Tips to save your battery life on 4G phones April 30, 2011
Reviewer: Roobah Fox "roobah" (Tooele, UT United States) -
This review was conducted on an HTC EVO 4G, but when it comes to comparing the 4G/3G service, it's pretty much identical on Sprint's top 3 4G Android phones, so I've included links for each of them. This is more a review about Sprint's 3G/4G service and what you might expect and hoping to alleviate your concerns about all you've read about battery life on the 4G network. My experience is as a user (I've been a 4G user since it first hit the market) but I'm not a technician expert. So my comments apply to the data service for the following devices:
[[ASIN:B003N9B3CY HTC EVO 4G Android Phone (Sprint)]]
[[ASIN:B004HFRN2M HTC EVO Shift 4G Android Phone (Sprint)]]
[[ASIN:B003ZDO2H6 Samsung Epic 4G Android Phone (Sprint)]]
BEST way of all to save battery life on your 4G phone is
** TURN OFF the 4G service except when you need it. That generally means never turn it on when you are driving around.
** If you happen to be in an area with limited 4G service, TURN IT OFF. Your battery will suck itself dry in a heartbeat trying to get life out of that signal. And I mean QUICKLY. Like from fully charged to less than half-charged in a matter of minutes. Rule: At least one bar steady 4G or turn it off.
** I don't know what's up with Sprint, but OBVIOUSLY they have a 4G capacity problem. Some days I can stay connected to an IP address all day long. Other days (usually early evening) it's like FORGET IT! Sprint drops the connection almost constantly and continuously. I get sick of attempting to reconnect because it takes up to a minute to do so, only to have my connection dropped a few minutes later. Also, Sprint will rotate your IP address CONSTANTLY. Which means programs you are using that depend on a constant IP address will fail when you get switched (HTTPS addresses and some others with password protection access, sometimes streaming channels). Sometimes those websites will suck your battery dry trying to get that connection back. Best: Just restart the website and your 4G service. If it keeps happening, just drop to 3G. You'll be happier.
** Hey, unless you are streaming YouTube or movies, face it, 3G is enough for most applications. 3G on the Sprint network is very stable. 4G is not.
** Realize that 4G varies depending on what state you are in. Some 4G places scream service (up to 6MB/sec) others rival a good 3G connection (1.1MB/sec if you are lucky). So find out how FAST the 4G service per second streaming is in your area. (My experience: Boise SCREAMS service, Salt Lake City is usually really good (near 4MB), St. Louis is lucky to see 2 MB on a really good day. Videos online say they are only able to stream a little over 1 MB/sec on 4G. Point is, it varies widely, connections are variable, and test your location if 4G is a deal breaker for you. (Because your battery will DIE in a heartbeat if you don't have access to a good stable 4G connection.)
** When you install apps, don't check the 'auto update' box. Some apps will suck your battery dry with updates every few minutes. Battery killers include anything that uses maps (including GPS programs), Google Earth, Skype -- will run in the background continuously. Basically any program that updates several times a day is probably something you want to evaluate whether or not you really need it on your phone if you care about your battery life.
** Dim your screen to no brighter than you need it for easy reading. There is no real reason to have it on 100% level all the time is there?
** Turn off the screen when you are talking on the phone. If you move the phone to your head, it will auto sense and do this automatically, but if you are using speaker phone, you will have to manually turn it off.
** Only use task killer on very stubborn apps that are obviously causing your system problems. DON'T kill all apps on your task killer, that will SURELY cause errors on your phone in short order. You can kill a specific app by long-pressing on it and it will bring up a kill option for just that app. If you find other apps constantly running when you view task killer, consider uninstalling those programs to save battery life, or setting them to NOT auto update.
** Good programmed 'droid programs will give you the option to kill the program when you are done using it through the menu, or it will pop up a menu asking you if you want to kill the program. Use this feature whenever possible to save battery life.
** Read market reviews to see which programs people complain about for zapping battery life. Reconsider whether or not to download such programs to your phone.
** Nothing quite sucks the battery life like having GPS turned on or using GPS-based programs. BUT, they are useful when you need them. Use your GPS Navigator in 3G mode. IMO, I can't tell the difference and my battery life is a lot longer and the connection a lot more stable. (Save your 4G for multi-apps, wireless sharing, streaming videos or movies).
** DO NOT use 4G on HTTPS websites unless you want to seriously hate your phone. As mentioned, 4G is pretty unstable in its connection generally everywhere. Since most https websites are password secured, you will have to log in over and over and over again and you will hate your phone, so just use the more stable 3G connection.
I use my 4G phone for everything. I think it even serves up toilet paper. And since Skype finally got a 'droid version available for the USA working pretty darn good, I can even understand people talking on my phone now. (Skype connection is pristine, I love it. Walks circles around the Sprint voice quality.)
All in all, a good strong signal and keeping your screen turned off will definitely assure a long battery life.
I generally use a few minutes (almost always <75 minutes) a month and stream something around 5GB a month in data. I usually use my phone data about 6 hours a day (continuous).
