Monday, October 4, 2010

An Epic upgrade...

As you may have guessed, I've gone and gotten an Epic 4G from Sprint, which I'm currently taking for a trial run.

Sprint's network has definitely proven to be a bit more spotty than Verizon's, but not unbearably so. I've been spoiled on Verizon. 4G coverage is actually reasonably good, even if the speeds still don't compare to the WiFi connection I have when at home.

I've had the phone for almost 3 weeks now (yeah... sorry for not mentioning anything earlier, life has been busy), so I'm coming up on the end of my trial run. I think I'll be sticking with Sprint, though the network may prove to test my patience.

I'm not going to rattle on too long about the phone, there's dozens of reviews on the web that'll tell you about the Epic 4G. All I can say is that it definitely meets my expectations and is an excellent piece of hardware. It is not, however without its faults, as Samsung's build quality issues do show through. In the first couple of days I got the phone, sometimes the capacitive Menu button would spontaneously and repeatedly act as if it had been touched, even if I wasn't touching it. Other times it would not respond at all. I found that the device was running a pre-production ROM, and had to manually update it. Once I did, I immediately got an OTA update and the problem disappeared. Perhaps Sprint should take the blame for that one. There are also a few very thin gaps (fractions of a millimeter) between the glass on the front and the bezel, which already are gathering small amounts of dust.

But the complaints are few when compared to the great things I have to say about this device. The screen is amazingly bright, colorful, and responsive. Tilt and acceleration sensors are very accurate. Battery life is good, all things considered. I've had no issues with the GPS since the updates have come through. Front camera works right in the main camera app (Self-Portrait option) and the slide-out keyboard has a nice spring open, feels solid, and the keys themselves are well spaced and have excellent response and travel.

The phone is zippy, but does hit an occasional snag. I'm hoping Froyo works this out of the system with the new JIT compiler, though the problem ultimately likely lies with the I/O bug that plagues the Galaxy S line. I know that the XDA developers have produced a fix for the Captivate, hopefully we'll see one soon for the Epic.

As for Samsung's UI, I've played around with a couple custom home launchers and themes but I keep finding myself coming back to TouchWiz. It might not be pretty, but it does get the job done. Perhaps I'll get rid of it when I get around to rooting my phone, but I've got my 7 homescreens already organized at this point and I'm perfectly fine with the way it looks.

I'll leave things at that for the time being. I'll have further things to write about regarding the phone and Android in general in the coming week, so stay tuned... I'll try to do a better job of keeping my blog up to date, I promise!

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