UPDATE: This “first impressions” review was written based on a short time with this device. A more complete version based on extensive testing is available here:
The Samsung Epic 4G Touch will be available exclusively from Sprint on Friday, September 16. Features include a 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen display, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 3G/4G network compatibility, Wi-Fi, and two cameras: 8 megapixel on the back and 2 megapixel for video calls on the front.
Customers can pre-order the phone by purchasing a $50 Sprint gift card in store and setting up an appointment to complete the purchase on the launch date. The Epic 4G Touch will sell for $200 with a new two-year service contract.
BUILD & DESIGN
This is a very large device, which isn’t too surprising since it’s got that giant 4.52-inch, WVGA (800 x 480) display. It’s very thin, but it takes up a lot of real estate in your pocket and you might have to take it out of your pocket in order to sit comfortably.
The screen is quite lovely though, sharp and clear, with truly vibrant colors and not a hint of a pixel anywhere that I could see. Even after using it for just thirty minutes, I can already say that it’s the best display I’ve seen on a mobile phone so far, though of course it’s a tradeoff since the Epic isn’t the most portable of devices.
There’s no physical keyboard, but the on-screen keyboard is actually a joy to use — that big screen means that the virtual keyboard is also quite large, and it is much easier to just “type” without constantly looking at my hands or correcting things because I hit the wrong keys.
The Epic 4G Touch features a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with Android OS 2.3, 1GB of RAM, 2GB of on-board storage, and a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 32GB in capacity. In my preliminary testing I haven’t noticed any major slowdowns or delays; neither have I noticed the particularly blazing fast speed I would expect of a dual-core processor. But of course I haven’t had that long with the device yet. I’ll do full tests and benchmarks for the upcoming comprehensive review.
I connected to my office’s Wi-Fi network in just a few seconds, though I have yet to find a good area for 4G WiMAX service. Again I’ve only used the Epic at my office and at my home, so more testing is necessary.
The 8 megapixel camera looks to be a real upside for this shutterbug, quick to focus and capture the shot. The built-in flash seems particularly powerful, not the disappointing afterthought I’ve come to expect. There’s also a zoom feature up to 4X; initial shots taken at maximum zoom are somewhat underwhelming but more testing is required to determine if there’s a real problem with closeups.
The Samsung Epic 4G Touch is shaping up to be a nice device, and the large display means that it should be a multimedia powerhouse. The screen is gorgeous, and the camera has generally performed well in initial testing.
A full review will follow in the next few days, so be sure to stay tuned here at Brighthand.com to get all the info you need to figure out whether the Epic should be your next handset purchase.