Samsung Epic 4G Touch Review
Lamborghini began shipping the Aventador this year to replace the Murcielago. Ferrari recently made the 458 Italia more track ready with the 458 Italia GTC. In June HTC released the EVO 3D, last month Motorola launched the Droid Bionic and now Samsung is here with the Epic 4G Touch, a Galaxy S II device for Sprint. Just as these Italian supercars compete for supremacy on the track, Android superphones are competing for pocket space. Samsung has upped the ante even from the original Galaxy S II by giving the Epic 4G Touch a 4.52” Super AMOLED Plus display to go along with a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video capture and 16GB of on-board memory with an 1800mAh battery, all wrapped in a package that’s just 9.6mm thin.
The Epic 4G Touch is similar to the Galaxy S II we reviewed back in May. The most notable design change is the increased screen size - it now sits at 4.52”, up from 4.3”- and now has four capacitive buttons at the bottom instead of two and a physical button. It is about 1mm thicker, a difference that goes relatively unnoticed in the hand. With the screen size even bigger than the HTC EVO 3D and Motorola PHOTON 4G you’d think the Epic 4G Touch would be bordering on too large. To the contrary, it actually feels pretty comfortable in our medium-sized hands and it nearly gets lost when we slide it into our front pocket.
You can compare the Samsung Epic 4G Touch with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
That extra millimeter of thickness means that the antenna hump on the back of the phone is virtually non-existent and the camera housing sits nearly flush to the battery door. The door isn’t soft touch, but is textured to give it a bit more grip. We’ve come to expect a plastic feel to Samsung phones and the Epic 4G Touch is no exception, but there is a better feeling of quality than with the original Epic 4G. Of course the use of plastic over metal housings found on other high end devices means that the Epic 4G Touch comes in at a scant 4.6oz, significantly lighter than its HTC and Motorola counterparts. This combination of thin and light are what allows us to carry the Epic 4G Touch without noticing it.
The 4.52” WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display is as bright and as vivid as it gets. As with previous Super AMOLED panels the color saturation is cranked up to 11, which makes the colors pop against the deep blacks but also makes it unnatural at times. Everybody has their own opinion about the technology, but the large, bright screen is a joy to look at. The viewing angles are extreme and even in bright sunlight we were able to use the phone with no issues. The 480x800 resolution on the 4.52" inch screen results in 206ppi, which is rather on the lower side these days.
The power and volume rocker are the only two physical keys and offer good feedback to let you know they’ve been pressed. Though the volume rocker is one button, there is a noticeable gap between up and down to distinguish between the two functions. Still, it is rather small especially on such a large phone and we would have liked to see a larger button. A physical camera button is as conspicuously missing on the Epic 4G Touch as it is conspicuously present on the EVO 3D. With so much empty space around the side there really is no reason the user should have to rely on on-screen controls. Still, the Epic 4G Touch is a well-designed phone overall and we would love to have it in our pockets.
1. first (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 05:58 11 0
Don't forget the added notification light, seems everyone else has been a big fan of this.
2. ecml490 (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 06:05 10 1
Those cons are not a big deal...
26. Kjayhawk posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:32 0 0
Yeah thats why the phone got a 9. It wasn't perfect because it doesn't have a camera key. I thought for sure a con would have been because it was so late coming to the United States... I would have flipped if that was one. a 9 is a good score
37. Andy (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:20 1 0
I dunno if that's really a con tho. I don't find the camera key being all that useful. On my Epic, I only use the camera key to launch the camera app. Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time getting good in focus shots because the key responds so slow.
I find it's much easier to use the on screen key since I just push and hold until it's focused, and then release to take the picture.
21. The_Miz posted on 19 Sep 2011, 10:54 3 17
LTE is overrated like everything else in Android
23. the_mizzus (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:00 17 2
retina display is overrated, so is glass front and back.. just like everything else in iPhone..
see how i play with your words?
really now, stop doing these kinds of silly trolling.. it makes you look desperate and uneducated...
43. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:40 5 0
you mean typing? xD
49. The_Miz posted on 19 Sep 2011, 15:44 0 6
Failure in common sense
38. The_Miz posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:24 0 6
Why are you so worried about me jizzing?
42. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:33 4 0
i'm not, you just would.
50. The_Miz posted on 19 Sep 2011, 15:44 0 6
I have a woman for that
60. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 16:54 9 0
on your computer screen.
41. Tmachaveli posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:29 8 0
He jizzes with his iphone now he don't need no LTE to do that lol
51. The_Miz posted on 19 Sep 2011, 15:44 0 5
You're just mad they don't have an app for a virtual gf
61. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 16:55 7 0
yeah, if there was Miz would know! ;P
71. biophone posted on 19 Sep 2011, 19:00 0 0
I would. As long as the bat life is good.
80. Cinnamon posted on 20 Sep 2011, 01:03 4 0
Man you killed it...
94. John (unregistered) posted on 22 Sep 2011, 11:48 0 0
Buddy Lte isn't only android, it's a data connection that will eventually be available on the iphone. Just wait more than a year and you will eventually be able to have lte on your iphone. Then you will realize what your missing.
4. Isseyphresh posted on 19 Sep 2011, 06:47 7 2
Those are not cons, they're personal preferences, so don't list them as such. I for one actually prefer TW it's lightweight and accelerated. The volume rocker is fine, how big do you want it? geez. Lastly, a dedicated camera button doesn't qualify as a com for a smartphone. Why, because it's a phone not a camera. I rarely use my phone for snapping photos, therefore would hardly consider the lack of a dedicated camera button a con. I'm sure I'm not alone on this either. A con has to bea universally accepted flaw. Not just something you don't like personally. I would consider the power button and volume rocker placement more of flaw/con. They sit practically directly across from one another. Making it somewhat difficult to press one without the other while operating the device one handed
6. remixfa posted on 19 Sep 2011, 06:54 1 0
i dont find the lack of a camera button to be a big deal, as im used to not having one. Having one is nice though as it makes getting to the camera a bit quicker, but its not really "necessary" anymore as most of us have gotten used to not having them.
35. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 13:57 0 0
like it or not Reviews are made from personal preference. the only reason they nit-picked like that is because this handset borderlines so close to perfect that being serious about the little things became necessary to know whether or not it could be regarded as a perfect handset. as a very much critical person myself giving a perfect 10 to a device is much more involved than even a 9.5.
82. lamb (unregistered) posted on 20 Sep 2011, 04:08 0 0
exactly, i would like to see them list iphone4/5 cons when iphone dont have dedicated camera button
5. Isseyphresh posted on 19 Sep 2011, 06:52 2 0
...which has the potential to effect everyone who purchases the device, not just the author.
7. E (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 07:19 4 0
I dont understand why you would want LTE on any phone from Verizon / AT&T if you can only use 5GB a month without getting raped in overage. They talk about how fast their network is which is fine, but I can chew 5GB in a day easy. What good is the speed if you are limited on how you use it? Give me unlimited WiMax which is a little slower which is fine as long it doesn't cause me to take out a loan to pay my next phone bill.
12. tech-head posted on 19 Sep 2011, 08:28 0 0
Please explain how you use more than 5GB a day......
16. SF Steven (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 09:31 1 0
Streaming video...downloading pr0n while tethering on your laptop...video chatting...
24. Laron (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:27 1 0
Constantly streaming movies seems like the only logical way to reach 5GB in a day; I don't think there is anything else that would cause you to use 5GB of data in a day.
57. Commentator posted on 19 Sep 2011, 16:04 0 0
5GB per day is irrelevant. The limit is 5GB per month, and E makes a good point about that. It seems like if you had LTE you'd just be using your monthly allowance faster, although if you used less than 5GB per month then you'd be perfectly fine.
8. bam99 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 07:23 0 0
I held the phone and noticed there is no hdmi output or is it via the usb???
10. SuperAndroidEvo posted on 19 Sep 2011, 07:35 3 0
Dude it's called a MHL-port! That is how the HDMI works.
