in line with the Moment (not a good thing). The vast majority of users will strongly prefer HTC's Sense UI over Samsung's Touchwiz, but I use ADW Launcher, so it's a moot point for me.
These phones are very close and if I want a keyboard or a gaming-friendly device, I would opt for the Epic. The SAMOLED screen was almost enough to sway me, but I just prefer everything else about the Evo. It may be slightly older, but it will be a beast for a while to come. That's quite impressive in this age of cell-phones, where there is always a better device next month. Evo already has FroYo, a huge improvement to battery life (36 hours for my Evo) and based on track records, it will get Gingerbread before the Epic.
What's the better device? That's a personal preference, but you won't go wrong with either one. As far as hardware specs, the Epic wins and is worthy of the 5 star rating (with the caveat that you will likely prefer ADW or Launcher Pro over Touchwiz). However, the Evo has the intangibles that I care care about and it's my personal pick.
Epic vs. EVO Comparison December 10, 2010
I thought I'd highlight the difference between the EVO & the Epic as it was a tough decision for me,-(and honestly all the comparisons online out there are pretty worthless IMO). This review of course is more so geared towards highlighting why I think the epic is the way to go.
Price: $50 Price Premium over EVO - let's be honest- for a top of the line device that will be by your side close to 24/7, what's $50?. (obviously a nudging factor, though hey you want the best phone!)Also you can get it pretty much anywhere for much less outside of Sprint.
Build Quality- It seems like there's somehow a consensus that this EVO "wins" in having that premium feel. While I agree that other phones such as the IPhone 4 definitely win this over the Epic, in my opinion the Evo has about the same "premium feel" to it. Both have a little more plastic than what I would like. It is also worth noting that other reviewers believe the EPIC has notably better build quality than the other carrier's Galaxy S variants. Many would agree that the evo "looks" more premium, and I can see that. Though let me say that after putting Sprint's black case on it, the phone just looks so classy/premium now. [[ASIN:B0042GRLCS Samsung Epic 4G Galaxy S Black Phone Protector [Sprint Retail Packaging]]]
Keyboard/No Keyboard - Quick Summary: Although Swype is awesome, a keyboard can be a crucial luxury in certain situations. Though as with all keyboards some "keyboard wiggle" is inevitable. Especially when you have a tacky rubber case, when you take it out of your pocket you can sometimes feel the keyboard wiggle around a bit when taking it out. Though once it's out of your pocket, a case close to eliminates wiggling when it's in your hand. This all sounds bad, though it's pretty minor, just a steady reminder as to why a "slab" phone would be better. Play with both in store, you will quickly decide how much of a factor this is to you.
Screen- Epic destroys, destroys, destroys the Evo in terms of screen quality. In fact one of HTC's known cost cutters, is that (some of) their displays only support 16,000 colors (like the Evo). I believe the Epic's is around 4 Million, and of course you probably know of the Epic's stunning contrast ratio. You practically cannot tell the difference between "screen off" black, and black in a picture. Reviewers like to say that this is great for "watching movies" though I have no intention of ever watching movies on my device. Rest assured you can "enjoy" the Super-AMOLED screen in everyday use situations too (High contrast simply is very appealing to the human eye). It really makes the device a lot more of a pleasure to use. It's quite funny comparing the screen to other androids,including the EVO of course.
(note about super AMOLED). They use 90% less power when display black BUT 3x more power when displaying white. If you like a lot of web-browsing the EVO could be a better choice as the larger screen is good for browsing, and I believe the LCD will be more power efficient for all that white space.
Processing- While the Snapdragon of the EVO's is good, it's worth noting it's the oldest 1 GHZ processor on the market. The Epic's newer Hummingbird apparently is similar, though with an upgraded integrated graphics controller (or something of the sort), that makes it much better for gaming. On a related note the gaming selection is horrible on Android, as IMO the only truly good and polished game is Angry Birds, somehow the iPhone has android still cornered on this front (i blame the kids with ipod Touches). Overall it's like comparing a 300HP car to a 400HP. The 400hp is the bigger beast, though 300 is still pretty blazingly fast and would you really notice that much commuting to work?
