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Android Phones
HTC EVO Shift 4G vs. Samsung Epic 4G

Wirefly Learn » Android Phones

January 5th, 2011


The HTC EVO Shift bears a family resemblance to its big brother, the HTC EVO 4G. And it also shares some of the speedy internal characteristics of the T-Mobile G2, which was also made by HTC. Featuring Android 2.2, a second-generation 800-MHz processor and a slide-out keyboard, the EVO Shift is intended to be a less-expensive 4G experience for those who thought the price was still too high to get into the game. Meanwhile, the Samsung Epic 4G is the version of Samsung’s popular Galaxy S series that works on Sprint’s 4G WiMax network. Like other Galaxy S phones, the Epic 4G has a beautiful four-inch AMOLED screen that makes the best images in the cellular industry. Not only does the Epic 4G have a class-leading display, it also has a slide-out keyboard.

Samsung Epic 4G HTC EVO Shift
Samsung Epic 4G HTC EVO Shift
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Wirefly’s Price
(as of publish date)
$179.99 $119.99
Carrier Sprint Sprint
Operating System Android 2.1 Android 2.2
Interface Samsung TouchWiz

HTC Sense

Display 4″ TFT Super AMOLED, 480 x 800 pixels 3.6″ TFT capactive touchscreen, 480 x 800 pixels
Data Speed 4G 4G
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 Bluetooth 2.1
Mobile Hotspot Yes – Connect up to 5 devices Yes – Connect up to 5 devices
Camera 5-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus 5-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus
Front-facing Camera Yes No
Video Capture Yes; 720p HD Yes; 720p HD
Apps Android Market Android Market
Music Player Yes Yes
Adobe Flash Support Flash Lite Adobe Flash 10.1
Storage Space 1GB onboard; 16GB pre-installed microSD card 3GB Total (1GB on-board, 2GB pre-installed microSD card)
Keyboard Slide-out QWERTY Slide-out QWERTY
Battery 1,500 mAh, lithium-ion 1,500 mAh, lithium-ion
Processor 1 GHz Hummingbird 800 MHz Snapdragon (2nd generation)
Memory RAM: 512MB RAM: 512MB
Microsoft Outlook Support Yes Yes
View Word Docs Yes Yes
Weight 5.5 oz 5.9 oz
Dimensions 2.5″ x 4.9″ x 0.6″ 4.6″ x 2.3″ x 0.6″

Key Differences

  • Display: One difference between the Samsung Epic 4G and the HTC EVO Shift is the display. The EVO Shift has a 3.6-inch LCD display, while the Epic 4G has a four-inch Super AMOLED screen considered to be one of the best cell phone screens. Both clock in with identical resolution of 480 x 800 pixels.
  • Operating system: The Samsung Epic 4G runs Android 2.1, which has proved both functional and stable. However, the HTC EVO Shift runs Android 2.2, which offers greater speed and better compatability with Adobe Flach content than Android 2.1. Samsung has promised an upgrade to Android 2.2 for the Epic 4G but has not yet announced a date for this upgrade.
  • Keyboard:
    Both the HTC EVO Shift and the Samsung Epic 4G have physical slide-out keyboards. The Epic 4G has five rows of keys, including an always-accessible row of numbers. The HTC EVO Shift’s keyboard has four rows of keys and requires a press of a “function” key to access numbers and other symbols.
  • Storage Space: The Samsung Epic 4G ships with 1GB of on-board storage and has a pre-loaded 16GB microSD card. This 16GB card is the maximum size allowable with Android 2.1. The HTC EVO Shift has 1GB of on-board storageand comes with a 2GB microSD card installed. This microSD card can be replaced with one up to 32GB, which gives the EVO Shift a maximum memory of 33 GB.
  • Camera: Both devices are equipped with 5-megapixel cameras with autofocus and on-board LED flashes, and both can record 720p HD video.
  • Battery life: Both phones have the same size battery: 1,500 mAh. The Samsung Epic 4G’s battery life is rated at 6.5 hours of talk time, while the HTC EVO Shift is rated for 6 hours of talk time.

Shop Now for Phones from AT&T Wirelesss, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Related posts:

  1. HTC EVO Shift vs. Samsung Epic 4G – Speed Test
  2. Samsung Epic 4G vs. Samsung Epic 4G Touch Comparison
  3. HTC EVO Shift Review
  4. Samsung Epic 4G vs. Nexus S Schmackdown!

