Often, the difference between well-built and capable smartphones like Samsung's Epic 4G and Apple's iPhone 4S is not in the things they help you accomplish, but in the combination of hardware and software that makes it all possible. Today's smartphones offer more than just a way to make phone calls on the road. These mobile, Internet-connected computing devices also make great GPS navigation tools, personal organizers, multimedia players, video recorders, calendars, contact managers and front ends for network server applications.
Processors and Memory
Both the iPhone and Samsung Epic smartphones use ARM microprocessors to run their operating systems and applications. In fact, Samsung manufactures the single-core ARM Cortex-A8 processor used the Epic as well as the dual-core A5 chip used in the iPhone 4S. The iPhone's processor runs at 800 MHz while the Epic runs at 1000 MHz. The Epic comes standard with 1GB of RAM and can be expanded with Secure Digital (SD) and SD High Capacity (SDHC) storage cards. All iPhones come with 512 MB memory installed. In contrast, you can't expand your iPhone's storage space. You must purchase an iPhone with a fixed amount of storage: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.
Display and Camera
Both phones feature high-resolution touchscreen displays. The Epic has a 4-inch, Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels. The iPhone has a 3.5 inch Retina display with a resolution of 960 by 640-pixels.
Epic's single camera has 5 megapixel resolution with 4X digital zoom. The iPhone, on the other hand, has both an 8MP rear-facing camera and
a 0.3MP front-facing camera.
Carriers and Connectivity
At the time of publication, Sprint is the only carrier supporting the Samsung Epic. IPhone users can contract with Sprint, AT&T or Verizon. Both the iPhone and Epic support CDMA or Code division multiple access, GSM or Global System for Mobile, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The Epic has built-in support for 4G-level network speeds while the iPhone currently supports only 2G and 3G.
Operating Systems and Software
Android 2.3, called Gingerbread, is the operating system powering the Epic smartphone. Android is an open-source mobile-device operating system developed by Google. The iPhone runs iOS 5, Apple's proprietary mobile operating system.
Productivity applications for the Epic are available officially from the Google Play website. You can also install Android applications and media from third-party app stores. Applications and multimedia files for the iPhone are available only from the Apple App Store and iTunes.
The Epic is 4.9 inches long, 2.5 inches wide and 0.6 inches thick, and weighs 5.5 ounces. The iPhone is 4.5 inches long, 2.31 inches wide and 0.37 inches thick, and weighs 4.9 ounces. You can purchase black or white iPhones, but the Epic is only available in black.
Both the iPhone and the Epic have operating system-based virtual keyboards for typing and dialing phone numbers. The Epic, however, also has a real, slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Both phones are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. When you are in standby mode -- not talking, surfing the Web, listening to music or watching videos – the Epic's battery will last up to 300 hours. The maximum standby time for the iPhone is 200 hours. You can carry on phone conversations for as long as 6 hours on the Epic. If you operate the iPhone in 3G mode, you can talk up to 8 hours. According to Apple, you can talk a maximum of 14 hours using the iPhone on a GSM network.
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