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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2010
This is my first smart phone, so maybe I'm not the most sophistcated reviewer in the world, but so far, this thing does everything I hoped it would (and does it quickly and easily) and a LOT more. I've only had it for a couple weeks so far, and I feel like I've only seen the tip of the iceberg.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 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.

Good riddance!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2011
* Previous touch-screen smartphones I've owned over the past few years:
T-Mobile Sidekick, T-Mobile G1, Droid, Samsung Intercept

The Epic blows them all out of the water and it's not even close.

My favorite features
*The Screen
--it's crystal clear and the best screen I've seen on any phone (including the iphone)
--it's big.. watching video or playing games or using apps, there's just a ton of real estate.
*The Speed
--By speed I mean the speed of the response time of navigating throughout the phone (apps/games/calls/msging)
there almost NO lag time when compared to some of the other, aforementioned phones that I've owned.
*The Keyboard
--by FAR the best keyboard on any phone i've ever used- both onscreen and physical.
The onscreen keyboard is touchy, but not too touchy and I've been using SWYPE typing more and more
and it's pretty amazing. The commercials make it look like it might be difficult, but once u get used to it
you probably won't type long messages w/out it. Short messages I still just slide out the physical keyboard.
Which is nice because it's got 3 features I love!
----a FULL row dedicated for 0-9 (no more hitting shift keys to get #s)
----A emoticon button (which triggers an onscreen menu to select which one you want)
----NAVIGATION BUTTONS (Menu, Home, Back, Search) ..Makes navigating in web-browsing super slick.
*Android OS of course
--Once you go Android you never go back. Yeah it doesn't rhyme, but it makes sense. So many great apps
with more released daily. Some of my must haves are..
~Where's my Droid (allows you to find your droid if it's on silent or even via GPS)
~Dolphin Browser (best browser on Android -tabbed browsing, easy nav, fast)
~Easytether/PDAnet (tethering apps, which is a great way to use your phones internet if don't want to pay for the tethering data plan)
~ShopSavvy (scanner app)
~Handcent SMS(Iphone like messaging)
~Pandora (internet music)
~Stitcher (podcast app)
~TuneIn Radio (tune into AM/FM radio programs)
~Fandango (movie theater app)
~The Weather Channel (weather app)
~Talking Tom (fun little app where you can get a cat to do some cool stuff)
~Angry Birds (highly addictive game)

The Cons?
-(as of this review) Still on Android 2.1 (seriously Samsung??..cmon...)
- Missing my favorite feature of the DROID contact list ([x] - Send calls from this user directly to voicemail)
- It's sorta bulky, especially if you put a case on it like I did... but just wear cargo pants/shorts and you're good to go :)
- Battery life is below avg -- But there are a few tricks you can use to get this to be extend it (look at some of the other
reviews here for some good ideas such as setting your background to be BLACK, turn off GPS, 4G when not using) to name a few
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
1st...these seem to be the low points of this phone, so i'll get this out of the way:
1) gps works fine (now?). google navigation is awesome
2) turn off apps when you're done using them (4g, wifi, gps, location finder via wireless networks, bluetooth, etc.). my battery lasts all day; however, i will admit...i doubt you can get more than 3 or 4 hours talk time.
3) i heard people complaining about the difficulty seeing the screen outdoors prior to buying my phone so i immediately bought an anti-reflective screen protector from sprint (they installed it for me). the only time i have trouble seeing the screen is when it's very bright outside. when i turn on the brightness (which a lot of people probably leave on all the time) i see fine.

reasons i am blown away:
very quick & responsive even when several apps running, touch keyboard is much better than i thought it'd be (especially with 'swype key'); hence, the reason i got a phone with actual keyboard (which i still use for longer typing). recorded video is definitely better than expected (720p). only complaint there is that it doesn't handle moving objects very well while taking still pictures.

reasons i am not blown away...yet:
until android 2.2 is available for the epic 4g streaming video (such as espn3) is not viewable (even with skyfire) and voice command over bluetooth is not available. epic is supposed to get the android 2.2 sometime soon (people have been saying this for months...i'm sure many are sick of waiting). android 2.2 is supposed to cut the browser rendering in half (according to tests with other phones loading 2.1 vs 2.2), speed up the phone's app processing, and slightly increase battery life.
regardless of android OS, netflix's app isn't available...yet and samsung hasn't come out with the micro-usb to hdmi cable...yet.
this phone has been out for nearly a year so i must say that i'm not very impressed with samsung's efforts thus far. it appears that htc (with the evo) is ahead of the game.

the evo already has the above features (android 2.2 and hdmi cable) other than netflix (which isn't available for droid yet), but once the epic has them (in the near future) i don't think i'll be able to imagine a better phone. but then again...that may be a while???
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2011
This phone could have been super awesome. The keyboard is incredible--its big, roomy, and responsive. The screen is amazing. And i found the call quality not too bad (ok this is partially from coming from a 2 year old blackberry)

The phone itself had some bizarre quirks that didn't bother me too much. Then, after the update to 2.2 froyo, the whole thing went to hell. All of the notifications are wacky and pop up randomly and repeatedly. It opens programs at random all the time. It repeatedly plays one particular voicemail on speaker phone at random even if the phone is locked. To complement programs randomly opening, I get several force closes a day on the most basic of programs. It turns on chat clients while I'm sleeping Then upon searching these issues, I'm finding people on forums all over with the same or similar (sometimes worse) problems. Even if I went back to android 2.1, it asks you if you want to update at least once an hour (this is how I updated--i clicked it by accident and then there's no going back).

