on January 10, 2012
I bought the phone back in August of 2010, and was impressed only because i was naive as to what a good phone is supposed to do. After owning it for less than a year i was getting extremely frustrated with the phone. It was getting sluggish, for no apparent reason, the battery life was awful. I couldn't receive picture messages unless I was on wifi or 4g. 4g is extremely spotty especially in the O.C. The phone's app's were constantly force closing. Opening apps, took far too long. So after less than a year, i hated this phone. Most of these problems could have been fixed if Samsung supported there products, but they do not. So the consumer ends up with a mildly decent product for about 6 months, after which they are so frustrated with, they're basically forced to buy a new "faster" phone, so that precious seconds aren't wasted from their life. Thus continues the vicious circle of crap released by phone company and phone manufactures. Of course there are exceptions to this, but samsung is not one of those exceptions.
However there is light at the end of this tunnel. There is a myriad of 3rd party developers that release wonderful modified or updated ROMS for the android OS. These ROMS are finely tuned and optimized to take full advantage of the phones hardware. Because of these creative and intelligent souls, I now own a phone that i can be proud of. It's faster, smoother, glitch free and works damn near flawlessly.
.Im not one of those people that have to have the latest and greatest the day its released. I buy products with the intentions of getting the most out of them and take pride in keeping my 1yr old antique phone running great. Dont get caught up in trying to keep up with the Jones's.
on October 27, 2010
Over the past few years, in my humble opinion, Samsung has really become a powerhouse of quality. I am slowly changing every piece of electronics I own to Samsung, and I believe with the exception of the hard drive in this computer, this phone now completes my plot.
In short, this phone is an excellent device. The screen is AMOLED (a fairly new technology...before now I have only seen it on my Cowon mp3 player) and is just breathtaking. The slide out keyboard is a huge pleasure to use. A few of the early problems with the software in the phone have long since been fixed and all of these phones are now shipping with the latest updates, etc., and everything I've tried (ventrilo, yahoo messenger, google sky, Clayton Bixby soundboard LOL!, etc.) is just great. My wife at the same time got the HTC EVO 4G, which is a similar phone with almost identical functionalities except that the Evo does *NOT* have the AMOLED technology, nor does it have a keyboard. Compared side by side, the Epic's graphics are better, both in the screen technology, and in the frame rate (e.g., scrolling is ice-smooth in the Epic, and just a touch jerky in the Evo which you notice when they're side by side).
There are two things to point out however:
1) The wi-fi (i.e., to your home router) functionality in the phone is mediocre. The signal strength is not even close to what you'd expect in a device like a laptop. But of course, there's hardly any antenna in there for wi-fi, so what do you expect? Any place in your house to which your wireless router BARELY reaches will be unreachable from the Epic. (e.g., I can't get wifi in this phone on my back porch, and the laptop just barely makes it). This is probably true, uniformly, for any smart phone like this one, so I don't personally count it against the Epic 4G. My wife's EVO might be slightly better, but it's close.
2) The HTC Evo is a SOLID, DENSE piece of equipment with a metal case all around. The Samsung Epic is *NOT*. The Epic merely has sturdy molded plastic. There is a distinct difference in solidity when you hold both of them in your hand, and the Evo is NOTICEABLY heavier as a result.
But overall I'm very happy with this device. All of the complaints about "battery life is too short" seem ridiculous to me. I used the phone all day today on 3G and 4G networks and had over 50% left when I got home. It's 100% that this phone will last a normal person all day long without needing a charge; I have NO IDEA where all these battery complaints are coming from. This is the premium Android experience. Do not hesitate to get this. The marginally smaller screen than the Evo is barely a consideration in my opinion, especially when juxtaposed with the far more awesome AMOLED screen technology and outstanding pull out keyboard.
