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Samsung Epic 4G


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#1 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted July 20 2010 - 05:16 PM

I have been drooling over the EVO 4G for about a month now and have had my name on three lists to get one when it comes in. After 3 weeks of waiting still no go.


I went to Best Buy this afternoon and checked out the AT&T Samsung Captive so I could get an idea of the screen resolution and size in comparison to the EVO. I was damn impressed with the Super AMOLED screen on the Captive. Sprint has the version that I would like to get coming out at a still TBA date. The difference is that it will be a 4G phone with a slide out keyboard. I really don't need or want the slide out keyboard but if that's the only way I can get one then c'est la vie.







Specs on the phone:

  • 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen.
  • 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
  • Five-row horizontal sliding keyboard.
  • Android 2.1. This will be updated to 2.2 in a couple of months.
  • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus, 3x digital zoom, 720p recording.
  • Front-facing VGA camera.
  • Dimensions: 4.9 inches 2.54 inches x 0.56 inches (124.8 mm x 64.6 mm x 14.2 mm) (LxWxT)
  • Weight: 5.46 ounces (155 grams)
  • Battery: Removable 1500mAh Lithium (Li-on)
  • Memory: 1 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
  • 16GB microSD card included, supports up to 32GB.
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Wifi 802.11b/g/n
  • EVDO Rev. A/Wimax data.
  • 3G/4G Wifi hotspot for up to five devices.
  • Digital compass
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • aGPS
  • DLNA output.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack.
To me the real impressive part of this phone is the Super AMOLED screen. You have to see it to believe it. So this is why I have been having to wait to get my hands on an EVO! I am supposed to buy the Samsung instead.


It is supposed to be out at the end of this summer (which usually ends up meaning the end of the year) but I can wait. If you are on the fence over getting the EVO or the Epic you owe it to yourself to check out the Samsung Galaxy S models out that are offered by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon so you get an idea of what the AMOLED does to the image on the phone.


Parker


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#2 of 46 Hanson

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Posted July 20 2010 - 07:26 PM

Those specs are very interesting, because the TMo Vibrant lacks the LED flash and the front facing camera, but has a whopping 16GB of internal memory, not just 1GB.  Looks like the keyboard is not the only difference.


Current Android fonts are not optimized for 800 X 480 displays and that is often confused as a screen resolution issue.  Once Android gets hi-res fonts, the SAMOLED screen on the Galaxy phones are going to surpass the iPhone 4 screen for many people.

Just probably not DaveF /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif



#3 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted July 21 2010 - 07:04 AM

Hanson:


Good point about the internal memory. With the ability in Froyo to run everything off of the SD card I don't see it being that much of a difference.


From what I could observe text looks great on it. It's like the EVO when reading web pages only that much sharper with more contrast. Black is black and colors really pop.

As with HDTV the higher the contract ratio that better the overal look to the picture.


Parker



"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#4 of 46 Hanson

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Posted July 21 2010 - 08:09 AM

There is this one little thing that may crop up when you can install apps to the SD card:


If you attach your phone to the PC in storage mode, the PC locks the card for exclusive use.  The phone will still work, but it won't be able to access the storage card.  This came up because someone had their ringtone on the SD card, and the phone didn't ring while he was transferring files.  You can't listen to music if your music library is on the SD card.


If you install a program on the SD card and go into storage mode, the program, presumably, will stop functioning.  So you are going to have to manage your app installations -- games and stuff, SD card.  Programs you need running in the background have to go internal.  So 16GB internal is handy.  And since you can't expand internal memory, it's better to start out with more.


A co-worker of mine is on T-Mobile and says he's getting the Vibrant, so I maybe able to mess with it up close soon.



#5 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted July 21 2010 - 01:02 PM

When I attach my phone to my computer via USB it gives me a pop up asking me if I want to use the USB for charge only, to use the SD card as a drive, etc. When I want to install a file I just change the USB connection to use the SD card as a drive, upload the file and then disconnect it from the usb cable.


I have several programs on my Hero with 2.1 that I have the option to run them off the SD card instead of the local memory and they all run fine without any issues with the phone or using other tasks.


I think when you see the screen of the Vibrant you are going to be really impressed with it. It will be cool to watch the preloaded copy of Avatar on the phone that TMo is including with the Vibrant. Unfortunately, you can't remove it from the phone with out rooting it.