I returned it--it wasn't worth it to me to jump through all these hopes just to get an expensive phone to work semi normally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2010
I've had the phone about 3 weeks. Came from a Palm Treo (a very solid device), and I'm loving the Epic.

Fast, hundreds of useful apps, stable device. Screen is amazing. Battery life was very poor the first few days(wouldn't last the whole work day on a charge) but has improved so it has about a half-charge left at the end of the day (and this is with push e-mail, and other programs running). Love Kindle for Android, Pandora, podcasts, pre-loaded Swype.

The power button is in an odd place, and the slider is very responsive, so I often find myself pushing it slightly open when trying to power off the screen. Found out belatedly that Android 2.1 doesn't support Exchange 2010 server for calendar sync (email and contacts did just fine), but am using NitroDesk Touchdown app for work email/calendar/contacts/tasks, and actually like it better than native app. Hoping Samsung lives up to its promises and releases the 2.2 upgrade before the end of November.

Bought the Epic because of the hard keyboard but like many others, now prefer Swype. Considered switching to T-Mobile and getting the Vibrant, without hard keyboard, but like my Sprint service and plan (current SERO users: note there is a new premium SERO plan that is compatible with this phone if you're willing to go through twelve customer service calls to get it). My colleague got a Droid Pro at the same time, and it pales in comparison to this device. Epic is expensive but worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2010
I bought one from Sprint because I couldn't wait the extra several weeks to save $50 on Amazon. I've been waiting for this phone for a loong time.
+ Numeric row on physical keyboard makes real note and contact entry much faster. I've used Palm Treo's for years for this reason. Little shifting.
- Buttons are not raised enough to prevent bumping the wrong keys. Hard little bumps like the Treo or blackberry keyboards are as easy to type on as this monster, so the size was wasted due to bad choice of keys. I'm thinking of putting glue bumps on there already.
+ Great display
- Battery only lasts if you are very careful with what you use and enable, and charge often. Phone gets hot when recharging, and once even overheated and shut down due to the back side being on a foam couch (and in a skin) while recharging. For something that needs to be plugged in constantly, the charge connector is finiky and in the wrong place (top). Expect to buy a couple of extra chargers, one for every place you want to park it.
+ Android apps! Yay! Free coolness! Some seriously great stuff.
- Sprint wants $30/Mo to enable the wifi hotspot feature, which only works as well as the local signal strength. For example, don't pick the phone up and use it while streaming music over the hot spot, it will drop out.
-+ Will improve somewhat once they get 2.2 on it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2011
This is my first smartphone. I purchased it on launch day (August 31), so I've had four months to play with it. I'll review its strengths and weaknesses in a few categories:

AWESOME! Apple's iPhone 4 screen is sharp, but nothing beats the super-dark blacks and vibrant colors of a Super AMOLED. 4 inches is perfect too -- it's not too big to fit in a jeans pocket

Very well done, with an excellent layout. It occasionally misses a keystroke, though.

I almost never take my Canon PowerShot to parties anymore. The still photo quality in good light is awesome, but photos in low light with flash look a little bit muddy and noisy. Plenty good enough. Video quality is awesome -- you'll definitely have no need for a Flip camcorder if you're carrying the Epic.

I have used Sprint for 10 years, but only with flip phones. Call quality is pretty good, and I almost never drop a call. The earpiece is a little buzzy at high volumes. The 3G is excellent everywhere I go -- I live in Houston, TX, but it also works great in Austin, DFW, and Seattle. 4G is spotty and it'll suck the daylights out of your battery if you keep it turned on when not in a 4G area.

It usually lasts a whole day with moderate usage. Turn off GPS, Wifi, and 4G if you're not using them to save juice.

Android rocks; there are over 100,000 apps to choose from. However, sometimes the Epic lags a little when scrolling through the menus. Which brings me to my biggest beef about the Epic: As of 1/6/2011, Froyo has still not been released on the Epic, or any other Samsung Galaxy S phones in the US. The EVO has had Froyo since August.

The hardware (especially the screen) is great, but the spotty 4G network and Samsung's poor software support leave me somewhat lukewarm. Take a look at Motorola and HTC Android phones instead. However -- the Epic is a lot of fun to use, and it sure beats a flip phone!

