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Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch Reviews

 

Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G : The Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch is the first version of the venerable Galaxy S II smartphone to be available from a major carrier in the U.S.

The Epic 4G Touch is slightly different than the global version of the Galaxy S II as well. Samsung has decided to bump the display size up a notch, and the Epic 4G Touch packs support for Sprint's 4G WiMAX network and a bigger battery than the global version.

Processor

Epic 4G with a 1.2 GHz dual core processor and with the 4G network, the device is fastest, state-of-the-art networks are 4G, so naturally, the Epic 4G Touch is designed for speed. With 4G, every download, upload, app, game, connection and feature runs almost as fast as you can push the button. The Epic 4G has 1GB of RAM accompanying it. This fast processor and large amount of RAM, coupled with the fastest graphics chip found on any Android phone to date, give the Epic 4G Touch buttery-smooth performance.

The Samsung Epic 4G Touch is the WiMAX version of the Android 2.3 Gingerbread handset along with carrier based apps and TouchWiz user interface and of course all the usual specifications associated with the Samsung Galaxy S II.

 

The Design

The Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch does a great job at preserving the essence of the original Galaxy S II, while even finding a way to improve on some parts. The Epic 4G Touch performs just as well as its overseas cousin, with a speed and smoothness that is a rarity in the Android world. The Super AMOLED Plus display is as gorgeous as ever, and the extra millimeters of size don't get in the way of its great looks. The Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch is the best phone in Sprint's already impressive lineup.


The Display

The Epic 4G Touch has a spacious 800 x 480 Pixel, 2.32" x 3.87" (4.52") Super AMOLED Plus Screen that's preferred 2 to 1 in side by side tests with the current leading smartphone.  The secret is that the Super AMOLEDâ„¢ Plus has the ability to deliver brilliant colors with the most contrast, providing a vivid and crisp viewing experience.
The handset measures 130mm x 69mm x 9.6mm (5.1in x 2.7in x 0.38in), though it does not have the sub-9mm thinness that the Galaxy S II is so famous for. The Epic 4G Touch is also slightly heavier, at 129g (4.55oz). Despite the added girth and weight, I had no trouble handling the Epic 4G Touch, and it feels much lighter and thinner in the hand than some competitors from HTC, LG, and Motorola. Unfortunately, the reason for that light weight is its all-plastic construction, which can make the Epic 4G Touch feel a bit cheap when compared with other smartphones.

Call quality on the Epic 4G Touch is quite good, and max volume is very loud both for the earpiece and speakerphone with minimum distortion.

The 800 x 480 pixel, 4.52 inch, Super AMOLED screen. The display is so large, that even when the phone is not in landscape view, the touchscreen keyboard is bigger.

 

Camera

The phone has a 8.0 Megapixel rear, 2.0 Megapixel in front, Auto Focus, Shot Modes: Action, Beauty, Cartoon, Panorama, Single, Smile, Geo-tagging, Editing Modes, Camcorder, DivX®, HD Recording, HD Playback (only via adaptor optional accessory), Video Share, TV-Out (only via adaptor optional accessory), Online Image Uploading (Picasa).

The Epic 4G Touch is one of those rare phones where I actually feel comfortable saying you could use it in place of a midrange point-and-shoot — it’s that good, particularly for stills. The 8 megapixel sensor produces shots that only start to look soft if you zoom in really close, but if you’re just browsing through a gallery or using a shot as your desktop wallpaper, it does a stellar job. On the software front, Samsung has definitely put some effort into cleaning up the S II’s viewfinder — all pertinent settings can be reached from a single scrollable pop-up menu. Naturally, Exynos horsepower helps, too; I found autofocusing to be extremely quick, though you still shouldn’t expect to fire off a burst of 3 or 5 shots per second like you can with your DSLR.

 

The video quality is decent, but like all 1080p phones, the highest resolution setting tends to be at the very outer bound of the phone’s capability — the results aren’t exactly what I think of when I hear “1080p.”

The front camera advertises a resolution of 2 megapixels, but don’t be fooled — Samsung didn’t put a lot of time or money into it (nor should they have). It doesn’t seem much better than the VGA and 1.3-megapixel front sensors on other phones — the output is extremely soft — and considering that you’re only going to use it for video calling or the occasional “is my hair okay?” check, that’s just fine.

Connectivity

The edges of the Epic 4G Touch are pretty spartan, with only a volume rocker found on the left side, and a power/sleep/unlock key on the right. The Epic 4G Touch does not have a dedicated camera key. Up top is home to the 3.5mm headphone jack, while the micro-USB port, which also supports MHL for HDMI output, is found on the bottom. The micro-USB port has shed the sliding cover found on the older Epic 4G.

Memory

The handset is packed with 16GB internal memory and can be extended up to 32GB using Micro SDcard

 

Battery


3.7 Volt, Lithium Ion, 1800mAh and Continuous Talk Time: up to 8.7 hours. By continuous browsing on WiMAX with the display on full-time at roughly 65 percent brightness, which yielded 4.2 hours of use. More “typical” use yielded a little over ten hours of use on a mix of WiMAX and Wi-Fi, but I was still browsing heavily and placed one 40-minute phone call along the way.

Software

To Samsung’s credit, they’ve made one key modification here that I think goes a long way toward solving my complaint that it’s too cartoonish: they’ve eliminated the randomly colored squares behind each icon in the app drawer. It’s a small change that makes a big difference.

Sprint and Samsung appear to have shown a lot of restraint regarding third-party apps and crapware. Besides the typical TouchWiz apps, the phone throws in a shortcut to download a trial version of N.O.V.A. 2 HD ($4.99 for the full game), NASCAR, Sprint ID, Sprint Mobile, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint Radio, Sprint TV & Movies, Sprint Zone, and TeleNav GPS. Some — NASCAR and Sprint Music Plus, for instance — can be uninstalled, but some cannot.

Basically, Kies Air is a web server on the Touch that lets you download and upload media and view your text messages, contacts, and call logs from a desktop browser. It couldn’t be simpler to use — start up the app on the phone and use your PC’s browser to connect to the URL it lists (the computer needs to be on the same Wi-Fi network, of course). As soon as you connect, the phone will prompt you to authorize the computer that’s trying to connect, and then you’re good to go. I was able to download the pictures I’d taken en masse using the built-in Java-based utility, which totally got me around the issue of using USB mass storage in the first place. It’s a brilliant feature on Samsung’s part, and it’s something the company should be playing up in all of the S II’s stateside marketing.

Price

The word is Sprint will release the Samsung Epic 4G Touch on the 16th of September and the device will command a price tag of $199 on contract, the AT&T Galaxy S II will follow and apparently T-Mobile will be the last carrier to push out the device.

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