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Apple iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Epic 4G Touch Schmackdown!

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October 26th, 2011

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Any smartphone made by Apple is closely followed by Wirefly’s customers and YouTube fans, so it’s no surprise that there has been a rising clamor for “Schmackdown” videos with the new Apple iPhone 4S. And what better phone to compare it to than the Samsung Epic 4G Touch for Sprint? As probably the most powerful Android phone available in the US as of this date, the Epic 4G Touch is not one to stand in the shadow of any other cell phone. These two phones have so much to talk about that you might want to grab some popcorn and watch the iPhone 4S and Epic 4G Touch slug it out.

In this Schmackdown cell phone comparison, Wirefly’s Bob Kovacs puts the Apple iPhone 4S and the Samsung Epic 4G Touch into Schmackdown ring to see which one comes out on top. It’s a bruising battle, but there is a winner.

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24 Responses to “Apple iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Epic 4G Touch Schmackdown!”

  • Hey Bob greak video man real awesome. But I only have one question and all I care about is battery life which phone will last me the whole day withought charge?

  • ryan hannonburry
    April 23, 2012

    i have a choice between the iphone 4s and the epic touch…any body wanna give an opinion on wich one to choose

  • Tracy Graven
    March 29, 2012

    Bob, two things: 1. Antenna strength and 2. Camera – which is better? Already I am disappointed with the Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G as it goes into data and call roaming quite a bit and I dropped more calls today in the 10 hours I’ve had it than I did in the 4-5 months I’ve had the Motorola Photon. Thinking of trading the Epic Touch 4G in for an iPhone 4S first thing in the morning … your response/answer will help my decision. Thanks.

    • Tracy, I really don’t have a way to measure or otherwise assess reception capability. I carried the Samsung Epic 4G Touch with me for a few weeks, including covering the space between Washington, DC, and New York City, and had no particular reception issues. I can say that I’ve noticed problems with Sprint in the past couple days at my desk at work. I have always had a Sprint signal here, but my phone now shows that it’s roaming. I also have a Sprint tablet at my desk (the ZTE Optik) and it also can’t connect to Sprint’s network for the past few days. So it’s possible that Sprint is having issues. The company has a big announcement coming up in the next few days that may include news on its LTE network. My guess is that the Sprint network issues I’m seeing may have something to do with the company reconfiguring its network to include LTE.

      As for cameras, I prefer the camera in the Epic 4G Touch to the Photon, but there’s not a big difference.

      Hope that helps!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • I was told the Android Market isn’t as good as Apple’s App Store, and that Apple phones are more high quality than Android phones. Whats your thought on that?

    • Jon, both the Android Market (which is now known as “Google Play”) and Apple’s App Store have hundreds of thousands of apps. There is probably an app in either store that will do what you want. Generally, Android apps are less expensive than Apple apps, but that may or may not be true for whatever apps you want.

      Apple phones have beautiful design and nice build quality. They are also very expensive. You can get Android phones at a range of prices, quality, performance and features that Apple simply doesn’t have. If you want a top-quality Android phone (Samsung’s Galaxy S II series, for example, or the new HTC One X line), you can get it. If you want to pay less for a phone that you figure you will have for only a year or two, you can do that. If you want a phone with a slide-out keyboard, high-definition display, 4G connectivity, memory expansion slot, replaceable battery or a track pad, you can get those features on Android phones but not on an iPhone. If you are happy with the small display, fixed storage, modest network connection speed and high price of an iPhone, go for it. If you want to have a phone the way you like it with some room for growth, an Android phone is a better choice.

      But the bottom line is… it’s your money and your choice.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • If you were getting a phone now, which phone would you get get?

