3 days with the E4GT: The Good, The Bad, & the UGLY

wphend00

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I want to preface this by saying that I am an absolute pocketpc\cellphone\smartphone junky and have been doing this thing since the days of Palm IIIxe. Since 1998 I have had over 50 devices and tablets... and probably average about 5-10 devices a year (2010 I have had Epic 4g, HTC EVO 4g, Samsung Intercept, Samsung Moment, Palm Pre, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Ipad 16 gig, Ipad 64gig 3g, Ipad 2 32gig, Asus Eepad Transformer, and finally, the Galaxy Epic 4G Touch).


The Good:

-Kies Air is a BREATH of fresh air. Awesome app? I believe is is available for all Samsung phones via the Samsung Apps app.
Basically allows you to open a webpage to your phone, as long as your phone is on the same Wi-fi network as your desktop or laptop computer.

-Speed? phone is super fast?.super nice? Exynos 1.2 gigahertz CPU is nice? I want to be able to O/C with ease? but for once? don?t need to. 3200 on the quadrant scores? mips does between 40-90 on LinPack? this is the king of the phones for now?

-Super AMOLED PLUS screen looks BEAUTIFUL (battery saver hint, make all of your screens have as much Dark as possible and you will save on battery power. 4.5 inches? is HUGE. I loaded up EMT and started watching some movies streamed from my computer and it was SUPER nice? -the Camera? is awesome? super nice? 1080p recording? smooth, and fast. 720p recording awesome? pictures? super nice? the front facing camera is awesome too.

-GPS? nice, super fast? and very responsive?. Google Maps loads up my location in SECONDS? I used the GPS all the way home from work and it did not ?drop GPS? not once? I also used it Saturday morning, on my way TO Paris Ky, for a church function, and from there to Georgetown. My phone was roaming for a while in Paris and parts of Georgetown? but it never dropped the Satellite signal.

-Space? the final frontier? 16 gigs of on board memory, + 16 gig Micro-SD card? space is no longer an issue?. I am good? Its awesome looking up and being able to install a TON of apps, and looking into your explorer and seeing 455 megs used and 1.5 gigs of available PROGRAM INSTALLATION MEMORY FREE!!!

-Touch Whiz is MUCH improved (Version 4.0). Its not as much of a headache to use it here, as it is on the Galaxy Tab? I wish I can change the icons or add one more icon to the 4 at the bottom?but I like the transitions?

-I love how Gingerbread does the folders now? you can see little icons and it also shows you the number of apps you have in a folder? That is neat.


The BAD

-The speaker is not as loud as your typical Motorola phone... I like my speakerphone to be louder, yes sir?
-I Want the resolution to be at 9xx X 6xx like some of the other Super phones out there from Motorola and HTC?
-I don?t pretend to know what is going on between Samsung and Sprint, but I don?t like the fact that there was no Memory card or HDMI cable in the box, NOR head phones? come on, really?
-Launcher Pro, my favorite launcher of choice, needs to be optimized for this phone. It is laggy?
-Battery is decent? I can get my phone to hold up for at least a day and a half on the same charge? when it gets rooted, and the kernel gets modded so that we can make changes to the CPU via Set CPU? it will hold up some more? but out of the box this should not be so.


The UGLY

-The Audio Out (3.5 inch mini-din connector) is horrible? I believe there is an issue with the amp, or the pre-determined settings that the amp controls. There is a developer who has develop an app called VOODOO that boosts this? but it has to be modified for our kernels and for the exynos chip.
-NO separate HDMI port? Come on, really Samsung?
-The antennae? is not very good? not very strong. I have yet to see 4 or 5 bars? in regards to 3g and that is in Louisville. I don?t drop calls, but my data speeds have been erractive. Granted the strong CPU makes everything snappy.


