AT&T Samsung Epix Review
The Samsung Epix was released at roughly the same time as all the other AT&T holiday offerings, so it was pretty easy to lose this particular smartphone in the crowd. And while in many ways it can be considered just another WinMo 6.1 device, it does bring some new stuff to AT&T.
This device is also known as the Samsung i907, and had been rumored to be coming out on AT&T’s network for several months. The Epix is the U.S. version of the i780. While originally whispered as the Blackjack 3, we have since discovered that it is not the rightful successor to that namesake. Rather, the Epix is its own new monster.
Enough history. Let’s get down to brass tacks.
First Impressions of the Samsung Epix
Upon first look of the Epix, one gets the initial impression that it is, indeed, a Blackjack; the keyboard, not to mention the entire frame of the phone, looks eerily familiar. However there are a couple things that make this particular model stand out of the Blackjack crowd.
For example, the Epix uses Windows Mobile Professional. Yes, it is a touchscreen! It also features an optical mouse — essentially, a trackpad for your smartphone.
I loved the size of the screen as well. It seems a little bigger and brighter than the Blackjack series.
AT&T Samsung Epix Design
The Epix fits two different styles well. It has a great touchscreen that you can use either your finger or the included stylus on, and there are several handy shortcuts on the keyboard and soft keys above it.
We find the optical mouse in the center of the phone, surrounded by the soft keys, Start menu button, OK button, as well as the call and end buttons. On the keyboard itself we can see shortcuts for messaging, camera, internet and CV.
We can tell the Epix was made to last. We didn’t feel as though it was going to break apart in our hands, which is always a great sign when looking at purchasing a new phone.
On the right side of the Epix there is the standard charger port and MicroSD slot. On the left side, simply a volume toggle and left convenience button.
Not much to the back, just the 2.0 MP camera hanging out there.
Features of Samsung Epix for AT&T
With the WinMo 6.1 Professional and included touchscreen, it also comes with handwriting recognition. This is a Graffiti-style ability in which you can draft documents, texts and emails by simply writing it in your own handwriting instead of bothering with the physical keyboard. While I love this option, I go much faster typing normally than I would with handwriting.
My favorite original feature on the Epix is the optical mouse. This is something that’s been used in Europe for a little while now, and has finally made its way into the States. The mouse acts as a sort of trackpad for your smartphone, and when touched the cursor will appear and move around with the acts of your fingers.
The Samsung Epix also packs in GPS AND WiFi — a practice that is suddenly becoming more common with AT&T. This is wonderful news, as I feel it shouldn’t be much more expensive to add both options into the phone.
In addition, the Epix also features:
- Quad-band GPS/EDGE and tri-band 3G/HSDPA for access around the world in every country
- 624 MHz processor (wow!)
- 2.0 MP camera with video record
- 1800 mAh battery for extended usage
- Full HTML browser
The full browser looks a bit like this, and is easy to navigate through.
Needless to say, the Epix also comes loaded with Bubble Breaker, as any good Windows Mobile device does. Don’t play too long, lest you become addicted.
AT&T Samsung Epix Performance
The overall performance of the Epix is not too shabby at all. Battery life is rated at 7 hours of talk time and 336 hours (14 days) of standby, mainly due to the monstrous battery Samsung generously included.
I love the processor. You cannot find another phone with a processor faster than 624 MHz at the time of this writing, so this will genuinely be one of the faster phones on the market. I recommend putting in a memory card so as to not limit the amount of available memory for the large processor to take advantage of.
I do wish the Epix had better ringtones by default, but Windows always seems to lack somewhat in the ringtone category.
One thing I was disappointed to discover with the Epix is that there are only proprietary Samsung cords available; there is no spot for a normal data cable. In this day and age, it should be rather simple to include a standardized connection for each phone model, so why not include something?
But overall, not a bad smartphone for AT&T to bring out in the superb lineup for this holiday season. It lives in the shadow of the HTC Fuze and Blackberry Bold, but this is a pretty good alternative to look at as well.