I have been playing around with both phones and because I belong to Sprint for the rest of my life's tenure, I shall let you know that these are the two best phones available in the market but let's compare which is better at what.
Appearance - The Evo 4G does not have a slide-out QWERTY keypad like the Epic. The Epic despite the keyboard is about an ounce lighter in weight and that says a lot about the AMOLED screen and the absolutely flawless design on this phone. The charging port is located on the TOP of the phone and also has a little slide you need to drag open before accessing the MICRO USB/Charger. The phone looks a terrific black (like the best looking iPhone, oh yeah we care, no sarcasm) when the screen is not on. UNLIKE THE EVO, the standby key is on the right hand side of the phone and does the same thing. On first appearance, the design of the Epic is mouth watering. I've always found Sidekick like phones cheesy and even that DROID from VERIZON looks very plastic to me but I shall diss no more, the Epic might just win on this account (but I know plenty of Evo users who would disagree but this is my opinion). Because of size, weight, 4-inch screen (Evo's 4.3), design of the slide out, the Epic wins this round.
Call Reception / Loud Speaker -> While playing music, I noticed the Epic was a little louder than the Evo is but at full volume, it can be a tad too loud too which is obviously such a WELCOME FEATURE. The Evo has a loud speaker alright and also a dedicated home page where you can easily play your music but what matters is the sound because both phones offer excellent customization.
Battery Life - This is one of the primary reasons the Epic is likely to do good. I fume when I hear people say the DROID X has a better battery life than the Evo. On Epic, the AMOLED screen ensures you don't need to charge this phone more than once a day. I managed to make this last for atleast a day but I did find the battery readings to be inaccurate from time to time. Maybe this happened because I was trying the phone on Airplane mode and then switching to CDMA so that could be it. There was a difference in the battery life, sometimes the bar would be short and sometimes substantially longer. Maybe it is just a software update that is required but at the end of the day, You can have all the features on a phone but what matters a lot is battery life and the Epic takes this round too. By getting the Evo you will need to buy an extra battery unless you like carrying your wires everywhere you go. If you're getting the Evo make sure you get an extra battery charger and oh save yourself some money and NEVER INVEST ON EXTENDED BATTERIES. You wouuld think Samsung and HTC are more clever than not to have come out with the extended battery in the first place. Feel free to discuss, throw things at me on the comments column.
Screen Brightness - HTC Evo is about AS BRIGHT AS THE SUN, absolutely incredible brightness, it's like watching the most expensive HDTV sometimes. The phone even on low brightness is surprisingly bright and I always appreciate brightness. While the Epic is not dull, I'll be lying if I say the screen is as bright as the Evo or even comes close to taking this round. The Epic has a jaw dropping display but the brightness and screen quality while you're on a webpage makes Evo the winner here. The brightness may come at the price of battery life but when you drive a HUMMER, you worry not about the battery life but about the drive.
Build Quality of Plastic on the BACK - The Evo certain feels a little more solid and smooth. The back on the EVO is better than the INCREDIBLE. Evo's kickstand is an added feature but the quality of the plastic on the Evo is 15% better than the Epic when you're holding the back though Epic is quite good as it is. **Caution** Do not remove Epic's back size by the SPEAKER, you may damage the phone cause you're such a strong individual, locate a small opening at the end and then LIFT UP the back plastic covering the battery. The back is obviously not RED like the HTC EVO.
Bundled Accessories - Epic comes with a 16gb card, in ear earphones, a thicker BASIC manual I haven't opened and read yet. The Evo comes with an 8gb card and no earphones. They both come with a Micro USb Cord which coverts into a wall charger. I have tried and used almost all earphones bundled with phones and have never seen any Sprint phone with such good quality "in-ear" earphones which provide NOISE CANCELLATION. An excellent extra for the fifty bucks you pay depending on where you're buying the phones from. 16gb is like having 2 x 8gb cards.
Mobile Hotspot - DRAW
Task Killer App - If you hold the home button down on the Epic, an excellent task killer pops up. It is so easy and fun to use that this alone was a big big big deal for me. I've used it on the Evo before but it's just so much hassle free and cleaner on the Samsung, it tells you the percentage of the CPU being used for variety of apps in REAL TIME! Deal-MAKER for me. EVO owners, please correct me if I'm wrong.
CAMERA *BIG DEAL FOR ME* - Epic. Epic. Epic. Epic. The customization is Godly. Samsung is slowly becoming very clever. The camera quality is that of a digital camera, I dare say. Also if people are moving and pause for a second, the phone still takes an absolutely astounding photograph. The Evo makes things yellow and although it's 8megapixel, the camera doesn't quite seal the deal. The other thing is that the Evo doesn't have that many customizations for the camera. Samsung has pulled a magic trick with this one. Some envious Evo users tell me that because the screen looks better on the Epic, the images look better but if I were to upload these to my computer, there'd be a difference. This is my response to people who say something like that. How often will I be uploading these pictures? Maybe once in four days, I will be mostly viewing them on the phone so I don't care about that. Mind you, though I haven't uploaded anything yet, I shall upload them and send you a sample picture if you request one. PLEASE BARE IN MIND, while the SAMSUNG has more options, it will take a real techoholic to want to figure out each and every feature, I'm still getting WARMED up to it.
Google Sync - The google sync on both phones immediately got all my contacts into the phone, there are a ton of applications so if you have a gmail account even with a blackberry, all your contacts are gonna be SYNCED with either the EVO or the EPIC. Google has a very funny deal-sealing way of having the google sync on the BLACKBERRY. If you're dumping your blackberry, make sure you do google sync and sync all your contacts before activating the EPIC. Ask a store rep to do it for you before buying it BLINDLY from them.
