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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2010
I've had this thing for a few weeks now, and I am just loving it. I was looking at this or the EVO (As I'm sure everyone else is), and I ultimately decided on this phone for two reasons:

1. The slide out QWERTY keyboard
2. The AMOLED screen

First, I'll go into the keyboard. It is excellent! I had a friend, a launch Droid user, tell me that I wouldn't use the keyboard often. Actually, he was right. The on-screen Swype keyboard is just excellent for text input. However, I am really glad that I have the option of the physical keyboard. It is much, much better when typing passwords, entering e-mail addresses, or typing anything that requires precision. e.g. Numbers or words that aren't in the dictionary.

Next, the screen: It is gorgeous! I've watched a little TV from my Slingbox and a few movies. The Slingbox is limited by my internet, but the movies... Even less than DVD quality movies look superb on this phone. You'd think you were watching an HD movie. The colors are amazing. However, the most impressive thing to me is the black levels. I'm used to looking at LCD screens, and one of the first things I noticed was that when looking at a blank screen, it is pure black. You can't even tell the screen is on, but it is. It is a true black. This has totally sold me on an AMOLED TV when they become affordable.

I was also really impressed with the video quality. This thing can shoot in 720p video, and it looks really good. I was really interested in buying a Flip video camera or something like it, but the video quality on this phone is excellent, and I no longer see the point in buying a second device to record video.

My only complaints of the phone are in the Android OS. First off, it is very limited in playing Flash content. I'm patiently waiting on the Android 2.2 update, which I hope will allow me to view all Flash content natively, but I don't really know if/what the flash limitations are in Froyo (Android 2.2). At the time I'm writing this review, it appears that Samsung has submitted Froyo to the cellular providers for publishing. We're expecting Froyo to be released for this phone at the end of October 2010.

Next, I'm admittedly a little disappointed with the App Store. There just isn't much going on there. It's a real pain to navigate, and needs a major overhaul. You can view maybe 3-4 apps on screen at once, and there's no efficient way to sort them. You want a game? You can sort it by action, casual, puzzle, etc. That's it. You can't sort by name, number of downloads, publisher... anything really. Really, the best way to find the decent apps is to Google online with your PC and then go to your phone to download the apps.

Even then, the App store feels bare of quality apps. There are a few here and there, but they're definitely hard to find. The extremely poor sorting capabilities of the app store don't help. On the bright side, new apps are being released almost daily, and with the rapidly growing market share of the Android OS, it won't be long before there are tons of quality apps.

Finally, there's the battery. If you've read any other reviews, you had to see this coming! You'll absolutely have to buy a car charger for this phone. I charge mine on my way to work, and on my way home every day.

I will say this: I've had the phone for about four weeks, and it seems like the battery actually gets better when you've used and recharged it a few times. And when I say better, I mean a LOT better. When I first had the phone, it took around four hours to charge. When I went up to the store about an hour ago, I was charging the phone in my car. I gained about five percent battery in eight minutes. That's approximately 2.6 hours to recharge the phone. That's a pretty dramatic increase in charging time. However, I can't accurately testify to this number, as I may have been using the phone more often when I first got it.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the phone, and I highly recommend it.

UPDATE:

It just occurred to me that I did not go into any detail on the actual call quality. Obviously, this will be a very important factor to some people. I didn't go into detail because I feel it is adequate, and I bought this phone primarily for the many other functions the phone is capable of.

When not using speakerphone, the call quality is perfectly adequate. However, the quality when using speakerphone is really sub par.

I came from using a Nextel i880, and I am a big user of speakerphone because most calls I make are in a car. I generally set the phone on my center console and talk. When I got this phone, I attempted to do the same thing, but when I'm on the freeway and there is a lot of road noise in my car, I've been told it sounds like I'm talking in a wind tunnel.

The reason for this is that the mic on the speakerphone is VERY sensitive. When I'm at home with no ambient noise, the person on the other end can hear me crystal clear from six feet away. Unfortunately, the sensitive mic picks up everything else as well. I've had to start using a bluetooth headset in my car for clear conversations. Now, if you're driving a car that doesn't have a lot of road noise at high speed, this won't be an issue, but it is definitely something to be aware of before purchasing.