Android Updates- This is a tricky issue, and the one that I hope somebody keeps track of because this should be a deciding issue. Manufacturers have an incentive not to give updates, as if people keep getting new software for free, they'd probably be less excited to go out and buy another $600 phone. In a recent PR situation, Samsung stated that they "weren't sure" if the Galaxy S is getting gingerbread (2.3) . As you may know the Epic still doesn't have 2.2 (froyo), while the EVO has had for quite some time. While this is not promising, Samsung does cry "administrative issues", and I believe that even HTC doesn't have a perfect record in being clear with updates.
Skin- (the thing that manufacturers change to the phone to make it look different). I've heard good things about HTC's "Sense", and I didn't think I'd like Samsungs "TouchWiz", though after using it for quite some time I think it's pretty good with a few smart and pretty touches.
Summary: Choose the epic because..... gorgeous screen. The screen is how you interact with the phone, and really it's the "feature" that'd you use most. It really is worth it, the icing on the cake is that the Epic has the superior processor, better battery life, better quality camera, and it's easier to hold in your hand. The Evo was the beast, though it will very likely be retired before the Epic, and really besides the slightly more screen estate, "slate" appearance, it really doesn't have that much on the Epic.
Technology is amazing September 3, 2010
Reviewer: Francine Griego (CA) -
Amazing and still surprised everyday with all of the functions. I went from a 9700 Blackberry to the Epic and I am so impressed with the applications and the quality of the phone. The best part of the phone is the 4G capability. So much faster to connect to the internet. The quality of the camera is equal to a digital camera and the clarity will shock you! It is a bit bigger than I had hoped for, but the overall appearance and functions make it worth the transition. I have only had it for a few days, and I still have not learned half the options this phone offers. I am very pleased with this purchase and look forward to learning the tricks of this wonderful device. Thank you Samsung for such a brilliant idea!
The Best Phone You Shouldn't Buy February 16, 2011
Please see updates at the end of this review
The pros are it has a gorgeous screen, the Super AMOLED is amazing. It's built in keyboard is well-made and easy to use. It is comfortable. The glass on it is rugged and does not scratch easily. The camera takes much better pictures than you'd expect for a phone. It is a very, Very impressive piece of hardware. Normally it would be the best phone on the market.
Support is spotty. The downloadable manual is extensive, but the Index and Table of Contents are poorly done, so you have to slog through it a lot. Help at Sprint Stores is hit or miss. There are a few knowledgeable techs if you can get to them, but the floor people are mostly interested in selling. You'll find one who'll say they are expert on the phone and then go blank on anything more complicated than, "Where's the 'On' button". I had an experience when I first got the phone where I waited for my appointment and got a guy who told me that he was super-knowledgeable on the phone. I asked how to get to Task Manager. He stared at the phone for a while and then said it was an app and I'd have to download it (in fact it's built in) and he didn't have time to show me. He then just turned and walked away, went in the back for a while and then came out ignored me and tried to sell accessories to someone else. The people on the phone are more knowledgeable, but they still have to look a lot up. One wonders if Samsung will even be interested in 2.3 for this phone, let alone any of the later versions.
UPDATE 8/17/2011: Finally got the 2.2 update (a year after 2.2 was out)and have been living with it for a few months before I did another update.
I can report that with the update, the features that were supposed to work out of the box are now working, more or less. This makes the phone more livable. However, a number of applications/functions already working still work but are now more cumbersome than before.
For example, the keyboards now have less flexibility for setting up error correction. Or when you make a phone call, the dialpad disappears unless you press the button to bring it back. Say at the end of your call you want to make another one. The dialpad has disappeared again, all you've got is the "call" "add to contacts" and "message buttons. To make another call you have to select "home" again, then "phone", and then dial your next number. With the browser , you now MUST have a home page, Sprint or not. This means that when you launch the browser, you must either wait for the page to load, or stop the load and then press the bookmarks/history symbol to load the page you really want. You can now only go to your bookmarks by scrolling up to the top of the page, whereas before you could get there by using the menu form anywhere. Auto rotation of the screen still works, but is very slow unless you recalibrate the hardware. This involves setting the phone on a flat surface, launching the calibrator and insuring the calibration spot is centered on the bulls-eye. Pretty much the same as before EXCEPT: the calibration now only works properly if you run it with the phone Face Down! In other words, you have to do it with the phone in a position where You Can't See The Necessary Screen! The way to get around this is run it face down on a table, squat down, and carefully slide it partly over the edge of the able so you can look at part of the screen from below. Sheesh!