BROWSING - Browsing on the Evo is the best browsing I have ever seen. It still wins over the Epic by just a single point. Epic still gets a 9/10 while Evo because of it's multi-touch gets a perfect 10. There is no lag while browsing or using the touchscreen at all. This is a dream come true for people who've ever had the Samsung Instinct from two years ago. These two phones make my Blackberry look so bad and that's one thing to love and admire about Androids, the fact that they have such capable awesomse fast, intelligent browsers. I have no complaints whatsoever. I have an iPod touch and its half as good at best and I'll tell you the iPod touch is amazing. EVO wins by a life because it's the best at it. Epic is still about two and a half times as good as my Sprint BOLD.
On-Screen Typing : On screen typing on the Evo is way better because of HTC's on screen Qwerty. Swype comes built in with the EPIC. I've never used it, I don't believe in it, just looks too cheesy. Evo has a great typing mechanism but EPIC assumes that unless you're typing casually, you will use the physical keyboard to type. The Evo's typing is better than the iPhone's or the iPods. I haven't played with the iPhone 4 yet.
SLIDE OUT / PHYSICAL KEYBOARD : I will go for the Epic over the Evo because it has a wonderful, non-cheesy, idiot proof keyboard slide out. This is the best addition possible besides the camera and the bundled accessries. I despise the Moment's keyboard in comparison though Moment isn't a bad phone. The EVO is supposed to be Sprint and Samsung's replacement for the SAMSUNG MOMENT.
I've been away from my 2 day old Epic. I will discover more things and shall let you know. Any cons? The capacitive keys on the front could've been a touch more responsive. On the Evo they seem more responsive. I'm in no hurry for the Samsung Epic to get 2.2 and I'm sure they won't disappoint.
Wallpapers look brighter, more alive, sleeker, sexier, more sophisticated on the Epic. When you're in your menu on the Evo you go from top to bottom while on the Epic, if you click Applications you go left right right right. So it's horizontal menu browsing on the Epic and vertical on the Evo.
There is so much more for me to discover. I told someone earlier this year that no phone will ever match the iPhone but technology has an astounding way of shocking me. I'm an absolute geek and am glad that the Epic exists. It's like action sequences on the Lord of the Rings : Twin Towers while Evo is like the Matrix chase scenes from Reloaded. Both are feature packed phones but I love to type and the additional keyboard is fantastic for typing.
Wi-Fi Browsing : If both phones were used on the Wifi, the Epic is blazingly fast and obviously an easy hands down winner. I didn't try browsing on both using the 3G signal in Manhattan though it loaded a youtube video and downloaded an mp3 rather fast.
MISCELLANEOUS THINGS: Epic comes with a game, it also a Samsung HUB, it doesn't have an HDMI port but has something called DLNA which enables you to wireless connect the phone with compatible televisions and monitors. The AMOLED screen is Samsung's proprietary format I read somewhere, Samsung will invest $2 Billion in the next year or two for making screen for all touchscreens.
I'm sorry about how random this review might seem but I really wanna go back to playing with the Epic so see you later. My conclusion is obvious from the subject.
Samsung Epic has four buttons when you slide out the keyboard. One is for the Home, one is the back key, one is the menu, one is the features Key. These behave just like the FOUR buttons on the front beneath the screen when viewed vertically.
I'm falling in love with the wallpaper options. The HTC Evo has something called scenes and the profile customization is exciting, I wonder how ANDROID 2.2 will look on the EPIC.
Please buy an invisible shield when you buy this phone, I'm looking for an Anti-Glare one for $10. Any suggestions?
I saw a lady with the Samsung Epic today, she had a cheesy black plastic case on her EPIC. POOR CASES can make the Epic look like the Samsung MOMENT (Sorry, Moment owners, no offense, just honesty). I am not going to use any case for this phone, what a waste of a gorgeous phone.
I also thought I should add a note that I have never bothered investing in a SAMSUNG phone for myself but the EPIC really made it an easy decision. The Galaxy S series is remarkable. I live in New York and get no 4G but I do get unlimited data downloads, video calling and that's all. I don't mind the $10 extra fee but it may hurt the price conscious user but SPRINT is still a better deal than the other carriers so don't OVER THINK it.
4G has been launched in NEW YORK and I can download a 3mb song from gmail in 13 seconds.
Shazam takes a second to tell you the name of the song that's playing.
Does consume a lot of battery though.
UPDATE 05/06/2011 - To people who are thinking about getting the Epic, there is soon going to be a new 4G phone so please RE-CONSIDER because there is the NEXUS S out. It doesn't have a keyboard mind you and yes it is based on Sprint's WIMAX 4G.
on September 6, 2010
BEFORE YOU READ BELOW PLEASE READ THIS: Make sure you set aside time to play with this. Your girlfriend or wife is going to hate you for it if you don't. ......haha..trust me I learned from experience.
I was a blackberry user for years, and I never wanted to switch. But I wanted to see what 4G was like. Sprint is testing 4G in many more markets than are on their website (Many places in the San Francisco area and Los Angeles). Here is a break down of the pros and cons
1. Once you get use to "Swype" typing, you'll never use the keyboard. I bought this phone becaue of the physical keyboard (since I came from a blackberry) but I never use it. "Swype" is great. Go look up a video.
2. Battery life is pretty good despite what people say. Since the Amoled screen does not use power with black pixels. I made my wallpaper solid black. Improved battery life drastically. Trust me on this! .....Now if you use 4G it drains your battery quickly. See below. Also charging time takes a long time. It takes maybe twice as long to fully charge this phone than a blackberry and the MaH is only slightly stronger (1500). Use the "Power Widget" to very easily turn on/off things like 4G, Wifi, Adjut brightness. This will help greatly.