Here's some sample speeds I've experienced recently:
STL ON 3G 1.27 MB Download and .47 MB upload. SLC ON 3G 1.47 MB and .30 MB CHICAGO ON 3G: 1.46 MB and .60 MB
STL ON 4G 2.3 MB Download and .28 MB upload. SLC ON 4G 2.98 MB and .65 MB CHICAGO ON 4G .38 MB and .39 MB
As you can see from some samples, there isn't that big of a difference between the two and sometimes 3G is even faster. USUALLY it's been my experience that upload speeds are faster on 3G and these little snippet examples are no exception. (What's up with Chicago? LOL).
Hope this helped in giving you extra talk time for your battery charge.
Nearly Perfect September 17, 2010
Its a great time to buy a cell phone right now, there seems to be a new phone every week with amazing features, but eventually it comes down to a few major functions that render a phone great.
The Epic 4G is the best of the Galaxy S lineup because of its keyboard that actually is worth typing on, front facing camera, led indicator, and...4G!
Since everyone who is looking at spring is slightly torn between this and the EVO 4G, I'll begin with the comparison of theses two devices. No question the EVO is the more hip, sexy phone with its "look at me" 4.3 inch screen and kick stand. The cons of the EVO are poor battery life, and the fact that though the screen is large, its still 800 X 480 and thus just stretches the picture out. Also, even though these devices seem to barely be used as a phone, the actual phone functioning is middle of the road at best.
So then why would someone get the Epic over the EVO? Well it depends on a couple things. Obviously if you enjoy typing on a legit almost as good as a blackberry keyboard, then get the epic, easy enough. I enjoy typing on the physical keyboard, but with the various keyboards and swype out there, I'm as fast or even faster without the keyboard. The difference lies in comfort, writing long emails on swype is a bit tiring and the physical keyboard definitely comes in hand. Also, when browsing the internet, I tend to open the keyboard and use the arrows to navigate more comfortably. I always read the news on my phone before going to bed and it is much more enjoyable using the arrow keys.
Lets talk touchwiz. People are OBSESSED with HTC senses UI. Yes, it is pretty, but, if you download the weather clock widget that is identical to the HTC one, MOST people won't be able to tell the difference! The only thing touchwiz lags is the ability to see all 7 screens open at once, but if you use the UI correctly, you dont need this. Having numerous widgets open that are continuously using data kills your battery life. Seriously, do you need to be update on which one of your friends are running to the store to get peanut butter every 10 minutes? Check your facebook a few times a day and you'll be fine, geez! I therefore only have music and non data using widgets on my home screens to conserve battery life, and let me tell you it makes a big difference. I like the side to side scrolling between apps a la iphone better than the standard up and down of android but this can be changed to vertical if thats your thang. As for managing things properly to avoid having to use all 7 screens and keep a bunch of widgets open, use folders! I have 6 folders that essentially have every thing i'd ever need to access on my phone all less than half a second away.
Things I LOVE about the epic. The notification bar on top accessible from everywhere allows you to manage your connections in a heartbeat while also seamlessly checking messages and emails arriving. Its a thing of wonder. Second is the screen, duh! You have to look at the screen more than anything and this is where the epic shines. They took a page from iphone on this one and said quality is better than quantity. If the iphone ever went to 4 inches it would be impossible to compete with but right now i'll take the size and brightness of the super AMOLED over the retina display. Third, its ridiculously easy to use. People love the iphone b/c its idiot proof and while this is IMO as easy, its more fun of an experience. Phones are about integrating the phone function, messaging, and applications with as much fluidity as possible, touchwiz + android does that. Fourth, the phone. The epic is the best sounding cell phone i've ever used. Loud, clear, even on speaker! Enough said. Fifth is the media player. Dragging and dropping ROCKS, i HATE itunes syncing. The interface is easy to use, you can create custom playlists right on the phone, delete songs from the phone, and in my opinion is capable enough to compete with ipod. With amazonmp3 you get better prices, daily deals, and daily free songs to boot. Sixth is the camera, at 5 MP it can create picture large enough to be posters but few of us do that. All the 3 extra MPs the evo has is create LARGER, not BETTER pictures. The picture the epic take are on par with regular 5mp cameras you can get at a store. If you want really nice pics, u'll need an SLR camera, but the epic creates crisp, rich photos with a dedicated camera button as well.
Things I don't like. The battery life is an issue with all smart phones, the trick to make them last longer is to essentially make the smart phone less smart. That means, limiting mindless app use, turning down brightness (although, even at 10% the epic looks nice), turning off 4g/btooth/wifi when not in use, and something that I do is when i'm in a building with poor reception, turn on airplane mode but leave wifi on so i can still be contacted but my phone wont drain from signal searching. As I mentioned earlier, turning off programs that constantly use data is a good idea. If you want to read the news, open a news app, if you want to see what your friends are up to, open facebook...do we really need widgets to constantly tell us whats going on? Still though, you would think with this technological juggernaut they could figure out a way to install a battery that is as amazing as the phone. The buttons at the bottom sometime give me frustration b/c they are not as sensitive as I like. I've memorized where each button is so the whole light issue doesnt bother me, but you can set the keys to "Stay on while screen is on" which limits confusion. Sometimes when manipulating the status bar, the brightness will automatically upgrade to 60%, not sure why, but I have to go back and change it. The phone is thin enough without a case to feel nice in the pocket. The addition of a case, however, would render the phone a bit too thick for my pleasure. I have a skin on the front and thats it for now, if someone comes out with a very thin case to protect the back from bruises i'll be happy.