The biggest thing, though, is what so many have mentioned: Battery. The life is Extremely short. Example: I turn the phone on in the morning, do a few web searches and reads and the rest of the time make a few cell calls, always remembering to turn off any application (including contacts) or the browser as soon as I finish using it. Otherwise it lasts 6 hours or less, if I'm lucky. This is key: As soon as you finish any app or function, Stop It Immediately. Make sure your home screen shows black and not a picture. Do not have any pictures for your contacts. I really mean this! 4G (that you're paying for whether your area has it or not) is essentially unusable, because if you let it run, the phone will be pretty much dead in ~ 2 1/2 hours. Part of this is how much power this thing consumes, but part is the battery itself. They have a life of about 9 months, at which point they start depleting much faster to the point of ridiculousness, and have to be replaced. So far, Sprint has replaced batteries under the service plan, that isn't mandatory that you buy, but if you don't you don't get much help at all.
Remember, after 30 days, you're stuck with it for 2 years. It remains a great piece of hardware, but given the state of its software/firmware its potential remains unfulfilled. This is my first Samsung phone, there's a good chance it will be my last.
So far so good - new smart phone user September 6, 2010
Reviewer: STLguy (St. Louis) -
Let me begin by stating that I am new to the smart phone market. I have always gotten one of the cheaper cell phones at the Sprint store. After years of frustration, I decided that it was time to make the move to a new phone. Having experienced only the simplest of web browsing and e-mail features of my old phones, I was expecting big things from the Epic. It did not disappoint.
I will freely admit I chose to buy the Epic on the launch day mainly because everywhere is out of the Evo. I didn't feel I needed to spend the extra 50$. I am still not sure if it is, but 50$ spread out over the life of my Epic isn't really that much of a cost difference.
Being new to these kinds of phones I really wasn't sure if I needed the hard keyboard or not. I will say I used it more in the beginning, but I do still use it. The SWYPE virtual keyboard had me a little intimidated at first, but am texting one-handed with ease now.
One thing I do think the Evo has is better widgets. I just don't like the aesthetic of the samsung widgets. I am sure some of you will/do like them, they just are not for me.
The big issue about these phones has been the battery.
* If you are expecting to leave your phone off the charger for a couple of days and get by. DON'T
* You WILL need to plug it in every night.
(if you talk briefly and turn off WiFi, 4g, GPS and don't go online you might be ok, but face it
we bought these things to do exactly that)
* With moderate mixed usage I make it through the day. I charge it every night. Not a big deal.
* Built in Task Manager is great for killing battery sucking apps.
One feature I love, is the cartoon option for taking photos. It will take pictures in the style of A Scanner Darkly and Waking Life.
April 2012 - A fine slider, but superseded; root it if you've got it March 18, 2011
Reviewer: D. Alexander
The Epic is a capable slider phone on the Sprint network. More recent phones have surpassed it in speed, however, so it's of no interest unless you absolutely need the hardware keyboard.
I've had an Epic for about a year. I've used a variety competing Android models and Apple's line of iPhones up to the iPhone 4.
As shipped, the Epic comes with Android 2.3 and Samsung's TouchWiz interface. Android recently jumped from 2.3 to 4.0, though many new phones not from Google are still shipped with 2.3. Each upgrade brings speed and stability improvements. Samsung's upgrade cycle is much, much longer than HTC and others; the Epic will never be updated to 4.0.
TouchWiz is a Samsung 'skin' that adds graphical and usability tweaks to the Android interface. It slows the interface down a bit and makes it look more like an iPhone. You can download an alternate launcher if you don't like it.
The major advantage of an Android phone is Google integration. Coming from a Palm Centro, I exported my contacts to my Google account in vCard format. Within a short time, they automatically downloaded to the Epic. Linking my Facebook account had the same effect. Calendar and GMail operate seamlessly, as do the former's reminder notifications. The effect of all this is to minimize downtime in the event of a broken handset. Switching activations with Sprint and syncing a new Epic took me all of five minutes.
