Features I Like About the Samsung Epix

My comments on this blog toward the Samsung Epix have been very negative due to some issues I was having that frankly made for a painful user experience. It turned out that some of my problems were the result of a defective unit. The rest of the problems were the results of my Celio Redfly driver and ClearType, of all things. I do miss ClearType, but not the problems it was causing me.

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I made a conscious decision to return a 3 week old BlackJack II and get the Epix. I liked the BlackJack II, but it just wasn’t keeping up with me. Just checking a few emails and texting my wife left me with less than a half a battery by lunch. When I heard that the Epix was out, and I was still within my 30 day return period, I went back to get it. I agonized over the choice of either the Epix or the iPhone, but decided on the Epix.

I obviously didn’t buy the Epix so I could complain about it. That would be stupid. It’s not like I’m a paid technology journalist or anything. Perhaps if I worked for the New York Times or WSJ, I could afford to buy a Macbook Air and complain about it nationally, but I can only cover one phone at a time right now so I can’t hate them all.

What do I like about the Epix? For one, I love the concept of the optical mouse. I’ve had touchscreen Windows Mobile devices for years, and having to deal with Windows Mobile Standard (non-touch screen) was killing me. Many of the applications I’ve used over the years didn’t work with it. Of course, I hated the stylus. My iPaq 6945 had a lot of smudges on the screen because it was easier to use my finger than to take the stylus out. Then there was that time when I lost my stylus and had nothing but my finger until I paid approximately $13 for a 3 pack of replacements.  The Epix does come with a stylus, but I’ve only taken it out to show people. I might have used it once or twice, but I normally don’t think about it. The Epix gives you all the benefits of a touch screen without the pesky stylus. I like it.

I like the screen size. My former iPaq 6945 was a 3 inch screen but had only a 240×240 resolution. The BlackJack II has a 320×240 resolution. The Epix has a 2.4″ screen with 320×320 resolution. For the most part, text isn’t too small but I can see enough on the screen to be effective. I like that.

The GPS and 3G are nice, but it’s not easy to find a phone these days without them. When I see phones advertised with GPS, I think that’s like advertising that they come with a battery. GPS is ubiquitous.

I like having wi-fi, which the Epix comes with, but I don’t use it. I like that the iPhone can automatically switch between AT&T data and wi-fi, but I don’t know of a way to make Windows Mobile do that without changing connection settings every time. There are a few shortcuts, but it’s always a many-step process that I’d rather not deal with. I just keep it on AT&T’s 3G network.

And of course I admit that I do like the main strength of Windows Mobile: abundant 3rd party applications. That has always been one of Microsoft’s strengths: providing tools and encouragement so that anybody can develop for the platform. Look for Steve Ballmer’s “Developers, developers, developers!” dance on YouTube for confirmation of that. Sorry, I just reinstalled Vista on my laptop and the video won’t embed in Windows Live Writer for some as yet unknown reason.

I do like the Epix for the most part. It’s a decent phone, and a good smartphone. Sometimes I wish I had taken the iPhone instead, but for now there are still some things I need Windows Mobile for that don’t work on the iPhone yet. I do recommend the iPhone unless you’re a geek too set in your ways like me.

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