Samsung Epic 4G Touch Hands-on and Quick First Impressions [Video]


Apologies in advance for horrible focusing on my camera’s part and a couple of shots where the entire phone wasn’t in view while looking at the software. Also, please allow an hour or two for full HD video to process.

Our friends at Sprint dropped off a little gift for us to share with you guys. It’s the Samsung Epic 4G Touch, Sprint’s keyboard-less version of the original Epic 4G and their version of the Galaxy S II. Quick first impressions? Sure. This phone is amazingly fast. Samsung’s work on TouchWiz UI on top of Android 2.3.4 must have been long and hard because they’ve constructed arguably the smoothest and most user-friendly user interface on top of stock Android.

I’m sure a lot of that is backed by Samsung’s extremely powerful (twice as powerful as competing chipsets, apparently) dual-core 1.2Ghz Exynos processor. In my 30 minutes of gleeful playtime I was unable to produce lag, stuttering or freezing in any application. I applied a live wallpaper to see if it would fall to its knees from me flipping back and forth with an animated background, but to no avail. Needless to say, this makes me smile.

I wondered if that would be different if this had qHD resolution, but I’m not so sure that would make a huge difference. Yes, you read right –  the 4.5 inch display on this phone only has WVGA (800×480) resolution.

The result of so few pixels being stuck into such a large screen is overall bigger text, icons and everything. It might be a desirable look for those who struggle to read small text without glasses, but it really disappoints me to think about how much nicer and spacier everything would look overall with qHD.

Thankfully, the display is Super AMOLED Plus so a lot of would-be negative effects that would come about with this disproportionate combination of screen size and resolution aren’t present here.

You’d have to be looking really hard to spot individual pixels, and if you’re like me and can barely see even with strong glasses, a microscope would have to do the trick. That’s backed by very deep contrasts and vibrant colors. As stretched out as everything looks, it all still looks very good.

There are other small things about the phone that make the experience that much better, too, such as motion control. It’s more than a novelty – it’s actually useful. Pinch to zoom takes a backseat to moving the phone back and forth, and panning homescreens to place a widget or icon is no longer the most painful experience ever. Pinch to zoom is still in, but I’m most certain you’ll enjoy this method a lot more.

Other goodies inside the Epic 4G Touch are its 2MP front-facing camera, 8MP rear camera with LED flash and 1080p video recording, 16GB of internal storage, 1800mAh battery and the microUSB MHL port for HDMI-out.

I had a chance to play with the camera for a quick minute. Still photos are beautiful, 1080p video is even better. The camera sensor inside picks up the color accurately and the software helps it achieve great white balance.

Playback of 1080p videos were stutter-free and you could really see the high resolution sensor at work with how crisp and clear footage was. Samsung’s on the top end of the spectrum in the camera department, we’d say.The quick hands-on video is above, but stay tuned for continued coverage in the coming days and weeks, including benchmarks, the full review and more.

A couple more things I forgot to mention in the video:

  • Battery is definitely removable and there’s a microSD card slot beneath the battery door.
  • There is an LED notification light, thankfully. Hard to see in images but it’s there.
  • No keyboard as the name suggests.
Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. What do you mean the phone makes you smell?

    1. How embarrassing. Fixed.

    2. I don’t know it must be something like “The phone is so sexy it makes me sweat”. Back in highschool I used to like this girl so much when I looked at her I would get so nervous and sweat so much haha.

      1. At least you guys weren’t saying “smell my fingers”

  2. Thanks for the mini review Quentyn. Can’t wait to pick mine up on Friday!

  3. Quentyn you got one you lucky bastard!

    1. Lol yea I still have to buy my own. I get to keep this thing until early October so I’ll be able to wait and see if the Nexus Prime lives up to its hype.

  4. I’ve been waiting forever, but I might hold off just to see how big of an upgrade Ice Cream Sandwich really is. Also if the Nexus Prime lives up to it’s rumored mythic specs. If not, GSII on Sprint, here I come!

  5. Excellent video for having just gotten hold of it. I’d love to see a video or post showing what it looks like running something like ADW EX and which features/functions are still usable with replacement launchers. Really thinking about Sprint with this.

    1. I’ll try and do something right around the time I record benchmarks

  6. Makes me smell twice as much

  7. my head hurts now but thank you

    1. Sorry, I get restless sometimes and it causes me to move my arms a lot.

  8. how does it compare size wise to the Euro galaxy s 2, thickness wise?