In contrast to the iPhone, the Epic (and any Android phone) is also capable of using a variety of software keyboards. It ships with Swype. Swype lets you trace out the letters of a word instead of tapping them. In use, it's faster than the Epic's hardware keyboard. You can download other keyboards that dynamically change the size of letters, or that provide a pop-up list of words as you type.
Most of the time, you won't bother with the hardware keyboard. It's most useful when you're not typing dictionary words (e.g., passwords), when you want maximum screen area (answering emails, remote desktop, games with key input), and when you want to type something precisely that wouldn't conform to normal grammatical rules (terminal consoles).
Durability is encouraging. The front facade is all Gorilla Glass, which still looks new after a year. There's almost no friction. The rear has a soft-touch plastic cover that's impossible to scratch with a fingernail. The ground, yes. Fingernails, no. Beneath the cover is a 16 GB microSD card that augments 512 MB of user-accessible storage. Heavy video users may still miss the 8GB or 16GB of on-board memory that comes with other phones. 1280x720 video takes about 90 MB per minute.
The keyboard slide mechanism has a strong spring action. The keyboard itself is excellent. The keys have adequate spacing between themselves and the base of the screen and a firm clicking action. The only misstep is the dedicated button for emoticons that should have been an "@" key. Coming from a Centro, I found it a bit large for thumbs. Blackberry users will feel the same; it's too big to lend itself to no-look input. The conventional layout is helpful for typing emails, though, and the direction pad is well-suited to console emulators.
Of the three Epics I've used, one had a problem with the vibrate function. Something on the inside would rattle in a cheap and nasty way. There's also some variance in just how tight the gaps are between the screen and the slider base. One phone had essentially no gap, a second was large enough to be disconcerting, and a third was in the middle. With any phone, but doubly so with sliders, check to verify everything works right while you're still within the 30-day exchange window. If you decide it's unacceptable after that point, you'll receive a refurbished replacement instead of a new one.
I've dropped my phone 5 or 6 times. The back pops off, the battery falls out, and the phone skitters along the ground. Damage is almost nonexistent. Other phones (e.g., the iPhone) will happily crack their screens from the same drop.
The Epic has a moderately fast CPU and a fast GPU. The Evo and the iPhone 4 have slower GPUs. Recent phones with dual-core CPUs will put it to shame, but as a practical matter, the Epic is fast enough. All games I've tried work fine. Trapster is the only app it won't dispatch with aplomb.
Which is not to say the stock interface is as smooth as that on an iPhone. Android isn't quite as optimized, particularly when papered over with a manufacturer skin. Everything is a bit less immediate. Scrolling will hitch ever so slightly in the interface, and more with graphics-heavy webpages. That exceptional responsiveness characteristic of the iPhone 4 and the 3GS prior to iOS updates, Google and Samsung haven't quite mastered.
A superlative, perhaps the Epic's best feature. It's an 800x480 pixel PenTile AMOLED. Let's break that down in comparison to the iPhone 4 and the Evo.
800x480 - The iPhone is a 960x640. A handful of recent Android phones are 1280x720. The extra resolution is apparent with web pages zoomed out and console programs. Both are readable, but one will look smoother. The advantage disappears elsewhere. Search 'engadget iphone amoled' for a comparison with screenshots.
AMOLED - LCDs use colored elements in front of a uniform, screen-sized backlight. AMOLED screens skip the backlight and use individual colored LEDs.
PenTile - Because blue and red LEDs wear out faster than the green ones, the Epic's screen uses an RGBG subpixel arrangement instead of a standard RGB array. Samsung counts two subpixels for each pixel; everyone else counts three. That's a lot of gibberish to say that small details on the Epic's screen are slightly rougher than on the Evo screen, despite their identical resolutions.
The use of AMOLED has a few implications. First, the good: the contrast ratio is spectacular. Black is a pure, deep black. Viewed head-on, you can't distinguish the screen from the black bezel. The black on an LCD is, by comparison, a dark slate. Color gamut is extremely high. Colors appear much stronger. They aren't necessarily accurate, but they do make every non-AMOLED phone look dull.
Now, the bad: while AMOLED is supposedly capable of 24-bit color (smooth gradients), my Epic shows banding in gradients. It looks like 16-bit color. There is no dithering. The iPhone and others do better with color transitions.
