Some thoughts and comparisons (Epic, Evo, Droid 2/X, iPhone)


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  1. Torq

    Torq Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    This is not meant to be comprehensive comparison, just noting a few things that have jumped out in the first day of using my Epic 4G.

    Screen (Appearance):

    The Epic's screen is bright and vibrant, the contrast/black levels are untouchable in a current mobile device and, like all PenTile matrix based displays, has a distinct cheese cloth effect when viewed closer than about 18" or so.

    SAMOLED on an RGB matrix would be killer, but that gets into yield and power issues and isn't available in devices like this and as a result I personally prefer proper RGB based LCD panels.

    Screen (Touch-responsiveness):

    The Epic is the best touch-screen I've found on an Android device to date. The Evo is VERY close, and it may be down to skin optimization or drivers rather than hardware, but both are excellent.

    The Droid 2 was terrible in this regard. My finger would be half an inch from where I started to drag from before there was any response. The Droid X was better but not this good.

    The iPhone has been the benchmark in this regard since it launched. Unless I put the devices side by side I can't tell the difference in responsiveness, and I have to look for it even then. Nothing here of concern at all.

    GPS:

    Not as bad as I feared, but the Epic is clearly last in every test I've run, and this goes back as far an original HTC Tilt on Windows Mobile. The best accuracy in autonomous mode I've achieved, with 8 birds locked, is +/- 98.4 ft.

    Compare this to an Evo at +/- 33-56, an iPhone 4 at +/- 33, an ancient eTrex at +/- 55 feet and a Garmin 530HCx with a solid lock at 10ft (the Garmin is at 55 feet with just three birds).

    I don't know if this will be an issue for navigation or not. Won't affect me directly, I was just testing out of interest.

    4G:

    I have three 4G devices and get 4G coverage at home and work.

    The Evo 4G will simply not hold a 4G lock at my house; it reports it being available and then instantly drops the connection.

    The Epic finds the 4G signal, connects in seconds (much faster than the Evo), and holds on to it quite well.

    My third 4G device is a Sprint Overdrive. This crucifies both the Evo and the Epic. It has several more bars indicated signal, gets 2-3x the speed, and is an entirely different league.

    All tested in the same location.

    Camera:

    iPhone 4 decimates the Evo, and the Epic, which both annihilate the Droids.

    Both the Epic and the Evo are very useable however.

    As "the camera you have with you" both work well. They don't compare to the cheapest and most basic dedicated point and shoot cameras of course, but for the sorts of things they're generally used for they are quite servicable.

    Build:

    In order, I'd say iPhone 4, Epic/Droid 2, Evo and then the Droid X.

    The Droid X is the most awfully plastic feeling device I can recall in years. Yes, I know that all but one ARE plastic, but the Evo, Droid 2 and Epic all feel way better than the Droid X.

    The Evo I've had issues with in terms of light leaks and the fitting of the back.

    The Droid 2 feels solid and the Epic is just as, if not more, robust feeling. I'm not generally a Samsung fan and I am very surprised at how polished and solid the Epic feels. The glossy and unadorned front contrasts nicely with the non-slip back.

    WiFi HotSpot:

    The Evo gave me fits in this regard. I could test it at work and show a 4+ Mb/s connection over 4G, but any device (iPhone, iPad, Mac Book Pro and a multitude of Dell and Toshiba laptops) would never see more than 200-300 Kb/s on any connected device.

    The Epic is hitting double that on connected devices even when it is on a 3G connection. In general I'm seeing just a 25% drop in available hotspot bandwidth compared to what the phone is seeing itself.

    Compared to an Overdrive, if it is getting 4Mbps downstream, then devices connecting to it are getting 3.5Mbps+.

    ---

    Anyway, just a few things I've noticed. Some good, some bad. In general it's my favorite Android phone so far.
     

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  2. mrvirginia

    mrvirginia Well-Known Member

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    this is certainly the best comparison i've seen thus far. thanks!
    could you go into further detail regarding the Evo vs Epic camera? which one would you say takes better photos?
     
  3. KoukiFC3S

    KoukiFC3S Well-Known Member

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    Good read thanks.
     
  4. ConceptVBS

    ConceptVBS Well-Known Member

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    RGB matrix on a SAMOLED would defeat its purpose. AMOLED in general dont need another color matrix; screen itself is both a light source AND a color matrix in one.

    Your scenario would be just like how LED backlighted LCD's work.
     
  5. TheAndroidWorks

    TheAndroidWorks Well-Known Member

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    Torq, I have had pretty much identical experiences... GREAT writeup!
     
  6. Tre Lawrence

    Tre Lawrence Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff!
     
  7. ub3r-l33ch

    ub3r-l33ch Well-Known Member

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    Why are you comparing a Sprint Overdrive (not a phone) to the Evo/Epic?
     
  8. SebastianX

    SebastianX Well-Known Member

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    I believe he was comparing what he had just so we could get a feel for how different a phone would be to a dedicated 4G hot spot, good write up.
     
  9. jim2point0

    jim2point0 Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of your points aren't widespread. I had no 4G or hotspot issues with my Evo. But it was a good comparison nonetheless.

    Overall I'm enjoying the Epic more than my Evo. It's not without its problems though...
     
  10. rldev

    rldev Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree on build. The Evo is built better. It is just the nature of having a slide out keyboard. The original Droid has a much better slider mechanism.
     
  11. Torq

    Torq Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    No, that's not correct.

    Yes, OLEDs are light producing, unlike the filtering/blocking model used in LCD panels. However, to produce the full spectrum of colors you still have to get red, green and blue light output.

    The PenTile matrix uses alternating pairs of OLEDs insteal of triplets, and "shares" adjacent pixels, via time-domain dithering, to get the visual effect of having three actual color emitters per pixel.

    An RGB matrix simply has one OLED per R G and B sub-pixel.

    The effect of the PenTile matrix is to reduce power-consumption by 1/3 (or so) since there are 1/3 less LEDs involved, and it also increases yields for the same reason.

    It's a good trade-off, and the principle disadvantage is the cheese-cloth effect when viewed closely. However, I still don't like it because I can clearly see it. If it doesn't bother you, that's awesome, but the technical reasons for it are unchanged.

    I have true RGB OLED (The "Amorphous" part is irrelevant as is the "Super" they have nothing to do with the matrix configuration) displays in some of my own projects, and they have all the brightness and saturation and contrast/black-level benefits of PenTile OLED displays, but look smoother since they aren't "missing" sub-pixels.
     
  12. Torq

    Torq Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    It was interesting to me to see how the 4G/HotSpot performance of the phones stacked up with a dedicated wireless HotSpot.

    I had hoped to replace my Overdrive with the HotSpot functionality of one of Sprint's phones, but they're not quite there yet. I didn't EXPECT them to perform as well, just thought it was interesting perspective for anyone thinking along the same lines.
     
  13. Eazail70x7

    Eazail70x7 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think they need to do a RGB Super AMOLED, I just think it needs a higher resoution (I think). Although, the resolution is not too bad where its at now but higher is always better lol

    The screen is growing on me as I use it more and more and I think my eyes are ajusting to it
     
  14. kristv

    kristv Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I found that really interesting as well. I've thought a few times of possibly using my Epic as a dedicated HotSpot and wondered how it would fair. Good to know! :)
     

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