The Samsung Epic 4G Touch is a high-end Android smartphone available now from Sprint. Features include a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 3G/4G network connectivity, Wi-Fi, and two cameras, 8 megapixel on the back and 2 megapixel for video calls on the front.
The Epic Touch, Sprint's version of the Galaxy S II, is costs $200 with a new two-year service contract.
BUILD & DESIGN
This is one of the biggest phones that I've reviewed in recent memory, but it's not the sort of thing that you really notice until you try to sit down with it in your pocket. The device is very wide, but it's right under the limit of where it would be difficult or uncomfortable to hold.
It's very thin too, which certainly helps. The back of the device is textured, but in a good way -- it increases grip without being too sharp or annoying, though it does seem to hold on to dust in a major way. I found myself cleaning off the back of the phone almost as often as the front!
The display truly is epic, so you could say that this phone is well-named. The 4.52-inch display is one of the largest I've ever used, and I really enjoyed being able to interact with the content on the device, rather than wasting a lot of my time scrolling and squinting.
The Super AMOLED Plus display is indeed super sharp, and I just can't say enough good things about this screen. There was nary a pixel or jaggy edge to be seen, and I am also quite pleased by the outdoor performance of this display. With some phones you have to adjust the brightness, adjust your position and the viewing angle, etc. just to get a glimpse of what's on the screen. I didn't have that problem with the Epic Touch, which makes it much more useful as an on the go navigation and entertainment device.
There's no physical keyboard here, so you'll be using the virtual QWERTY keyboard on the display. That large screen makes this easier than usual; the virtual keys are a bit larger than normal and therefore easier to hit with more accuracy.
Other Buttons & Controls
The power button is on the top right side of the phone, which I found to be a source of endless frustration. It's a little thing perhaps, and unimportant to most, but not to me. I think it's because I'm left-handed, and I generally use smartphones with one hand -- I had to adjust my grip every time I turned the phone on. The button just isn't in the right spot (it's "supposed" to be on the top edge of the phone) and the Epic unlock screen requires a swipe up and to the right, starting on the bottom left corner.
The volume up/down buttons are on the left side of the phone; you can also use them to control the camera's zoom level. The headphone headphone jack is the only thing you'll find on the top of the phone, and the micro USB charge/sync port is on the bottom.
The microSD card slot is located underneath the back cover of the phone, which is easy to remove. That card slot is not under the battery, which is a welcome change -- it's easy to swap out cards if you need to do so, and you won't have to power down your phone.
The Menu, Home, Back, and Search buttons on the front of the device under the display aren't real physical buttons, but capacitive touchscreen buttons. They work well enough, though I would rather have had actual buttons, since they're easier to locate and use in low light conditions.
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