    • You mean me? I really like the Samsung Epic 4G Touch for Sprint. On Verizon, my fave is the HTC Rezound — I *really* want to like the LG Spectrum, but the one I tried was just a little too buggy. On T-Mobile, I like the Samsung Galaxy S II, although the HTC Sensation is a very nice second choice. All these phones are based on pure power and quality, and I did not consider price. If you want my picks for the best budget phones, that’s a different question.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Hi- thank you for taking the time to make this video. I am torn between the two phones. I have the orginal EVO and want to upgrade. My husband has the iPhone4S through work and loves it. One of the things I do not like about the EVO is making phone calls. Obviously that is the first reason a lot of people buy these devices is to make phone calls? Maybe? Who wins when it comes to making a phone call? Are the speakers decent on both? I fear that the Epic will be as uncomfortable to hold as the EVO when using as a phone. That might be a benefit of the iPhone? Also I tend to hit the wrong number/contact on the EVO, does that happen to you on the Epic or the iPhone? Thank you, cylonjen

    • Cylonjen, the Samsung Epic 4G Touch is lighter weight than the HTC EVO 4G, so I think it’s easier to hold. The display on the Epic 4G Touch is also nicer than the display on the EVO 4G. One other thing to consider: If you have Sprint 4G coverage in your area, you will get MUCH faster network response with the Epic 4G Touch than you will with the iPhone.

      The iPhone is good for phone calls, probably a little better than the Epic 4G Touch. That’s not to say that the E4GT is bad for phone calls, just not as good as the iPhone. Both the iPhone and the E4GT have good speakers. I find that the big display on the e4GT (which is MUCH bigger than the iPhone’s display) makes it less likely that I will touch the wrong button.

      Hope that helps!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • KaJahnnaah
    January 19, 2012

    I am completely in a land of woe right now. I cannot decide between the Epic 4G, Epic 4G Touch, iPhone 4/4s. I am turning 15 and it will be time for me to get a new phone around the end of March. I just want to know what would my best bet be if im looking for a phone with a good camera(front and rear), a high resolution display where text can be made out in direct sunlight, a keyboard with infallible accuracy, a good app market, good 4g connectivity and just and all around good phone between the prices of 500-700 dollars and at least 16gb of on board memory…. thanks a lot.
    ~KaJahnnaah

    • KaJahnnaah, the iPhone doesn’t have 4G, and both the Samsung Epic 4G Touch and Samsung Epic 4G do have 4G. Among these phones, only the Epic 4G has a physical keyboard, and the keyboard on the Epic 4G is one of the best on any cell phone. I prefer the bigger displays on the two Samsung phones to the small display on the iPhone, although the iPhone’s display is beautifully clear. The big display on the Epic 4G Touch is particularly good for sharing videos with a friend. The cameras on the iPhones and the two Samsung phones are all good, and all take good video as well. The two Samsung phones have memory expansion slots if you need more storage… the iPhones do not have memory expansion slots. As for viewing the display in direct sunlight, the Epic 4G Touch has a special high-brightness mode for when you are in strong sun.

      My personal favorite among the phones you mention is the Samsung Epic 4G Touch, which is thin, lightweight and easy to carry. It also has 4G, a gorgeous display, a super-fast processor and a memory expansion slot. And you can hold it next to any iPhone and say, “Mine’s bigger than yours,” which will get you a good laugh.

      Happy shopping!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Great comparison Bob, great to look at this video. I have been trying to decide on IPHONE or stick to Blackberry (the Torch w touchscreen) or move to the Samsung Epic. I notice you made no mention of email functionality. For someone making the transition from BB and the fantastic emailing function, how do you rate the Samsung pull out keyboard vs just using the TOUCH screen email process? The touch screen looks very tough to adapt to and I’m leaning toward the Samsung for this pullout keyboard — but the keyboard could be unweildy. Any thoughts? Thanks. Myra

    • Thanks for the kind words, Myra!