Overall, if you use this phone properly, theres really nothing any other phone offers that this doesnt already have. Whenever froyo comes out I'm sure it will be even better. Highly recommended.
- Battery if used properly
- keyboard thats almost as good as bb
- music player that can replace an ipod
- easy to use
- phone call quality
- Battery with heavier use
- Buttons can be a bit annoying
- Random brightness adjustment (Even if auto bright turned off)
- Too thick to use with case
- even though sprint is significantly cheaper and i'll get my money back, 200 or 250 for the epic vs free for the fascinate and 50 for the captivate sting..
Best Android device out there September 4, 2010
Reviewer: M. Hayat (NY) -
I recently upgraded to the Epic after a long debate of picking either this or the EVO. So far, I'm extremely satisfied. I wont go into the long list of features and benefits talked about to death by other re-viewers.
From my personal usage of the device there are a few things I can note that maybe others have not touched on.
First off, the battery DOES seem to go down rather quickly. But once you take into account the amount of things you are actually doing on the phone simultaneously, its actually not that bad. I also found that if you download the APP KILLER app (its free on the Android marketplace), and shut down unneeded programs runningin the background, you actuallly boost the battery life quite a bit.
Secondly, one of the key points that made me pick this phone over the EVO is the slide out keyboard. Its one of the most comfortable and efficient ones i've ever used. What impressed me the most is that even with the option of having the slide out keyboard, the touchscreen phone has a vibrant and easy to use virtual keyboard. I'm using the actual slideout keyboad much less frequently as I'm able to easily use the onscreen board, as well as the awesome swype feature.
It is my first Android device, so it took me a few minutes to update and sync my contacts and calender. Once i got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing. Some of the other reviewers complain that the screen seems dimmer or "grayish" when placed next to the iphone or other android phone. Thats because there is an auto brightness adjustment feature which automatically dims the screen when you are indoors to conserve battery. You can easily change the screen settings if its not to your liking.
Graphics are awesome and screen is crystal clear. I put it side by side to my wifes iphone, and there was not much of a noticeable difference.
The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5, is because for over $200, it would be nice if it came with some more accessories than just a charger and headphone. (maybe a case or screen protector / extra battery ?)
Samsung, A Keyboard, & Android - Winning Combination! September 1, 2010
Reviewer: Always Samsung "ravereviews" (New York, NY) -
Close To Perfection as Android Can Get!
I don't understand the big hoopla over the Android OS, but I understand many people want features that are iPhone exclusives without either switching carriers or buying a product made by Apple. Anyways, the Android OS is probably the closest that anyone will get if they want a top notch performing OS, an app store, a web browser that's as good as a PC browser, beautiful threaded text messaging, etc. The Palm Web OS achieved this feat, but unfortunately nobody cared because their phones came in such ugly form factors that were neither attractive nor logical.
The Samsung Epic is a stellar phone that comes with a 1GHZ Hummingbird processor that keeps the Android OS running fluid and smooth. I always felt the earlier Android devices were so sluggish and probably needed a 1GHZ processor to keep things from underperforming. The phone is quick and responsive while prior Android OS's had lag time before entering and exiting out of certain features, apps, etc. This is also the only Galaxy device from the Galaxy series that features a full qwerty keyboard.
I am torn between this phone because I think it truly has some great attributes, but it also has some minor drawbacks that I can overlook. I appreciate that the phone is lightweight, but it's made with a plastic case that can feel very cheap and that's the tradeoff for anyone who is in the market for a smartphone that is lightweight. However, the battery and keyboard do add some much needed weight. The device doesn't have that HEFT to it like the iPhone. I never owned a phone with an AMOLED display and I have to say that the screen is truly gorgeous and the colors really POP, but at the same time I didn't notice anything AMAZING or drastic that wasn't found on the same screen for the EVO 4G or the Droid X, but I guess the whole purpose of the AMOLED is to save battery power. Despite the VIBRANT screen I still noticed a few pixilation issues when I was watching Avatar and this is probably not the phones fault and more of the way the movie was formatted. When a DVD is copied, movies usually tend to be over 4GB, so reformatting the movie to fit on a phone usually means condensing the movie below 1GB. I'm sure if the movie was around 2 or 3GB that there wouldn't be noticeable pixilations when there was too much action on screen. However, the screen has the ability to almost create a small illusion that the footage is in 3D which i liked. I also tried to play a few YouTube videos in HD and the phone ended freezing several times without the video even loading and so I had to exit out of the YouTube app, but it was unresponsive and took a few seconds before heading back to the home screen. These are just some minor gripes that I had, but the phone is still a winner.
