The Galaxy S II we've fawned over has finally arrived on Sprint as the Epic Touch 4G with a bigger, 4.52-inch screen. Long story short: It's the best Android phone you can buy.
The Epic Touch 4G absolutely screams. It's faster, brighter, bigger, thinner, lighter and more powerful than any Android phone to date. 4G data speeds are consistently faster than the next best 4G Android phone on Sprint, the Nexus S. And everything else that made the first iteration of this phone great: camera, screen, Swype keyboard (with haptic feedback), etc, is still intact. And though it's still not any major achievement in industrial design, the new outer shell for the Epic Touch 4G feels a bit less generic and much more approachable.
Releasing a major piece of Android hardware like this with no NFC capabilities at this point means that the phone is missing a major piece of an Android killer app—Google Wallet, which is coming soon. And while I like many of the ideas behind the TouchWiz UI—tilt controls and the redesigned notifications menu—the icons and general blocky design remove all of the sleekness that the outer layers of stock Gingerbread software possesses. That said, it doesn't slow the phone down at all, so it's not a complete fail.
If you're looking for an Android phone on Sprint right now (like right now), then yes, you should absolutely buy this. It's really fantastic. But there's something you do need to consider. It's been nearly a year since the Nexus S first came out, and you better believe Google is ramping up to release their next flagship phone real soon (likely with Ice Cream Sandwich on it). You could find yourself locked into an Android phone with no Google Wallet and a delayed path to Ice Cream Sandwich. Or you could wait a couple of months and, at the very least, see what Google has to offer.
Sprint Epic Touch 4G/Samsung Galaxy S II
Price: TBD (in the US)
Screen: 4.52-inch, 800x480 Super AMOLED Plus
Processor and RAM: Dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1GB RAM
Camera: Rear: 8 megapixels, 1080p video Front: 2MP
Weight: ~ 4.6 ounces
Battery: 1800 mAh