Behold, the unboxing. Sprint will begin selling this Epic 5G Touch Sept. 16 for $199.99 on contract. Powered off, the phone looks unassuming enough.
Flip it over to reveal the sleek, black textured back with attractive lettering. Yes, that's an 8 megapixel camera you're peeping. Its companion is a front-facing 2 megapixel shutter for great self-portraits and video calls.
The Epic 4G Touch weighs only 4.5 ounces and is 5.1-inches long, a wide 2.7 inches (yes, it's better for big hands) and 0.38 inches thin.
Epic vs. Bionic
For context of new high-end smartphones, eWEEK put the Epic 4G Touch and Droid Bionic side-by-side. Sure, they're similarly sized, but the Bionic weighs a full ounce more.
Bionic, S II Back
A rear view of both the Droid Bionic and Epic 4G Touch. We're going to give the edge to the S II on this score. It's just snazzier than the Bionic from the back. Both run Android 2.3.4, of course, on 4G networks. However, when it comes to 4G, we give the edge to Verizon's 4G LTE network.
The screenshots don't do the crystal clarity of the 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with 800-by-480 resolution justice. Even the weather widget, coated in Samsung's new TouchWiz interface, looks pretty.
Heres a look at the calendar widget on the S II.
The news widget streams fresh content regularly.
The Epic 4G Touch also comes with both Vlingo Voice Talk and Commands and Google Voice Search integrated. Clearly, Samsung wants voice to be a much-used input tool.
We decided to test Vlingo, which we think has a gorgeous UI on the S II.
Vlingo's voice commands worked well for the most part.
We especially appreciated how Vlingo will recognize punctuation, so long as it's spoken properly. Sounds strange to enunciate "period" or "question mark" after a text message, but there it is.
Vlingo sleeps to keep from draining the battery. Here's how to wake it up.
Google Voice Commands
As mentioned earlier, Samsung and Sprint included Vlingo and these Google Voice Commands for users.
When accessing the S II's virtual keyboard, users may still tap the microphone icon to speak their searches.
Here's a peek at that aforementioned keyboard, which also includes Swype gesture input software.
Another cool TouchWiz feature enables users to minimize or maximize their screen by placing two fingers on the phone's display and tilting it back and forth.
Photo and video shoots were a joy on the Epic 4G Touch, thanks to the 8 megapixel, rear-facing camera/camcorder with auto-focus and flash that shoots video in 1080p HD. This clip is the calm before the storm: We're sure a 6-month-old chocolate lab puppy in the baby's room full of toys can't end well.
YouTube and other applications were a joy to use on the Epic 4G Touch, powered by the shiny new processor and Sprint's speedy 4G WiMax network.
We especially loved the Samsung TouchWiz screen capture feature. Users simply touch the home button and power button at the same time to take a screen grab. Users may then share it.
Gmail is one of the sharing options. Just tap Gmail and a message pops up with the screen grab attached.
But you don't just have to capture and share. Feel free to rotate, crop, edit, print and rename, among other choices.