Sprint has finally made the release date of the Samsung Epic 4G official after multiple rumors gave incorrect dates. The news release was just published and states that the Epic 4G will be available on August 31st. The smartphone will cost $249 after $150 instant savings and $100 mail-in rebate for those signing a two year contract. Details from the Samsung Epic 4G Fact Sheet state it has a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 4″ AMOLED touchscreen as well as obviously being 4G ready. Other hardware boasts include a 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 1GB ROM, up to 32GB expandable memory, b/g/n Wifi, and a camera on both sides. The Epic 4G is powered by Android 2.1 and is to be upgradeable to version 2.2.
This device has caught my eye even though I’m only a few months past the one year mark of having my Palm Pre. I’ve been rather satisfied with the Pre, it has found its niche in allowing me to do a certain number of tasks. Since WebOS app development hasn’t really taken off and Palm hasn’t created any new hardware for the next gen, it feels like I’m on a sinking ship. With the Palm Pixi and beefed up Plus versions being the only hardware revisions, I’m going to have to change from the WebOS at some point it seems and I’m wondering if it’s worth changing now in order to take advantage of the Android features. So, what do you think: should I trade in my Palm Pre for a Samsung Epic 4G on August 31st?
Some of the things that annoy me or I’d like to see improved by moving from the Palm Pre:
+ GPS – Seems almost completely useless on the Pre. Takes a long time to lock and then its accuracy puts me all over the place. Doesn’t do me a whole lot of good trying to use Google Maps to navigate.
+ Rotation – Rotating the phone is nice for looking at wider web pages but it’s almost like playing with a Rubik’s cube trying to get the card to rotate.
+ Apps – No app in the Application Catalog has convinced me to pay for it. I use some freebies for Twitter, RSS feeds, and the like but I have some key apps I’d enjoy having listed next.
+ “Too many cards” message (need more RAM) too frequently – I’m seeing this message too frequently, sometimes while I am trying to open the first card. Some beefier hardware would remove this annoyance. Restarting the phone takes care of this but it means you have to wait for the…
+ Long boot up time – Take a long time to start up the phone or restart it, at least two minutes.
+ Better battery life – This isn’t too bad. The Pre almost always gets charged nightly with slightly more than 20% charge on it. It all depends on how much I use it during the day though. One day, I had it down to 5% by 5PM at a conference where I was using it frequently.
+ Hardware build – I’m a little leery about the Epic 4G because it also has the sliding keyboard. I want the physical keyboard but it feels like my Pre won’t make it to the 2 year mark with its hardware.
Apps I want on Android and can’t get on Pre:
- LogMeIn Ignition
- Microsoft Tag and a QR Code Reader
- Microsoft OCS and Communicator (Not yet but a lot more likely)
The Epic 4G does have some trade-offs if I were to go through with this exchange or else I probably wouldn’t be so torn. I already have an Everything Data plan, so that’s not that big of a deal but for some reason it requires the Premium Data plan add-on for $10/month. Who knows what that provides but it’s required and does not include the Mobile Hotspot feature which would require an additional $29.99/month. The 4G isn’t a negative but at this time, with its limited roll-out, it would only benefit me if I travel to Chicago or St. Louis or 26 other, further away cities.
(Blue is 4G, orange is 3G)
I’m torn on whether I should trade in my Pre and my satisfied state for a more functional phone with a $250 one-time cost and a $10 cost per month. Any Android users out there currently that care to share their opinions? Any Android owners in IT care to review how their phone does for them in work roles? Anybody else thinking the time is ripe for making the same exchange of Pre for Epic? Are you going to pick up the Epic 4G August 31st or any other Samsung Galaxy S phones for the other carriers? Any other Android apps I should look into?