I’m a smartphone type of guy, in the beginning it was mainly for the keyboards really, but as they’ve progressed I’ve come to admire all of the functionality in them as well. My regular phone, when I’m not reviewing any, is the AT&T Tilt, which is still probably one of the best smartphones on the market today even though it’s kind of aging in technological terms. So I’m no stranger when it comes to smartphones overall, I’ve owned others as well, and I’ve found they’re not just for business people these days, smartphones can be appreciated by anyone really for their features and overall usability. Now I like my Tilt quite a bit, but I might have to give it up for the phone I’ve got for review today…
We’ve taken a look at a few phones here on technogog, but no smartphones, until today that is. I’ve got the Samsung Epix for review, it’s a Windows Mobile 6.1 based phone that has quite a few great features including a built in optical mouse, touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard, 320×320 screen and even a 2.0 megapixel camera. The optical mouse has got to be one of the best features of this phone, it makes using WinMo much easier and actually kinda fun, no more tapping the screen with your finger or getting out stylus for navigation, just use you thumb to move the cursor around the screen and click. It’s for At&t of course, and only them, so it does offer their aGPS navigation service, mediaNET and all of the other things you come to use with their services. It also has the now standard features of smartphones today like WiFi and Bluetooth as well.
Yes it’s fully feature packed, and really made for business, but it’s not without its faults, video recording is choppy and there’s no built-in GPS, something that I would have expected to come standard on a phone of this caliber, or really any smartphone these days. Another thing that bothered me about the Epix was using it in sunlight, the screen, or the cover of it,is like a mirror, it needs some anti-glare on it. Those are the only three glaring real faults I could find with this phone overall.
So first up check out the unboxing, then continue on for the rest of the review:
The Epix is Samsung’s first AT&T Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional device featuring touch screen capability—built for enterprise and small business customers.
The Epix is a powerful smartphone that offers features like a high-speed processor, large application memory capacity, and aGPS to run corporate email, location-based services, and vertical application solutions. The Epix has the manageability and security capabilities that enterprise IT managers seek, including Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager deployment—a security and manageability server that enables enterprise IT administrators to better manage mobile devices.
The Epix is a world-capable, 3G smartphone featuring tri-band HSDPA (850/1900/2100) and quad-band EDGE (850/900/1800/1900). Its touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard, dedicated function keys, and optical center navigation button with mouse pointer enabled, easy one-hand operation for even the most complex multitasking needs.
* Dimensions: 4.56 x 2.41 x 0.51 inches
* Weight: 4.4 ounces
* Talk Time: Up to 7 hours
* Standby Time: Up to 14 days
* Battery: 1800 mAh standard battery
* Technology: GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA*
* Frequency: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz (GSM/GPRS/EDGE); 850/1900/2100 MHz (UMTS/HSDPA)
* Data Transmission: GPRS/EDGE Class 10; HSDPA 3.6 Mbps
* Operating System: Windows Mobile(TM) 6.1
* Antenna: Internal antenna
* Memory: 256 MB ROM, 150 MB RAM with microSD (sold separately)
* Display: 2.55 inches, 320 x 320, 65k TFT; touchscreen with vibration feedback option, Stylus
* Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and aGPS
* TTY support
* Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC)
I’ve only listed a few of the features, and there’s many, so you can head on over to the ATT site to read the full specs and features if you wish HERE or you can visit the Samsung website HERE for a nice flash presentation and info.
Let’s cover the things I found to not be good with this phone, because there’s only a few of them, so let’s just get them out of the way first.
First up the goofy stylus just needs to go, where’s the ‘regular’ stylus you find with other smartphones? The telescopic antenna stylus just seems to me like it will break easily.
The screen cover is way too glossy especially in bright light and in sunlight the thing is like a mirror. I tried using it outside in sunlight and I could see myself perfectly in it and not the actual screen unless I tilted it a bit.
I mentioned it in the intro, but why no real GPS? I’m sure there’s room for it in there, this assisted GPS works, but I would prefer the real thing. Sure some people like the aGPS, but personally I don’t care for it as I don’t like to use the data, everywhere I go has an open Wifi spot so I really have no need for their data package at all.
And as you’ll see below I’ve got a sample video for you taken with the Epix:
As you can see the video is a bit choppy and I’m not sure why, I made sure there were no other programs running in the background, but every video I took was like that.. The video quality is not bad really, it’s much better than the last few phones I’ve reviewed, that’s for sure, but choppy is still choppy and not worth much at all….
Of course there’s the AT&T bloat junk installed in there as well, but at this point we’ve got to accept it I guess…
other than that there’s really not much wrong with this phone, call quality is fine, and I had no problems at all getting a signal anywhere I went.
Battery life is great, I got the rated times out of the battery, and I found that using Bluetooth or WiFi doesn’t seem to drain the battery as fast as other phones do. Speaking of Bluetooth and WiFi, I had no problems connecting my Jawbone2 to the Epix, and WiFi works great as well, it worked perfectly for me.
Now one of the main feature of this phone is the optical mouse, I’ve read other reviews from sites that get their phones before the actual release and one of the complaints was using the optical mouse, for me I like it a lot, I’m going to miss it when I switch back to my Tilt, it makes using the phone much easier and even fun.
Check out the next video for a tour of the interface and everything in between, it’s about 10 minutes long so sit back, relax and enjoy it, there is an edit in the middle there, I removed the part with my contacts telephone numbers, don’t want private numbers floating around out there now do we?!
and here’s a few sample pictures as well taken at high resolution (1600×1200) with setting on Super Fine, the colored pictures at the end are the special modes like Sepia, Black & White and Negative..
Make sure to stop by our main site and visit the cellphones category to see all of the other cellphone reviews we’ve collected.
The Samsung Epix has got an excellent set of features that can make your business life and personal much more organized and even fun.
The integrated optical mouse is just great really, it makes using the phone that much more easier. Call quality and battery life are very good, along with the ability to take still pictures.
The lack of real GPS, and choppy video do take a bit away from the phone overall, but not much, personally I’ve only used the video camera on my Tilt a few times since it so it’s not that important to me. The aGPS system is more of a personal preference as well, I just like the ability to not use the data on my cell plan if I don’t really have to.
Overall I love this phone, and I can easily recommend it to anyone in the market for a new, features rich smartphone for business of pleasure.
I may have to retire my Tilt for the Epix…. hmmm
Cool optical mouse makes navigation easier
Long battery life
Good still pics
Good call quality
Easy to use
Seems well made
Not real GPS
Goofy telescopic stylus