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#6 of 46 Hanson

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Posted July 21 2010 - 01:38 PM

As I understand it, Avatar came on the 2GB SD card included with the phone.  It's DRM'd and locked to the phone, so you can't copy it off or even transfer your SD card to another phone.  However, this card is replaceable. which most users will do since the movie takes up 3/4 of the space on the card.


The situation I am talking about only applies when 1) you connect the USB cable to your PC and choose storage mode, and 2) try to access apps or any files on the SD card form the phone while in storage mode.  Otherwise, there is no issue with installing apps on the card.


#7 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted July 22 2010 - 12:32 AM

Yeah, I figured that out. But I doubt that I would want to use the phone for anything while transferring anything to it.


That's good to hear about Avatar but you will have to go out an buy another SD card since you can't remove it. I wonder if you format the card though if it would erase it then.


I think it is pretty sad that Verizon, Sprint, etc. load these phones up with bloatware that you have to root the phone to be able to remove them. You should be able to delete them from the phone just like another other program and not be forced to keep them on the phone taking up space.


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#8 of 46 Hanson

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Posted July 22 2010 - 01:10 AM

Well, let's say you're transferring 8GB of files and your Handcent is installed on the SD card.  Presumably (since I obviously can't test this yet), your text messages won't come in for the 30 minutes or so takes to file copy.  The easy fix is to install Handcent internally.


A Vibrant owner on androidforums said that he copied Avatar off of the SD card onto a larger SD and it played fine.  So either there isn't any DRM or it locked to the phone but not the memory card.



#9 of 46 mylan

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Posted July 26 2010 - 02:42 PM

I was all set to get an iphone 4 until all the news about reception problems and lack of availabilty and now I see the Samsung Capivate running Android on AT&T.  The Captivate looks promising but trips to the AT&T store and Best Buy produced no working models to compare but so far I am impressed. I have a co-worker who has the EVO and judging by that video, the Galaxy S phones might just be the Droid you are looking for Parker. I am still comparing them to the iphone though.



(edited to clear up previous confusing post, sorry guys, carry on)/img/vbsmilies/htf/blush.gif


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#10 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted July 27 2010 - 06:40 PM

My Best Buy had the Samsung Captivate so I could play around with it and the picture quality is what really got me. And from what I have read the AM OLED doesn't draw as much power as the LCD on the EVO does. The more I read about the Epic 4G the more I am glad that the EVO hasn't been available to purchase so I can have a choice between the EVO and the Epic.


The contrast and the number of colors that the AM OLED affords vs the LCD screen really makes a huge difference. Blacks are black because there is no signal to that part of the screen. And as you know black levels make all the difference in the world when it comes to contrast on the screen.




"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#11 of 46 Hanson

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Posted July 28 2010 - 03:57 AM

The AMOLED screen power thing is baffling.  On paper, the OLED screens consume less power than LCD screens.  But I've read reviews where the Captivate lasted two days on one charge and then other reviews that said they didn't last as long as the iPhone 4 and not really that much longer than the Evo.


Looking at my Evo battery info, the screen typically takes 6-15% of the battery, so even if the AMOLED screen doesn't require any electricity to run, it shouldn't be more than 6-15% more efficient that the Evo just based on efficiencies with the screen.


BTW, Evo screen is a 24bit color display.  This has been tested and confirmed by CNet.  But the gallery app only goes 16bit, and HTC decided to spec it at 16bit for some reason.  A lot of people say they can see the difference between 16bit and 24bit color, but they shouldn't since they're both 24bit screens.  Which is not to say the difference doesn't exist, but it's not a color depth issue.


My coworker who was supposed to get a Vibrant this weekend took a left turn on the way to the T-Mobile store and ended up at the rim store.  Not the Blackberry people, but a car accessories store.  So now he has new rims and a G1 google phone.  Like, I don't get that at all.  So it looks like I won't be getting any hands on the Galaxy phone.


Here's a comparison between the iPhone4 and the Captivate:





I've seen similar matchups, and they are always very close.  And just a note about the web browsing (which went to Captivate) -- one thing the reviewers don't stress enough is the way the Android browser reflows the text dynamically when you pinch and zoom.  This makes it much easier to read the page, as it just requires scrolling up and down.  Zoom into Safari, and you have to move the screen from side to side depending on how the site is formatted.  This feature alone beats the pants off of Safari.


And just wait until 2.2 goes out -- the 2.2 stock browser is as fast or faster than Safari even with flash loading.  I surf the net a lot on my phone (it's easily the thing I do the most on the Evo), and the browser superiority is much wider than most reviewers suggest.








