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Samsung Epic 4G Review

Posted: , by Brian K.

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Camera:

Like the HTC EVO 4G, the Epic 4G is equipped with dual cameras. In this case Samsung has utilized a 5 megapixel rear-shooter with LED flash, complemented by a forward-facing VGA cam. This allows the Epic to use video chat applications like the pre-loaded Qik.

Picture quality was fairly good using the main camera. In our testing we found outdoor images to be pretty true to reality. Detail was good, lines were generally crisp and color reproduction was accurate. The Epic 4G features touch autofocus, allowing the user to choose what part of the image to focus on. As usual, the sensor size may not be up to par with the big boys but the picture quality was just as good, if not better. Speed was also good as well, autofocus takes about a second and from there the image can be captured in about half a second. With the review turned off you can capture two images in about 5 seconds.

The camera interface - Samsung Epic 4G Review
The camera interface - Samsung Epic 4G Review

The camera interface


Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review
Outdoor samples taken with Samsung Epic 4G - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Outdoor samples taken with Samsung Epic 4G - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Outdoor samples taken with Samsung Epic 4G - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Outdoor samples taken with Samsung Epic 4G - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Outdoor samples taken with Samsung Epic 4G - Samsung Epic 4G Review

Outdoor samples taken with Samsung Epic 4G


Strong light - Indoor pictures - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Medium light - Indoor pictures - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Indoor pictures - Samsung Epic 4G Review

Strong light

Medium light

 

Indoor pictures


Video can be captured at 720p, and results were quite good. We’ve seen better results from some phones that are camera-oriented, but this is without a doubt the best video phone for Sprint. (It is the third phone the carrier has offered with HD video recording, behind the Samsung Instinct HD and HTC EVO 4G.)

Samsung Epic 4G sample video 1 at 1280x720 pixels resolution.
Samsung Epic 4G sample video 2 at 1280x720 pixels resolution.



Multimedia:


Samsung utilizes the standard Android music player, which is fine. The player offers everything you could really ask for, save an EQ, but is quite serviceable. It could definitely use a fresh coat of paint however. The general layout is easy enough to navigate, but it looks dated.

Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review

Let’s cut to the chase: there’s a good chance you’ll be looking at the Epic 4G because of the Super AMOLED display, and there is nowhere it shines more than for playing movies. We’re quite happy to report that the Epic handled every single one of our test files; we use H.264, MPEG-4, XviD and DivX in various resolutions and bitrates and rarely does a phone like every one of them. Our test files top at out 720p and the Epic played them like a champ, even though that is higher than the native 480x800 resolution.  There were no hiccups or stutters, videos played smoothly and flawlessly. If entertainment is your main concern then the Epic 4G is the phone for you (though we found ourselves wanting a kickstand!)

The AllShare app allows the Samsung Epic 4G to play nicely with any DNLA compliant device connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This means you can do things like stream music from your home computer or pictures to your TV. Samsung’s Media Hub will allow the user to rent and buy TV shows and movies directly from the device. The service is not yet up and running however so we were not able to test it out. Check back later for an update once the service becomes available.

Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G Review


Software and Connectivity:

As an Android handset the Samsung Epic 4G has access to over 75k applications via the Android Market, so the variety is great. There are a few preloaded apps, such as Qik and Asphalt 5, as well as the Sprint apps like Sprint TV, NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, Sprint Navigation and the new Sprint Football Live which replaces NFL Mobile but now incorporates the college game as well. Samsung has included a file manager, memo pad and ThinkFree. ThinkFree is a full Microsoft Office compatible suite that offers local and online document storage, and allows for creation and editing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Despite its multimedia prowess the Epic’s hardware QWERTY lends itself to the suits quite nicely.