9. SuperAndroidEvo posted on 19 Sep 2011, 07:34 5 0
Well add another great phone to Sprint's insane line up. It's funny that between both Verizon & AT&T they control almost 80% of the U.S. market but FAIL to carry the best phones. Sprint at #3 has the HTC Evo 3D, the Motorola Photon 4G, & now the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. All are dual-core, have unlimited data & have WiMAX 4G. All in all the Sprint has the best phones, not to mention one of the very first phones to get Android Ice Cream Sandwich in the Samsung Nexus S 4G.
15. SF Steven (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 09:27 1 1
Ice Cream Sandwich is still ~2 months away from being released, the Nexus S 4G definitely doesn't have it.
In fact, the latest buzz suggests that the first phone to have Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Verizon exclusive Samsung Galaxy S II Nexus Prime LTE/BFD/BYOB/etc.
28. SuperAndroidEvo posted on 19 Sep 2011, 12:07 0 0
I know the Nexus S 4G doesn't have it, because like you said my good man "Ice Cream Sandwich is still ~2 months away from being released". The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will have Ice Cream Sandwich first & the second phone to get it will most definitely be the Samsung Nexus S. Thank you for just saying what I said.
18. Allday28 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 09:50 1 1
its sounding like Verizon might be passing up Sprint soon in that department..
36. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:06 1 1
all of Sprint's phones fail in at least one way to the Droid Bionic. the Droid Bionic is actually nearly better in every way than the EVO 3D and Photon 4G and the Epic 4G Touch hangs above the Bionic by the thread that is Exynos. the Droid Bionic is just the beginning of the onslaught. for the time being Sprint does have a vast array of powerful handsets but Verizon is about to have devices to outshine all of Sprints flagship devices.
Droid Bionic > Photon 4G
Vigor > EVO 3D
Nexus Prime > Nexus S/Epic 4G Touch
53. RORYREVOLUTION posted on 19 Sep 2011, 15:48 2 2
The Nexus Prime isnt even out yet and by a thread the Epic 4G Touch beats the Bionic? Please, the display is bigger and better, the Droid Bionic is freaking pixelated and the phone is so laggy compared to the Epic Touch that it wins by a landslide. I'm not talking about scores, I'm talking about daily use. You can turn off flash completely on the Bionic and run full flash on the Epic Touch and it's still much smoother and faster than the Bionic. Yes the Bionic has LTE and that is obviously faster but you are also paying 100 dollars more and really beats the purpose if you aren't in a strong LTE area.
By all means, the Bionic is not a bad phone, but the Epic Touch has better battery, larger and super amoled plus display which I would take over any pentile display any day no matter the screen resolution. It has a better camera on both the back and obviously the front(2 Megapixels vs VGA) and better video recording. Again, the Epic Touch's processor can't even be touched, it's so beyond the competition.
58. paynekiller posted on 19 Sep 2011, 16:06 0 0
Pentile display, is that what is on the Atrix? I absolutely hate looking on that screen it's like I'm looking at separated pixels.
64. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 17:17 0 0
i wasn't very pleased with it myself but after i put those feelings aside and used it for a few days it really wasn't such a big deal.
62. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 17:12 1 1
yet the Nexus Prime has already created a big stir in the tech world. it's making the Droid Bionic look like a foot note in Verizon's line-up. it does have a bigger screen but it being better is a matter of taste. the Bionic's screen is still qHD and i don't even notice pixelation anymore on my Droid 3 or my Droid Bionic. the Bionic is smooth enough being a phone without Exynos which i did give title of being the most powerful to but it's still only a little better than the OMAP4 not to mention it's clocked higher and since we're not talking about scores here then clocking a processor even a little higher does make for noticeable real world improvement. price is irrelevant in a world with Amazon, Wirefly & Costco. there's already third party deals that make the Bionic cheaper than buying the Epic 4G Touch straight from Sprint and there's third party deals that make the Epic 4G Touch even cheaper than that but at a sub $200 price range it just comes down to the phone's capabilities and LTE as you should know is worth giving up a slightly better front facing camera (which i haven't even seriously used on my Droid 3 yet) the slightly bigger screen and the slightly better processing power. what makes you think the Epic 4G Touch's video recording is better than the Bionic's? i've seen the functionality on both phones praised pretty equally.
