I picked up the Samsung Epic 4G yesterday and I’m enjoying making the upgrade from the Palm Pre. There have been plenty of reviews of the phone by those that are lucky enough to get review units but not much discussion of the accessories available. Here’s my opinion on the official accessories like the holsters, screen protectors, cases, and others.
A holster is pretty straight forward and this Galaxy S holster works well. It’s made of leather and has a metal belt buckle on the front. The inside is cloth and safe for your phone’s screen to be up against. The flap is held to the case by a magnet. The holster is a bit of a tight fit for the Epic making it a little difficult to get the phone out unless you use the hole at the bottom of the case to help pop the phone out. With that trick, the case works well. It also provides access to the 3.5 mm headphone jack if you put the phone in a certain direction.
One of the Epic’s most prominent features is its Super AMOLED screen. For that reason, I’m hesitant to cover it up with those thin film screen protectors. The ones Samsung is selling officially come in a 3-pack: a clear anti-scratch, anti-glare one, a mirror coating one, and a privacy screen. I’ve seen the clear screen and the privacy screen. The privacy screen is only designed to work a certain direction, so it will keep people from shoulder-surfing if you’re using the phone landscape.
I’ll probably be picking up one of these screen protectors because of the way the display looked in full sunlight. It was very washed out and a bit hard to see because of the glare on finger smudges. I’ll plan on just using the anti-scratch screen if I do pick up a pack.
The Desktop Dock is just plain lame. I’m not quite sure I understand the point of it versus a micro USB cable and a stand. It can automatically trigger an app you download from the marketplace, Samsung Desk Home, but that shows you a clock/calendar and a few apps. It’ll also keep your display on, though it is also charging it doesn’t seem necessary.
In its packaging the dock has a couple hefty chunks of glue holding cardboard around the dock. You can see the smudges it left in the picture below. It’s not a bad apparatus for playing music or a video while charging but if that’s all it does, it is way over-priced. The best benefit to purchasing the desktop dock is that it includes an AC adapter to micro USB.
The back-side of the dock includes a 3.5mm audio out jack and a micro USB in for power.
The other fail of the dock is that with the Epic, it puts the volume buttons on the bottom. The weight of the phone is enough to mute the volume as it rests on its side.
There were two types of cases in the store, a textured case and a smooth one. Cases on phones that split apart like the Epic with its slide-out keyboard are always a challenge but both cases seemed to hold on well and add a layer of protection without preventing access to anything. The textured one seemed the better of the two since it would add some grip but I decided to try not going with a case since I planned to keep mine in the leather belt clip pouch. There will probably be some non-name brand cases for cheaper that come out soon anyways.
The Epic supports using DLNA to output video to a TV or compatible system (like the PlayStation 3) but many people will tout the Evo 4G over the Epic because of the Evo’s built-in HDMI port. I think the Epic does it one better by making the micro USB port multi-purpose with a micro USB to HDMI cable that also allows TV-Out.
Another option for Video-out comes in the form of the 3.5mm headphone jack cable that can go to RCA cables (red, yellow, white composite cables).