NOTE: Sprint is ridiculously optimistic in their 4G coverage maps. Do *NOT* expect to get the widespread coverage that they seem to indicate. I'm supposed to get EASY "in-home" 4G at my location...but there isn't even a WHISPER of a 4G signal in here. ZERO. When I go outside, I get ONE BAR and spotty signal. According to Sprint's street level maps, I should have been PINNED even inside the house. But, whatever, this didn't surprise me, and I am sure coverage is improving every day.
on October 27, 2010
I was evaluating this phone vs the Evo 4G to replace my former Samsung Moment. I spent a few weeks with each and ultimately decided on the Epic for a number of reasons which I'll try to list briefly:
Screen: 16 Million Colors vs the Evo's 64 Thousand Colors. This makes a HUGE difference in the clarity and color accuracy of the screen. Also, it is much more accurate for using Swype.
Speaker: When using the speaker for calls and music, it was much louder and much clearer than the Evo's. Obviously of higher quality.
Microphone: From the people I talked to on the phone, they said the Epic sounded clearer, less garbled. Also, when recording video it seemed to eliminate a lot more background noise.
Camera: While the Evo has a slightly higher Megapixel rating, the Epic's camera is far superior in color and clarity, no questions asked. The flash was comparable between both phones.
User Interface: Surprisingly enough, I found the Epic's TouchWiz interface to be a lot more functionally useful than the Evo's HTC Sense. Sense seemed cluttered and busy, while TouchWiz was simple, easy to figure out, and worked right out of the box.
Swype: This is a huge one... it took quite a bit of finagling to get Swype to work on the Evo, and even with that there's no guarantee it will continue to work or be supported. Because the Epic comes with Swype it will always be supported and stable. Even with the QWERTY Physical Keyboard, I find myself using Swype almost exclusively.
Memory: This is obvious, Epic comes with 16GB while Evo comes with 8GB... for the same price point, it just makes sense.
Headphones: The Samsung Headset that comes with the Epic is actually very high quality. It sounded significantly better than the seemingly identical set I bought for $20 to go with the Evo.
Battery Life: While the battery ratings and most benchmark tests seem to be comparable, I found the Epic to get much longer battery life... maybe this is just me, but that was my experience.
The charger / USB cable connects at the top of the phone and makes it a bit difficult to use the Qwerty keyboard while plugged in. Fortunately, Swype eliminates the need for *me* to use the Qwerty most of the time, so this isn't a big issue for me. At worst, just unplug it when you're actually typing.
The Evo already has Android 2.2, the Epic is running 2.1 but is scheduled to be updated to 2.2 by the end of November 2010.
There were some nice widgets that came with Sense, but because of the other points listed above, I didn't feel these were enough to justify keeping it.
on January 27, 2011
+DURABLE gorilla glass screen
-keyboard doesnt fully register
-LACK OF COMMITMENT FROM SAMSUNG
*buy some spare batteries
because it is a phone, review of hardware is coupled with the software.
first, the screen is almost impervious to scratches, and the rubberized rear cover feels nice. battery cover prys off easily, yet stays on solid. best battery cover implement ive used.
running stock android 2.1, phone is generally responsive, and all of the features (e.g. Gallery) are pretty cool, though of course these are features of the software and not exclusive to this phone
phone feels very flimsy, even compared to other slide-out keyboards (e.g. anything Motorola, or the G2). the 2 halves feel detached from each other. typing on the keyboard even slowly will miss 5-10% of your keypresses!!!!!!!!! many believe this is a function of the firmware. either way it is ANNOYING. it is nice, however, to have a dedicated #row, and hard keys for the android functions (home, menu, back, search).
camera generally very good, front camera is neat, speakerphone is decently loud, audio output on jack is decently good
BIGGEST COMPLAINT IS SAMSUNG IS EXTREMELY EXTREMELY SLOW WITH SOFTWARE UPDATES. SHOWS NO COMMITMENT FROM THE COMPANY. one could speculate it is sprints fault, or it is the american carriers to blame. but fact is the sprint HTC EVO has had 2.2 for a long time, nexus1 has had 2.2 for a long time , and SAMSUNG PHONES have had a long history of slow release. WHOEVER'S FAULT IT IS, ultimately it is the USERS of samsung phones left holding their scrote.
i wont buy another samsung phone.
on February 27, 2011
...I obtained this phone shortly after it was released. If I recall correctly, I've had this phone since, roughly, last August (2010). In that time, there have been instances when I came very close to throwing it as far as I possibly could. Other times, I've thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
There are other reviewers here who have provided far more technical, detailed and all-together better reviews than I am capable of providing on a product such as this. Further, now that over one hundred some odd reviews have been posted, I can't really provide much that will offer any insight greater than that which has already been provided. But, I will offer my 2 cents.