45 Responses to “HTC EVO Shift 4G vs. Samsung Epic 4G”

  • I’m thinking about getting a Evo Shift 4G.
    At the moment, I have the Samsung Galaxy Gio.
    I’m really getting tired of the FULL touch screen interface, where everything is relied on touch screens. When I was in the US I had all slide out phones, and they were the best.
    Comparitively to the Samsung Galaxy Gio,
    should I suck up the touchscreen interface with the Gio, or try to get the Evo Shift?,

  • I have an HTC Evo 4G slide and I love it! I highly recommend it!

  • I wouldn’t reccomend the Epic as I am on my third one. The earpiece speaker just seems to stop working after a few short months. I am getting it replaced again and this time with the Evo Shift. Does anyone know how noticeable the difference is between the 800mhz processor compared to the 1ghz processor of the epic?? This is the main thing that concerns me about switching. I know the super smiled screen of the epic is also something awesome I am giving up but I think I can deal with it for a phone that is of actual quality.

    • Jill, the 800MHz processor in the HTC EVO Shift is actually a little faster than the 1GHz processor in the Samsung Epic 4G. That’s too bad about the problems you’ve had with the Epic… I tend to think of the Epic as a really good sliding-keyboard phone. The AMOLED display in the Epic is still the best around.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Which one would you say has the best battery life? That’s my main deciding point.

    • Mike, I’d say they’re both about the same in terms of battery life.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Trying to decide between a Samsung epic vs the HTC evo….??? I have looked at both phones; I love the colorful apps on the epic vs the evo….I have a blackberry storm now…and i hate it! I want a fun & cute; easy to use phone….I was leaning towards the epic but I everyone keeps telling me how great the evo is! Im torn! HELP anyone…

    • Joale, both those are really good phones. It all comes down to whether or not you want a physical keyboard, which the Samsung Epic has. If you don’t need/want a keyboard, the HTC EVO 4G is a fun phone. If you can afford it, you should also take a look at the HTC EVO 3D, which is an outstanding phone.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • I have had nothing but samsung phones all my life so i naturally picked the Samsung Epic as my goal to get. But i decided to look and see if there were any other phones better than the Epic that were touchscreen with a qwerty keyboard. I have narrowed it down to the Epic and the Shift. I just want space on my phone for a lot of games and apps including the kindle app, durability (not easy to break), and i want it to b fast. Which do u think would b best for me? also another question. Can i watch movies & tv on both of these phones?

    • Yaz, yes you can watch movies and TV on both the Samsung Epic 4G and the HTC EVO Shift. Both are very good phones. My favorite of the two is the Epic 4G, which has an excellent 4-inch AMOLED display that’s one of the best in the industry. I also like it’s 5-row keyboard with a dedicated row of numbers. I did a Wirefly “Schmackdown” video that compares these two phones at:


      I hope that helps you with your decision. Thanks for thinking of Wirefly!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Here’s another thing to consider, if you like Cyanogenmod (CM7), a very good custom ROM for many Android phones.

    Currently CM7 is available for the Evo Shift, but it is still in production for the Epic. CM7 uses Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) which has a LOT of good features. I have an HTC Hero right now, and although the phone is not that great, using Android 2.3 with CM7 really helps out.

    If they release CM7 for the Epic soon, I will probably get that, otherwise I’d get the Evo Shift.


  • I am in the process of leaving Blackberry due to many, many frustrations with its operation … and am considering an Android product as well as an iPhone. One of my primary concerns is the data transfer from my Blackberry Bold 9650 to either a Samsung Epic 4G or a HTC EVO Shift. I am currently leaning toward the Epic though I was initially impressed with the Epic.
    So …
    1. Does ALL of the data transfer from my Blackberry to the Epic and/or to the EVO, especially including the Notes to my Calendar and the Notes on my Contacts as well as the data in my MemoPad ??
    2. Does the problem mentioned by Laura on 2/25/11 continue now that the Epic presumably has Android 2.2 ? I use comcast.net as my e-mail provider … and simply don’t want to go through the pain of changing e-mail services.
    3. I often use BlueTooth with my hearing aids for telephone conversations while driving. Would that be a problem now with either the Epic or the EVO ?

    Your straight-forward counsel as to the above particulars would be greatly appreciated.

    • TRS, unfortunately, all your questions are beyond my ability to answer. I work with a LOT of different phones, often switching phones daily as new ones arrive, so i don’t get days to delve into the technical details of any one phone. I also don’t want to mislead you regarding the transfer of data from your BlackBerry to a new Android phone.