Unlike an LCD, power use is directly proportional to the brightness of the screen. Black images use very little power because the LEDs turn off. White screens use a lot: three times that of the iPhone in absolute wattage terms because thousands of LEDs are less efficient than a single backlight. If you're browsing a lot of light-colored websites, the battery will run down much more quickly than if you were just scrolling through a dark interface. This is not a problem that can be solved with software optimization. Full white for this screen pulls 1.1W. With a 3.7V 1500 mAh battery, that equates to just under 5 hours of use, allotting no power to the rest of the phone. The only way to bump the numbers is to lower the screen brightness. In practice, many apps have inverted color schemes that negate this difference.
Maximum screen brightness is average. LCDs will be brighter, though it hardly matters because outdoor visibility is determined by minimizing reflections, not emitted light, and the Epic is plenty bright indoors. Outdoors, all three phones are bad, but usable.
It isn't stellar. If you're in Airplane mode with the screen off, it'll last days. With network connectivity enabled and data sync with a Google account, it'll sit for maybe fifteen hours with no use at all, depending on how strong the cell signal is in your area. With heavy use, you'll see four hours. With graphical games, even less. 4G is rumored to take a heavy toll on the battery if you're moving.
But there's a lot of room for improvement, particularly in standby time. Everything I'm about to say will void your warranty if Sprint gets wind of it. I've left my own Epic stock for that reason, but if you're willing to get your hands dirty, you can have something much better.
All Android phones ship with a limited set of functions available to the user. Bypassing the restrictions on how you can interact with OS is called rooting. With `root' access, you can change everything, up to and including all of the Android system files. The Epic is, after all, just a handheld computer. Were there a version of Windows for ARM processors, you could conceivably install that on it.
It's useful to think of Android as a collection of components. The Android version (e.g., 2.3) is a package released by Google with applications, system files, and a kernel that all match and work together. This package is distributed in a single file called a ROM. Because Google publishes the Android source code, the Android community can build their own ROM packages with customizations.
The extent of the customization dictates what the modification will be called. If it simply replaces system graphics to give a new look, it's a theme. If it replaces the installed application set and the core system files, which may or may not include a modified kernel, then it's a ROM.
For our purposes, the kernel is a useful focus because, on many Android phones, it governs the clock speed of the CPU. The remaining components of the ROM dictate the appearance and functionality of the Android OS version.
To change these two pieces on a new Epic, the process is like so:
* Restart the phone in Download mode.
* Using ODIN, a simple flashing utility that runs on a Windows computer connected to the Epic with a USB cable, flash a pre-rooted Android 2.2 system image.
* Drop a new ROM, which is a single large ZIP file, with your preferred alterations on the Epic's SD card.
* Reboot the phone and enter ClockWorkMod, a new boot loader part of the pre-rooted image, and `Install' the ZIP file.
The new ROM may have: new wallpapers, sounds, transparency effects, customized program launchers, transparent tethering, different applications, battery optimizations, and so on. Custom kernels may allow the CPU to be overclocked and underclocked more easily. These changes increase the battery life to in excess of 15 hours with moderate use. The user interface reaches iPhone 4 levels of responsiveness.
I've intentionally left out explanatory detail in the steps above. You can find it all on XDA Developers and Android Central, as well as alternative methods for phones with data to be preserved. The entire process takes about ten minutes and absolutely transforms the Epic. Consider: the popular Android distribution called CM9 brings Android 4.0 to the Epic. It runs far better than any previous version, including those offered by Samsung.
While not strictly about this phone, there are a few applications I've found unusually useful or well-executed:
Juice Defender - Automatically disables radios not in use. Also sets a global refresh interval for all programs that use background data. Major improvements in idle battery life.
Screen Filter - This tamps down the minimum screen brightness to improve your eyes and your battery life. It can be enabled as a one-touch widget.
Wifi File Explorer - This lets you browse and change the phone contents over a wifi connection with a browser. See also: SwiFTP (better for bulk changes), Websharing (similar).
Remote Web Desktop - Wifi browser-based desktop environment that lets you do most major phone functions on your computer. See also: LazyDroid.
PrinterShare - Print to any printer over wifi.
Opera Mobile - An excellent mobile browser for Android. UI responsiveness is best-in-class. Also features Opera's in-house page compression enabled.