I came to the Droid world from a Blackberry. I loved my Blackberry. I still miss it. That said, this phone offers far more than I ever had on my Blackberry. Web-browsing, wifi capability (and the ability to use the phone as a wifi/"hotspot" for, say, your laptop), apps, an excellent camera/video-camera, video-conferencing, it comes with a 16gb micro sd card which provides for incredible storage of photos, music, videos, pictures, etc.etc., etc., etc. Its capabilities go on and on and, by the way, yes, it does work as a telephone as well. However other times, I find it has "network" issues such that email accounts will not sync, the browser is excruciatingly slow, GPS places me roughly 3,200 miles away from where I actually am, etc. Point being, it has issues which, sometimes, force me to do a "battery pull" to reset the phone. It's annoying, particularly because I never experienced such things with Blackberry, with the exception of a mere few times where the Blackberry network was toast from coast to coast...for a little while anyway. But with this Droid, I've found such problems are far more frequent/numerous. Maybe it's more of a Sprint issue than it is a phone issue, frankly, I'm not really sure but can only offer that I didn't experience such things with my Blackberry (even though it too was with Sprint).
In terms of its use as an actual phone, I've never had any issues with "dropped" calls being any more problematic than with any other phone; the speaker works great, while video-conferencing has proven somewhat slow, broken-up and such that I just don't do it...but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I could do it if I wanted to do it, right? Right. But, it does work great as a phone.
All in all, not a bad phone. Indeed, it is just "ok." It does offer an array of services and capabilities which are almost dizzying...far more than my Blackberry did (at that time anyway). All things considered, I probably do prefer it over my Blackberry, but not by all that much.
UPDATE - Oct. 2011:
The day that Sprint offered the Apple iPhone 4s, I took this Droid down to my local Sprint store and said "good riddance" once and for all. For the sake of preserving my original review, I'll keep the original "three star" rating in place, but rest assured, as time wore on, that particular Droid became more problematic, requiring "battery pulls" about four to five times per day, with text, GPS and email service basically being worthless as well. I have never been more delighted to get rid of a phone than I was this particular Droid...particularly in favor of the iPhone 4s.
on March 2, 2011
I went to this phone from a BB Curve 8330. It took a couple days to get used to it, but it blows BB out of the water! Initially I wanted the Epic for three main reasons. 1) The screen is simply incredible! It's far more colorful and crisper than the Evo. 2) The slide out keyboard, which I don't even use anymore now that I've mastered the Swype feature ;) 3) The camera is by far the best I've ever seen on a mobile phone. Don't let the pixel count fool you. There are other phones boasting a higher pixel count, but the phone's ability to process the picture is what makes the difference. I know many people who have the Evo and I've compared their pictures vs mine-not even close!
In regards to some of the issues that others have talked about pertaining to GPS, I've never had the issue but I know some who have.
Also, pertaining to the Froyo update. Yes it would be nice to be able to use Flash. Yes I would like better bluetooth usage. Until we finally do get the update to either Froyo or Gingerbread I can wait. I'm overjoyed with this phone and would recommend it to anybody.
Oh yeah almost forgot the barry life. Be aware if you buy this phone or any of the large screen phones, that big beautiful screen does to your battery what a big V-8 does to gas! The Epic does have an automatic brightness setting that monitors the lighting around you and adjusts automatically. The phone comes with a built in task manager to help you control what programs are running in the background. You can also set it so that your phone isn't constantly checking social media, ie-Twitter and FB, for updates. That on its own will really extend your battery.
on September 3, 2010
This is my first android phone and i have to say i am highly impressed by what i see. Although there are already plenty of things already annoying me about this phone. instead of writing a paragraph i will just list some annoyances.
-power button is too small and placed to far back on the phone, which means your always trying to feel your way to it instead of it just being habitual and its the only button you can press to wake it up.
