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Product Review: Sprint Samsung Epic 4G

The Samsung Epic 4G, a Galaxy S Android smartphone on Sprint, runs Android 2.1 on a 4-inch touchscreen with a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard. Has a 5-megapixel camera on the back with autofocus and flash with 3x digital zoom. Has a second front-facing camera for video chat and self-portraits. Can connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices, has a 1 GHz processor and includes a 16 GB microSD card (supports up to 32 GB).

It'll run on Sprint's 4G wireless network when available, and will have access to theSamsung Media Hub, a library of video and e-books -- also not available yet.

It's $249.99 on Sprint after rebate and contract, but you can grab it for $199 on Amazon with contract.

Ups: The Super AMOLED capacitive display is so sharp and vibrant, it's sure to turn heads. Great spacing and placement of the keys makes it easier to type on than most other phone keyboards. The camera has many options and features for shooting in different scenes, but the most unique is being able to take panoramic photos: just pan the phone to the right, and it stitches the images together on it's own, without needing a steady hand.

Downs: This Galaxy S model lacks some software features that were in other Galaxy S phones on AT&T and T-Mobile, including a news update widget, the "puzzle piece'' shaped lock screen, and the ability to edit the order of home screen panels and order of apps in the main directory.

And just like it's Galaxy S cousins, it shares the flaw of posting vertical photos sideways in text messages and on Facebook.

Bottom line: The lack of some Galaxy S features is disappointing, but not a deal breaker. With it's impressive hardware and interface, power users who want a physical keyboard are going to love the phone.


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