Samsung Epic 4G Listed For $199.99 At Amazon

Sprint's list price for the smartphone with a new service plan is $249.99, but Amazon is advertising the handset with the same terms for $50 less.
Samsung Epic 4G
(click image for larger view)
Samsung Epic 4G
Sprint's second Android-powered handset with WiMax capabilities, the Samsung Epic 4G, is available for preorder on for less than the carrier's list price. Amazon is advertising the Epic 4G for $199.99 with a new service plan, compared with Sprint's price of $249.99 with the same terms. The original sales price on Amazon lists the phone at $599.99. The phone, marketed by Sprint as an all-in-one device for work and entertainment, should begin shipping on Aug. 31st, Amazon said, while cautioning that due to demand for the device, consumers may experience a slight delay.

The Epic 4G weighs 5.46 ounces and measures 9.9 x 2.54 x .056 inches. It runs on Android 2.1 and is also compatible with 3G networks. The device features a 4-inch super Super AMOLED touchscreen display and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It offers GPS turn-by-turn directions via Sprint Navigation, wireless-N Wi-Fi networking with optional hotspot capability; a 5 mexapixel camera with HD video capture, a front-facing VGA camera for video chats; microSD expansion to 32 gigabytes, HDMI audio/video output and Bluetooth stereo music. It also is enabled for Sprint TV and Amazon's MP3 Store and has access to Android Market apps.

The device also has a 1500 mAh battery for extended talk and standby times. The Epic 4G has built-in mobile hotspot functionality, allowing up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as a laptop, camera, music or video player. Social networking features include integration for all messages, personal and business email, calendars and contacts. It also provides the ability to view Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents and download e-books from Skiff, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Samsung's AllShare service will enable the device to share user-generated content such as stored music, pictures and HD video with other devices, according to Sprint. It will be the only 4G handset to offer users the opportunity to purchase or rent movies and TV shows from a video store, the carrier said.

This is not the first time Amazon has sliced the price of a handset. Earlier this month it cut the price of the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant to one cent, while T-Mobile listed the phone for $199.99 after a $50 rebate and a new, two-year agreement.

"With its beautiful display and slide-out keyboard, Samsung Epic 4G is a powerful tool for our customers, and it extends Sprint's 4G leadership with a second strong smartphone option," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, in a statement. "As we continue to lead the 4G revolution, we are proud to offer our customers two 4G smartphones, the Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot and several 4G USB modems to access the fast speeds on our 4G network in more than 48 cities today."

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Carlo Massimo, Political Reporter and Columnist
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author