3. 4G..It drains your battery, and mean quickly. God's honest truth......3G is fast enough. I mean 4G was cool to test out, but it really doesn't make a difference when browsing. Maybe downloading music or video (yes) but how often do you do that. When it comes to apps and browsing 3G is fast enough. I teathred my phone to my laptop, and the 4G speeds were barely faster than 3G. 3G speeds were about 1MB per second download. 4G was 1.2. Now if you run a network speedtest on the phone at [...], it's fast...4-5 MbPS.
3. Customization - Awesome, nothing like it. I love it. No complaints. You'll love it.
4. Feel of the phone - Overall a little too thick for me. Once you add it the protective case, that thing aint goin in your pocket. It makes it to thick. So if you like a thin phone, this one is not for you. As I mentioned above, with the "Swype" technology you'll never find yourself using a keyboard. The keyboard also "wiggles" around a bit.....
5. Charging Port - Kinda funny that's its on top of the phone, but not a big deal.
6. Bluetooth - Great Quality (3.0 BT technology). Good reception from a number of Bluetooth pieces I've tried. It's also cool streaming podcasts /music to your bluetooh. Cool feature.
7. Apps - App market is great. Again customizing this phone is one of the greatest features. Apps will randomly start for some reason. I don't know if they suck up battery life or cpu usage. The sprint guy told me they don't.
8. Unlocking the phone - PHone has an auto lock. You have to touch the power button and then slide the screen to unlock. Get an app on the market for this called "Screen Mode" to customize this. Now I can lock / unlock my phone by just hitting a button.
9. Youtube videos are great to watch on here you can watch them in HQ. Sometimes when you do, you'll have to reset your phone for it to work. I know it sounds funny, but this is a minor flaw. Youtube in HQ is great!
10. E-mail and Web Browsing. Seamlessly hooked up to my company's exchange. So much more superior than using a blackberry in that regard. The way you can view the e-mails and attachments are great. Also synced with Yahoo and Gmail. Again. Awesome. No complaints.
11. Web Browsing - NO other phone like it! plain and simple it's great.
12. The google search feature. I know this is available on other droid phones. But the voice activated or type features are awesome!
13. Phone reception / quality - Perfect.
Overall. If you can get over the thickness you'll love it.
Just wanted to share where my point of view comes from before I start:
- This is my first Android phone
- I used a Palm Pre for the past year and a half (love it, really hard to give up)
- I used an EVO for about 3-6 hours, side by side with the Epic. Plus:
- I read about 50 different professional reviews online about both the Epic and the EVO to decide which one to buy
Quick Review (if you want all the details read more below)
- Battery Life
- Too many hidden Apps open by themselves all the time (Android inherent and not just this phone)
- VGA front camera (lower resolution than phone screen...)
- No SMS/IM integrated area/application (you have to open 2 different apps at least)
- Back camera lens comes all the way out, so I am constantly putting my fingers all over it.
- Youtube videos come out in low quality, small rectangle (lots of wasted space, the EVO uses HQ videos that expand the entire screen)
- Super Amoled screen. It is truly gorgeous.
- Android Market Place (90,000+ applications and counting)
- Fast (I use the phone for web browsing quite a bit, this one loads pages faster than even the EVO)
- Design: plastic matte back keeps it finger print free, front glass piece, flushed black design looks really good.
- Main camera quality. Wow. For pictures with good light, you can truly leave your point and shoot camera at home. Picture quality is really, really good.
- Graphic processor can be 40% faster than EVO. I won't be playing games much on it at all, but I figured some people will be interested in that.
- Includes decent headset and a 16GB micro sd card.
What I didn't care for:
- Physical keyboard (I chose this phone despite it. The keyboard is fine, I just find myself using the touchscreen keyboard 95% of the time) I would have loved to have a skinnier phone, or a beefier battery over the physical keyboard. However, I must confess that when I am going to type a long email, I slide out the physical one, I can type a lot faster on it, and it's overall more comfortable.
- Android buttons are backlit (Home, Menu, Back and Search) so they will be using up battery all the time they are on. By default they hide after a few seconds. For someone unfamiliar with Android it was really annoying to have to guess which button to press (you cannot see them at all) to get to the option you were looking for. You need to go to the settings and make this last as long as the screen is on - at least at first. The nice part about it, is the phone looks clean and totally black when watching a video, playing a game, reading a book, etc.
Why I chose over EVO:
- Faster web page loads (tried both side to side with the same wifi connection and read reviews online)
What the EVO has that I like better:
- HTC has proven that it will update to new versions of Android in a timely fashion. Samsung on the other hand...
- HD youtube that uses all the screen real estate
- Build quality - feels heavier and more durable (it's a close call, but it feels more expensive than the Epic)
My main complaints with a small review of each portion.
1. Battery life
By comparison my Palm Pre lasted me more, about 24 hours with normal use - granted about 18-22 of those hours where standby - however with data sync enabled, so chat, emails were synching every hour or so, and google chat was constantly on.
What I did to get better battery performance:
* download Advanced Task Manager (allows you to see all the open apps draining your battery, you'll be surprised how many apps android likes to open - more on that later. Use this program to constantly kill the 10+ programs that creep up on the background) NOTE UPDATED: After using the phone more, I while I believe this helps, it doesn't help very much, you might gain a few minutes a day, the big saver for me is the next one:
* download Juice Defender (the free version) (allows your phone to turn off features when the screen is off. Like 3g, you can customize to connect and synch at specific intervals, like once every 2 hours or so) when the screen is off - simple but genius.
* Screen brightness all the way down (it is still plenty bright, I left it just 1 level above, to enjoy that screen more) I also want to point out that
* No live backgrounds or widgets that constantly connect online on your home screen (facebook, etc)
* if you have a weak 4g signal, turn it off (downtown I can use 4g, but the radius of the antenna coverage is about a mile at most). Note - what drains the battery is not 4G itself, is the phone connecting/disconnecting constantly between 3G and 4G to retrieve data. IF you have strong 4g coverage you'll be fine.
