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.