Samsung Epic 4G Android Smartphone Review

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Quality



The phone feels very sturdy and fits well in our hands, and the keyboard slides and back with ease—the Epic 4G is a well-made device. It also has one of the strongest haptic feedbacks we’ve felt in a phone—when the Epic 4G vibrates, it’s not kidding around.

To say that the 4-inch Super-AMOLED screen is gorgeous, would be an understatement. It’s very bright, and is even visible in many outdoor lighting scenarios--albeit, it doesn't do so well in direct sunlight, and sometimes the glossy screen throws back annoying reflections. The screen also displays very rich colors. As such, it is a pleasure to view photos and watch videos on the screen. Its 480x800 screen resolution might not be quite in the same league as the iPhone 4’s 960x640 Retina display, but it certainly gives it a run for the money. The speakers also sound very impressive, spitting out clear-sounding audio that can get surprisingly loud. The bundled stereo headset also dishes out great-sounding audio.

To learn more about Samsung's Super-AMOLED technology, check out this video (note: there is no audio):



The rear-facing, 5-megapixel camera also impresses. As long as the lighting is good, the image quality of the photo the Epic 4G captures is relatively sharp. You’re not going to throw out your digital camera and replace it anytime soon with the Epic 4G, but its good to know that it can capture decent-looking images when it’s the only camera you’ve got, or when in those situations when you need to take a picture and then send it somewhere. The camera can also capture 720p video, which also looks decent, but can't compare with the quality you'll get from a real camcorder. The front-facing camera is limited to VGA resolutions, and as such, the image quality leaves much to be desired. As it stands, there are few apps that can even take advantage of the front-facing camera--Fring and Tango being some of the few exceptions.

  
Sample photos shot by the Epic 4G.
(Click to enlarge; note that these are the full-size, 2,560x1,920,
1.5MB, images pulled directly from the phone)

With all this talk about everything the Epic 4G can do, it’s easy to forget that you can also use it to make and receive phone calls. Luckily it does so very well. Call quality sounded great on both ends, and we had great luck with signal strength and no dropped calls during our testing in the New York City and the surrounding areas.

One thing we don’t like about the Epic 4G is that it has the propensity to get very hot when it’s used for an extended period of time. We experienced this mostly when running apps—especially games—and when playing media.

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