An Evo user's thoughts on the Epic...
My immediate first impression: It looks better in person that it does in pictures online. I thought it looked pretty bland when I first saw it online, but in person, it's not bad. It definitely looks better than the Samsung Captivate on AT&T, but I still think that the Vibrant looks the best. Once I picked it up, I was surprised by how light it was. Initially, I was disappointed; I thought for a split-second that it was a dummy model that I was holding. It was noticeably lighter than the Evo. I couldn't, however, decide if this was good or bad. The lack of heft puts the Epic 4G dangerously close to being perceived as "cheap and plastic-y". The phone (as well as the other Galaxy S phones) just didn't feel that solid to me. Especially compared to phones that have some noticeable heft to them, like the Evo and Nexus One. I feel that if it were dropped from waist-high, it would shatter into a million pieces or something.
The lack of heft aside, the phone feels really good in the hand. It's rounded corners fell better than the Evo. But because of the keyboard, the phone is pretty thick. I noticed that trying to use the phone with one hand can be difficult sometimes (and I have fairly large hands), especially when trying to reach things at the top of the screen (like the notification bar).
The screen: I have mixed feelings about Samsung's Super AMOLED screen. When I turned on the screen for the first time, one word popped in my head: OVERRATED (the same word that came to me when seeing the iPhone 4's "retina display" for the first time). I honestly don't see the hype. Yes, if you're looking at a picture / movie, the colors look amazing. But looking at text, on the other hand, is a different story. The main problem that I had with the SAMOLED screen is the "screen door effect". You can see the individual pixels! What's worse, you can see them without even looking hard. They are just there, in your face. I have perfect vision, and I have to put my Evo pretty close to my face in order to make out individual pixels. On the Epic, you can see them everywhere. It's really bad when looking at text on a white background (like on almost every website). You can see the white lines in-between the black of the letters. It's like looking at a mini chess board. Here's a picture so you can get an idea for yourself:
I would rather take a regular AMOLED, TFT LCD, or Retina display any day of SAMOLED
Ahhh, the keyboard. This is the ONLY reason I even considered swapping the Evo for an Epic. In short: it's really good. It's one of the best landscape keyboards I've ever used. The keys are really clicky, and are a nice size. My only complaint is that I wish they were domed more. Because they are flat, my fingers tended to slide over to adjacent keys. I'm sure with time I would be really fast & accurate on it. The only landscape keyboard that's better than this one is the one on the Touch Pro 2. That this is amazing.
I'm not gonna talk too much about the software, since we all know what Android is about. What I will say is that TouchWiz isn't that bad. It's actually better than the skin Motorola has put on the Droid2 and DroidX. It's not as good as Sense UI, but it's definitely better than stock Android. Overall, everything I did on the phone was super fast. Scrolling was smooth, and it didn't lag at all. No complaints.
Minor annoyances: -There is a dedicated smiley button on the keyboard… wtf. It would be much more useful it they put the @ symbol there, instead of it. -For some reason, Samsung likes putting the lock/power button on the right side of the phone. Not a big deal on the other Galaxy S phones, but every time I would lock/unlock the phone, the keyboard would move/open a little.
Final thoughts: It's a really good phone. If I had the choice today to either get a free Epic or a free Evo, I'm about 65% sure I'd take the Evo. If I was a new Sprint customer, there is almost no way to justify taking this phone over the Evo, especially seeing as how it's $50 more… Unless, of course, you abso-freakin-lutely need a physical keyboard.
- 09-01-2010, 03:27 PM #2
The EVO has IMO unusable stills and video capabilities. Yes, don't bother linking the EVO picture thread on this forum.. they are not good examples because they all show the poor quality that deem to me to be unusable.
This is the main reason why I've passed the EVO.
I'll have to see the screen door effect for myself when I receive the EPIC.. I truly believe this is an effect that only bothers a select group of individuals.
- 09-01-2010, 03:32 PM #3
- 09-01-2010, 03:37 PM #4
- 09-01-2010, 03:38 PM #5
I have been frustrated by the power button placement as well. I wish there was an alternative way to wake the phone. I've also found that I continue to use the software keyboard much more than the hardware keyboard...I may be trading mine back in for an Evo. I have been disappointed in the GPS accuracy but it appears to work OK.
- 09-01-2010, 03:39 PM #6
- 09-01-2010, 03:42 PM #7
- 09-01-2010, 03:44 PM #8
- 191 Posts
Thanks for posting your comparison thoughts. It was interesting to see your perspective.
I saw those pixelation images before I picked up my Epic, and I was admittedly worried. After getting it, all I can think is the PROBLEM is overrated. Maybe I need glasses or something, but to me it's a nonissue. The image on the right totally exaggerates the problem by showing it much closer than one can possibly see without everything going blurry. And the photo on the left doesn't look nearly as sharp as my screen, that's either a bad phone or bad photo. I know some people are real particular about things and this may bother them, but I say go to the store and look for yourself before deciding.
- 09-01-2010, 04:02 PM #9
- 09-01-2010, 04:10 PM #10
My GPS works perfect, I dont see the screen door effect even though my brightness is turned down all the way. The only issue with the phone, IMHO, is that they took the tv out function away. That is by far the biggest and only concern I have with this phone. I had my cable all ready to go when I hear it could do it and this is the only galaxy s phone without tv out. I really hope a hacker with time gets this working or they put it in the 2.2 update.
- 09-01-2010, 04:26 PM #11
- 09-01-2010, 04:31 PM #12
- 09-01-2010, 04:46 PM #13
- 09-01-2010, 04:53 PM #14
It's called Vignette and all the pics on EVO will be much better then the Epic's. Better compression and settings on Vignette... Plus every video I watched comparing video quality of both devices were about the same. So don't know where everyone is getting this info from. I for one know that every Samsung camera I have ever used sucked, and this embedded one is very basic.
- 09-01-2010, 05:01 PM #15
An app applying effects to a garbage-in photo from the EVO won't output a superior photo.
EVO's HD videos have horrible quality audio and any significant motion in the frame looks all jittery.
The Galaxy S samples I've seen before the Epic's release has shown me the superior camera hardware/software implementation on the Epic.
- 09-01-2010, 05:17 PM #16
- 09-01-2010, 07:37 PM #17
- 09-01-2010, 09:04 PM #18
Nice review. My thoughts are pretty similar. I tested out the Epic yesterday and today. The screen isn't that much better than the Evo as people are suggesting, especially for web browsing(the Evo seems brighter side to side, max brightness setting).
The keyboard is good. I like it alot more than the Droid's. Nothing really negative to say about the Epic. It's a good phone, I just prefer the Evo's form factor and full touchscreen more.
- 09-01-2010, 09:21 PM #19
- 09-01-2010, 09:40 PM #20
- 67 Posts
I'm having a hard time noticing the screen door as well. For me form factor was huge. I mentioned in another thread that the EVO was just wide enough for me that it just didn't feel real good in my hand. The Epic is just slightly narrower, and the curves make it feel so much better to hold. I definitely don't think the phone feels "cheap" or "toy-like". To me it feels real solid. My experience since I picked up the Epic yesterday morning is that most everything seems to flow smoother and faster than on my EVO. The 4" screen is just about the sweet spot for me. The EVO screen is nice, but I'm not missing the extra .3". Epic and EVO are both very good devices. I would actually go so far as to say, IMO, the 2 best available now. Anyone that goes in to buy one or the other, I'm sure, will have a hard time choosing. I know for me I love both, but the Epic has just the slight edge. Oh, seem to be getting better battery life on the Epic too.