      I think your best bet is to ask your question at a dedicated Android forum, where you are more likely to find people who have done exactly what you are asking. You can do a Google search but you might start with Phandroid, AndroidSPIN and AndroidPolice. I hope you can get answers, as your questions are reasonable – I can understand why you’re asking them. Good luck!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • I am having the same bluetooth issues. Phone is currently at Sprint store being tested. I am on my third epic in 6 months. Sprint is not admitting this issue exists and I am not a happy customer. I will not stay with Sprint after contract is up.

  • Jason
    May 31, 2011

    I am getting a new phone. I currently have the Samsung Moment(UGH) and want to know what is the better phone. I am really concerned and coming back to Samsung but the Epic soungs great. What are anyone thoughts.

    • Jason, the Samsung Epic 4G is a much better phone than the Moment. Another good choice for you is the HTC EVO Shift. Both are much faster and more responsive than the Moment. Of those two, the Epic 4G would be my pick… it is an excellent phone.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Deborah
    May 20, 2011

    Just got the Epic as an upgrade from my years of blackberry use. Very oool phone but having a few issues. First, the keyboard is super big. While that sounds great, if you have small hands like myself, it is quite difficult to type on, which is a big problem for me. I hate trying to type on touchscreen but I will just say that I discovered the swype featture which works way better then I thought it would, not sure if that is a common Droid feature since this is my first (alhough Idon’t think my husband’s Pro has it.) Second, there is definitely a sound bug. After using it through bluetooth, you have to shut down your phone completely to get the sound to work properly, otherwise you cannot hear the ringer, alerts or media. Third, my battery drained dead about 4 times today (I did get hooked on Angry Birds plus my area has poor reception so it seems to be searching for service all the time (however same service with my blackberry and I played games on that as well and rarely drained my battery once in a day.) And lastly, I had to set up my Yahoo email through a seperate app, it could not configure through the main email link, not sure why but the Sprint tech said it was a common prob. With that being said, I might actually like the yahoo app so that might not be an issue. I was going o go check out the shift but I can tell by reading this that having the 4 rows of keys vs the 5 will be an issue and I am not sure the keyboard will be much smaller as that is my biggest problem. It is a super cool device and if I can get used to the way you type on them (I hate that you can’t just hold down a key in order for it to capitalize) I will probably sick with this one. I hear there are good apps that help with saving the battery. As soon as I am out in the field a while I will be able to tell if the batery holds up better when not searching for service. Does anyone know if that 2.2 update is out and how I can get it?

  • isaiah
    May 9, 2011

    I am deciding between getting one of these phones. My sister just got the evo shift and loves it but I’ve had an eye for the Epic. They both cost the same because our contract is up and I’ve gone through three blackberry curves and they keep braking without me doing anything so I need a different phone. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Both those are nice phones. Now that the Samsung Epic 4G has been updated to Android 2.2, that’s my favorite of these two. The EVO Shift is a good phone and a little smaller/lighter than the Epic 4G. However, the Epic 4G has a nicer display and a friendlier keyboard, and the Samsung’s graphics processor makes it smoother for video and games.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • How is the GPS system? I’ve read a few complaints about the GPS on the Epic but they were a little vague.

    • I used the GPS in the Epic only a little and had no problems. That said, I have used the GPS extensively on LOTS of cell phones and never had a problem that re-booting the phone once didn’t fix. That can be a pain at times but the free Google Navigation app in Android cell phones works so well that re-booting the phone occasionally is a small price to pay.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • The epic has a much better keyboard and screen (size/specs) I’ll just update to android 2.2.

  • melissa
    April 4, 2011

    I have read several reviews that the battery life of these new android phones are poor especially the epic. I am in the process of switching from my blackberry and I am concerned with the battery life. Thanks for all the great informative specs, had no idea about the major memory and processor differences.

    • isaiah
      May 9, 2011

      I’m seriously thinking about getting the epic and what I’ve heard to do is buy multiple batteries so if you don’t have a charger on you, you can just swap batteries.

  • Wow a sight that is intelligent, user friendly, unbiased and easy for non techies like myself to understand!!!! Thank You for your well thought out Schmackdown… I will be back to review more as I get closer to making a purchase. One question I do have is how well each works as it’s primary purpose…as an actual phone?

    Thanks again

    • Lou, unfortunately, the HTC EVO Shift was never activated, so I was unable to test its call quality. The Samsung Epic 4G has good call quality. It’s clear and has plenty of volume, and people at the other end tell me that my voice is clear. I would say that the Epic 4G’s call quality is better than average.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Thank you for the comparison! I have watched several of your videos and am glad you do them. I will be switching from the original Evo to the Shift! I had seen the Epic and wanted to make sure I really wanted the Shift.

