Yesterday, we posted our first impressions of Sprint’s Samsung EPIC 4G. In said article we asked you to communicate to us questions you had about Sprint’s second 3G/4G handset, and you delivered. We’ve compiled a list of 19 questions from the post and have done our best to answer them for you. Hit the jump and we’ll get started.
1. If you could comment on Touchwiz versus HTC Sense that would be very much appreciated. [Link]
So the thing about UI schemas of any kind is that they have to work for you. The question we always ask when evaluating a UI enhancement is: Does this make using the device easier, harder, or better in any way? I think HTC’s Sense adds value to their Android handset line because of how mature it is. It functions as expected, doesn’t seem to slow the phone down, and puts some social networking and handset functions right at your fingertips. Do I love the way HTC Sense looks? Not particularly, but that is totally subjective and doesn’t change the fact that it does not make our experience harder or slow the phone down.
Samsung’s TouchWiz UI doesn’t feel as mature as Sense. This seems blatantly obvious in the Captivate and Vibrant but is much less noticeable in the EPIC 4G. The device feels much faster than the Captivate or Vibrant and having social network integration, power controls, and a host of widgets actually becomes more useful instead of an annoyance.
Whether or not you like Sense and TouchWiz is a question only you can answer. We can say, as far as the EPIC 4G goes, TouchWiz does not seem to detract from the phone’s experience at all.
2. It would be great if you guys could ascertain whether the 1GB ROM is either an internal-SD card (like the Captivate and Vibrant) or much faster NAND. [Link]
We’re assuming the phone uses NAND Flash as the internal memory medium. On the Captivate if you navigate to Settings >SD Card and phones storage you see “External SD Card” and “Internal SD Card” listed. On the EPIC you see “External SD Card” and “Internal Phone storage.” We’ve reached out to Sprint for clarification and will update this article if they respond with a definitive answer.
3. What languages are included?
English and Español are the only two options listed under “Locale” in settings. Far fewer than the Captivate and Vibrant.
4. Please comment on the voice quality and clarity of this phone…both in the phone ear speaker, and also the opinion of those to whom your speaking. [Link]
We’ll cover this in the full review.
5. Daily Briefing widget and the Samsung music player that was in the Vibrant still there or did Sprint have them removed? [Link]
The “Daily Briefing” widget is not included in the EPIC. The EPIC does not use the same Samsung Music Player as the Captivate either.
6. Camera comparisons.
We’ll cover this in the full review.
7. In the phone’s settings, you can change the font or select “Get Fonts Online” to be brought to the Android Market where you can buy many fonts of varying styles – all for only 99 cents. [Link]
This option is not available on the EPIC 4G.
8. Battery life.
Again, we’ll cover this in the full review.
9. How useable is the keyboard. [Link]
We find the keyboard very useable due to the height, clickiness, and spacing of the keys. Your mileage will vary depending on your hand/finger size and what you’re used to typing on. Coming from a software keyboard we had no trouble typing quickly and accurately. We’re huge fans of the full number pad and all the secondary character options that are on the actual keys.
10. On a scale from 1-100, how great is the screen display? Never seen a Super AMOLED screen up-close and want to know how great it really is. [Link]
I would say a solid 95. The iPhone 4 is like 112… we kid, we kid (just trying to get your blood pressure up). The Super AMOLED display is really, really bright and crisp. I would say this display and that of the iPhone 4 are about equal. Black text seems a little sharper on the Retina display, but it’s really splitting hairs. Super AMOLED displays are one of the best, if not the best, displays available in the market today.
11. How is the video calling over 3G? 4G? Does the video calling work well when in call with an EVO or iPhone 4? [Link]
We’ll test this more for the official review.
12. Has the GPS bug that has plagued the other Galxay S phones, been addressed in the Epic 4G? I’ve read two or three reviews elsewhere that said the problem has been fixed, and one review that said it hasn’t. [Link]
Stay tuned on this one. The unit gets us close very quickly (within 20 to 50 meters) but a GPS lock seems to take way longer than it should (as in you can measure the time in minutes). We’ve reached out to Sprint for an official statement on whether or not the GPS functionality of the EPIC has been adjusted and will report back.
13. Would love to know if the device suffers from proximity sensor issues like the Samsung Moment did. If not, this will probably be my replacement for the Moment – which hangs up, or initiates 3 way calls whenever I’m on the phone. [Link]
The proximity sensor has been functioning as expected in our initial testing. If we find anything quirky we’ll be sure to mention it in our review.
14. Is there something up with Sprint Android phones and BGR? [Link]
No, there is no conspiracy theory needed. We should have reviewed the EVO 4G and didn’t. End of story.
15. So I’m dying to know, does the EPIC actually do any kind of video out? [Link]
Yes, via the headphone jack. Only RCA-out though. No HDMI for you! If you have a DLNA enabled device you can output wirelessly to that device that way. Edit: a micro-USB to HMDI cable may get you wired HDMI after all. Waiting for confirmation from Samsung…
16. Did they kill the FM radio on the Epic like on the Captivate & Vibrant? [Link]
There is no FM radio application on the EPIC. We’ve reached out to Sprint to see if the hardware is in the phone (although we doubt it).
17. Can you confirm that the Epic has the same home page and app page customization as the Captivate and Vibrant? [Link]
You can not remove home screens like you can with the Captivate, you always have seven. Also, your options in the full applications view are “Grid View” or “List View.” There is no “Customizable Grid” like there is on the Captivate.
If you can change the three default icons in the EPIC’s dock (Phone, Contacts, Messaging) we can’t figure out how to do it (we even RTFM that came in the box). The dock icons are referred to as “Primary Shortcuts” in the user guide, so we’re thinking they are not customizable.
18. Does the Epic 4G have a notification light? [Link]
Yes, it is on the top right of the phone between the ear-piece and the front-facing camera. The light is red.
19. Does this awesome phone have a front facing camera? [Link]
It does. It also comes with the Qik application pre-installed.