If you are on Sprint and you love huge, beautiful screens on your smartphones, you can pretty much stop reading here and go get yourself the Galaxy S2 varient dubbed the Sprint Epic 4G Touch. The WiMAX candybar flagship phone is $199 on a 2 year 4G contract or $149 at Amazon.
But if you care about everything else an Android phone has to offer, keep reading, it mostly just keeps getting better…
This phone is a bit of a freak show, head-turner with its 4.5 inch SuperAMOLED Plus screen and super thin design. It is the exact same screen as the Infuse 4G on AT&T and it is hard to believe the first time you see it. This is a Galaxy S 2 phone however so it also has a rip roaring dual core processor under the hood as well (Infuse has a single core). The Epic Touch also has WiMAX radios for Sprint’s 4G network, but it doesn’t have world GSM bands (If that’s a checklist item on your Sprint shopping list, head over to the Motorola Photon on Sprint).
Samsung has also upgraded its Touchwiz overlay on this device and, truth be told, it isn’t so bad (though I’d still appreciate the option of going to straight Android not via Launcher Pro). Under ‘the wiz’ is Android 2.3.4 and this device also comes with Sprint’s other apps like NASCAR and Sprint TV.
Android 2.3.4 also buys you into Google Talk video chat which works exceptionally good on this device, especially over 4G. You’ll sometimes forget you aren’t using Wifi.
Netflix doesn’t look better on any phone out there, I can promise you. Samsung even improved the speakers on this thing so media sounds better, even without headphones. That extends to speakerphone conversations as well.
Samsung has upgraded the little things on the Galaxy S2 as well. The vibrate motor is stronger and better at haptic feedback than original Galaxy phones. The GPS is stronger (though it still takes longer to catch a signal that the just reviewed Droid Bionic). Even the battery life feels better than the Epic 4G slider. The two megapixel front camera takes better pictures than many smartphone’s back cameras, which will be great for all of you vanity freaks. The back camera is incredible as well taking both beautiful videos and better than average stills.
It is really hard to find fault with this device. My major gripe is the screen resolution which, at 480×800, you start to see some rough edges on the fonts. For a screen 4.5 inches big you want to start getting qHD or even 720P type of resolutions. It feels a bit weird complaining about the screen however, because it is also its most amazing feature as well as I’ve gushed about above.
Obviously, if you are looking for a compact smartphone, you are also going to want to pass this by. The screen alone on this is bigger than some phones like the Sprint Optimus S. There is also no physical keyboard here either so those who want a physical keyboard on Sprint should look at the EVO Slide or the older Epic 4G. The screen/camera also don’t do 3D like the EVO 3D.
The only other question is carrier choice: Do you want to be on Sprint for two years with a WiMAX device when it sounds like Sprint may go LTE as well? I think Sprint will keep the WiMAX running for two years regardless, and Sprint operates more reliably than just about anyone in my suburb outside of New York City. Results of course may vary. Sprint Apps range from mildly useful (SprintTV – which doesn’t work over Wifi) to embarrassing (NASCAR).
Overall, it is tough to find fault with this phone. It has a huge 4.5″ screen which will have passersby commenting, yet it is as light and thin as an iPhone 4. Samsung’s Touchwiz has gone from unwieldy to handsome and dare I say helpful. There isn’t a faster smartphone on the market thanks to Samsung’s dual core processor. The battery lasts all day even under heavy usage.
I think shoppers at Sprint Stores are going to have a hard time passing the Samsung Epic Touch4G up.