Optional things to increase it further:
* Turn off background sync (this has a decent impact, but even accessing the marketplace somehow requires background data to be active, so a lot of application won't work. If you don't charge your phone overnight, turn this off then.
Having these things on will let the device last you the entire day with normal-light use. You can choose to only turn these apps when you need them. I know most people charge their phones over night, but I am usually out and about in the later afternoon/night so I have gotten used to charge the phone at work, since I am always at my desk. My goal is for the phone to last me from 5pm to about 1pm the next day (when I'll start to charge it)
Basically without the changes above, the phone drains about 5% of it's battery per hour when in "idle". With all those changes it goes down to about 1% or less. The phone is truly in idle then. (Updated10/03/10: simple having Juice Defender and setting it to disable data access when the phone is idle does the trick)
Much has been said about how the Super Amoled screen save battery because the black pixels are off. This is one of the reasons the black levels are so deep - there is no light (unlike the EVO screen for example).
However, this is not presently the case. I am not sure of the reasons - it's possible that the actual lit pixels (any other color) use so much power as to offset the gains from the black pixels. Either way, after using the screen for maybe 30 minutes (for a game) my battery indicator (checks all the power on the phone and how it's being used)
Claims that the 30 minutes I used it, used about 15% of the battery life.
To give you a clear picture - I just started testing to see how long it would last with all the optimizations and light use (which I do several times a week)
- The screen has been on for probably 30 minutes, maybe 45 minutes.
- I had a 25 minute phone call, and made a couple of short calls (less than 2 minutes)
- I have sent and received a total of about 10 texts
- Browsed the web for about 30 minutes (using 3g)
- Browsed the web for 10-15 minutes (using 4G)
- Watched about 5 minutes of Sprint TV (over 4G)
- Streamed Pandora for about 45 minutes or so. (using 3g)
- About 15 minutes of email checking, responded to 1 email.
- About 40 minutes of listening to MP3s from the external speaker and headset (about 20 mins each)
- Some minor things (like alarm clock settings, used the alarm this morning, synching emails manually a couple of times, turning on/off 4G, using Advanced task manager to shut off applications that start running in the background, etc)
The rest of the time, say around 20 hours, it's been in idle.
Currently the phone has been off the charger for just over 25 hours. And the battery use says:
Remaining charge: 27%
Voice calls: 14%
Phone idle: 13%
Media server: 4%
Android system: 2%
The good news is that you can make it last about 30 hours with light use. But you do give up a lot of the functionality that makes the phone special. (syncing constantly).
If you are playing games, and listening to music, it will last about 4 hours. The one day I played a game for like an hour, the "display" indicator said the screen had used 55% of the battery (out of 6 hours unplugged). With medium use and no optimizations (other than lower screen brightness) I had to charge twice a day, it really wouldn't last much. At work without using the phone it lost about 50% of the battery life for example. (not even 1 text, that was simply the phone synching things and connecting/reconnecting to 4g/3g by itself. Note - I am beside a window and have strong 3g signal.
Another advice - given how much battery life the screen uses, I'd recommend changing whatever applications you can to use a dark theme (and by dark I mean black). Basically black background with light text. Same with your background image.
2. Not Epic specific but Android as a whole - apps sucking memory all the time, no way to close them other than by downloading a custom application. I'm not sure what the point of it is, or why they are doing it, but that's the route Google decided to go with Android.
3. VGA front camera (spending just a couple of dollars more would have allowed it to have a 1.3MP camera so that it works better with all the apps coming up - skype. It is lower resultion than the screen of this phone, making video chat look bad... Not sure why they didn't spend the extra money on the better front facing camera (the EVO has a 1.3 one for example)
4. Currently no app in Android to combine chat/sms/im in a single location. I couldn't even find anything in the 90k + apps in the Android market. Basically, the Palm Pre (and Blackberry as well) you open up a Contact to chat, and you have all the text messages and instant messages from google talk, facebook chat, etc. So you can follow the whole conversation you've had with someone. In Android (and the custom layer added by the many manufactureres, in this case touchwiz is lacking such a feature. You may not think it's a big deal, but it's what I miss the most about my Pre - thought it's close between that and the ability to close applications and true multitasking - webOS (palm pre's) card system is light years ahead of what anyone iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian)
5. Cannot change "most used" icons on the bottom of the phone. This one falls on Samsung and their touchwiz user interface. I like the fact that they let you keep 4 icons on every one of the 7 home screens, so no matter where you are you have quick access to the Phone, Contacts, Text Messages App, and the all application icon. While convenient, those happen to NOT be my most used apps. In fact, only 1 of those 3 are. And Sprint/Samsung decided to not let you choose which are your "most used" applications. Here is to hoping they realize how backwards that is, and actually release a patch that lets you choose those applications. (Like say: email, web browser...)
UPDATE 10/03/10 (more on battery life)
I have slowly started enabling more services (turned background synch on, not running "advanced task killer" as much) but have kept the Juice Defender on. I must say, that the phone does quite well in general just with the Juice Defender. I have been getting about 50 hours with very light use, and have had no problem with my regular use to charge around noon each day. In fact, it usually has about 35-40% charge left then. The big trick is juice defender - basically the phone is incredibly efficient when in idle - a lot more so than any other Android phone. Samsung is doing something quite well with it's processor during that time. Today before charging it up, that phone had been unplugged for 54 hours, and still had 12% of battery left. Again, this is light use. When using it constantly, (say watching a couple of movies for example) the battery will be gone completely. Basically Juice Defender is awesome, the free version is plenty, but I am going to purchase the pro version of the app just as a thank you for the developer. It really has made the phone usable for a couple of days with light use, something I thought impossible when I first purchased it.
