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Welcome to ZenUnwired; a blog dedicated to tracking developments in technology and strategy, and to deciphering the impact of these developments on wired and wireless ISP's, device manufacturers, OS and application developers, and most importantly - you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Goodbye Pre, Hello Epic! [REPOST]

I just ran into my very first blog post ever - and it was on Sprint.com. Thought I'd re-post it here.

- September 1, 2010
 
Two weeks ago, as I was finishing up a late lunch my trusty old (?) Pre buzzed with the good news. I had been selected to participate in the Product Ambassador Program for the shiny, new and monstrous Samsung Epic 4G. I was elated! I spent most of the next week waiting eagerly for the phone to arrive. On Thursday, it finally did, and I could not wait to put it through its paces. What my poor old Pre didnt know was that - good news for me, meant bad news for it. It was going to be replaced - at 4G speeds!
 
I am not going to walk you through the unboxing experience which you can view in all its glory on YouTube and the like. What I'd like to share with you today is how I made the transition from my Pre to the Epic, and my experiences along the way.
 
The first thing I needed to do was to activate my device. I logged on to my account at www.sprint.com and clicked on "activate a new phone" The rest of the process was pretty seamless and painless, and a breeze to complete. After a couple of simple steps, my new Samsung Epic 4G was now active.
 
As I powered on the phone, it struck me the Palm Pre's "Synergy" feature merges my Facebook and LinkedIn contacts with my Exchange contacts (on the device). Since I was so accustomed to seeing all my contacts on my phone, I realized that I'd miss this feature on the Epic. Hmmm.... So this is what I did: Precentral has a very nice "How-to" that shows how you can export all of your contacts as a CSV file. (http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pre/250835-guide-export-your-contacts-csv-pre- pixi.html). Once I used these steps and exported my contacts, I downloaded the CSV on to my computer. I then went into my Gmail account, cleared out all of "My Contacts" and then imported the CSV into "My Contacts" I then went back to the Epic, signed into my Gmail account, and lo & behold all of my contacts were now on my Epic! Pretty sweet, I thought ....until I realized I have a couple of thousand contacts in there that were completely useless (people I had emailed once or twice over the past five years or so). Since the Epic is my first ever Android device, it took me a while to figure out that all I had to do was click on Contacts > Menu > Display Options > Google. On the box that pops up, select "My Contacts" and de-select everything else. Finally, a clean Contacts list! (Notes: (1) Android merges similar contacts into one single contact entry, thereby eliminating duplicates. (2) If all of this sounds painful, you can make your life really easy by taking both your old and new devices into our Ready Now stores and having them take care of this for you; while you drool over our other cool devices )
 
Next: Email setup. This one turned out to be much easier than I thought. If you aren't sure on what to enter into the boxes that come up, just open up the Email app on the Pre, drill-down to its settings and then just type the same details into the corresponding boxes on the Epic email setup boxes. Easy, breezy! You can then tweak the email programs (both Gmail and Exchange) to optimize email sync. General rule of thumb: More frequent the email syncs, lower the battery life; and vice-versa. (Once again: Ready now stores should be able to help you with this one)
 
Third, it was time to load some of my music on the phone. This one is unbelievably simple. No more hand-wringing over Apple vs. Palm iTunes battles (yeah fellow Pre owners, that one was painful, wasn it?) Just pull out the included 16GB micrSD card, put it into its included SD adapter, plug it into your laptop/desktop and add your music to the media folder. Once the microSD card is loaded back on the phone, Android will automatically add your music to the default music player on the device. I'm not sure how to sync my playlists but I really don't care about that because I rarely use playlists. If you really prefer an iTunes-like experience, I am told that (our old friend) DoubleTwist is the way to go (they have a free Android app as well)
 
Some take-away after a few days of using the Samsung Epic 4G:
  • What you have read in the reviews is true - the Samsung Epic 4G screen is truly beautiful and crystal-clear
  • The phone is FAST! - Thanks to the 1GHz Hummingbird Processor. Pre owners, prepared to be blown away!
  • Battery life for a phone with these specs is phenomenal. Once again, Pre owners this one going to take you by surprise (I have always viewed my Pre as a 3-o-clock phone - meaning it needs to be charged every day at 3-o-clock for it to make it through the day. Not the Epic - at least not so far)
  • Swype (pre-loaded on the device): When I first saw the commercials and the videos, I was skeptical. It is truly amazing how easy it is to use, and how quickly I grown to love it. How fast can you type on it? Well, here is an example - I was chatting with one of my friends on Google Talk last night. He was using a computer and I, the Samsung Epic 4G and I could actually keep up!
  • Finally: No matter what the fanboys say, Android has definitely grown up to be a very serious contender. After a pretty thorough comparison (I have an iPod Touch), it is my opinion that the iPhone's days are numbered.
The bottom-line: It been a few days since I have given up my Pre, and I don't miss it at all. Don't get me wrong; I think the Pre is a great device. It just that the Epic is ... well, ....EPIC!
 
Disclaimer: Like many of you, I am new to Android. If you feel like my statements are wrong, or if there are easier way to do things - please let me know.