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Review: Samsung Epic 4G

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The Samsung Epic 4G is a big phone with rounded edges. There are no right angles on this device, which I think makes it a nice contrast to the more masculine Droid phones or the sharper Evo 4G. It's large, with plenty of blank space above and below the screen, but it did not feel heavy. With the plastic coating all around and the lighter weight, the Epic 4G might fool you into thinking it's a cheap phone, until you turn it on and that fantastic Super AMOLED removes all doubt of its worth.

The phone slides open with a reassuring snap to reveal one of the largest phone keyboards I've ever seen. It's a 5-row monster with a full number row up top, and duplicates all of the four basic Android keys on the periphery: Menu, Back, Home and Search. The keyboard is very comfortable for typing, and with just a little practice I was able to take my eyes off the keys and still avoid too many errors. My only complaint is with the paint job. The keys and the background are the same color black, so it's hard to see where keys end. Throw in the bright yellow Fn options next to each letter, and the keys can be hard to discern at a quick glance. It was almost easier for me to memorize the layout and type without looking, since the symbols added some confusion as I watched myself type.

Taking a tour of the externals, on the right side you'll find a camera button and a screen lock / power button. The camera button works in two stages, so you can press halfway to focus then press the rest of the way to shoot. On my test unit, this button would stick quite often, and when this happened all of my shots were out of focus.

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On the left side you'll find a large, rubbery volume rocker that is very easy to find without looking. Up top, there's a microUSB port with a sliding cover to protect the port from dust. I'd rather have this port somewhere else. It's difficult to talk on the phone with a power cord connected to the top. There's also a standard, 3.5mm headphone jack.


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