#12 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted July 28 2010 - 09:06 AM


And just wait until 2.2 goes out -- the 2.2 stock browser is as fast or faster than Safari even with flash loading.  I surf the net a lot on my phone (it's easily the thing I do the most on the Evo), and the browser superiority is much wider than most reviewers suggest.


That was the thing that got my interest to get the EVO was the browser speed and being able to read a site without having to pinch and zoom. The 4.3 inch screen really makes a difference. And with the features of 2.2 should really make them run even faster. I went to this site on the phone and the page drew up in three than about 5 seconds. This site doesn't load that fast for me on my home iMac.


Have you tried using the Dolphin browser on your EVO? I really like it on my Hero.



"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#13 of 46 Hanson

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Posted July 28 2010 - 11:33 AM

Dolphin is my default browser on the Evo.  I have the text set to huge and don't even bother zooming into the page because I can read everything in the zoomed out view.  I use the gestures for my top ten website shortcuts, and I really just fly between them.  It's actually so fast that I don't really bother with the tabs, just when want to keep my place on one page and view another every now and then.


And I love Meridian for music.  It has an ID3 tag editor (which is awesome) and the sound quality beats the other 3rd party players I've tried, including Cubed and MixZing.  It may be just a db increase, but it really sounds so much better,  MixZing has a EQ, but I haven't messed with it.  Both Meridian and MixZing allow you to create and edit playlists on the fly -- this is just an awesome feature and is really getting me back into listening to music.


And I figured out why the voice input is so amazingly good while the voice dialer is so crappy -- the voice input creates a wav of your speech, sends it to a server, and then brings back its best guess in text form.  This system works surprisingly well -- if you speak clearly enough, you can get as high as 90% accuracy (which is actually a bit better than typing for me).  Having a central server allows you to use algorithms that would swamp a mobile device.  The downside is that it's a bit on the slow side, and if you have no data or wifi connection, it won't work at all.  The local voice dial... gosh, it's probably the worst thing on Android.  It's just totally broken and useless.  Even the WinMo implementation beats the pants off of it.


And I just discovered Feedbooks.com to download public domain and self-published free books.  Lots of interesting sci-fi available for the Kindle.







#14 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted July 28 2010 - 07:21 PM

I'll have to check those out.



"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#15 of 46 Hanson

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Posted July 29 2010 - 04:49 AM

Oh, and all of the programs are free.  Full featured, ad supported, and the ones that have a couple of extra features for the paid version are by no means crippleware.



#16 of 46 DaveF

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Posted August 03 2010 - 01:29 AM

Review of the Samsung Captivate (AT&T's version of the Galaxy, I gather). http://gigaom.com/20...ptivate-review/


Posted this in the "argument" thread :) then saw this thread.



#17 of 46 mylan

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Posted August 03 2010 - 01:50 PM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

Review of the Samsung Captivate (AT&T's version of the Galaxy, I gather). http://gigaom.com/20...ptivate-review/


Posted this in the "argument" thread :) then saw this thread.



Yep, I had a chance to play around with one over the weekend, it is a remarkable device, the screen is unreal. I did not care too much for the home button ( or whatever it is called) to access certain features, it is on the top right-hand side of the case rather than being smartly placed like the iphone.

Afterwards, I immediately went to the Apple store to compare it to the iphone and each has its benefits and drawbacks: the iphone seemed like a more well built device but the display on the Capivate seemed better to me, it could be just the size difference I don't know. I didn't get the chance to try the Samsung's version of GPS compared to the Droid Incredible, which is ah..incredible or many of the apps on each but the ultimate decision may lie in which side of the Mac/PC debate one is on, I am a PC so that may weigh in the final decision. I do know one thing, my wife is eager for me to make up my mind as she wants my old Razr to replce her beat up one. /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif


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#18 of 46 Hanson

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Posted August 03 2010 - 02:31 PM

Gosh... remember when everyone just had to have the Razr?  Did it do anything special or was it just a design thing?  There was a point around 2005 when it was as ubiquitous as the iPhone -- perhaps even more so.




#19 of 46 mattCR

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Posted August 03 2010 - 02:39 PM

The big thing about the Razr was that it was thin and tiny, which was the goal at the time, everyone kept working for smaller and smaller as a goal; boy did we kind of go the other way on a dime ;)


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#20 of 46 Parker Clack

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Posted August 04 2010 - 02:16 AM

At the time almost everyone I knew had the Razr. Now you hardly see them at all. It will be interesting to see what is the hot new cellphone in a couple of years and how we look back on the devices we are using now.


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."