Eric Stewart: Running Off At The Mouth

HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G – Comparison Shopping

by Eric Stewart on Jun.29, 2010, under Cell Phones & Providers, Technology

I think by now regular visitors to my site are aware that I’m cheap – I’m a Sprint customer because they have a network that’s good enough for me right now and they’re cheaper than the alternatives.

The HTC EVO is (sold) out now.  It’s got a lot going for it, in raw numbers, over and above what the not-quite-here-yet Samsung Epic (practically just announced) will have.  But there are a few equalizers in the Epic, which, should the literature pan out, might make it my choice for my new phone.

So, without further ado, the table:

HTC EVO 4G Samsung Epic 4G
Dimensions 122 x 66 x 13 mm 124 x 65 x 14 mm
I have a hard time believing this; I’d think the Epic would have been bigger. I’ve seen a comment from someone who had a hands on that, it’s not a thin phone, but that’s due to the slide out keyboard (more later). Thing is, it’s not that much bigger than the Evo.
Screen 4.3″ TFT LCD
480×800 pixels
65K colors
4.0″ Super AMOLED
480×800 pixels
16M colors
The EVO wins on size, but reports state that the AMOLED screen will be clearer with more colors and it will be easier to use outdoors. And, let’s face it – 4.0″ is still pretty big.
OS/Interface Android 2.1
HTC Sense
Android 2.1
TouchWiz (3.0?)
Having touched the EVO, I can say that there’s a lot of promise there. Sense appears to be a nice add-on to Android’s default interface, and TouchWiz has been mentioned as a weak-point in some of the reviews I’ve read. Thing is, TouchWiz is going through an update, and the video I saw gives the impression that TouchWiz 3.0 will be pretty good – comparable to Sense.

Both phones are reported to be getting updates to Android 2.2.

(comes with/up to)
8 GB/32 GB 16 GB/32 GB
Disappointed in the initial offering of the EVO and surprised by the reports of the initial offering of the Epic. 32GB microSDHC cards, while they apparently exist, are hard to find. And when you do find one, prepare to pay as much as 3x the cost of a 16GB microSDHC card.
Keyboard Virtual only Slide out and virtual
Reports also state that the Epic will come with Swype preinstalled. This app sets your keyboard up so that you can “slide” your thumb over it in order to spell words (rather than having to thumb type). I’ve never used it, but several postings I’ve read tout it as a more than acceptable add on to make one hand use of the keyboard tolerable.

Thing is, the physical keyboard is a clear winner to me, and someone who’s had one in his hands says it’s pretty good. And it’s got that elusive 5th row of numbers at the top!

Processor 1 Ghz Snapdragon 1 Ghz Hummingbird
I have no idea if there’s a major difference between the two. I will take the opportunity that I’ve heard reports that the EVO’s graphics are capped at 30 frames per second.
I have no clue what DLNA is, and have never heard of it before. I do, however, know what HDMI is. I’ve never really wanted to hook my phone up to a TV though, so I don’t know if this is a deal breaker or not.
Back camera 8 MP still
1280×720 (720p HD) vid
Dual LED flash
Auto focus
Digital zoom
5 MP still
1280×720 (720p HD) vid
LED flash
Auto focus
Digital zoom
Looks like the EVO wins here. Dual LEDs are supposed to offer more control over the flash. My Canon 30D is 8 MPs! However, I doubt I’ll be selling camera phone photos, so I don’t think this will be a deal breaker.
Front camera 1.6 MP “VGA” (0.3 MP?)
The literature isn’t clear as to the stats for the Epic’s front facing phone, and I‘m going off of memory for the EVO’s got the EVO stats from a friend/Sprint employee that has one. Whereas the EVO is offering the camera for self portraits, I think the Epic is focusing on video calling, which both phones will be able to use Qik for.
Price (after all rebates) $200 $250
The price is a bit of a sticking point for me. With some of the differences between the phones, I would expect the prices to be equal; the pluses and minuses on each side would seem to equal out. With the recently announced release date for the Epic 4G of August 31, I have some time to think it through.

Battery life for both phones is likely to have issues; there are reports of poor battery life among the EVO, but using some of the more common solutions to the issue might extend battery life quite a bit (and I’ve heard that you might want to run the battery down and then charge the phone powered off, all the way up, a few times, to train either the phone or the battery).


EVO to the left, Epic below. I kind of wish they had picked a better background for the Epic’s image, but that’s usually the first thing I change when I get a new phone.

Samsung Epic 4G

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