I am not going into a long review about this phone that hasn't already been said, so I am just going straight into the pros and cons below:
Huge 4 inch colorful display that is truly VIBRANT
Super AMOLED screen
Responsive Touch Screen
Excellent Web Browser
Pinch and zoom
7 home screen panels
Live Animated Wall Papers
Threaded Text messaging
16GB of built in internal memory
Micro SD card slot (Up to 32GB for a total of 48GB)
3.5MM headphone jack
Many preloaded Apps
Samsung TouchWiz UI added in
4G Speeds (But not in NYC area just yet)
5.0 MP Camera/Camcorder
Can record videos in HD format
Micro USB charger
Front Facing Camera
Battery life seemed ok (I haven't encountered any issues yet)
Wall Charger adaptor included
Google Voice Search
Swype Keyboard (LOVE IT)
Front Facing Camera
Camera/Cmcorder has flash
Plastic build can feel a bit cheap
Camera really should be 10.0 MP at this point
A 32GB micro SD card should have been included for the price of the phone
completely amazing November 30, 2010
Reviewer: No Prizes
The Epic 4g is simply unbelievable. I've had this phone for over a week now, and I still can't put it down. I'm coming from the Touch Pro 2, which I could no longer stand, so here is my breakdown of why this phone is simply the best:
-Gorgeous, extremely responsve screen that is the perfect size
-Very lightweight and thin for a slider
-Intuitive UI- unlike windows mobile, no matter how deep you go into the phone settings and menus everything is still smooth and bold and bright.
-Fast! I'm not in a 4g area, but even with 3g or wifi web browsing is actually fun on this phone. It's easy to navigate and interact with webpages which are rendered quickly and beautifully. I've actually been making use of my data plan.
-Gmail works great. Again it has a bold, attractive layout and gives easy access to almost all the features you'd use on your computer
-text input is soo much fun! There are so many options (virtual/physical/swype keyboard) that I constantly switch around because I can't choose just one. Swype is great once you take the time to learn it.
-somewhat plastic feel (but Iactually like that the phone doesn't feel heavy and expensive)
- at first the screen feels a bit too responsive, it takes some getting used to
-power button is at the top right, which is a very odd and inconvenient place
-camera button is at bottom right and sicks out so it's easy to press by accident
-physical keyboard has very flat keys
-no froyo yet
-haven't tried video or gps, so no comment
-included widgets aren't very useful, but you can find plenty free ones in the market
In conclusion, I love my new phone.
One of the Best Android Phones out there September 9, 2010
Reviewer: Sri Sri "SStone" (Sacramento,CA USA) -
I'm going to keep this review short and simple. I switched over to the HTC EVO but returned it because it felt just a bit too big in my hand. The other fact was it did not have SWYPE nor did it have a real keyboard. I thought I would get used to having a virtual keyboard but I could not get used to it.
However the Samsung Epic 4G is a great phone since it has SWYPE which works surprisingly well as well as a slide out keyboard. There have been some complaints about how the keys are not offset and I do find it a bit harder to type on it having been used to the Blackberry 9700 which was my previous phone.
The phone is very responsive, battery life is not that great, you have to definitely charge it after 8-10 hours of moderate use. I usually have 4G and GPS turned off (I don't have 4G in Sacramento) or that would use up the battery faster.
I was able to connect to my Outlook email at work without any problems and it pushes the email to your Android just like the Blackberry does and it also syncs your Outlook Calender.
Pinch to zoom works within Email and on Web pages and its very responsive.
The killer feature is the support of DLNA, so I can view my video, audio and picture files on my PC over WI-FI on my Samsung Epic and it works seamlessly. I can also stream video, audio and pictures from the Epic to my PC or my LG DLNA enabled Blue Ray player so that I can view it on my TV.
Google Voice integration seems to be better than on the Blackberry. Overall this phone is very intuitive to use, I had a bit more trouble with the HTC EVO.
I also was able to install YouMail from the Android app store and set up conditional call forwarding (see the Youmail website on instructions since Sprint is slightly different). While Visual Voicemail is available with Sprint, I prefer YouMail.
Overall I have to say I am very pleased with this phone and would definitely recommend it.
Having used Swype on this phone and finding it so easy to use, I wonder if I needed the keyboard after all. I still wanted it as a crutch until I can let go. This phone runs Android 2.1
If you are a Blackberry user and are hesitant to switch, then I can honestly say that coming to this phone from a Blackberry 9700 it took a couple of days to get used to it, but I was able to do everything on this phone and much more. Also due to RIM not releasing Blackberry OS 6 to existing Blackberry 9700 customers until next year even though its available for their new phone, I felt it was time to make the switch.
The only app that I miss that is only available on the Blackberry is VIIGO, but I use Newsrob instead which seems adequate though not as nice as VIIGO.
I got to use the Navigation feature and it works great. I was able to say the name of the place I wanted to go and it began navigation right away. The default voice sounds a bit funny and sometimes difficult to understand since the street names don't often get pronounced correctly. I especially like the Satellite view mode since I can actually see the buildings, and I like how it switches to Street view when you are close to your destination.
Best phone I've ever owned!!! September 7, 2010
Reviewer: Alfonso R. Santiago (Los Angeles, CA) -
Like many of you, I hesitated in paying the extra 50 dollars but like I read on another review, the earbuds, the physical keyboard, 16 gb samsung card and the AMOLED screen more than justify the 50 dollars extra of the EVO.
Let me start off by saying that Im an avid phone collector sort of speak. My family and friends always criticize my for having different phones once a month. I have been on all carriers. ATT for one day, the worst. T Mobile is ok and great prices, Verizon great customer service, great service and too expensive. Sprint to me is the best. Great service, best value. Customer service can be a lil better.
That being said I have used all OS's and all phone brands. LG,Samsung, Blackberry, Apple, Palm, HTC, etc. I've used the WinMobile devices (does winmo still exist?) Palm,Blackberry, Apple and Android.
