It's easy to rattle off superlatives about the first Samsung Galaxy S II device launched in the United States, which officially goes by the moniker Samsung Galaxy S II, Epic 4G Touch.
So I thought I'd change things up a bit and delve into the smartphone's biggest flaw, if you can call it that. The device, which Sprint began selling Sept. 16 (today!) for $199.99 on contract, is a remarkable blend of powerful application processing, super-sized on a big, crisply clear display.
Running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) freshest Android 2.3.4 "Gingerbread" operating system capably on Sprint's 4G WiMax network and fueled by Samsung's new Exynos 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, the Epic 4G Touch has a 4.52 Super AMOLED Plus (800-by-480 WVGA) display.
It's bold, crisp and clear, inside and outside, in light and dark. The bigger screens mean bigger icons and links to tap, which is great for bigger, less-than-nimble fingers.
That display also happens to betray the phone's biggest disadvantage. While the 4.5-ounce weight, 5.1-inch length and 0.38 inch thickness are comfortable, the 2.7-inch width is decidedly uncomfortable to people with small hands. This means it will turn off some men and most women.
I can barely get my whole, average-size hand around the S II. My wife loved the look of the phone, which is black with a textured, plastic enclosure surrounding the 8 megapixel rear-facing camera in back. However, when she went to grip it in her hand, her nose wrinkled in distaste. People don't want a phone they can't grip properly with ease.
So my advice to you is, go into a Sprint store and play with this phone. Grab it, heft it, squeeze it, then love it or leave it.
Regardless, if you're a person who likes fast app processing and multimedia consumption, as well as clear, crisp calls, you'll be hard pressed to find fault with this phone. Applications from Google+ for Android to Facebook for Android and Angry Birds downloaded in seconds.
YouTube launches and begins playing video in seconds. Netflix also performed admirably on the handset. I saw 5M bps download and 12M bps upload times, according to Ookla's Speedtest app.
Voice input, which we normal regard warily, is actually enjoyable to use on the Epic 4G Touch; it comes preloaded with Vlingo's speech recognition software, allowing users to speak commands into their phone to email, text, call, search and do other, normal phone task, but using your voice instead of typing.