SECOND UPDATE (11/23):

Okay, I've been using this phone for quite a while now, and I've got it all figured out. There are a couple things I want to go into:

1. The Android 2.2 beta has been released. I've got it installed on my phone, and while there are a few bugs, Froyo has a few extra features that make it worthwhile. For one, the web browser is much closer to that of a desktop computer. I can now log in to local hotspots that have the "I Agree" screen, whereas with the stock, these pages wouldn't load at all.

Flash has been a bit of a disappointment though. Flash programs and video are so resource intensive that the phone slows to a screeching halt. I even had the phone completely lock up on me once to where I had to remove the battery and restart. I'm REALLY hoping that this is just a symptom in the beta, because if it isn't, then Flash just isn't really usable on this thing.

2. Battery life. Before I tried out the Froyo beta, I had a user created version of Android loaded on the phone. I can't stress how much better it is than the stock OS. It eliminates the crummy pre-loaded Sprint apps, increases performance, and at the very least DOUBLES battery life. If you're a little tech savvy, this user generated content is far better than Samsung/Sprint's software. Just be aware it voids the warranty if Sprint knows about it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2010
I have had a first generation iPhone for the past few years. I purchased the iPhone when it first came on the scene so due to the expense I have not been interested in purchasing a new cell phone until recently when I saw a commercial advertising Sprint's $69.99 plan. After seeing the pricing I decided to do some research on Sprint phones and soon narrowed down my options to the Evo and the Epic. Based on reviews and having no desire for a physical keyboard, I was actually interested in the Evo. I stopped in to the Sprint Store and played with both the Evo and the Epic and surprisingly I fell in love with the Epic. I loved the screen, the smaller more rounded design, and the keyboard seemed like a nice option for composing long emails without adding to much bulk to the phone. The Evo had a clear crisp screen and the kickstand was a unique feature but it was just too large and too masculine for my taste. I ordered the Epic from a competing website and with a $25 off coupon code I manage to score a sweet deal of $174.99, free shipping. It arrived last week and I have been in love ever since. I am so glad I walked away from my iPhone. Perhaps because this is my first android phone I am not as critical as some, but here are the features I enjoy:
Visual Voicemail: Now I can play voicemails in any order I like, replay, pause, start again. It's very convienient.
The screen: As many have mentioned, it's simply gorgeous and makes you want to turn the phone on and play with it just to look at it.
The keyboard: I have had a touchscreen phone for years but I find myself using the keyboard for longer emails and text messages. It is very easy to adjust to and feels comfortable. I thought I wouldn't use it at all but I actually prefer it.
The apps: I have found many games and apps for free in the android market. It makes the phone experience that much more enjoyable
The sound quality: My phone calls are much clearer than with my iPhone. Nobody sounds muffled. The speakerphone is crisp and clear.
The camera: I already own a 14.1 megapixel cannon camera so I did not purchase this phone for the camera but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it takes decent shots. It's definetly a great backup to have on days where I don't have my camera handy. My iPhone took horible grainy photos that were virtually unusable.
Overall I am in love with the potential of this phone. It is capable of much more than I've mentioned so for a lite user such as myself it's a dream. I'm sure someone interested in multimedia and gaming will find this phone measures up to their high expectations as well.

To be fair, the battery does seem to drain rather quickly but I always plug the phone in when I'm home and I have an extra usb for work where I charge the epic with my laptop so I have not experienced any problems. I would suggest simply being prepared if you purchase this phone. Many reviewers have stated the battery can not be expected to go longer than a day without being charged and they are correct. Search the web for cheap cables and have an extra charger in your car or at your job and you won't have any reason to be dissapointed.

I am enjoying this phone but I am dissapointed with Sprint's network. I knew there was no 4g in my area when I purchased the phone so that is not a problem, but I did expect to have superior 3g connectivity since Sprint has now advanced to 4g. I find the 3g service to be extremely slow. I can not watch Sprint TV without my chosen show stopping every one to two minutes and taking five mintues or longer to load back again. It's a wonderful feature to have if it would work properly. I attribute this to the network not being able to support such an awesome phone.

Overall I am very satisfied with my purchase and more so dissapointed that Sprint is not truly ready for the capability of this device. I am hoping that when I travel I will be able to use more of the awesome features this phone has therby negating the need to tote around a laptop.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2010
First of all, there are several poor reviews on this site that can simply be disregarded. Dumb people picking out 1 item that doesn't even make sense for a review, and they 1-star the phone. Don't worry, I see that ALL OVER this site these days. It completely skews the overall product rating, which sucks because it would be great to rely on that. As it is, with multiple moronic negative reviews for this phone, it is still averaging 4 stars. That should tell you what you need to know.