      It’s a little confusing, but there are two very different phones with very similar names: the Samsung Epic 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G Touch. The Epic 4G is older (summer 2010) and it has a slide-out keyboard. The Epic 4G Touch is newer (Sept. 2011) and it has a BIG display but no slide-out keyboard. If you really like a physical keyboard, the Epic 4G is one of the best keyboard phones available. (A similar and somewhat better phone is the Samsung Stratosphere for Verizon.) The Epic 4G Touch is an outstanding phone that I think blows away any version of the Blackberry. However, the Blackberry still excels at connecting to corporate e-mail — you should check carefully to be sure the either Samsun phone will work with your corporate e-mail account, if that is important to you. Otherwise, the two Samsung phones work quite well for private e-mail accounts (Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc.). Using the big touch screen on the Epic 4G Touch is easy to get used to… I like it much better than a cramped Blackberry keyboard.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Which one is better to use video chat on Samsung Epic 2 Touch or iPhone 4S? With the speed and the movement? I use sign language and wanted to be able to use the live video chat communicating with other deaf friends. thanks in advance!

    • Shamila, both the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Epic 4G Touch do video chat very well. I suggest the Epic 4G Touch for its MUCH bigger display, which should help you better see what the person at the other end is doing.

      Good luck!

      Bob at Wiirefly

  • Hi Chuck,
    I’m 50+, not really tech savvy, and have ADHD which makes it all worse. I currently have the Samsung Epic 4g (unfortunately with the pull out keyboard), and am considering switching to the iPhone 4s or going to the Epic without the keypad.
    I don’t have the time or skills to become a power user on any phone, but I really have trouble navigating some of the features on the Epic. I’m wondering if the iPhone is more “intuitive” and easy to use.
    Examples of EPIC issues:
    • I hate the phone log showing calls and text messages
    • It’s disturbingly easy to make accidental calls, and even easier to still have the line open after ending the call.
    • The new EPIC Gingerbread.e122 upgrade caused nothing but grief. I have at least 15 apps that cannot be deleted, and all sorts of battery draining drama.
    I’m sure you’re wondering why I even want a hi tech phone.
    Because: There’s always hope I will have the time and commitment to learn all the cool features, I love having a camera with me at all times, and with 15+ years with sprint family plans the phones are relatively inexpensive.

  • Loved this video, about to make a decision between these two phones. Can you quickly comment on several things? It would really help me make a decision:

    Which seems faster and more fluid to navigate? Does the Samsung processor hold a candle to Apple?

    Which has a better typing experience?

    Do you prefer the Android app market to Apple?

    • SM, I prefer the Samsung Epic 4G Touch on all counts. It is easily as fluid to use as the iPhone 4S, and possibly better in that regard. Samsung’s processor is at least as fast as the iPhone 4S’s. The larger display on the Samsung makes typing considerably more accurate, as far as I’m concerned. And apps in the Android Market are generally lower cost than equivalent apps for the iPhone. Heck… the best navigation app for Android phones is free! Finally, you can get 4G connection speeds on the Epic 4G Touch and you can’t on the iPhone 4S. You can get close with the AT&T version of the iPhone 4S, but the top speeds on Sprint’s WiMax network will be considerably faster than the top speeds on AT&T’s HSPA+ network. And Sprint and Verizon have no 4G service for the iPhone.

      Hope that helps!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • I need a phone that can be read in the sunlight (outside). Which display handles the bright sunlight.

    • I didn’t test the iPhone 4S outside in the sun, but the Epic 4G Touch was pretty good. It has a setting to provide extra brightness for use in the strong sun. Keep in mind that this will use the battery faster, but it did make the display easy to see in the sun.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Chuck Sharin
    November 2, 2011

    Curious why the Epic 4g Touch vs Apple 4S Smackdown

    didnt ever mention the SIRI Voice recognition

    which I think is quite incredible and a significant

    difference….

    Thanks, Chuck

    • Chuck, I thought about discussing Siri and the alternatives available in Android, but the video was already 20 minutes long. (By comparison, a TV sitcom usually has 22 minutes of program content, and a sitcom has a crew of dozens. For Wirefly videos, there’s just me.) Siri is pretty neat and does some things in one location that either isn’t available on Android or you’d really have to dig to find. Then again, Android phones have come with a free voice navagation app for a year or more.

      I chose to focus on mostly hardware features, since discussing apps would have made the video far too long. Thanks for asking!

      Bob at Wirefly

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