To sum it all up? This phone gets 2 or 3 nudges above the HTC EVO 3d? because of the bigger better looking screen, the memory, the power and speed (but I sure do love HTC?s launcher).
I believe we will see an ICE CREAM SANDWICH Phone in October or November. I want to wait for that. From Apple, I want to see a bigger screen? (from the looks of it, that is not happening), a better battery (this will happen), more memory (probably not), better notifications and OS customizations (Notifcations should be better, customizations, nope? as once again, Apple does not promote Jailbreaking, while all of the Google phone manufactures to support rooting now).
I am going to stick with my plan and return it next Friday? and wait until October? which means a couple of weeks on the Palm Pre?.
 
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JayWill

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The good pretty much speaks for itself, so I'll comment on the bad and ugly:

Resolution:

I agree. I'd love to have seen qHD for this screen, but up until recently, resolution was limited by Samsung's manufacturing process of the SAMOLED Plus screens. The "Plus" portion, using Real Stripe instead of PenTile, makes the subpixels larger, thus requiring a larger screen at a lower resolution, based on their Fine-Metal-Mask manufacturing process. But they're moving to a new manufacturing process called Laser Induced Thermal Imaging. Here it is briefly explained:

FMM uses a Shadow Mask and is actually a very expensive method but up till now it's been the only available method for AMOLEDs. It limits the resolution to 200ppi as it has a printing accuracy of about 15 micro meters. LITI uses laser and has a printing accuracy of about 2.5 micro meters - so it can achieve over 300ppi, while being cheaper than FMM, too.

So anyhoo, as unfortunate as it is, qHD or better resolution on a SAMOLED Plus display just wasn't ready for this device, or Samsung opted not to deploy it yet. Who knows.

Audio Out:

We will not see Voodoo on this device. Supercurio found the audio hardware and Yamaha DAC to be too limited to bother with. Sad but Samsung blew it by opting for this DAC over last year's Wolfson DAC. I think audio will be fine for "most" owners, but anyone even approaching "audiophile" status may or will be disappointed.

Launcher:

I find GoLauncher EX to be running great on this device. I don't have a ton of experience with launchers, but I've seen GoLauncher described as a cross between LPP and ADW Launcher, combining some of the best of both worlds. Launchers are a very personal thing of course, but if you haven't already, you may want to give GoLauncher a ... well ... go! :p

Antennae:

I'm sorry some of you are having signal issues, sometimes for both phone AND data. I'm sitting here in my office with 6 (full) bars. I just did a speed test and got 1,000kbps on 3G. Yeah that 3G speed is still weak compared to the other carriers, but I know others are getting much worse than this, which does suck for sure. Hopefully Sprint improves things soon, but I don't blame many of you for having to pass on this device due to the carrier, as much as this bums me out to hear. My data speeds serve my needs fine though. I load web pages quickly and most video streams without buffering. I'm one of the lucky ones I guess, yet I don't have WiMax in my area, so maybe I'm not.

HDMI port:

Doesn't bother me in the slightest. In fact, I actually prefer less ports. Sure it requires purchasing another cable, but $14 isn't the end of the world.

As with all of these devices, each owner has to weigh their experience against the things that they value the highest in a smartphone. The Epic 4G Touch serves my needs, with Sprint in my area, as well as I could hope, if not better. But it's not going to be that way for everyone. Thankfully, we have a TON of choice, which makes everything A-OK in the end.
 

Cubfan

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Audio out is the deal killer for me. I'll be waiting for a different phone and won't even bother trying this one. Thanks for confirming.
 

dguidry12

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Did you know that in the stick music app there's an equalizer? It makes a world of difference when listening through it.. I don't know about apps like .Pandora though
 

JayWill

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That is running off of WiMax. I guess it's the town I live in but I get really good speeds off of WiMax.

Attached a new screenshot to show it was off of cell towers...