Pros:

Screen is so amazingly crisp and brilliant. It's great watching HD youtube videos, and high def pics on it.

Camera. It takes super sharp pictures and has TONS of different modes. Action mode is a really amazing feature.

4G. *if* you are in an area that has it, 4G is amazingly fast. I clocked the phone at over 3mbps today at work with an upload of 1mbps. That's faster than alot of home connections. And it is WAY more than you need for a cell phone.

Market. The apps you can get, there are so many of them. Tons of them are free, and you can personalize your phone and make it yours. That is the beauty of Droid in general.

Memory. The onboard memory is 512mb, plenty of room to install lots of apps, and still keep the phone running smooth. The 16mb expansion memory is enough for thousands and thousands of songs and pictures. Or you can rip some blu-rays to it. Also, you can upgrade to 32mb if you feel the need.

Processor. The 1gz hummingbird processor is a monster for a cell phone. The phone never ever lags or pauses or anything. What you tell it to do, it does. ( get it? Droid does! )

Typing. Swype is great, and if you don't like that you can tap, and if you don't like that you can talk, and if you don't like that you can slide out the qwerty keyboard.

Overall this phone is simply gorgeous, and at the very same time it is a workhorse for a cell phone. Call quality is crisp and clear, no dropped calls yet. Texting and communicating is made quick, easy, and fun.

Cons:

The only thing I have to say about this phone in any way that is negative, is the battery life. However, it's not this phone. It's physics. It's the law of things. If you have your screen maxed on brightness, download and stream stuff in 4G, and have a live wallpaper going on in the background, and GPS all day, and on and on... yes the battery will straight up die on you. So will your laptop. So will any other battery powered device. Batteries have a finite amount of juice in them. If you need your battery to last for 12+ hours between charges, then regulate yourself accordingly. Turn off things you don't need, dim the screen, and relax. The battery will be fine.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2010
I clung to my Verizon LG basic camera/text phone for as long as I could. When I finally got tired of waiting... and made the move to an android phone, I was flabbergasted at the price difference on monthly plans between Verizon and Sprint. I'd call it a no-brainer, but I really think it's one of the smartest moves I've ever made.

Sprint service in my area (Central NJ, ranging between Monmouth County and Philly Suburbs) has been solid. (with the exception of a 1/4 mile area of Jackson, NJ in Ocean County that doesn't get ANY service, not even Verizon)

I get 4G at work and for 80% of my drive home. I sometimes get a smattering of 4G in my house and the Sprint people says it'll be in my area sooner rather than later... so for me "the Network" is not an issue, and I would surmise it's more hype than truth in more places than not.

The Epic 4G is awesome. Really fast, good looking and slick. Easy to learn how to use and easy to operate. I have no complaints to balance my review with. I use it for just about everything you can imagine. Gmail, corporate email, voicemail, google voice, google talk, google maps, audible.com, facebook, twitter, browsing, android apps... no problems so far. (to be fair, corp email took some doing to set up, but the difficulty was on my end, the phone was ready and willing if I was putting in the right information)

Battery lasts a whole day... even the day when I was in heavy use when trying to set up corporate email, the batter made it a good 8 hours before needing a recharge.

Highly recommended. (I almost got the EVO, which from what I've seen is also great, but the Super AMOLED screen on the Epic blew me away when I played with it at the Sprint store)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2011
This was a great phone when I got it but Samsung has been promising an update to the newest Android software with flash support and new features for about 6 months and hasn't delivered. Their competitors HTC and Motorola updated the competing phones in Summer 2010 but Samsung is still making excuses in Early 2011. Samsung claims this is their answer to the iPhone, but again the iPhone gets software updates to help older iPhones match some of the features of newer iPhones, but Samsung has no answer to that. They say they don't want to release an update until they have everything right, but if I said that to a teacher about my final report and was 6 months late I would fail the class. The competitors keep their phones up to date, Samsung makes excuses and hopes you will just but a brand new phone from them every 6 months. If a Samsung phone has to be replaced with a new model every 6 months to get the latest Android version while your competitors phones get regular updates, why woulndn't I buy the competitors phone next time? It is a nice phone with a good screen and decent battery life but if Samsung is too cheap to pay a few extra programmers to write updates then it is not worth our money.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2011
Bought this phone 4 months ago and still on android 2.1!!!
This is ridicules, I don't know who's at fault...samsung,sprint or both.

