A lot of noise has been made recently since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S II. How will it rival the competition? Will it be better than an iPhone? Is it truly the benchmark of how Android phones should be? Well here we are going to find out for ourselves. Here the Samsung Galaxy S II will be put through the ringer and I will give you the complete wrap-up of the phone and then let you decide if it is the right phone for you.
Upon first look at the Epic 4G Touch you see a magnificent phone and at a reasonable cost. With Sprint being the first to offer it at a subsidized cost in return for your two-year agreement. AT&T and T-Mobile will offer their own versions of the same headsets with minor variations of course. Now let’s get down to the meat and potatoes of the phone. Off to the review of the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch from Sprint.
Now with the Epic 4G Touch packing a Super AMOLED Plus (800 x 480) screen resolution it allows the screen for deeper blacks, superior viewing angles and best of all the games really pop off the screen. Sure other Android devices use the qHD (960 x 540) display and some people may feel that the Epic 4G Touch display might seem inferior but when taken outside and subjected to direct sunlight you are still very clearly able to see the screen without losing intensity.
When viewing movies the screen comes alive. The colors seem to dance along the screen and really bring you into the picture much better. Photos are richer and deeper in color. Oh and yes the Epic 4G Touch does come with an indicator light as well.
The Spec Sheet
4.52″ AMOLED Plus display (800×480)
1.2Ghz Samsung Exynos Dual-Core application processor (SoC)
16GB of internal storage. Optional (32GB) microSD
8 Megapixel (back) + 2 Megapixel (front) cameras
Size: 2.8 inches x 5.1 inches x 0.38 inches
Battery: 1800 mAh
Battery Life and Performance
Overall, the battery life is very good. If you are the type of person to use your phone occasionally, you will see a great battery life. Of course, if you start using games and watch HD videos, the battery will deplete much faster. The bigger battery helps with battery life however the 4G WiMax and bigger screen might be a bit more taxing on the battery usage.
One great feature is that the 4G WiMax shuts off automatically when WiFi is connected. Think about it, why have 4G running when you are connected via WiFi. If I had to pass judgment on the battery life of the Epic 4G Touch I will say that it is very good. I tend to use my phone a lot for a variety of things and I could make it through an entire work day without charging.
Call quality was spot on. Didn’t have a tinny sound and everything came in crisp. Around my area coverage is a bit spotty however I didn’t have a dropped call or suffer from outages. The speaker is amazingly loud and a few times I had to turn down the volume because I felt they were at Spinal Tap levels (if you didn’t the reference Google it). There is one downfall I had with the phone and that is the speaker placement. It sits on the bottom of the phone and can be easily covered up by your hand or fingers while playing games or videos.
Samsung’s flagship TouchWiz 4.0 hasn’t changed in the Epic except for some minor UI and tweaks to its software. You do get quite a lot of customizations and motion controls in the TouchWiz skin. One thing still missing is the FM Radio, as I hear the commercials on the radio saying your phone can do all this but can’t pick up FM stations? I mean come on let’s make this a complete device. One thing I can’t stand is all the needless bloatware that bogs up the phone when you first open it up.
I don’t need to know my phone loves NASCAR and a slew of Sprint labeled markets but I wish they would just do away with it. Why can’t phone makers allow the user the option to uninstall these things that just take up space and more often than not go unused? One thing that is intergrated into the build is the ability to add folders within the app menu itself. What does this mean for you? Simple, you can put all the junk you aren’t going to use into a folder and label it DO NOT USE! Not sure that is what Sprint thought that was going to be used for but when you can hide the unwanted junk then that is a bonus whether it was wanted or not.
The Social Hub and Media Hub are some very nice apps for the Epic 4G Touch. The Media Hub allows you to rent and buy various movies and TV shows. The Social Hub allows you to bring all your social media networks under one roof. Also the inclusion of Kies Air, which uses a local WiFi connection that lets you sync up all your photos, text messages, videos, ringtones and music to your desktop or laptop. You can even upload multimedia to your device in a very simple and easy manner and best of all it comes FREE! Sure you can find the same type of app for a price but Samsung brings this to you free of charge. Look at Sammy looking out for you. Pay attention other smartphone makers.
Here is where the Epic 4G Touch really shines. The Epic 4G Touch’s camera is the same type of lens as the Galaxy S II you all knew and love. Now while it is an 8 megapixel camera and you have the Nokie N8 having a 12 megapixel sensor you quickly learn that more megapixel’s doesn’t mean a better picture. The Epic 4G Touch has a steep history in making fantastic quality cameras in their phones and this is no exception.
As far as the User Interface (UI) is concerned it remains untouched from its predecessor. The options you are given to choose from are immense. So many choices so little time, actually it makes you want to take more photos just too play with all the options. Plus you still have the quick switch option for video recording.
My one big issue is the lack of a physical shutter button. I want to be able to get the picture off quickly and the lack of a button makes it just a little bit tougher. Any decent camera phone out on the market probably has a button that makes snapping a quick picture very easy. Also got to talk the LED flash on this phone, not only is it super bright and help you take great images in dark settings but it also knew when to use the flash and use it as a way to set the focus.
The max video resolution is 1080p HD, however the camcorder keeps it 720p in its default mode. One reason could for the default mode being 720p is it allows for the 4X zoom, where the 1080p mode doesn’t allow it. If you plan on putting your videos up on your HDTV you can change the setting to 1080p for the highest quality video.
The videos I took all turned out very sharp and even while walking in an apple field trying to catch some action there was no lag at all. We didn’t really see the video having to refocus as I was moving from subject to subject at different angles. One thing some people would like to see is an imaging stabilizing that you see in some regular camcorders to help with shaky hands. Video calls were very good. As the front facing camera is more than capable of handling your Skype duties and also didn’t have much saturation or pixilation in the preview box.
One fun feature is that the Epic 4G Touch has an in-house photo editor which acts like Photoshop in a sense. You can crop, zoom and even add some effects to your images. While it is very far away from anything you can get on a professional level is does allow you to waste time and play photo editor to try and create some very unique photos to add to your collection.
- Awesome Screen Quality
- Battery Life
- Processor Speed
- Call Quality
- Speaker placement
The look and the feel of the phone is truly unique. From the large screen but slim profile and light feel, to the textured backing with gives it a bit of a grip in your hands the Epic 4G Touch truly feels like a complete phone. I have had my fair share of looking at phones and reviewing them including a slew you can find here, here, here and here. I have also had people asking me about phones while I am shopping and asking my opinion as I do get a lot of news about phones and check out other people’s phones so when I say that the Sprint’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Epic 4G Touch truly is the benchmark for which other Android’s and other smartphones shall be judged from here on out. So with that we go to the tale of the tape and make a judgment call on the Epic 4G Touch. I call upon the Scientific Scale-o-Rama to render us a decision.
The Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama rates the Samsung Epic 4G Touch from Sprint a solid BUY IT..BUY IT NOW BUY IT TWICE OVER!