The BlackJack II has been out for a while, and it seems like the Samsung Epix is revolving around the same design and features. Is this one actually any different?
Sure. While the two smartphones look largely similar on the surface, the Epix steps it up with a touch screen and optical mouse. It also ships with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition and adds integrated Wi-Fi. We wouldn’t call it a major overhaul, but the new design features add great value and provide a good user experience; plus, the smartphone offers solid performance. It is a great messaging-centric smartphone for mobile professionals, but current BlackJack II owners could probably wait till they’re due for an upgrade (no need to pay full retail price) to switch to the Epix, especially since you can download a Windows Mobile 6.1 software update for your device. The Samsung Epix is available now from AT&T for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates and discounts.
At first glance, the Samsung Epix simply looks like an evolution of the Samsung BlackJack II but there is more than meets the eye. First, the smartphone measures 4.6 inches high by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 deep and weighs 4.4 ounces. It is slightly thicker than the BlackJack II but the Epix houses a larger battery, so there is good reason for the extra thickness and weight.
The Samsung Epix is not a major overhaul of the BlackJack II, but there are a couple of additions in the features department. First, the smartphone now ships with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition, bringing the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite for editing native Word and Excel documents, and viewing PowerPoint presentations; better Calendar management; better page navigation in Internet Explorer Mobile; and more. Other PIM tools include Picsel Viewer, a notepad, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, a conversion calculator, a voice recorder, and a task list. A Task Manager is also available to help optimize CPU and memory usage; the Epix comes with 256MB internal ROM and about 150MB or internal RAM. The microSD expansion slot can accept up to 32GB cards.
Overall, the Samsung Epix is a great phone, but not really worthy of a $210.00 MSRP price tag. Does it work? Sure. Is it worth $200? Not close.