UPDATE 10/14/10 (battery...)
After the latest firmware update, battery drainage while idle became really poor again, maybe worse than ever. The main culprit according to the indicators is "cellphone standby", I have tried all the normal tricks without luck, it's draining about 4% per hour while on idle (3g is disabled, screen is off, nothing can sync during this time) I have tried multiple things, but ended up finding a running DRM service introduced with samsung media hub recently, shutting this off improved this after a phone reset. Note - Media hub enables this service in the background and it connects every 11 seconds to a server, so it keeps your phone processor from sleeping as well as keeping your data connection turning on. I must say that despite disabling this, the phone is still not as efficient as I had it before, but at least good enough again. Again, it's another reason to consider going HTC (EVO) over Samsung (Epic) - HTC is working harder on Android software updates, and don't have a DRM service running in the background killing your battery life.
Now for the positive things:
The device is simply fast. With 4g on (or using wifi), it feels like I'm on a PC browsing the web. Pages load within a couple of seconds. It feels about 3-4 times faster than the Palm Pre. It consistently took about 1 or 2 less seconds than the EVO on my tests. This cannot be understated for me, since this is one of the 2 big reasons I chose it over the EVO. I use it for most of my web needs. Opening apps is quick, etc.
2. 4G - it's faster than the wifi (2mbs) I use at home, so it feels very fast. Obviously it's just starting so I don't get the super high speeds, but it's about 2-3 times faster than 3G in my area. Unfortunately as I said, it's only available downtown in my area. But still, they say by year end it'll be covering most of the area. We'll see. I feel like I am a bit more ready for the future with 4G, if speeds increase I'll have the benefit already.
UPDATE 10/11/10: You can actually see tiny little pixels on the screen if you look hard enough. I don't mind them, but some people do. For comparison purposes, you cannot easily distinguish pixels on the EVO, the iPhone 4, and most other high resolutions phones. This is strictly an issue with the Super Amoled screens.
3. Screen. You can read it anywhere, see it anywhere. Even diehard EVO fans cannot claim thire screen is better. It's basically a fact that this screen is the best on the market. iPhone 4 has a higher resolution, but color saturation and black levels are just stunning. Watch a movie on this phone vs anything else and there is just no comparison. Not saying EVO and iPhone screens are bad, it's just that this one is superb.
4. Applications. (Android in general) I couldn't get an app for my bank on the Palm Pre, it's in Android. Then you have the barcode scanner to check prices, google goggles to see information on landmarks by taking a picture (claims 80% accuracy) and more. The integration with Google Voice is simply awesome. You can just select it to use it on international calls, so you just dial directly to your friends/family abroad and pay GoogleVoice rates (really cheap) while using your regular phone app. It's very seamless.
You really can't go wrong with the new phones out there. Android OS has matured enough, and these phones are premium products. The Epic's screen and speed makes it stand out from the crowd enough to give it a slight nod above everything else out there. Android though, lacks the unity/polishness of webOS (Palm Pre) or iOS (iPhone) but makes up for it with the effort Google is putting to optimize the speed, the integration with google service, and freedoms for developers to create applications with few restrictions. This phone leverages all of it very well. It also provides a physical keyboard for those who want it (it is very big and easy to type on). I wouldn't recommend this phone for "work use" because if you constantly need to be synching and retrieving emails/calendar updates while you are in meetings (and any areas with low signal strength) it will blow through your battery life and you will be an unhappy customer. But for personal use, it's among the best cellphones, if not the best, out there.
on September 25, 2010
The initial plan was for me to upgrade to the Epic and my mom to the Evo (family plan) That way I got to get hands on with both phones and make my decision. Unfortunately, ma wasn't eligible for an upgrade so my master plan was foiled. Damn you Sprint, Obviously with the Evo being out of stock everywhere.. I was happy to get the Epic, since it was the phone I was leaning towards. Plan B- I figured Through B.B. I could start with the Epic, switch to Evo and back to Epic on day 30.
Epic- As a previous Palm Pre guy, I liked it in the hand. It felt good and very simliar to the the rounded shape of the Pre, only bigger. Noticeably bigger.. but what great phone isn't now days. As someone who has never used ONLY a virtual keyboard, I figured between that and the Super Amoled screen it was a no brainer, Epic all the way. The screen is Unreal. As said in each and every review, there's no question there. The keyboard initially had me saying "eh". It was very roomy, the exact opposite of the Pre. So it took me some time to get use to.. but once I did, I'll take that keyboard over the Pre's anyday. As for the phone and its software, Wasn't giddy but very nice.. However Android won me over. Wow, I thought WebOS was decent but Im a Droid dude now.. And probably for life. So this added to the excitement of the Epic most initially.
So its time to see if this phone can act as my new daily phone. I played with it alot, but not to the extreme and the first thing I noticed was "Crap, this battery is defintely worse than the Pre" but also expected from Epic or Evo reviews. Uncharged at 8am this phone was screaming for the charger by arrival home at 5pm. Which from some reviews I take that as good, as other (defected?) phones say they only got 3-5 hours before needing juice. Now here was a big hang-up for me. From 8% battery the Epic took 3.5 hours to fully charge to 100%?? WOW! My Pre took 30-45 minutes so this was definitely a distraction. But Im one who usually charges my phone while sleeping so I just figured I'd use the phone less, and make it last the day. That never was achievable but I figure I'd figure something out later because I did like this phone.