Samsung Epic 4G has access to over 75k applications via the Android Market - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G has access to over 75k applications via the Android Market - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G has access to over 75k applications via the Android Market - Samsung Epic 4G Review
Samsung Epic 4G has access to over 75k applications via the Android Market - Samsung Epic 4G Review

Samsung Epic 4G has access to over 75k applications via the Android Market


The WebKit-based Android browser is of course on board to serve you, and it does provide for a great overall experience, compared to most of the competition. Pages load very fast, and scrolling is generally smooth, while zooming can be accomplished by double-tap or multi-touch. We actually prefer the latter method, since double-tap doesn't work really great in Android. Of course, the advantage of this browser is that it can reformat the text so it fits your desired zoom level exactly. It does lack Flash Player 10.1 to give you that full web experience, but we have every reason to believe that it will get it with the upcoming Android 2.2 OS update.

The Samsung Epic 4G offers just about any means of connection you could need. Locally it supports Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR with support for the HSP 1.2, HFP 1.5, OPP, PBA, A2DP 1.2, AVRC profiles. On the cellular side it has EVDO Rev. A for 3G data and WiMAX for 4G. We got to test out 4G recently in Vegas and despite a weak signal speeds were about three times faster than what we were pulling with 3G on the down, and about four times faster on the up. Sprint would do well to be aggressive with their 4G rollout if they want to take advantage of their first-to-market status. There are now two crazy powerful phones available, it would be nice if more people could use it.

35 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 1

1. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2962; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


the cons are really dumb but at least they gave it a score this phone dwarves. im seriously considering selling my droid x and getting this phone.

posted on 27 Aug 2010, 12:19

12. rwolf1984 (Posts: 518; Member since: 06 Jun 2009)


i agree. the phone does not feel cheap or "plasticy"...i played with one for hours yesterday and i loved it. i did not see any of the issues or complaints that ive seen on phone arena or any of the other reviews i've read. it feels really nice and the OS boots up faster than the EVO and its snappier. it has a lot of built in enhancements like a real task manager. Sense is great, but I think Samsung has perfected the Android overlay. Some people dont like it cuz it reminds them of the iPhone and others just arent aware of the features. Samsung really put a lot into this phone to make it quality and battery-efficient. i cant wait to get mine on monday!!!!

posted on 04 Sep 2010, 04:37

27. DonkeyPunched (Posts: 321; Member since: 10 Jan 2010)


I have it and I must say, its well worth the money. I didn't read the full review and just wanted to get to the pros and cons, but two things I noticed about this phone that I've run into a problem with is first, there are some situations where the phone freezes the 4 touch buttons, so I can't press home to get back to the main menu. Instead, I have to shut it off and turn it back on which has actually happened twice today. The other problem is the texting. If you start to text fast, it starts to not render keys. So every 10 keys, 1 key won't be inputed. :\ happened many times when texting my friends. That's about it though. Hope this is helpful to everyone.

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 07:43

2. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2962; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


the cons are really dumb but at least they gave it a score this phone dwarves. im seriously considering selling my droid x and getting this phone.

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 07:44

3. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2962; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


the cons are really dumb but at least they gave it a score this phone deserves. im seriously considering selling my droid x and getting this phone.

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 07:44

4. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2962; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


the cons are really dumb but at least they gave it a score this phone deserves. im seriously considering selling my droid x and getting this phone.

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 11:09

5. chaosnightmare (Posts: 39; Member since: 20 May 2010)


certainly, cons are retard, is like put "lacks physical qwerty keyboard" in the cons of evo or iphone 4, however it'a a good review (unlike the original galaxy s' one) and a good score for the best phone in the market

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 13:09

8. bucky (Posts: 1384; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


best phone on the market? samsung will forget about it in 2-3 months. Good phone, yes.

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 19:07

9. chaosnightmare (Posts: 39; Member since: 20 May 2010)


well, acordding this site evo was the best phone in the market, this phone is better than evo, so... this is the best phone, it doesn't have serious cons and even with the biased review of the iphone 4, this phone reached the same score. and who cares about samsung, they will bring froyo to this phone, an then there will be a lot of custom firms that, just like in the omnia hd, will be better than the official ones

posted on 27 Aug 2010, 08:33

11. bucky (Posts: 1384; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


hopefully there will be pleanty of support for it. There isnt any for the captivate/galaxy S right now. Why exactly is an iphone review a biased review? Check the home page of this site...its all android! I have also used the iphone 4 before selling it for a desire and its an absolutely amazing phone-just no customization, thats all.