    1. It seems like it’s a hair thicker since I last used the international GSII but without one in-hand I can’t say. It’s still very thin. I will do side-by-side to EVO 3D in a bit.

  9. Pretty nice, but I’ll wait for something with a higher resolution screen. e.g. the Prime.

    1. wvga + SAMOLED+ = no visible pixels

      qHD + Pentile = visible pixels

      rather take the first option

      1. Wont the higher/ridiculous 720p resolution of the Nexus Prime make it impossible to see the Pentile?

        800×480 is awful but 1280×720 I think would look smooth…

        1. Let’s hope.

  10. Got to play with this phone last week at the BGR-Samsung Galaxy SII launch event. It’s a great device. I want one badly, but will try to hold off as long as possible for details on the Nexus to emerge.

  11. Where is my Galaxy Player? I wanna be a stupid Android fan and buy one even though I have a phone that can do everything that it does plus more. :P

  12. Dude, cut your nails. In the first and second photos on this post, you can see visible dirt and grime underneath your fingernails.

    Also in the video..I won’t even start.

    1. strangely, that was the first thing i saw and couldn’t draw my eyes from it…

  13. Don’t you have any other Android figures to use in your reviews? I always see you use the green one.

    1. I do but the green one always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

  14. Nice phone. But glad I went with the EVO 3D. Nothing I am seeing makes it a game changer for me. Now, the iPhone 5 or the Prime…that might be a different story.

  15. Can you please post a walk through of the camera and video options? And upload some 1080 video samples that you took. Actually, please do a 1080 and 720 in noisy and/or quiet environments with some fast motion. Honestly, the camera/video is about the only thing that will get my upgrade from my Evo. Although, I just would miss my kick stand way too much.

  16. …the days are just dragging by.

  17. If AT&t has its way with Tmobile This is what will bring me to sprint.

  18. Wow, a phone that smokes the Cryonic out of the water already? Even though it is for Sprint, it just shows how crazy VZW is for not getting this thing.

    WTG VZW. You launched a substandard phone, passed on a high quality phone, and leave smart consumers to wait for the Prime or Vigor to come out.

  19. This guy obviously needs to zoom out the camera. can’t see the full damn phone. Phonedog does better reviews than him. And CUT YOUR NAILS

  20. So, you’re back on the Samsung bandwagon again?

  21. This phone is so much better than an iphone its not even funny.

  22. Why doesnt it have NFC im really curious as to why sprint left this feature out.

  23. october 1st this phone is mine!

  24. if i get this then and the nexus is substantially better than this im still gonna get the nexus no matter the price lol

  25. Anyone know a confirmed release date on AT&T??????

  26. No qHD = No chance for me. After getting my Evo 3D and playing with my old Evo once in awhile I couldn’t go back to that resolution.

    1. There is no way I am going back to LCD after having owned SAMOLED+

      1. They’re definitely nice looking. I just only like Sense as far as Android skins go. Motorola and Samsung’s are both meh imo. Also with the Beats stuff being in HTC phones now that’s even more reason for me to never switch.

  27. resolution isn’t everything. i will choose the super amoled plus over any qHD display i have seen to this day. all it’s going to do is make the icons a little smaller. The SAMOLED+ is simply amazing. Yes, it is a bigger screen at a lower resolution, but you don’t see the pixels (unless you put it against your face and squint). the pixels are less noticable then those in the qHD. IMO, this phone has the best screen yet in any cell phone! im getting it

  28. I really have no idea why anyone would bother with a WVGA phone in today’s market with qHD already out and 720p-HD phones around the corner.

  29. Had it but read that samsung dropped the ball by putting in a mali 400 gpu wich is new to game developers and heard they might nt even bother to play catch up with samsung. the adreno 220 gpu is better more mainstream and is currently the fastest its on the Htc evo 3d.

  30. Samsung dropped the ball on this one they put a gpu in it that the developers are not familiar with so they might not even bother making games compatible for it.
    It has a mali 400 gpu? Instead they should of put adreno 220 gpu in it like the evo 3ds wich is currently the fastest gpu out.

  31. wow _ You’re just a bunch of whining little baby kids “wanting the newest samsung’ crap. Duh _ You should get off china’s ______ already. Buy a USA car!

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