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Samsung sells 1 million Galaxy S smart phones, but not all are created equal

August 30, 2010 |  3:52 pm

Samsung-epic-4gSamsung Electronics will release the third in its line of Galaxy S smart phones Tuesday. But Sprint Nextel customers familiar with Samsung's other phones may find that the new Epic 4G is in a galaxy all its own.

Samsung reports selling a million Galaxy S smart phones in the first 45 days of U.S. availability. That number only includes the Android-based Captivate and Vibrant devices for AT&T and T-Mobile, respectively.

(Apple said it sold 1.7 million units of its iPhone 4 in three days this summer, but that includes sales in five countries. Apple did not provide U.S.-specific figures. So that's apples to oranges.)

The Captivate and Vibrant are very similar gadgets, aside from minor aesthetic differences. That's why The Times lumped the two together in our review. But technically, the Epic 4G on Sprint is different in many ways.

Although we haven't spent time playing with the new Samsung smart phone, one major thing that sets the Epic 4G apart from the other Galaxy S phones is right in the name. It's Samsung's first 4G phone in the U.S., and the second on Sprint.

Fourth-generation wireless Internet technology is a faster way to download data from a carrier's network. Sprint is currently the only American carrier with a consumer-ready 4G network -- coming soon to L.A.

But 4G chips put a greater strain on a gadget's battery than 3G. And with today's hardware, such as HTC's Evo 4G, it's painfully apparent. Until we get our hands on an Epic 4G, we don't know how well Samsung has dealt with the battery-drain problem.

In addition to speedy Web access, the Epic 4G also has a slide-out keyboard and a front-facing camera for video chat -- two things that none of the other Galaxy S phones have. The Epic also has a flash for the camera on the back, which is lacking on the Captivate and Vibrant, but will be included on the still-unreleased Fascinate for Verizon Wireless.

For all of these features that set the Epic 4G apart, Sprint customers will have to pay a premium. At $250, the Epic 4G costs 25% more than the other Galaxy S phones.

To get an idea of what makes the Epic 4G different from the other Galaxy S smart phones, check out this chart, which landed in our in-box courtesy of BillShrink.com.

-- Mark Milian
twitter.com/markmilian

Photo: Samsung's Epic 4G for Sprint. Credit: Associated Press

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