This phone may be great if you have never used an iphone but my problem is my last phone was the iphone 3g and going to this phone was like 2 steps back...NO JOKE!!
Application functionality is the main reason; simple example... the facebook app on the iphone it was so simple to poke someone..Well the fb app on android no way to poke someone. I know this is a silly example but I am trying to show an example. Pretty much must of the application have limited functionality compared to the same app on iphone. Another example Yahoo app...you can make video calls on the iphone but on the android epic... NO Can do !!
So yeah.. if you've never used an iphone you might love this phone simply for that reason.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
We carefull when buying this phone, Samsung is shipping phones with a bad master image, I got my Epic back in October and there were 3 updates over the air (OTA) but neither Samsung nor Sprint can manually update my phone and after 6 nights and two trips to Sprint's repair center, they are tryng to replace my phone with a refurbish one after paying for a brand new phone not even 3 months ago. Sprint customer service is a disaster, they will give you mix informtation just to get you off the phone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
I purchased this phone thinking that it would be on the cutting edge of smartphones but to my surprise Samsung has just abandoned the phone leaving it outdated and lagging behind the HTC Evo which is older. Samsung has left this phone in its rearview mirror and moved on to concentrate on its new line of Galaxy phones so I suggest you do the same to any new Samsung phones including this one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2010
I have to say that this is the best smartphone ever produced by anyone, anywhere. The combination of the vibrant screen, excellent design, smooth interface, speed of the Sprint 4G network (where available) and strong android marketplace is unbeatable. I strongly recommend this phone with Sprint's Everything Data Mobile Me plan. I am very pleased and have not looked back.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pros:
- Gorgeous, high-res, colorful and LARGE screen
- Big slide-out keyboard (in addition to on-screen one) has dedicated number keys
- Learning curve is short. Easy to understand
- Handles apps (like Angry Birds, live wallpaper) that Transform can't
- 16 Gb SD card included (can use up to 32 GB card)
- Very attractive on or off
- Great camera, hardware and software
- iPhone-like finger control of pictures and internet

Cons:
- Battery life is short if applications are left running, or with heavy use of apps
- Phone is a little large for a pocket (but smaller than you'd think with that keyboard)
- I'm sure something better will come along, but you can't prevent that!

I've had the Samsung Epic 4G for a week now, and I love it. LOVE it. Let me explain why.

Had a 2-1/2 year old Samsung Rant, with slide-out keyboard. It was sort of an entry level smart phone, bought for texting--not apps. It got drowned in the washing machine, which wasn't a tragedy. The phone lost its novelty long ago, and was never useful beyond talking and texting.

I needed a new phone quickly, so switching carriers to get an iPhone was out the window. I went to the Sprint store, and looked around. I was happy to find Android phones that looked iPhone-ish, but with real keyboards. The Samsung Transform, the HTC Evo Shift and the Samsung Epic. Liked them all, but opted for the cheapest of the three, the Transform. Thought it was SUCH a jump from the Rant, it would be "good enough."

After two weeks, I got tired of "good enough." All of my previous phones had been "good enough." NONE had made me very happy. Transform is a good phone. It's a good texting device. The internet and apps were of course better than I'd ever had. But they were slow, and they were buggy. And the screen was only passable.

I finally got my receipt, boxed everything back up, and went back to Sprint to trade it in. I KNEW that the Epic was going to be my choice, but I gave the Evo a shot. Nope, Epic, all the way. It has a GORGEOUS and LARGE screen for one, and I knew from researching online that it had the fastest processor.

After having had real-world, hands-on experience with both, I really couldn't be happier. The Epic 4G is fast. It's responsive. It installs apps (or uninstalls them) very quickly. The wide keyboard is great, equal to (but slightly different from) the Transform's. The phone looks sexy when in standby mode, all black except for a silver band around the edge, and the chrome logos. It effortlessly logs onto wireless or 4G. I don't feel like I'm giving up anything, or getting "less than." And the screen. . .I'm not kidding, don't pass it up until you've really checked out the screen.

My advice to anyone getting their first big bump up to a real smart phone: Spend the money. If the prices are $100, $150 and $200? Don't automatically go for the cheap one. Don't necessarily go for the most expensive either. But with a two year commitment, think about it. Is a $50 savings worth two years of beeing slightly dissatisfied or worse? I learned the hard way, and had to pay a $35 restocking fee!
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