-slide out keyboard is not that comfortable to use, and the space bar is too small. and found the 4 short cut keys on each side not that useful for me. (but thats just me)I'm finding myself using the virtual keys more than i do the physical.
-the back button seems to be a little off, it needs to be touched just the right way just to get it to work. while the other touch sensitive buttons work perfectly.
-the body of this phone feels pretty cheap and for the price im pretty pissed off they couldn't use some sturdy material.
OK now for the positives!
-touchwiz UI is not bad on this phone and adds a nice style to the android interface, and gives you 7 home screens.
-browser is awesome, there are also other browsers you can experiment with, as a former blackberry user the ability to view full webpages is just EPIC!
-the screen is nice and vibrant,the best out there! and very responsive
on August 6, 2011
I've owned this phone for 9 months, and after the first couple of "honeymoon" months, it has been getting progressively worse with spontaneous rebooting and locking up while in use. It spontaneously restarts itself once or twice per day, and completely locks up three or four times per day. I've lost count of the number of times the phone has woken me up as it recharges on my nightstand at 4 AM due to a 3+1 vibrating pattern it loops through when it locks up (I don't have it set to vibrate for ANY notifications). The only way to make the phone operable again after it locks up is to remove the battery- none of the buttons are operable when a lock-up happens. The phone has been wiped twice by Sprint and they have determined that the issue is not related to software. Luckily, Sprint is running an open enrollment for August 2011 for their Total Equipment Protection Plan ($8/Mo) and I can get a replacement phone through them in a few days- otherwise, I'd be subject to Samsung's manufacturer's warranty (I have 3 more months left under the 1-year mfr warranty), which would take longer. If you have this phone through Sprint, I recommend enrolling in Sprint's TEP Plan this month to avoid any future heartache. I actually like this phone, but the issues I've experience with it are definitely a deal-breaker for me. I'd request a replacement phone from a different manufacturer if I could, but the TEP plan requires 3 replacement cycles before a different phone can be substituted. I'm hoping that I don't have to go through 3 replacement cycles to get a properly operating Samsung Epic 4G phone!!! By the way, I am not in any way associated with Sprint (other than being their customer) and do not receive any compensation from Sprint whatsoever. Their service has been excellent so far throughout this frustrating experience.
on April 5, 2011
Before I start the review, let me preface it by saying that I ordered this phone through Amazon and had no problems with ordering or delivery. Let me also say that I would rate this phone 5 stars when it functions. The problem is that it doesn't function properly often enough.
I bought this phone in November after doing a lot of research into smartphones. I was previously an ATT customer, and my wife has had an Iphone for several years. I personally think the Iphone is overpriced and decided to make my first smartphone an android. The features that I was looking for were a nice screen, slide out keyboard, and I also liked Sprint's price plan. The phone delivers in abundance on those aspects.
I received the phone and was quickly impressed by all it could do. I began installing apps at a rapid pace. The first problem I noticed was during the first couple of weeks. The phone froze up and I had to open the back cover, take out the battery, and put it back in to reboot it. It didn't happen very often, and being new to smartphones I thought that all smartphones had this issue. As the weeks went on, it started happening more and more often. There were no patterns to it either. Sometimes it would be in my pocket for hours and I would take it out to find it frozen. Other times, it would be charging while I slept. I would wake up to find it frozen and uncharged. It began to happen on a daily basis and be quite a pain. I did some research on the internet and found some forums where others described similar problems. They mentioned doing a factory data reset, and some found success. I found this option in the menu, and did it. I decided to only install apps that were fairly well known, and had many good reviews (i.e. yelp, opentable, pandora) This seemed to help for about 3 days, and then the freezing problems started again.