    • the epic is better in every fashion dont waste ur time with the evo shift. The epic has a bigger and better 4 inch super amoled lit touch screen with capacitive buttons on the bottom. Not only that but it has a slide out 5 row keyboard the shifts is only 4. Also the processors arent even fair to compare the 1 ghz hummingbird processor featured in the epic is one of the fastest processors currently available. Probably only second to the 1.2 ghz processor found in the droid 2 global. But none the less if ur gonna go with a 4g phone from sprint with the slide out keyboard go epic no dobt :)

    • the only thing the epic doesnt have that the evo shift does is android 2.2 which gives the shift the advantage in this category

  • Ja'elle D
    January 17, 2011

    I think another fact that was not mentioned it that although the Samsung Epic comes with a total of 17GB and the Evo Shift comes with a total of 3GB, the Evo Shift can expand with a micro sd card of 32GB making it a total of 33GB. I myself is more partial to the Samsung Epic but would love for them to not only upgrade the Android to 2.2 but to also upgrade the storage compacity for people like me who practically use my phone as a secondary laptop. I must also say that I aggree with Adam’s comment about the unbaised opinion. I really did enjoy and appreciate hearing the truth about both phones.

    • You’re welcome… thanks for the nice comment!

      Bob at Wirefly

    • It was also omitted that the Epic 4G has a front-facing VGA camera. Don’t know if the shift has one as well, but I believe it’s worth mentioning. BTW: GREAT review! I’ll come back for more :)

    • ya i hear ya on using ur phone as a secondary labtop so they better come out with that 2.2 update for the epic it should have been out in november of last year but sadly it had a bug and was put on risers for a while and they just started reproduction of 2.2 in january of this year so it could be some time before we see the update come out

    • The reason why the capacity is higher for the Evo Shift is because it is running Android 2.2 and not 2.1. The capacity available is determined by the Android version, no the device in this case. Upgrading the Shift to 2.2 should allow the 32GB SD card as well.

  • Electrofreak
    January 11, 2011

    For future reference, the Quadrant benchmark is not accurate at scoring Galaxy S vs Snapdragon. It’s optimized for Snapdragon, was released before Galaxy S phones were released, and does not accurately score the processor. In addition, Quadrant has trouble making sense of Samsung’s proprietary RFS file system, while Android has no difficulty.

    Quadrant is fine if you want to compare phones on like hardware (two Snapdragons, 2 Hummingbirds, 2 OMAPs, etc) but if you want to compare phones from different manufacturers, please use something like Smartbench 2010, thus far it’s been the most accurate “layman’s” benchmark I’ve used.

    • Jeff Gregory
      January 13, 2011

      Thank you, Electrofreak.

      We’re always looking for ways to improve our comparisons, and it’s intelligent, passionate people such as yourself who help us do so.

      We’ll be sure to give Smartbench a test run and incorporate it into our videos if it’s as good as you say.

      We appreciate the feedback and welcome it always.

      Jeff Gregory
      Director of Search

  • Bob, You have got to be a breath of life back into the internet. This is probably the first website that I have stumbled across in a long time with what seems like a real, true, unbiased opinion on a tech product. —- Thank You!!!

  • The evo Shift 4g has 800mhz processor, 2gb onboard rom, 512 ram and 2gb memory card included. to many typos, not enough research lol

    *should also point out that the shift also has a touchpad included and the epic does not. personally though, i would get the epic. even though htc makes very solid phones, the epic is a solid phone (i work for sprint as a service tech)

    • I had the Epic for the past 7 days, love the display, however I just took it back and picked up the Evo Shift. The Shift is definitely a solid phone. I could not get my emails (yahoo, msn or my work/exchange server emails)to update consistently on the Epic, sometimes is took over 24 hours! (checking online, there were SO many complaints about the same email problem I’m having). If the email would work I would have kept the Epic. The screen doesn’t look as great on the Shift but everything I need to work, works! I also love the 2.2, many more great apps. You being a tech, I was curious if you have seen this problem.

  • Danny J
    January 7, 2011

    So which one should I buy? The one with the better screen display (samsung epic4g) or the one with the most updated Androis OS 2.2 (HTC evo shift4g)

  • there’s a typo.. evo shift 4g has 800 MHz processor, not 800 GHz processor.. ;)

    • LMAO. Where do they make 800 GHz processors at? I soooo want one! I can’t even get a computer with 5 ghz.

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