59. Commentator posted on 19 Sep 2011, 16:09 2 0
Unless you're holding the phone 8 inches from your face, the higher pixel density on the Bionic doesn't matter anyways, and I'd take the color/contrast production from the Super AMOLED screen any day of the week. I just got my dad an the Epic Touch 4G for his birthday when it launched and, for the few hours I helped him figure it out (he's not all that great with this newfangled technology) it was unlike anything I'd ever used. It instantly switched me from being an HTC fanboy to being a Samsung fanboy.
63. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 17:15 1 1
i'd take SA+ myself but i wouldn't give up Verizon and LTE for it. if the Galaxy S II had came to Verizon with LTE and Exynos it would be a no-brainer but it didn't so the Bionic is still in a threatening position against the Epic 4G Touch's status as being the best.
72. twenti7 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 19:37 1 1
Dude what are you talking about? The only thing that the Bionic has going for it to make it "better" is LTE. Without that, both the EVO 3D and Photon are just as good, if not slightly better, and the SGSIIE4GT utterly blows it away.
73. Thump3rDX17 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 19:59 1 1
the Bionic has the OMAP4 along with 1GB of dual-channel LPDDR2 RAM, it has the much more refined version of the Motorola Application's platform and yes it has LTE. as far as performance is concerned the Bionic is by all means better than both the Photon and the EVO 3D and if the Epic 4G Touch didn't have Exynos it would be far less appealing and it would fall to the Bionic and you know it. the fact of the matter is the knowledge of Exynos' power accents everything else about the Galaxy S II without it then the Galaxy S II would just be another dual-core offering, a good dual-core offering but nothing special.
84. SuperAndroidEvo posted on 20 Sep 2011, 11:37 1 1
Thump3rDX17 I am a huge HTC fan boy, but even with LTE the Droid Bionic doesn't compare to the Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G Touch. That phone is the best money can buy period by a landslide. All I would need to do is overclock the Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G Touch to be 1.5 GHz & it will be exactly the same as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus without the high resolution display. Facts are facts the Droid Bionic is the best now on Verizon's weak lineup of single-core LTE phones & dual-core 3G phones. When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus comes out it will completely murder the outdated Droid Bionic's components in EVERY way possible. The Sprint phones like the HTC Evo 3D & the Motorola Photon 4G are definitely in the Droid Bionic's level (it should be the other way around since the Droid Bionic came out after BOTH the HTC Evo 3D & the Motorola Photon 4G set the standard), NOTHING is on the level of the Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G Touch, NOTHING! Again this is coming from one of the biggest HTC fan boy who utterly loves his rooted HTC Evo 3D running the alpha version of CM7 @ 1.5GHz. My phone is beast right now. Super beastly, I can’t imagine what the Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G Touch would be doing running the alpha version of CM7 @ 1.5GHz. My mind just goes crazy when I think about that! That is the power of the Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G Touch! Clearly the best in the world undisputed by a landslide! lol
86. Thump3rDX17 posted on 20 Sep 2011, 13:06 0 0
as you know nearly everything on a smartphone is data driven, data speeds are as important as a processor and LTE is a good 2x faster than WiMAX. the only trade off that might be worth giving up LTE for is Exynos like i said. everything else is irrelevant. you MIGHT not even have to overclock the Epic 4G Touch to be more powerful than the Nexus Prime w/ an OMAP4, that's not the point, the Nexus Prime will have the benefits of ICS out of the box along with LTE. the Bionic maybe the only phone on the line-up with it all right now but it's better than most of Sprint's entire line-up, that's what matters, quality not quantity my friend, that's funny, i don't remember a version of the Photon at CES. the Photon is in every way inferior to the Bionic except for it being a global device, that's it. the HTC EVO 3D is inferior spec-wise but if you like HTC more then that's you but the Bionic is the better phone. now when it comes to the Bionic vs. the Epic 4G Touch, they both have trade offs but with the Bionic you're not giving up much to get nearly over twice the data speeds, that'll be the case with all of Verizon's new Superphones that'll be out by the end of the year.