posted on 28 Aug 2010, 10:48

16. WKlingbeil (Posts: 215; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)


Haha, that is a funny con list, "no kickstand?" How many people actually use that feature on the Evo? It's cool to have, but not cool enough to consider a phone that doesn't have it a con. Not to mention the whole "personalization pack not necessarily needed," well is anything on these phones NEEDED? Also, on the iPhone 4 I don't have any idea how it received a 9.5. It's the same freaking phone, they have innovated nothing since the first one. Nothing on their phone is new, they're just catching up to the rest of the phone manufacturers at this point. They can't even claim the largest screen on the market anymore. It's just a little tweaking on the same phone they've regurgitated 4 times now, and naive Apple fanboys keep eating it.

posted on 30 Aug 2010, 13:34

23. distroy3d (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Oct 2009)


It's funny how the personalization pack is a con, because if the phone had no personalization pack then they would have listed that as a con, too!

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 11:25

6. doitall76 (Posts: 17; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


The next time that you take a sample video, try not to have the music cranked, microphone in the wind, and (maybe I am the only one who finds this wrong) not speeding through the cemetary. I mean REALLY, you used a cemetary for your video sample. Next time use a park or something not so depressing. Otherwise, good review. Doitall76

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 21:26

10. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


agreed; +1, agreed; +1, and agreed; +1

posted on 26 Aug 2010, 11:28

7. doitall76 (Posts: 17; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


I also find that some of the con's are knit-picking, but you do need to list why any particular phone isn't a 10. The Samsung UI, I would agree with. Standard Android can stand on its own, especially (as they pointed out) if it creates delays in rolling out updates. Doitall76

posted on 04 Sep 2010, 04:40

28. DonkeyPunched (Posts: 321; Member since: 10 Jan 2010)


Well, I actually like Samsung's UI, but as Android users should know by now, you can download Launcher Pro for free and completely customize it, either changing it to work just like stock android (actually, it works even better because there is no lag between switching pages) or make up your own stuff. I've been able to install it on my Epic and it works just like it used to on my Nexus.

posted on 27 Aug 2010, 12:20

13. rwolf1984 (Posts: 518; Member since: 06 Jun 2009)


i pre-ordered this phone on monday and i cant wait to pick it up!!!!!

posted on 27 Aug 2010, 14:34

14. Jayv1717 (unregistered)


played with it for hours..but was pretty eager to get back to the evo..it is a beautiful phone, i like it a lot but idk it was lacking something that just made me want my cyanogen evo back..plus people really underestimate the power of the kickstand and the screen on the evo..very useful and i also agree with the personalization pack not being to good...if you played with a evo then you realize that these are nit picky cons but very viable

posted on 27 Aug 2010, 17:12

15. Mtsunami31 (unregistered)


Agree with the Comment in the review regarding the build quality, the Epic feels and looks cheap compared to the Evo, u cant compare Samsungs build quailty to HTC'S thats just my opinion. To be fair its a simple choice between the two do u want a keypad or not, cant go wrong with either phone..........U know the funniest thing when people want to see my Evo or when im going at it with the Iphone guys or Blackberry guys at work its always the Kickstand thats the gamebreaker the simpliest thing impresses people the most

posted on 28 Aug 2010, 10:51

17. WKlingbeil (Posts: 215; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)


It's hard to say the build quality on the Evo is better because the Epic has the gorilla glass. The Evo's screen is so delicate, but the Epic's can take a beating. Aside from the screen though, HTC does have the better build quality, feels sturdier.

posted on 28 Aug 2010, 12:47

18. deeoh1084 (Posts: 48; Member since: 30 Dec 2009)


i'm pretty sure you can make the application menu in alphabetical order and also change the bottom 4 icons just like the vibrant and captivate maybe he doesn't know how to change them?????? (i have samsung vibrant and at first i thought i couldn't change the 4 icons but actually u just have to press the menu key and change the view type to customizable grid view and press menu again to edit and also u can make it into alphabetical grid view by changing the view type to Alphabetical Grid View...) maybe Epic 4G is different?? hope not

posted on 28 Aug 2010, 22:29

19. WKlingbeil (Posts: 215; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)


Well, I rooted my Moment with the Interceptor ROM (which has the same interface as the Epic), and all I had to do was hit menu when I was in the app drawer, select edit, and drag the icons down to the tray. You may have to drag the icons from the tray first, but it should be the same.