Sometime in January, I was running some errands and the phone froze again. I happened to be near a Sprint store so I brought it into them in the frozen state. They had me leave it for a couple of hours to run some "diagnostics". When I picked it up, they said they just did a factory data reset. I'm not sure why it took a couple of hours, because it only took a couple of minutes when I did the exact same thing. They asked if I had Android Task Killer installed, which I did. They said that was most likely the cause. I asked them if it happened again, could I have it replaced as I have the equipment repair/replacement option on my plan? They said only if I brought it in frozen and did not have any apps installed other than what's on there from the reset. What good is having a smartphone if it can't run apps? After this reset it began working a little better, and would only freeze a couple of times a week, instead of daily. My wife had a baby and things became pretty hectic, so the phone problems slipped down my priority list. I also learned that by pressing the volume, power, and camera buttons at the same time, I could reboot it without removing the battery.
A couple of weeks ago, I received the over the air update to 2.2. I hoped this would solve some of the problems I was having. I was very wrong. The freezing issues started happening daily or even several times a day. When I would reboot the phone, it would have 40-50% less battery life than before it froze. It is also constantly shutting itself off for no reason. Yesterday, I did another factory data reset and will wait and see how it goes. So far it hasn't frozen, but it has shut itself down while it was charging. I don't have time to wait for it to freeze and then run over to the Sprint store, but if I have the opportunity I will. Hopefully they will be willing to just replace it. If not, than Sprint will have lost a customer for life.
on May 16, 2011
Well I started off with a free LG Optimus an it was constantly mistyping and crashing. I moved to the Epic..thinking...well you get what you pay for..so lets get a good phone that might actually last a year or two. I have good things to say abou the Epic but some bad ones and bad stuff about the Operating System/ or firmware. The first thing I noticed, that many average people haven't is that the date is cutt off. I use the date alot, which pops up on the screensaver. It's always Monday May ___ and then does show the time. Major bug. Then the bluetooth voice dialer. Since most people that buy nice phones, probably use the bluetooth...maybe it would be nice to have a volume control??? there is no setting for volume, and like the last phone it says "please speak now" at sucha a low volume that you aren't quite sure what she's saying, especially when driving. Then when you dial and it repeats what you dialed ...again you can't hear what's going on, so when it misdials, bad bad bad....oh wait...I lied...it does have a volume control..but it's only after you hit voicedial and you have to manually raise the volume with the external volume controls and when you are done...it loses the setting. Ok let me take a break from the bad and let you know that this is a really nice phone, receptive, set up well. Great graphics and sound. keyboard is good nice pics...style is good..it is a bit big...but it has always been a good thing for me...movies and music run great..
ok now more bad... The gallery app started failing almost immediately...the pics would completely dissapear...i rebooted and started taking pics..and again...a few days and poof they are gone....angry birds starts not working and not popping up when started. After a bit i did some internet searching and there is a folder that I found the pics in...but they are no longer in the gallery. Angry birds which is a basic app, which i love, never stays up long enough to get through three or 4 screens. Might be Rovios fault some, but the phone seems buggy...not sure most other games work fine. oh also on the Good side, the battery does fairly well for as much as you get, huge screen and app and phone, not bad for battery life, but as with most of these new smartphones, you have to get used to chargeing more often. ok..back to the bad...the chat/ texting feature..that comes with the phone is really nice...except when you get a pic...all pics show up sideways annnd so you flip the phone..and #$$#*() it flips sideways again...and again...and again... OK HELLOOOO???? we pay 200 for a nice phone and you guys haven't seen all these bugs??? The industry is in a hurry to get these phone out and sell em as the latest competition to the iphone, and they want to get the money rolling in and catch up with the updates later?? not good business.. ok go onto Sprint.com or the samsung Epic forums and both places the actuall foum on the Epics is constant complaints on the Epic...everyone constantly asks for the 2.3 Gingerbread update that is supposed to fix most everything now. AND on these forums, they have moved the main forum where everyone complains..to the backround...so you have to search for it..and they dont get bad press. Meanwhile we pay for a nice phone with bugs. Ok so these are my main complaints...I honestly like the phone but this is my second andriod phone now...and the Lg and now Samsung Epic are giving me a bad picture here....i was going to pay the early terminations on all three of my phones and Sprint convinced me not to...for a deal on the Epic...now i think in a year...I'm going to cancell and get an Iphone..because it Works. Advice, dont get the Epic or any phone without Gingerbread (Andriod) 2.3... Make them give you a phone that is worth the money you spend and one sided contract you have to sign.