Android is the best hands down. I had the first Android phone in the G1 and liked it instantly. But the HTC G1 was like a brick and battery was the worst of any mobile device I have ever had.
Ill stop going all over the place and get on with the Epic.
The screen is the best or one of the best ever on a mobile device. Love the physical keyboard. Super blazing fast. It has 5 megapixels 3 less than the EVO but trust me, the quality of the pictures and the settings available are much better than the EVO.
I've just had it for 8 hours and I'm super excited. I will update more after a week with it.
A terribly unreliable phone-I wish I had never purchased same June 19, 2012
I purchased this phone from Sprint. Had numerous problems with it. Was told that it was programming problems and same could be fixed by bringing it back it and
having the programming redone/updated. I had that done at least three times to the original phone. After that when problems continued, the first phone was
replaced with the same phone (only this second phone was supposedly reconditioned). Having the same problems with the second phone and have had it reprogrammed
at least once so far. Problems have included the following-not being able to end a phone call by pushing the end/red button-the phone then comes back on to that
call on its own; my face when speaking with someone on the phone causing other buttons to also turn on-was told the face plate of the phone was faulty and it was
replaced; the phone lighting up various buttons on its own while speaking to someone causing strange actions on phone-blamed on programming problems; the sound
being incredibly bad when listening to voice messages-reprogrammed again; poor text messaging ability with physical keyboard attached to phone-programming blamed;
other problems I am just to tired to list. I was told Samsung made great TVs so I should buy one of their phones. I make no comments on their TVs because I do not
own one but do not buy any of their phones. They are pieces of unreliable, attention loving crap.
I love this phone! January 19, 2012
Reviewer: Natalie "Wickeddoll" (Fabulous Las Vegas) -
I read the one-star reviews, some of which were more about *Sprint* than the phone, which I think is most unfair to the phone itself.
That said, I had this phone from the time it first came on the market, with *Sprint*, and had absolutely no problems with it. I don't have this phone anymore, because my son got an iPhone, after buying the Galaxy Epic S II, only two weeks prior to the iPhone! I thought that was a waste of a new phone, so I gave my daughter this phone, and took the S II. (She did not want a virtual keyboard)
I wish I'd stayed with this phone. I miss the physical keyboard, very badly, mostly because I can actually type, and virtual keyboards just don't cut it. This phone seems to have better performance to me, but of course that's subjective. The phone has a great battery life, which of course will vary, by how it's used. A gamer can't expect it to keep up with all their multitasking, for instance - sheesh!
If you want a reliable, easy-to-operate phone, this is the one for you. If you're a gamer, or other type who needs something that'll do a zillion things at once, maybe this isn't your thing. On average, my battery lasted a day and a half, before needing a charge, despite my checking email, browsing, and playing board games on it (low res). I don't speak on the phone very much, (not even the land line) so I can't really comment on whether it holds up to constant calls. I *can* tell you that my 21 y/o daughter loves this phone, is constantly talking to her friends, among other things on it, and has had no problems whatsoever.
Great phone UNTIL SPRINT TAKES YOUR SERVICE AWAY! TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE - HORROR STORY! December 10, 2011
I purchased this phone as part of a 2 year service agreement with Sprint, which both myself and sprint were expected to uphold. This was my first Droid phone, and I was very excited about my purchase. This was also a early Christmas present, my wife and I purchased for each other (I bought 2 phones). The phone itself was excellent, the display is beautiful, it was easy to use and fit nicely in my pocket. I purchased $100 in accessories for each phone in addition. The case I purchased was a nice rubber non slip case which helped to give my phone some stability while it was in my hand.
Upon receiving the phones I initially had trouble activating them both so I called tech support and was told to go to my local sprint store to have them activated. I went to the sprint store and although they were able to activate them without an issue the guy at the store was irritated by the fact that I purchased them online and not from a local store. He had a very poor attitude, and was not interested in answering any of my questions. I showed interest in purchasing a screen protector, but he was too busy watching a movie off his flash drive on the store computer to do anything more than a three minute activation, and physically point in the direction of the screen protectors. Because I was being received so poorly, I decided to leave and went to Radio Shack where they were enthusiastic about helping me, helped me to pick the screen protector I was looking for, and even installed it for free!