posted on 29 Aug 2010, 16:42

20. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


Unlike the Vibrant and Captivate, the Epic 4G does not allow you to customize the static icons. As for the app menu, it appears that they go to alphabetical after a restart. Perhaps ours is just odd, but when we download a new app it goes at the end of the list instead of the proper place in the menu. Once we restart the phone it is in its proper alphabetical spot. We must not have restarted the phone at the time of publication, but the review will be updated accordingly.

posted on 30 Aug 2010, 01:22

21. FreakyLocz14 (unregistered)


I heard this device cannot view YouTube in HQ. That would suck because I watch lots of YouTube and am in a 4G area so they load quickly on HQ/HD.

posted on 30 Aug 2010, 04:48

22. MobileAllStar (unregistered)


That would be sad if it didn't support HQ YouTube but, it isn't necessary that the actual YouTube app itself support HQ... Any mobile phone can access HQ YouTube within the browser by typingWWW.m.youtube.com. Bookmark it and you're set!

posted on 02 Sep 2010, 02:45

24. panda6978 (unregistered)


I really liked the Evo but hated the on-screen keyboard, so now I'm in love with this phone with it's physical keyboard. But I do not want to go back to a phone that does not have text tones. Does anyone know if you can assign seperate tones to each contact's text messages?

posted on 02 Sep 2010, 20:33

26. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)


handcent will let you do that, as well as many other things. its much better than the stock sms app

posted on 02 Sep 2010, 07:57

25. tzpike05 (unregistered)


Just got my epic yesterday. Loving it so far. To answer pandas question, Use handcent sms and you can assign custom ring tones to any contact. also I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone talk about swype. i like it for the most part. Rarely do I need to correct anything.

posted on 08 Sep 2010, 05:15

29. oliver17 (unregistered)


where can I buy the way I live in Denmark

posted on 09 Sep 2010, 09:19

30. oceababa10 (unregistered)


where do i get handcent?

posted on 13 Sep 2010, 07:39

31. funtastic (unregistered)


Certainly one of the best smart phones I've seen.

posted on 08 Nov 2010, 13:59

32. KeepNTouch (unregistered)


I returned this phone because I did not feel it was worth the money. I felt the call quality was garbled at times and that was too much money to spend when I had to constantly repeat myself because others could not hear my voice clearly.

posted on 07 Sep 2011, 20:58

33. TomT (unregistered)


Out of the box the Epic is not able to sync with Outlook. A major flaw. It can sync with a corporate Outlook Exchange Server, but not plain old Outlook on your PC. Yes you can do work arounds with Google apps but most people don't want to fool around with that. My new Windows 7 PC doesn't even recognize it as a connected device.

posted on 10 Oct 2011, 14:51

34. Shannong (unregistered)


This is possibly the worst phone I have EVER had, and I get a new phone almost every year. Just saying....my personal experience. Screw the ratings....this phone sucks. I will shortly explain...freezes up almost daily to where i have to take the battery out to use it and wait 5 min for it to load again. Honestly that is enough to make me hate it.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 18:22

35. MrPearlyWhite (Posts: 6; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)


I have the phone, and have had since it released. Its still working like a thoroughbred, with the exceptions of me having to get the keyboard replaced once earlier this year. Since I couldnt get ICS on it, I had to root the device and get it. Just like a brand new device to me. Not sure why but if anyone is thinking about getting this device, choose wisely bc there are of course better options out there.

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Samsung Epic 4G

Samsung Epic 4G

OS: Android 2.3 2.2 2.1
view full specs
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 3, Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
512 MB RAM
Size4.90 x 2.54 x 0.56 inches
(124 x 65 x 14 mm)
5.46 oz  (155 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 6 hours talk time

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