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Review: Samsung Epic 4G

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In many ways, the Samsung Epic 4G exceeded my expectations and delivered on some of its lofty promises. The Super AMOLED screen is fantastic, easily the phone's standout feature. If you want to watch movies, surf the Web or perform any task that's improved by a bright, colorful screen, the Epic 4G is a delight. I was also impressed by the performance of the phone's processor. The interface was so snappy, it felt like the phone was in a rush. Even without the performance-boosting Android 2.2 update, the phone performed well in every task I threw its way. It's too bad the Android gaming catalog is so thin right now, because this phone would be a boon to high end gaming on the platform.

The design, for me, is a mixed bag. I didn't love the cheap plastic feel or the phone's large shell, though I appreciate the huge screen size. With the light weight and the glossy plastic, it felt something like a toy. But I did enjoy typing on the massive keyboard, one of the largest I've seen on a smartphone.

My complaints are mostly minor. I'm very disappointed in the images I took with the 5 megapixel camera, but that was the phone's biggest flaw. I wish the TouchWIZ interface was more customizable. I'd also like to see better social networking integration, since the features did not seem to work as they were supposed to. But the official Facebook and Twitter apps are already solid, and Samsung's modest additions were useful and cool looking.

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For many, the Epic 4G will be an easy choice, and I will have a much easier time recommending the device without reservation if Samsung can get the many bugs worked out of the system. The phone had some annoying problems, but none of these stopped me from using the features and enjoying the phone. If you want a large screen superphone with a hardware keyboard, or if you want a Sprint 4G device with a full QWERTY, the Epic 4G is your only choice. For any interested buyer, it's a solid pick all around, and with a promised Android 2.2 update around the corner, it's only going to get better.


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