I brought the phones home and began using them. Locally the service was OK. I live in upstate, New York which is not really upstate at all unless you are from New York City. I am 35 minutes from NYC, not much of a stretch. The service was spotty compared to Verizon which I have had for years; Verizon worked flawlessly locally and pretty good at my house. I decided to go to Sprint because of the free data plan, as I was impressed by my friends Driod, and was interested in incorporating all the laptop like qualities of the phone into my personal life. Verizon's plans are more expensive but this is a typical case of "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!" As I had mentioned service was OK locally, spotty at times, and absolutely no 4G up here at all. My friends Verizon phone gets 4G no problem in this area. The real problems began at home. Initially, I had gone to a different Sprint store and was told I would get "good-fair" service at my house, which I felt was acceptable considering the Verizon service AT MY HOUSE was not much better. They took a look at this stupid little service map that suggested service would work in my location. I did not purchase a phone from them at that time because they wanted me to pay full price for both phone and amazon was selling them for far less. At the initial recommendation of "SPRINT" I purchased two phones expecting service at home. Well there was ABSOLUTELY NO SERVICE WHAT SO EVER AT MY HOUSE. Happy with my new phone itself and mesmerized by the display I spent Three (3) days walking around my home trying to find somewhere to set the phone so I could get at least one bar to receive phone calls, and then I could drive a couple miles up the road to call the person back if it was of any importance. In hind sight that would have been ridiculous, however I was so happy to have this new phone, I did not want to give it up. UNFORTUNATELY SPRINT WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE ME THE CHOICE. WHEN A FRIEND SUGGESTED I GIVE THEM A CALL FOR A PHONE BOOSTER FOR MY HOUSE, I MADE THE CALL TO SPRINT TECH SUPPORT AND THIS IS WHAT I WAS TOLD: THEY TOOK A LOOK AT MY ACCOUNT AND TOLD ME THAT WITHIN THE FIRST SEVEN (7) DAYS OF OWNERSHIP MY PHONE HAD ALREADY USED WAY TOO MUCH ROAMING TIME, I WAS COSTING THEM TOO MUCH MONEY, AND THEY WERE GOING TO TERMINATE MY SERVICE AT THE END OF THE MONTH. THEY GAVE ME THE OPTION OF EARLY TERMINATION AND I TOOK IT SO I DID NOT HAVE TO PAY THE FIRST MONTHS BILL, HOWEVER THEY TOLD ME I HAVE TO RETURN MY PHONES AND EAT THE COST OF THE ACCESSORIES I PURCHASED. I tried to argue that we have a contract to no avail. They told me I should move if I want to keep my phone. I argued once more that their own store told me I would have service at my house, and their response was that this is incorrect,... it is clearly shown on "the map" that this is a dead zone, and I should have never been told I would have service at my location... this was clearly no more than a sales tactic. OVERALL I FOUND BOTH THE LOCAL STORES AT MY LOCATION AND TECH SUPPORT TO BE UNFRIENDLY, UNHELPFUL, AND DOWNRIGHT CONDESCENDING! I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY AGAIN AND URGE OTHERS TO LOOK ELSEWHERE. Worst part of this whole ordeal is that I was out of contact on my Verizon phone which I was paying only $40 per month for and had unlimited texting on. Now in order for me to go back to Verizon I have to start a new two year contact at god knows what cost and purchase new phones.
Good Phone, Good Design, Still Stacks Up Well Against Others October 4, 2011
My wife and I recently purchased new phones from Sprint and are quite happy with them. I purchased the HTC Evo 3D and my wife nabbed the Epic (primarily for its keyboard). While the Samsung Epic is getting a bit old, it still competes well with newer phones. My wife's impressions (and mine) are below:
+ It's a lightweight, attractive phone that gives you plenty of features and access to Sprint's 4G network.
+ The phone is well-crafted and extremely easy to use. Samsung is doing a great job of chasing Apple (too good if you keep up with legal news) and its products certainly threaten Apple's seeming stranglehold on appealing hardware.
+ The screen is simply beautiful to look at... set with active wallpaper, it comes alive.
+ The real QWERTY keyboard is an excellent feature which barely adds to the weight of the phone. If a real keyboard is a must, this phone presents a decent sized keyboard that rarely causes you to mis-type.
+ While the hardware doesn't stack up to the Evo 4G 3D, its plenty powerful. Videos do not stutter, it capably handles video calls, games work well, and downloads are smooth.
+ Call quality is crystal clear
+ For the individual who wants a smart phone that is easy to customize, easy to use, and gorgeous to look at, you could do much worse than the Samsung Epic.
- Others have mentioned this, but it appears Samsung may not be pushing to enable downloading the latest Android O/S update. If you simply need a good phone (with a keyboard) and are not a heavy app user or gamer, this probably won't affect you. If you need the latest and greatest, this could become a real issue down-the-road. I'm all for Samsung taking on Apple, but this is one page from the Jobs playbook that they shouldn't plagiarize.
- This phone is getting a bit long in the (blue)tooth. Its still a great phone but newer phones have better hardware stats. If that stuff matters to you, the Epic may not be for you.
- Battery life is a bit of a challenge. Fully charged will take you through the work day assuming you don't push it with constant web surfing/downloads and manage your connections (turn off 4G when not in use, turn off your wireless, etc).
The Epic is still a good phone for those consumers who don't need the latest/greatest hardware. It's a great phone if you need a real keyboard. I can't give it 5 stars due to the inability to upgrade to the latest OS (a real concern) but it should certainly last--and serve well--until Sprint offers an upgrade in two years time. Further, as its older you can probably get a nice deal on one.
We purchased our phones through Amazon Wireless which stacked up well against the provider sites and 3rd parties. Phones came on-time and ready to go...
Went from Treo Pro to Samsung Epic - love the Epic July 17, 2011
Reviewer: Emily (Meridian, ID, United States) -
I don't know how I did work on the tiny screen of my Treo Pro. My Epic is fun, apps are cool as heck, and I'm getting better at extending the battery life. I think the battery really needs to be broken in before it gets the ability to last more than 6 hours.
I love the multitude of ways to type... slide out keyboard, swipe, portrait onscreen keyboard, landscape on screen keyboard.