Day 10- I did encounter a major software issue with my phone that my AOL account would not push my emails. All settings were set correctly, and it would push for a couple time then stop. So I Figured it was about time to put myself on a waiting list at B.B for the Evo, as planned. To my surprise they had one. Guy at the store says he's never seen that happen, and sure enough 5 minutes in while changing phones, a guy comes in asking for the Evo. First Impression and I cannot explain why but... Giddy. This phone just felt better right off the bat. Better in the hand.. better first 30 minute impression playing with it.. This phone just right with it powered on or off. But I didnt want to get ahead of myself. My main issue was.. Battery. I thought the Epic was bad but heard this was even worse?! My plan initially was if I liked the Evo better.. I could always go with the 3500 MaH extended battery. The Epic has one on its way too, but for both it adss bulk.. And the last thing the Epic needs is bulk. So after playing with the Evo for about an hour with a Smile pastered on my face for unexplainable reasons I decided to charge it up and give it a test run the next day.
Ok so.. I drilled this phone! Work was slow that day and I was on it almost 'all' day. Kinda like I was the first day with Epic only just alittle more. First impression.. by 5pm my phone still had 46% Battery. What??! I thought this battery was suppose to be worse. I really wanted this thing drained so I could see how long it took to charge. So I turned on everything.. 4G, GPS, internet.. just to drain the battery. By 10:30pm I got it down to 6%. I figured ok.. let's test it. Put it on the charger and checked it at 11:30pm. Mind you like clock work the Epic, would charge roughly 30% battery per hour, so after one hour charging the Evo... from 6% to 72%. Ok I'm in love! Not only is the battery better than almost any phone ive ever had, it charges 2 hours faster than the Epic. On top of that, my AOL emails pushed as set in my preferences. This phone had me at hello and I admitted to what I thought after first laying my hands on the EVO... This phone will not be traded on day 30.
Screen- Epic screen is like watching an HD tv.. Its awesome! But the Evo's isnt too shabby either, and will not have you thinking damn I REALLY wish I had the Epic's screen. As well the .3 difference in screen size is noticeable nice.
Keyboard- Epic has a great keyboard and my biggest fault to the Evo is the fact I havent gotten use to using the vitual one yet. if ever?.
Battery- No contest. Epic= Terrible! Evo= Great! Light to medium use I could probably find a way to make the Epic's power supply last a full day. Under the same conditions I could make the Evo's last 2 days plus! Ive never had a day where I had to pre-maturely charge my evo. Even with medium to heavy usuage where the Epic would literally shut off by 5pm.. The Evo would hit the charger at bedtime with more than 10% everytime. As I write this.. My Evo has 32% battery with 22 hours since last charge. And yep I've used it today.. Both these phones are awesome, its almost impossible not to.
Touchwiz/Sense- I dont know if this is one of the subconsciuos reasons I love the Evo over the Epic? Something tells me it might be but cant explain why. HTC just seems more polished in my opinion.
Interent- Both seem equaully fast, with the edge maybe even going to the Epic. Considering its not even running Froyo yet, thats impressive. As for the fluidity only.. Definitely the Epic. Simply smoother.. But the Evo still surfs nicely.
Camera- Epic's camera is great. And I read reviews and tests that it has a slight edge over the Evo. From the onscreen I can see it, Every Picture looks amazing on the super Amoled. But onced tranffered over to CPU.. Still good, but the screen has alot to do with it. I actually think the evo wins in picture quality but the Epic has the edge in Video and software (which is one of my favorite things about the Epic, Love the cartoon pics) But their are too many great camera apps in the Market to make me forget about 'The Simpsons' option.
Tangibles- Evo Evo Evo! Hold both in the hand and it just seems like a tyson vs. me prized fight. Not that the Epic feels bad. But its bulky, and with an extended battery as a neccessity, it would be a brick. The Evo's squared construction suprised me, I thought it would have been the opposite. As well, the two part construction of the Epic eventually becomes an irritant. And the power button is in a position that I dont think I'd could ever get use too.
I could probably go on and on in comparisons. But the bottom line is both of these phones are incredible. Expecially if your upgrading from something inferior. However, I'm really surprised to see any Evo owner switch over to the Epic. Unless you use your phone to watch moves and T.v alot, It just doesnt compute to me. Both phones have their advantages (ie. Epic has a superior internal and external speak to the Evo, But as well has an annoying "buzzing" sound when on the phone.) But the Epic has some huge issues the Evo doesn't. If the Epic is the phone for you I get it, and you have one super phone.. But if you haven't given the Evo a 10 day test yet to compare, you're making a mistake. It's worth the wait.
on September 21, 2010
I like quite a bit about this phone, however, in the end I returned it to get a refund and reverted back to my old phone. The phone was fast and responsive, the screen was great, and I need a phone with a keyboard. The Sprint everything plans are a good value. However, there were several drawbacks that made me not want to keep this phone for the next two years:
1. GPS. It was not as accurate as my prior phone. It took a very long time to get the location and many times even outdoors it just didn't work including in areas without tall buildings. When it did, it was accurate within 2-3 blocks which made it useless for pedestrian navigation, something I do often when I travel. When driving, if not extremely careful, you can turn down a one way street the wrong way when its off a block. I know Samsung claims to have improved it over other Epics but it's hard to switch to something less accurate than my prior phone.
2. Battery life. With heavy internet use, lots of email, I'd get 4-5 hours of battery life. My prior phone could go the whole day without charging. It's hard to charge when away from the office the whole day and that's when I need to be connected. I know, I can turn off many of the features to extend battery life and I tried, but it barely mattered because I need the features that consume battery.
