Samsung Epic 4G bringing competition to HTC EVO August 31st

Second 4G Android phone to hit Sprint end of this month

Today Sprint announced that the Samsung Epic 4G will be available Tuesday, August 31st for $249.99, with pre-orders starting Friday August 13th.

The Samsung Epic 4G is Sprint's version of the Galaxy S smartphone, and comes with 4G, a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display, sliding keyboard, Android 2.1, 5 MP camera / camcorder with autofocus and 720p recording, front facing VGA camera, and more.

If you want to reserve your Samsung EPIC 4G now, go to sprint.com/epic4g.

The Samsung EPIC 4G is a great looking phone. With its Super AMOLED screen, it's sure to please, and it seems to be priced competitively enough. What troubles me, though, is that it's going to ship with Android 2.1. These days everyone is getting the Froyo (2.2) update, with the latest recipient, the HTC EVO, being the EPIC's only 4G competitor. Hopefully Samsung can push an update out soon to level the playing field.

As for the purchase process at sprint.com/epic4g, it sounds like you can purchase the EPIC 4G for $249.99, but that price requires a new line or eligible line, two-year service agreement, and $100 mail-in rebate. You are then reserved and can complete your order beginning August 31st, and then pick up your phone in the store.

It's interesting that Sprint is touting this as a new purchase process, and in a favorable light. If I were to start my process online, I'd probably want it shipped to me. Then again, this pre-order is probably setup this way to avoid the 30-60 minute processing that I experienced when I went to purchase the HTC EVO on launch day. It will be interesting to see if this new process works better than previous ones.