87. SuperAndroidEvo posted on 20 Sep 2011, 14:42 0 0
You are over paying to get LTE. I am good with 6 to 12 Mbps with Sprint WiMAX. I will most certainly never pay what Verizon charges for their LTE. With Sprint you get unlimited data, something that Verizon just can't do. So when you are capped at 2GB's or whatever I will keep going. Also the specs on the Droid Bionic are only good compared to Verizon's weak line up. Sprint's lineup is the BEST in the U.S. & that is the bottom line. There is just no dispute on the subject. That is not to mention the unlimited data. So great your Droid Bionic is fast but when you reach your limit then it's just a very nice paper weight. With any Sprint super phone you can keep going with no throttling & no caps. You are right LTE is 2x faster great so you get to watch your video 3 to 4 seconds faster than me, I will give you that. But the moment you cap then I can watch everything you can't because of my unlimited plan. So if data speeds are very important to you then so should the cap problem Verizon has. Sprint has no such problem so my HTC Evo 3D keeps humming while your Droid Bionic just sits there collecting dust!
88. bolaG posted on 20 Sep 2011, 16:33 1 0
Your talking to Grand Daddy Verizon users. We have unlimited as well.
On a side note
89. Thump3rDX17 posted on 20 Sep 2011, 16:35 0 0
i'm not over paying for anything. i'm grandfathered into my unlimited plan for my 4 lines. i can even have unlimited tethering if i want it. i was smart. anyone else that failed to see the big picture now has to go to Sprint to get their unlimited data and settle for one of their phones with slower 4G service. what do you mean the Bionic is only as good as Verizon's line up? i'm pretty sure you only need one phone to be any good. it's not like you can stack the specs of Sprint's entire line-up against the Bionic's specs, it doesn't work that way. sure Sprint has the diversity now but if you're smart and you're sure you want an HTC device then we've got the Vigor coming for you and you should wait the few weeks or whatever it is for it.
44. jroc74 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:58 0 0
Considering it took Sprint long enough to finally get some decent Android phones...
And Verizon's total Android line up was the best until basically this year...
Its about time. Cuz before the EVO 4G what Android phone on Sprint was even worth getting? Until this year it was the EVO 4G, EPIC 4G,...and thats it. Every other nice Android phone on Sprint came out this year.
11. taz89 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 08:19 1 0
lol just like the original review...could not find any real cons...when a phone is the best just say it pa...you never put cons like these on other phones...lol you say tw does not hinder performance but its best left out...you never say that for sense which can hinder performance as it uses so much ram
33. Tmachaveli posted on 19 Sep 2011, 13:46 3 1
please stop it you dont want to go there stop trolling thank u FIz
40. The_Miz posted on 19 Sep 2011, 14:25 1 6
It's the truth, the cold hard truth. Suck it up.
54. RORYREVOLUTION posted on 19 Sep 2011, 15:48 3 0
and I'm sure you all made them that way....literally.
79. AKm007 posted on 19 Sep 2011, 22:31 1 0
- It's an is**t(purposely spelled that way)
- It's a expensive brick that can't even make a call.
- It's another hyped up piece of crap.
- It will always be the worst piece of crap no matter what.
- It's made by a company who's advertising dept is the only one that seems to be doing well.
- It brainwashes anyone who uses it into an isheep.
- This list could go on and on......so you can shut the f**k up and get a life. Don't troll.
13. wentworth (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 09:15 1 2
First of all I'm not an Apple fan but the music player interface is a clear copy of the IOS one...
Come on samsung, no wonder there's so many lawsuits against you...
56. paynekiller posted on 19 Sep 2011, 16:00 0 0
MANY things about touchwiz are near straight rips from iOS. That's why whenever I have a Samsung android I root it first thing and change the launcher and UI to something else, I like Nexus S for example. Touchwiz is just my most hated Android UI, well after to Motoblur, and part of the reason is cause it looks so much like iPhone.
14. cristhian (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 09:26 4 3
only 9? come on. how about 9,5 or 10?
aaa of course, is not a ""Iphone""".
The SgS 2 is the best smartphone out there... every body know..
25. Laron (unregistered) posted on 19 Sep 2011, 11:31 0 0
Last year PC Magazine gave the Samsung Epic 4G w/ QWERTY keyboard a number 1 rating, HTC EVO 4G number 2, and Iphone 4 number 3. That's just one partciular source. Personally I don't care a rating, if you like a phone and it works for you that's all that matters.