Epic vs. EVO: hardware, interface

While we’re all quick to scan the specs of any new device, there’s a lot more to the story of a phone’s usability and power than a series of numbers and bullet points. Below, I’ve embedded a snap of a table that lists the primary specifications of HTC’s EVO 4G and Samsung’s Epic 4G. At first glance (and second, then third), the two phones appear to be very, very similar. That is, if you’re looking at the table alone. But numbers can be misleading. If you’re trying to decide between the Epic and the EVO, there’s more to consider than your need for a hardware keyboard. So let’s take a close look at the hardware differences between these two devices from a practical usage standpoint.

First, let’s dispense with the obligatory spec listing:



Cameras

Good greif, that seems like a close call in the table above. But don’t let that 8MP vs. 5MP camera situation throw you off–or the fact that EVO features 2 LED flashes while the Epic only has one. Comments over at the Epic vs. EVO camera post, which features a video walkthrough of the software and photo and video samples from each device, indicate a landslide victory for Samsung’s slider. Personally, I think the EVO tends to represent colors more accurately in some situations, but that doesn’t change the fact that Epic’s images just look better. EVO’s audio tends to be more muffled, or conversely, to feature distorted sibilance, while Epic’s sound is truer to life and more tolerable.

Materials and Design

Talk of the “plasticy” vibe that the Galaxy S series of phones gives off has done very little to offset the undeniably powerful tech under the hood or the performance one experiences when zipping around screens or playing back media. But–and I say this recognizing how great the Epic looks in pictures–the EVO still comes off as more elegant in my book. This, like pretty much every other factor that doesn’t come down to numbers (and even a few that do), is a subjective matter of personal preference. After a couple of weeks with T-Mobile’s Vibrant, another Galaxy S device, the feel of the phone didn’t bother me any more. But, holding the Epic in one hand and the EVO in the other, the difference is difficult to ignore. Even if the two phones are less than half an ounce apart, EVO has that weighty, expensive feel to it that I think the Epic is lacking. And the labeling of buttons (and their sensitivity) has gone a long way in winning me over on the hardware end of the next department, user interface. Software is another story.

User Interface: Software



So the Epic wins in terms of the software UI, but again, the EVO’s hardware feels nicer. Not to mention this little problem I have with Epic:

User Interface: Home, Menu, Back, and Search

I didn’t experience problems with the Vibrant’s front buttons, but the Epic’s have irritated me quite a bit. Have a look:




As for the display, I think it’s safe to say that Epic wins here as well, regardless of size:

Fingerprints



Sunlight Visibility



That’s it for this Epic vs. EVO post, but we have a couple more on the way…

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