Seems like a stable operating system, and I'm glad I invested in a new phone. I was going to get a tablet and keep my old phone, but I'm pleased with my decision to just get a new phone with a big enough screen.
Still love my new phone!! It's got it's quirks, but with all the fun software I'm loading on it, I don't blame it for getting kind of sluggish. A battery removal to reset it usually does the trick. I love all that I can do with my phone.
I HARDLY ever use the Qwerty keyboard, which is surprising to me. There are much more efficient ways to input your text.
BEST DEAL ON EPIC 4G ANYWERE June 9, 2011
Reviewer: D. West (RALEIGH, NC USA) -
Got this great phone for .01 on amazonwireless.com, same phone with upgrade discount at Sprint would have cost $161.61. That much of a saving alone should lead you want to try this phone, but if that's not enough than lets talk about the phone, Screen is the most clear and best I've see, the phone has all the bells and whistle anyone from a texting freak to a email got have news junkie would ever need. I'm just so glad I found it at this great savings and it works just the way I would want it, Thanks Samsung and thanks even more AmazonWireless.com nothing but BOO'S AND THUMBS DOWN to sprint.com phone sale and there inflated prices.
this phone is awesum ! April 29, 2011
so i had originally planned on ordering a evo because i was IN LOVE with that phone. but then my mom went and bought herself a samsung epic. i was skeptical at first, then i got to playing around with it and i fell in love with it. so i ordered one, and im even more in love now. this screen is so big and bright, by far the best screen ive ever seen on any phone. and the moving backgrounds are great! i absolutely love this phone ! *oh and im a 16 year old girl just to let you know my point of view.
Good phone, but Amazon Wireless has kinks to work out November 27, 2010
The phone itself is great. It's a bit bulky, and the battery won't last you more than a few hours if you're constantly using it for music, the web, etc., but it's otherwise wonderful.
However, Amazon Wireless (and to some extent UPS and Sprint) really has a ways to go. First, I couldn't get a definitive statement about when the item was going to arrive. I was told three different things (one from Amazon customer service, another from a UPS customer service rep and a third from the UPS website). Amazon turned out to be right (how could UPS not know its own shipping date better than Amazon?), but they told me they wouldn't do anything to investigate the shipping date confusion until after the estimated shipment date was missed.
Second, I ported my number from AT&T, but Amazon set the number transfer date to about two weeks after the estimated shipment date. I guess they wanted to build in a cushion in case of shipping issues and that I could just call Sprint to switch the dates, but it would have been nice if Amazon had told me beforehand I'd have to do this.
Lastly, and this is entirely on Sprint, when I first called the rep after the phone arrived (about 6 pm EST), they said the number was in the process of porting at that moment, and that I should call back in three hours once that finished so I can complete activation. Three hours later, I called back and was told that the activation date was actually in two weeks, and that I'd have to call another department (this was my fourth of fifth department) to change the date to be that same day. After about 10 minutes of waiting, the rep came back on to inform me that said department was closed (but was opened when I originally called). Because of the Thanksgiving break, I wouldn't be able to get the phones working as phones for a couple days. I pointed out that I paid $36 per phone for activation and that my activation clearly got screwed up. I asked for a refund of the activation fees, but he said he couldn't do that until after activation occurred. He promised he'd put a note in my account.
After activation a couple days later, the next rep told me there was no note regarding the refund. She also said the refund couldn't happen until after I was billed, not after activation.
All in all, the experience was awful, and it could have been solved with a just a little warning from Amazon about when they said the number porting to happen.
I just flat out love this phone. That's all there is to it. September 21, 2010
This is my first smart phone, so maybe I'm not the most sophistcated reviewer in the world, but so far, this thing does everything I hoped it would (and does it quickly and easily) and a LOT more. I've only had it for a couple weeks so far, and I feel like I've only seen the tip of the iceberg.
I. LOVE. THIS. PHONE.
I LOVE THIS PHONE!!!!!!!!! September 6, 2010
I just bought the Samsung Epic 4G and have no complaints. I will update this review after more usage. But in my opinion between the Evo 4g and the Epic 4g, hands down the Epic wins. I have smaller hands and this phone is not too big. At first I was scared it would be too big for me, because of the dimensions, but you get used to it. The only thing that sucks is that there are not a lot of accessories for it.
I have had it for about a month now and I still don't have complaints. Battery is not great but if you take off gps wifi and 4g options it will last longer. i can go a full day with this and be fine. Talking, texting, navigation. Swype is AWESOME. it predicts what i want to say. Took my phone on a weekend trip and took great pictures. Love the flash feature. Still looking for a case for it. I bought the Zagg Invisible Full Body shield for maximum protection.
Another great thing about the Epic is that you can buy an extra OEM battery and seperate charger for it!!! According to Sprint only Samsung products like instinct and EPIC have this option. The EVO does not and will not have that.
