The usual suspects have posted the first round of Sprint’s Samsung Epic 4G reviews today. All three of them (Engdaget, Gizmodo, and Slashgear) have found the Epic 4G to be the best Android handset currently on the market and definitely a step up from the HTC EVO 4G available on the same carrier. One has to keep in the mind that the Epic is basically just a Samsung Galaxy S with a sliding keyboard and WiMax radio so one can concluded that Samsung keyboard-less offering (the Glaxy S, Vibrant, Captivate, Fascinate) are also really top notch products. I’m currently using a Galaxy S and can confirm that Samsung has done an awesome job this time around and the 720P capturing mode is really good IMO (I’ll talk about it once I post my HTC Wildfire review really soon).
So is it the right phone for the job? In a word, yes — the Epic 4G is a great device. Killer, even. Nothing speaks to us more strongly during the course of a review than finishing it and saying, “alright, I’m ready to buy this thing,” and the Epic is on the short list of phones that has managed to do it. More than its Galaxy S siblings, it feels like the Epic has overcome its shortcomings — notably the forgettable UI skin — to shine, and it’s a phone we could easily imagine using day to day. Only thing is, the EVO is also on that short list for us — and the better camera, bigger screen, and $50 savings versus the Epic still make it our winner in this 4G shootout, though only by the thinnest of margins. Needless to say, if you need a physical keyboard and you’re looking for the one of the most musclebound Android phones money can buy, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
When you compare the Epic to the EVO, the Epic is the clear winner. Whether it’s the slide-out keyboard, better screen, longer battery life or Swype built in, there are plenty of reasons to choose this phone instead.
Placed aside the other Galaxy S phones, the Epic still comes out ahead. It’s the only one of the four that has 4G, the only one with a camera flash and the only one that has the slide-out keyboard. Most everything else across all four carriers are the same, except for small details in pricing and data plans. But when you’re trying to decide between three skinny brothers and a stronger (but fatter) fourth brother, it’s clear what the choice is.
Tastes differ, but we feel pretty confident in calling the Samsung Epic 4G the best smartphone on the Sprint network today. That success is primarily the sum of the brilliant Super AMOLED display, excellent keyboard and speedy WiMAX connectivity. The compromise is TouchWiz, and we wish Samsung would concede that not everyone appreciates its skin and offer a way to return to the native Android UI. If you can live with it, you’ll have a highly capable, flexible and media-rich handset, albeit one slightly on the back foot when it comes to the latest build of Google’s OS. Still, that’s a common complaint among the variously modified devices on the market right now. Out of the box, Sprint’s Epic 4G does everything we could ask of it, with the growing space to keep up with whatever Android – and the legion of third-party developers – might have round the corner.