3. The screen is great, but it is hard to read outdoors.
I do miss it. My two year old phone is a bit slow at times in displaying the screen and reacting to touches. However, I can navigate with it, use it for the whole day and read the screen on a sunny day.
on August 31, 2010
I currently work in the wireless mobile industry and this device is simply stunning. Everything from the very fluid interface and the awesome and currently, top-of-the-line graphics are the best you can currently get. The power VR chip in this phone rivals pretty much anything out there. Another thing that I truly love about this phone is true DLNA support, which is essentially capable of home-networking to ALL of your DLNA Home Theater equipment. Also, the speed is nothing short of stunning. The 4G on this device offers a much more pure experience on this phone and it actually rivals some DSL and Cable Technologies in raw speed. I understand that 4G is not available everywhere yet, but it is a new technology and Sprint is rolling it out and at an incredible rate. By this time next year, most Americans will probably have 4G coverage at either there home location or a nearby popular place or city. With that being said, in areas where there is 4G, this phone is ridiculous. The touch screen is absolutely fluid and clear. The super AMOLED screen, despite what a lot of critics will say about the technology is currently the nicest I have seen and I have seen ALL the different display tech out there and the colors and blackness on this screen are perfect. Hold the phone up in a pitch black room and all you will see is icons floating in the air. All in all, I have had a lot of time with this phone and it has everything everyone could want. It has the best display tech, it has 4 different ways to type or text and that includes, swype, thumb-tap, voice-to-text and a flip-out keypad. Even with the $10 premium data package, it is still cheaper then other companies with similar coverage and phones and you also get the addition of 4G. I loved the EVO 4g when that came out, but this takes home the cake, for me. This is literally the best phone on any carrier right now and it's on Sprint! If your even considering this phone,don't even read any further or hesitate, buy it right now and whatever your thought is on it, you will still be amazed and surprised if you buy it even if you think you know about this phone... now I just need to add a second one to my cart and I am ready to go!
on October 2, 2010
-Amazing GPU, the Hummingbird + 540 graphics chip are a very impressive combination
-Physical Keyboard, great for emulators, and hopefully an upcoming GameGrip product will attach to it
-Great reception in my area (19333,19460,19406)
-Amazing speeds over 802.11n
-Very easy to Root
-Can't have Wifi search and 4G radio enabled at the same time
-GPS is buggy
-Back button fails to register taps in certain application menus (actually a hardware issue, am exchanging my Epic for a replacement to fix it)
-Battery cover is a bit of a pain to work with, had a creak when pressure was applied to it near the camera button (am exchanging my Epic for a replacement to fix it)
-Unlimited calling nights (starting at 7PM!) and weekends
-Phone usable right out of the box
-If you work for any major employer, you can probably get a discount (I got 23%, and my place of employment does no work with Sprint)
-You can roam on Verizon Wireless for no extra charge (roaming fees apply only outside the US)
-Plans are cheap, and good *in the areas I primarily reside*
-WiMAX. This is the pseudo-4G that Sprint uses, and is actually rather fast when you can get it (7mbps down)
-4G WiMAX ends about 100ft from my house, which is sort of unfortunate, but not an inconvenience as I use 802.11n 35mbps Wifi at my house
TIPS for new owners:
-Do NOT buy the "Body Glove" phone protector in the Sprint stores, it is a horrible plastic product that scratches the phone
-For the first few days you will think the battery is the WORST on any phone, but after a couple charge cycles it gets a lot better
-There is a configurable shortcut menu in the Android Main Menu that allows you to set hotkeys (like Search+B on the slide-out opening the Browser)
-Seidio Products are very nice, and they are releasing a 3200mAh battery soon (from the 1500mAh that comes with the phone). This does not mean your battery life will double, necessarily, but you will probably be seeing 12.5+ hour battery life with it.
-Buy a case from Siedio [...]
Rooting is the process by which you can enable previously locked down capabilities of the phone, either due to carrier restraints or concerns by the manufacturer. In the case of the Epic 4G, you can root the phone to enable Wifi Tether, Wired Tether, and other apps like SetCPU, Screenshot, and more. Rooting also allows you to load different versions of Android. There are versions of Android 2.1 (same version as the Epic by default) that have removed certain features (like the DRM scanner) to improve battery life GREATLY. "Tha Boss ROM" is one such version of Android 2.1 for the Epic 4G which can get you 2-3hrs+ in battery life.
Lost a star on:
-bad back button on first unit
-bad battery cover on first unit
Why to buy from Amazon:
-Quick exchange if there is a problem
-50$ cheaper than Sprint stores
on September 1, 2010
Earlier this week I shattered my iPhone screen, so rather than pay 100 dollars to get a phone I am already starting to hate(IOS4), I went ahead and switched to Sprint. With ATT I was paying 98 dollars and that is with my 15% discount. Sprint, I will be paying about 85 dollars which includes the insurance plan. I have only had the phone now for about 24 hours and after a good wall charge, I am happy with the phone. More so than I ever was with the iPhone. The display is pretty nice to look at. The keyboard is nice when writing long emails.
To save battery life, shut down things you are not using. Hold down the home button to get to the task manager.
on December 10, 2010
I thought I'd highlight the difference between the EVO & the Epic as it was a tough decision for me,-(and honestly all the comparisons online out there are pretty worthless IMO). This review of course is more so geared towards highlighting why I think the epic is the way to go.
Price: $50 Price Premium over EVO - let's be honest- for a top of the line device that will be by your side close to 24/7, what's $50?. (obviously a nudging factor, though hey you want the best phone!)Also you can get it pretty much anywhere for much less outside of Sprint.