Torque - Coupled with a $20 OBD-II reader, it gives real-time stats of every output from an ECU.
Andie-Graph - A free TI-82/83/85/86 emulator. Identical to the originals, though you'll have to Google the ROM images for each one you want to use.
EPIC vs. EVO 4G vs. SHIFT:
If you've settled on Sprint, you need to find a Sprint store to try these phones out. They have different strengths, and what you think you want, you may not. Note: this is a legacy comparison. As of early 2012, the Epic 4G Touch is probably the best Sprint phone.
The Evo is thin, blocky, and has an enormous screen. The pocket lump doesn't protrude like an Epic, though you'll definitely see the squarish form factor in skinny jeans. Build quality is high; it feels like a solid object. It's roughly as fast as an Epic. Battery life is equally bad. Screen contrast and color isn't as nice, but text is a bit smoother. The Evo is also capable of HDMI-out, and HTC releases Android updates faster than Samsung.
The Shift I tried was simply bad. The Epic screen has the ideal size; the Shift is too small. It's also molasses slow. The Sprint store demo phone was truly awful, taking literally twice as long as or more than the Epic at everything. Even simple things, like grabbing a GPS signal. Screen contrast is worse than the Evo, and color, slightly so. It looks washed out compared to the Epic. The keyboard has totally decent key response, but the top row is wedged too close to the screen bottom. The rest of the build appears cheap and chintzy. The Shift's lone advantages appear to be HTC's update cycle, a slightly more pocketable size, and better battery life.
Put another way, Sprint's choices are much the same as they were six months ago: Evo or Epic. For my money, the Epic is the best of the lot, and when rooted, it's competitive with or superior to anything available today. Stock to stock, though, a patient buyer would benefit from holding out for three months until the dual-core phones arrive on Sprint.
Switched from iPhone. Couldn't be happier. September 5, 2010
Reviewer: Tai Chi (Brooklyn, NY) -
I never really got used to the iPhone's virtual keyboard, and I've had my eye on this QWERTY beaut for a while. Although I had to pay to get out of my AT&T contract, I couldn't be happier.
This phone has all the functionality and wow factor of my iPhone 3GS, plus a slide-out physical keyboard and without all the irritating restrictions that Apple places on its devices. I've actually been able to do some serious typing in a text editing app, something I couldn't do on my iPhone when the virtual keyboard took up so much screen real estate. It's been remarkably refreshing to find that when I connect the phone to the computer it simply presents itself as a standard file system - I don't need iTunes or any other proprietary system to load music, photos, or videos onto my phone. Just copy and paste. Speaking of videos, I've been able to play my HD mp4, avi, and mkv files on the phone with no problem whatsoever (although there is a size limit to the files). No conversion was necessary, and the movies look gorgeous on the AMOLED screen. Also, and perhaps most awesome of all, I've been able to install a free NES emulator. I've spent way more time than I'd care to admit playing the original Super Mario Bros. on my new phone. As far as the Sprint service goes, it certainly has not been inferior to AT&T's.
In short, if advanced smartphone functionality and a physical keyboard are important to you, it's hard to see how you could do better right now than this phone.
This is difficult to review. January 18, 2011
I have had this phone for 2-3 months now. and there are a lot of things i like about it, the screen is absolutely beautiful, crisp color and bright. the keypad keys are a little far apart but that is no big deal, its very useful and easy to use. it is a fast phone and i only need to restart every so often (i have had phones i needed to restart at least once a day or more). Call quality is good, GPS is a little off but its close enough to not bother me, and the battery life is tons better then i thought. i can comfortably stream Pandora for 6 hours and still have battery life, not much but enough.
my problem with this phone and why i would NOT recommend it to others is Samsung's ability to update their product. There is a major update currently for this phone and it has been reported that it will not happen for several reasons. Mostly $$$$, Samsung wanting $$$$ and carriers not willing to pay.
All other major carriers of Android devices that have the ability to update have done so.
I will avoid Samsung products from here on out.
Former EVO owner September 21, 2010
So, after owning the HTC EVO for 3 weeks I switched to this phone for 3 reasons:
1. Physical keyboard.
-You just can't escape the practicality of a physical keyboard, and the EPIC happens to have one of the best keyboards made yet.