Wow man those are some nice WiMax speeds. I wish we had a WiMax footprint larger than that of a flea here in San Diego. I guess Sprint disagrees with San Diego's claim of being "America's Finest City". :p
 

trentlythp

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Wow man those are some nice WiMax speeds. I wish we had a WiMax footprint larger than that of a flea here in San Diego. I guess Sprint disagrees with San Diego's claim of being "America's Finest City". :p

I live in the panhandle of Texas so we don't have a whole lot of people but a great network. It's a shame that not everyone can experience what an uncongested network will do with those speeds 3G and 4G.

FYI those were inside of my office at work.

But back on topic. I seriously havent had a single thing that bugs me about this phone. Power is amazing, downloads are top notch, and battery life is the best I have ever had on and Android phone. This is my fourth Android phone and I have had a least one complaint about each phone I had even on the day I got it.
 

wphend00

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I live in the panhandle of Texas so we don't have a whole lot of people but a great network. It's a shame that not everyone can experience what an uncongested network will do with those speeds 3G and 4G.

FYI those were inside of my office at work.

But back on topic. I seriously havent had a single thing that bugs me about this phone. Power is amazing, downloads are top notch, and battery life is the best I have ever had on and Android phone. This is my fourth Android phone and I have had a least one complaint about each phone I had even on the day I got it.

I live in Lexington, Ky and work in Louisville Ky.
From what I can tell, we have 1 single tower in Lexington, Ky. Now granted, Lexington has a very large population, but the actual city is perhaps 8 miles total in its circumference. I know for a fact that that tower is not saturated at all... but its speeds have been limited to 2.5-3 megs download and 1 meg up. And from what I have been told, the University of Ky paid for the tower.

In Louisville, there is ONE tower as well...(Louisville is much bigger, think 20-40 miles) and that single tower is near the St Matthews area.
The sad thing is that Louisville has more LTE than wi-max... with several LTE towers...
 

callen10#AC

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I'm seeing great 4g speeds where i'm at. 3g speeds arent really that terrible either. about what i was seeing on my droid incredible.

425771be-a3c6-f301.jpg
 

Cory Streater

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That sir, was an excellent write up. I am curious to experience the launcher pro performance issue you brought up. I tune mine quite a bit, to turn off a lot of that 3D stuff and also crank up all the settings in the Advanced Menu on my phone's. Did you do that?

I'm curious why you categorized the battery life in the Bad section? A day and a half seems like a downright miracle over what we've been seeing on all phones prior to this, without turning every single feature imaginable off.

I hate judging signals by the number of bars displayed. Go to the settings > about screen > and look at the dbm value. There's another thread on network performance that would be a great place to add that information.

The equalizer suggestion above was a good one. Did you play around with those?
 

Neon01

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I'd agree with your review on almost all counts, except as Cory said, I'd categorize the battery as a "pro" rather than a "con". Having come from first a HTC touch, then HTC Diamond, HTC TP2, Samsung Epic 4G, and now this phone, it's by FAR the strongest battery life in a phone I've ever experienced.

With that said, I have a couple other complaints about the phone - the materials used for the backing are WAY too slick, for one, and the phone is almost too large for me to use comfortably with a single hand (I know, this is a personal thing). I think Samsung got the texture on the plastic for the original Epic just right - it was grippy, but not tacky, it never felt like it was hard to get in and out of my pockets, but it gave me a very solid feel in my hand. Despite this, even after a couple of inadvertent minor drops, it never got a scratch or mar on it. I was really amazed at it's durability. As I said, I understand that the size of the phone being an issue is somewhat of a personal issue, but when using the phone with a single hand, I feel like I have to constantly shift it around in my hand to enable my thumb to hit everywhere on the screen. And if I have to hit the "menu" soft button on the bottom... Lets just say this is as close to a "two hands" device as I think I could imagine for myself.

On the whole, I'm seriously considering doing as the OP is and returning it in the hope that a Nexus Prime will be better (primarily for the resolution), but unfortunately, the size issue makes me worry that it'll simply be too big to comfortably use as a phone.

Maybe I should give the Photon a closer look, but I'm not crazy about the lack of AMOLED, pentile, and slightly thicker depth. :-\