Build Quality- It seems like there's somehow a consensus that this EVO "wins" in having that premium feel. While I agree that other phones such as the IPhone 4 definitely win this over the Epic, in my opinion the Evo has about the same "premium feel" to it. Both have a little more plastic than what I would like. It is also worth noting that other reviewers believe the EPIC has notably better build quality than the other carrier's Galaxy S variants. Many would agree that the evo "looks" more premium, and I can see that. Though let me say that after putting Sprint's black case on it, the phone just looks so classy/premium now. Samsung Epic 4G Galaxy S Black Phone Protector [Sprint Retail Packaging]
Keyboard/No Keyboard - Quick Summary: Although Swype is awesome, a keyboard can be a crucial luxury in certain situations. Though as with all keyboards some "keyboard wiggle" is inevitable. Especially when you have a tacky rubber case, when you take it out of your pocket you can sometimes feel the keyboard wiggle around a bit when taking it out. Though once it's out of your pocket, a case close to eliminates wiggling when it's in your hand. This all sounds bad, though it's pretty minor, just a steady reminder as to why a "slab" phone would be better. Play with both in store, you will quickly decide how much of a factor this is to you.
Screen- Epic destroys, destroys, destroys the Evo in terms of screen quality. In fact one of HTC's known cost cutters, is that (some of) their displays only support 16,000 colors (like the Evo). I believe the Epic's is around 4 Million, and of course you probably know of the Epic's stunning contrast ratio. You practically cannot tell the difference between "screen off" black, and black in a picture. Reviewers like to say that this is great for "watching movies" though I have no intention of ever watching movies on my device. Rest assured you can "enjoy" the Super-AMOLED screen in everyday use situations too (High contrast simply is very appealing to the human eye). It really makes the device a lot more of a pleasure to use. It's quite funny comparing the screen to other androids,including the EVO of course.
(note about super AMOLED). They use 90% less power when display black BUT 3x more power when displaying white. If you like a lot of web-browsing the EVO could be a better choice as the larger screen is good for browsing, and I believe the LCD will be more power efficient for all that white space.
Processing- While the Snapdragon of the EVO's is good, it's worth noting it's the oldest 1 GHZ processor on the market. The Epic's newer Hummingbird apparently is similar, though with an upgraded integrated graphics controller (or something of the sort), that makes it much better for gaming. On a related note the gaming selection is horrible on Android, as IMO the only truly good and polished game is Angry Birds, somehow the iPhone has android still cornered on this front (i blame the kids with ipod Touches). Overall it's like comparing a 300HP car to a 400HP. The 400hp is the bigger beast, though 300 is still pretty blazingly fast and would you really notice that much commuting to work?
Android Updates- This is a tricky issue, and the one that I hope somebody keeps track of because this should be a deciding issue. Manufacturers have an incentive not to give updates, as if people keep getting new software for free, they'd probably be less excited to go out and buy another $600 phone. In a recent PR situation, Samsung stated that they "weren't sure" if the Galaxy S is getting gingerbread (2.3) . As you may know the Epic still doesn't have 2.2 (froyo), while the EVO has had for quite some time. While this is not promising, Samsung does cry "administrative issues", and I believe that even HTC doesn't have a perfect record in being clear with updates.
Skin- (the thing that manufacturers change to the phone to make it look different). I've heard good things about HTC's "Sense", and I didn't think I'd like Samsungs "TouchWiz", though after using it for quite some time I think it's pretty good with a few smart and pretty touches.
Summary: Choose the epic because..... gorgeous screen. The screen is how you interact with the phone, and really it's the "feature" that'd you use most. It really is worth it, the icing on the cake is that the Epic has the superior processor, better battery life, better quality camera, and it's easier to hold in your hand. The Evo was the beast, though it will very likely be retired before the Epic, and really besides the slightly more screen estate, "slate" appearance, it really doesn't have that much on the Epic.
on September 5, 2010
I've been an Evo user since June 4th launch day and have had the Epic as my main phone for a few days now. My previous phone to these was a Palm Pre.
Let's address why the Epic is $50 more. The physical keyboard obviously costs more but Samsung also throws in a 16GB micro-SD card (Evo comes with 8GB and I paid $30 for my 16GB card) and a surprisingly decent pair of noise canceling headphones. Those cover the extra $50, but there is one major feature it has over the Evo: the super AMOLED screen.
When I first saw the screen, I thought it looked nice. Then I had my Evo side by side and wow, does the Evo look washed out. It is a glaring difference.
Another big pro to the Epic is the Hummingbird processor and it you plan on playing games with your phone, the Epic will blow the Evo away on framerates, and of course you will have the keyboard for buttons.
I did not have any issues with mine. There are some reports of GPS issues but mine performed flawlessly, just as well as the Evo. Swype is preloaded and works just as well as on the Evo (you will have to dig on the interwebs for a minute to load it), and the voice recognition works as well as the Evo. Are you noticing a theme? They are both top of the line Android phones and unless there's a defect, many features will be a draw.
I have a much longer review of the Evo here on Amazon but I'll compare to the Epic here: the phones are the same size but the Evo is almost all screen (the Epic is noticeably lighter). I prefer the Evo's aesthetics to what Samsung tried to do with the curves on the Epic, which is in line with the Moment (not a good thing). The vast majority of users will strongly prefer HTC's Sense UI over Samsung's Touchwiz, but I use ADW Launcher, so it's a moot point for me.
These phones are very close and if I want a keyboard or a gaming-friendly device, I would opt for the Epic. The SAMOLED screen was almost enough to sway me, but I just prefer everything else about the Evo. It may be slightly older, but it will be a beast for a while to come. That's quite impressive in this age of cell-phones, where there is always a better device next month. Evo already has FroYo, a huge improvement to battery life (36 hours for my Evo) and based on track records, it will get Gingerbread before the Epic.
What's the better device? That's a personal preference, but you won't go wrong with either one. As far as hardware specs, the Epic wins and is worthy of the 5 star rating (with the caveat that you will likely prefer ADW or Launcher Pro over Touchwiz). However, the Evo has the intangibles that I care care about and it's my personal pick.