2. User Interface.
-Samsung's "touchwhiz" UI is so much more pleasant to use than HTC sense. It has a native task manager, it syncs your photos with picasa, and it works very well with google voice. HTC sense is very cluttered, messy, it has redundant apps and redundant notifications with google voice.
3. The screen.
You get 16 million colors with the EPIC, vs. 65,000 on the EVO. C'mon. This screen will turn heads!
and, finally, I'll add one more reason
4. The Sexy.
Lets be honest, the EVO is a sexy b*tch. I was never sold on pictures of the EPIC. Thats because pictures do not do the phone justice. This phone has sexy to spare! I love the way it looks. It is very elegant.
I was never excited about my EVO. I'm gushingly in Love with my EPIC. Hope this helps. Thanks!
Epic 4G Compared to Evo and iPhone 3GS September 11, 2010
Reviewer: Rob Mattheu (Somewhere in the US) -
Rather than give a lengthy review, I'll simply compare the phone to the Evo (which my wife has) and the iPhone 3GS, which we both just dropped.
Pros of Epic 4G Over iPhone 3GS
Gorgeous larger screen (I think it's better looking than the "retinal display" on the iPhone 4)
Data connections are more consistant (streaming works well over 3G, something I never had in Louisville with AT&T)
Swype (an ingenious way of sliding from letter to letter to enter text) and keyboard provide superior data entry options
Signal lock seems better
Contacts more easily sync with Facebook and other cloud options
4G speeds (where available)
Apps are often more quirky and not as restricted as Apple's
Camera is much better with more options.
User accessible memory card.
Can display video, pictures and music over DLNA
Sprint plans are often cheaper for more features.
Cons of Epic 4G Over iPhone 3GS
Battery charging is SLOW when phone is turned on.
Fewer apps available and many are less developed than the iPhone equivalent (Facebook and Evernote are two I find disappointing)
Phone is heavier and less compact
Android updates are up to carrier and manufacturer, so your phone may receive OS later than another android phone.
Phone doesn't have automatic dictionary for non Swype entry.
Pros of Epic 4G over Sprint's HTC Evo
More comfortable form factor
Display is much sharper and more colorful
Swype is preinstalled
Sprint's Touchwiz Android Interface is more like iPhone than the Evo's Sense
Camera has more fun features out of the box and takes better pictures (in my experience)
Camera button on phone itself.
Better graphic processor.
Comes with headphones
Top loading USB port with sliding cover (note: Some hate this, some love it.)
Cons Epic 4G compared to Sprint's HTC Evo
Fewer case options
Battery life seems to be less (YMMV)
Slower to charge
Evo seems more solid since it is one piece
Evo looks more impressive to outsiders
Sense UI from HTC has more widgets and options available and is less locked down than Touchwiz
Runs Android 2.1 and not 2.2.
Overall, I love my Epic 4G. It's a well built phone and I prefer it over the Evo. If you're switching to Sprint, both are great phones to choose from. You may want to wait until the 4G has the bugs worked out since it just came out last week.
UPDATE 1/2/2012 -- Reduced from 4 stars to 1 star.
My wife's Evo has given her no problems besides a lack of storage space (primarily due to clutter of apps she rarely uses).
Me... not so lucky. After months of waiting for Gingerbread 2.2 update (which my wife had forever on her Evo) I was greeted with some new surprises, not the least of which are horrible battery life and a GPS that now refuses to work, even on a clear day. According to the Sprint support sites and many Android phone sites, I am not alone in these problems, nor does there appear to be a simple or permanent fix for most people. I've always bought Samsung products because they appear to offer good value, but recent experiences including this one have made me realize Samsung is great at promoting the new, and terrible about supporting the old. My wife's Evo and my old iPhone 3GS, whatever their faults, worked. The Epic 4G is a great looking phone with horrible software support. Not recommended.
Good phone, but no Froyo 2.2 February 6, 2011
The phone is fine. It's fully functional and the screen is amazing. Major problem I have is with the software. No Froyo 2.2!!! Cmon how long is it going to take to upgrade. Anyway with out 2.2 you are stuck without flash support and saving apps to your SD card. We were promised an upgrade and never got one. Last time I buy a samsung phone. Blah!!!