Hope you enjoy your phone as I am. :-)
Buyer Beware -- it could have been an awesome phone! June 8, 2011
Reviewer: JimC (Long Beach, California) -
This phone could have been super awesome. The keyboard is incredible--its big, roomy, and responsive. The screen is amazing. And i found the call quality not too bad (ok this is partially from coming from a 2 year old blackberry)
The phone itself had some bizarre quirks that didn't bother me too much. Then, after the update to 2.2 froyo, the whole thing went to hell. All of the notifications are wacky and pop up randomly and repeatedly. It opens programs at random all the time. It repeatedly plays one particular voicemail on speaker phone at random even if the phone is locked. To complement programs randomly opening, I get several force closes a day on the most basic of programs. It turns on chat clients while I'm sleeping Then upon searching these issues, I'm finding people on forums all over with the same or similar (sometimes worse) problems. Even if I went back to android 2.1, it asks you if you want to update at least once an hour (this is how I updated--i clicked it by accident and then there's no going back).
I returned it--it wasn't worth it to me to jump through all these hopes just to get an expensive phone to work semi normally.
generally works good; lacks samsung support January 27, 2011
Reviewer: xt "kq1111" (Lexington, KY) -
+DURABLE gorilla glass screen
-keyboard doesnt fully register
-LACK OF COMMITMENT FROM SAMSUNG
*buy some spare batteries
because it is a phone, review of hardware is coupled with the software.
first, the screen is almost impervious to scratches, and the rubberized rear cover feels nice. battery cover prys off easily, yet stays on solid. best battery cover implement ive used.
running stock android 2.1, phone is generally responsive, and all of the features (e.g. Gallery) are pretty cool, though of course these are features of the software and not exclusive to this phone
phone feels very flimsy, even compared to other slide-out keyboards (e.g. anything Motorola, or the G2). the 2 halves feel detached from each other. typing on the keyboard even slowly will miss 5-10% of your keypresses!!!!!!!!! many believe this is a function of the firmware. either way it is ANNOYING. it is nice, however, to have a dedicated #row, and hard keys for the android functions (home, menu, back, search).
camera generally very good, front camera is neat, speakerphone is decently loud, audio output on jack is decently good
BIGGEST COMPLAINT IS SAMSUNG IS EXTREMELY EXTREMELY SLOW WITH SOFTWARE UPDATES. SHOWS NO COMMITMENT FROM THE COMPANY. one could speculate it is sprints fault, or it is the american carriers to blame. but fact is the sprint HTC EVO has had 2.2 for a long time, nexus1 has had 2.2 for a long time , and SAMSUNG PHONES have had a long history of slow release. WHOEVER'S FAULT IT IS, ultimately it is the USERS of samsung phones left holding their scrote.
i wont buy another samsung phone.
Great stuff! October 27, 2010
Reviewer: Kyle E. Kneisl (East Coast, USA) -
Over the past few years, in my humble opinion, Samsung has really become a powerhouse of quality. I am slowly changing every piece of electronics I own to Samsung, and I believe with the exception of the hard drive in this computer, this phone now completes my plot.
In short, this phone is an excellent device. The screen is AMOLED (a fairly new technology...before now I have only seen it on my Cowon mp3 player) and is just breathtaking. The slide out keyboard is a huge pleasure to use. A few of the early problems with the software in the phone have long since been fixed and all of these phones are now shipping with the latest updates, etc., and everything I've tried (ventrilo, yahoo messenger, google sky, Clayton Bixby soundboard LOL!, etc.) is just great. My wife at the same time got the HTC EVO 4G, which is a similar phone with almost identical functionalities except that the Evo does *NOT* have the AMOLED technology, nor does it have a keyboard. Compared side by side, the Epic's graphics are better, both in the screen technology, and in the frame rate (e.g., scrolling is ice-smooth in the Epic, and just a touch jerky in the Evo which you notice when they're side by side).
There are two things to point out however:
1) The wi-fi (i.e., to your home router) functionality in the phone is mediocre. The signal strength is not even close to what you'd expect in a device like a laptop. But of course, there's hardly any antenna in there for wi-fi, so what do you expect? Any place in your house to which your wireless router BARELY reaches will be unreachable from the Epic. (e.g., I can't get wifi in this phone on my back porch, and the laptop just barely makes it). This is probably true, uniformly, for any smart phone like this one, so I don't personally count it against the Epic 4G. My wife's EVO might be slightly better, but it's close.
2) The HTC Evo is a SOLID, DENSE piece of equipment with a metal case all around. The Samsung Epic is *NOT*. The Epic merely has sturdy molded plastic. There is a distinct difference in solidity when you hold both of them in your hand, and the Evo is NOTICEABLY heavier as a result.
But overall I'm very happy with this device. All of the complaints about "battery life is too short" seem ridiculous to me. I used the phone all day today on 3G and 4G networks and had over 50% left when I got home. It's 100% that this phone will last a normal person all day long without needing a charge; I have NO IDEA where all these battery complaints are coming from. This is the premium Android experience. Do not hesitate to get this. The marginally smaller screen than the Evo is barely a consideration in my opinion, especially when juxtaposed with the far more awesome AMOLED screen technology and outstanding pull out keyboard.
NOTE: Sprint is ridiculously optimistic in their 4G coverage maps. Do *NOT* expect to get the widespread coverage that they seem to indicate. I'm supposed to get EASY "in-home" 4G at my location...but there isn't even a WHISPER of a 4G signal in here. ZERO. When I go outside, I get ONE BAR and spotty signal. According to Sprint's street level maps, I should have been PINNED even inside the house. But, whatever, this didn't surprise me, and I am sure coverage is improving every day.