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Summary:

We received the shiny new Samsung Epic 4G from Sprint yesterday. The Android-powered phone packs a big punch and comes with a big and clear screen, nice camera and ability to tap into Sprint’s 4G Network. Here are my early impressions and an unboxing video.

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For past 24-hours or so, I’ve been playing around with Sprint’s new Samsung Epic 4G smartphone, which is optimized to use its 4G network, though it switches back and forth to 3G depending on 4G availability. This device is part of the Samsung’s Galaxy S series of smartphones. (Kevin reviewed the AT&T version of Galaxy S recently.) We recorded an unboxing video of this superphone which clearly packs a big punch; leaving Droid 2 in the dust.

It’s pretty thin and has a fantastic slide-out keyboard (better than anything I’ve personally tried from Motorola and HTC). It has a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera,  a 1-Ghz processor, and most importantly, can act as a hotspot for upto 5 Wi-Fi devices. The phone is going on sale Aug. 31. I suspect this is going to help Sprint retain customers who’ve been looking to upgrade to a smartphone and even attract new ones.

What are my first impressions? I’ve been bowled over by the speed and power of this device, much more so than any other 1 GHz Android phone I have used. The big processor, the 1 Gb ROM and lots of memory are perhaps the reasons why Android feels so snappy and web browsing is smooth and easy. I’m told the Sprint HTC EVO is pretty good, but I haven’t used it, so I can’t quite compare the two phones.

The keyboard on this device is easy to use, overcoming Android’s weakness: the virtual keyboard. I have a Droid 2 sitting on my desk, and it pales in comparison to this device. The camera is pretty good and so is the multimedia playback on the phone, which is the first smartphone to come with a decent pair of headphones.

These are very early impressions, so take them with a grain of salt for now and enjoy the video.

Thanks to Chris Albrecht for producing, and Janko Roettgers for making this video.

Related GigaOM Pro Research (sub req’d):

To Ship or Not to Ship — Product Launch in the Smartphone Era

By Om Malik
  1. Definitely a nice device for those wanting the power of the Galaxy S phone family along with a QWERTY, front-facing camera and 4G capability to supplement the 3G connectivity. Looking forward to hearing more about it!

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  2. My first impressiosn is that it is nic eand very sleek desing. By th elooks of it they have done a good job with the phone in terms of design and user experience

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  3. Cool.

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  4. Looks impressive, and the vibrant screen is typical of all Samsung phones. Can’t wait to check this device out

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  5. Very nice unboxing Chris and Janko. Glad you are impressed. I work for Samsung and have been using an Epic 4G for about a week. I’m biased of course, but I think the keyboard + front-facing camera + 4G + screen make this a very uniquely awesome phone. It’s coming out soon so I’m excited that everyone will be able to see it for themselves.

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  6. These Android devices seems to be getting faster and faster. So has anybody done some performance benchmarks to see if any of these are really faster than the iPhone4 with its speedy A4 superchip ?

    My guess would be that Apple is still faster, smoother UI and just a snappier performer overall but i could be wrong since I don’t have a slew of Android phones to do testing with, but I guess that is one of the things you guys could do for us the readers.

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    1. just so you know the a4 is actually made by Samsung and both processors in the Samsung Epic and the iPhone 4 are based off the ARM Cortex A8 there very similar processors.

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  7. Probably one of the biggest features of the Epic 4g is the DLNA allowing one to connect wirelessly to an HDTV couple this with a bluetooth keyboard and an Android Netflix app and were talking notebook replacement for many users.

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  8. [...] see the EPIC 4G in action, check out our nice unboxing video and the Android smartphone smackdown [...]

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  9. where the f*** is the video???

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    1. The video has been fixed. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

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  10. how do you make the hd video camera work?

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