Update (1/25/11): Samsung still hasn't released Froyo. I rooted the phone, and I installed the TrulyEpic Rebirth ROM, which is based on a leaked version of Froyo. Everything is much smoother now, and the GPS locks within 4 foot accuracy. However, the rooting process is not for the faint of heart and there's a chance you may brick the phone. The average Joe shouldn't have to do this to get a properly updated phone. Thus, I reduced the rating to two stars. If you want a phone with a keyboard, get the new EVO Shift instead.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2010
I've been with T-Mobile now for a few years, and I read some pretty cool things about the Samsung Epic, so my wife and I each gave one a shot under Sprint's 30 day "test drive." Long and short -- the Epic didn't live up to what we were hoping for, and we ended up sticking with T-Mobile (and got the T-Mobile G2). (Note -- neither of us work for either company, and have absolutely no connection or dedication to either company.) Here are our pros and cons on the Epic:

-- Brilliant, eye-catching screen. Super AMOLED is incredible. This is one area where the Epic is a little nicer than the T-Mobile G2. (The Epic screen is a little over-saturated, and the G2 renders colors a little more naturally, but all in all, the Epic has a great screen.)

-- Physical keyboard has a lot of useful keys; all four capacitative buttons from front face of phone are duplicated on the keyboard. Dedicated row of number keys is nice.

-- Sprint 4G (when you can get it, and you're not concerned about burning up the battery) is very fast.

-- TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE battery life (even after exchanging for a different phone and battery). I could never get more than 8-10 hours of standby/use under very average use; a few days I didn't even make it through the day. (I use my phone for basic business emailing, infrequent texting, and occasional web-browsing when bored.) I even did extensive internet research on how to improve battery life, and pretty much every idea I found involved disabling or shutting off every feature that makes the Epic useful/fun/cool. And don't even think about using the fancy Sprint 4G too much -- that drains the Epic's battery faster than anything (which is a little annoying, given that you pay $10/line/month for the 4G.) What's the point of having a phone where you can't use anything on it??? The battery life issues are by far the most common complaint I have seen re: the Epic, and my experience was no different. (By point of contrast, in my second day of use with the T-Mo G2, I got 24 hours of typical standby/use. For me, that is an acceptable battery life for one of these high-powered smartphones.)

-- Painfully slow charger. The Epic took over 4 hours to go from 15-20% power to full charge. (Again, only by point of contrast, my G2 recharges in about 2 hrs. I've read that Samsungs in general don't charge very fast.)

-- A little pricey. The Epic is $250 after the $100 contrast, you can get other Android phones on other carriers for $150-200. When you are dealing with two phones, as we were, the $100-$200 difference isn't chump change.

-- Still no Android 2.2 for any Samsung phone!!! (On every other Android phone, OS 2.2 has been out for months. Again, Samsung phones are typically behind on the OS updates.) That means no Flash support, so a lot of webpages will have blanks or unplayable embeds. On a similar point, Samsung doesn't use straight Android -- they have their own overlay operating system on top of the Android layout. (I've read this is what slows down the OS updates.) I didn't like the Samsung overlay OS; much prefer the plain Android. The Samsung overlay OS is bloated and not particularly intuitive, and I believe slows this phone down. Android OS ain't broke, don't try and fix it Samsung! Just give us 2.2 Froyo!

-- The phone is a little bulky. The weight was good on the Epic (noticeably lighter than the T-Mobile G2), but the Epic is larger in size. I really feel like Epic exceeded the sweet spot in terms of its size. The Epic was also little "plasticky" (compared with a lot of brushed metal on the G2), but that does probably help out the Epic with the weight.

-- Sprint 4G is not particularly functional. This is not a complaint about the Epic per se, but is nevertheless relevant to this phone. As I noted above, when you get the Epic, you must pay $10/month/line for Sprint 4G. (That $10/month over a two year contract is $240, and nearly $500 on two lines!!) In the three weeks that I tried the Epic, I used the 4G service *maybe* 5 times (my wife even less). Why? First, battery life, as noted above. You can't leave the 4G radio on th Epic on all the time, b/c it will halve your battery life. Second, the process of getting on Sprint 4G is clunky -- you have to first turn on the 4G radio, then wait for it to connect, and then (if it actually connects), got to the browser and pull up the webpage. By point of contrast, with my T-Mo G2, the phone will automatically connect to the higher speed, 4G T-Mobile network if it is available. Thus, you don't have to take all the additional steps as with the Sprint phones. In just one week of use of the G2, I've actually gotten to make use of T-Mo's 4G network more than in the three weeks I had the Epic. (I know Sprint's 4G is technically supposed to be faster than T-Mo 4G HSPA+, but not by much (we tested the Epic and the G2 side by side), and when you account for the unfunctionality of the Sprint 4G, it's simply not worth it.)

Hope this helps those of you who are out there shopping around.
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