Sprint's Galaxy S2 (a/k/a Sprint Epic 4G Touch)
Gorgeous 4.52" screen, fast, excellent Jelly Bean ROMs with FREE Hotspot Tethering
Tiny notification light.
The Bottom Line:
Brightest screen, more custom ROMs than other USA Galaxy S2's. Rooted, tweaked Jelly Bean with FREE WiFi Tethering.
I arrived at my local Sprint Store on 9/16/2011 at 9:47AM and expected to see a long line waiting for them to open at 10:AM. Instead, I was the first person to walk inside and purchase the Americanized smartphone that the rest of the world has been enjoying for what seems like forever.
If you haven't been inside a Sprint Store or visited their website since September 14, 2011 you are in for a few surprises:
1. Their 30 Day Return policy is now only 14 days.
2. If you want a full refund including the $35 Activation Fee, you must return the phone within 3 days.
3. The Sprint Store price is currently $199 for new customers who sign a 2 year service agreement. Minutes after I got home with my new phone I found out that walmart had been taking pre-orders for $99 which they started shipping on 9/16/2011. As of 9/18/2011 the walmart on-line price is $149.99 and http://www8-walmart.letstalk.com/product/product.htm?prId=39607&corpId=522 website page says they are backordered.
In the box. Aside from the phone & battery the “generous” folks at Samsung and Sprint give you a short 3’ USB cable and the smallest USB to 110V adapter plug I’ve ever seen which is a 1” square cube with 2 prong a/c plug. The user manual is the slimmest I’ve ever seen. No headset, no SD card, no screen protector, no case or cover, not even a postage stamp sized cleaning cloth for your screen. They did not forget to include all the legal jargon in the shape and form of a 5” x 2.5" miniature bible with the smallest text allowed by their attorneys.
Coming from the original iPhone, MyTouch 3G and Nexus One has given me over 2 years to learn many smartphone tricks (especially since I rooted and customized all 3 hundreds of times and have been running Android 2.3.5 than to CyanogenMOD 7 updated 8/31/2011). Thus, instead of giving you the same kind of review that you can read on the magazine websites, everything you're about to read is from the perspective of a GadgetAholic who is addicted to having the latest/greatest but who also enjoys get the best possible deals.
Exterior Appearance. After reading umpteen reviews of the European S2's I almost expected the shell of the Samsung Epic 4G Touch to be made of cellophane. despite all the "expert reviews" in my hand it looks and feels like a very solid device. The 4.52" screen is simply gorgeous and the textured back cover evokes a feeling of security.
Inside Back. Unlike every other smartphone I've handled, removing the back cover is easy on this one because Samsung was kind enough to give us a little opening that lets your fingernail pop it open with ease (and I mean easy enough so women won't break a nail). When I removed the back cover I was pleasantly surprised to see that you can install or remove a micro SD card without removing the battery. Unfortunately, Samsung is too cheap to provide even a 2MB micro SD card. However, the internal memory has over 11GB of empty space so I am currently moving all my photos and music from my PC to it using the supplied USB cable. My PC has USB 3.0 so I decided to use that port and it may be an illusion but my data is moving from my PC to the smartphone memory at warp speed which looks like USB 3.0 speed or close to it.
PHONE CALL QUALITY. Having experienced Verizon, AT&T, Tmobile and Sprint service, I rate the connection and call quality of this phone as better than any prior cellular phone I've owned or used, and that's with the 3G signal and a few 2G call from inside retail stores. Volume, clarity and even the Sprint VoiceMail sound quality are also better. Sprint may be the #3 carrier in the USA today but so far, I am VERY impressed by this new phone on their system. In fairness to all, all my current testing has been limited to the Las Vegas NV metropolitan area. After 18 days of use, NOT ONE DROPPED CALL, no loss of service (LOS) and nobody on the other end of my calls has even been aware that I'm on a cellular.
ON. Powering the phone requires holding the button on upper right side for about 5 seconds and then the Galaxy S II logo appears. Entire boot takes about 15 seconds which is half the time of my souped-up Nexus One. Going from the lock screen graphic to the home screen is accomplished by swiping your finger UP the screen, which for me seems unnatural but I guess it also prevents accidental unlocks.
Considering that this Samsung Model SPH-D710 comes loaded with Android 2.3.4 which is slightly behind the 2.3.5 I've been running on my Nexus One, it's easy to see how much difference the dual core processor makes in the Galaxy S2 and how Samsung added a few extra goodies without sacrificing speed and smoothness.
Why this Super Amoled Plus screen is so fantastic. The SAMOLED Plus display has six LED's lighting each pixel which produces brilliant colors. Blacks look better because all six LED's are off. On other phones the blacks may appear dark gray with reduced contrast because their LCD backlight is always on. This also means you can extend battery life by using solid black wallpapers and backgrounds as much as possible. The screen is so bright, I'm keeping it on manual at 50% which works my eyes day or night.
TouchWiz 4 UI. By default you’ll have a total of 7 desktop screens with 4 app icons (Phone, Contacts, messaging and Applications) locked into place along the bottom of the Home (center) screen. Using the Sprint ID app, you can instantly switch to “My ID” which removes the Samsung TouchWiz modifications to a standard Android 2.3.4 UI. This reduces your total desktop screens from 7 to 5 but gives you total flexibility of changing or moving all your desktop app icons except for the bottom 3 Phone, Applications and Sprint ID which appear on all 5 screens. You can change fonts by going to Settings > Display > Screen Display > Fonts. Many widgets can be re-sized if you by long-pressing the widget until a re-size tool appears. FYI, the original galaxy S2 (being sold outside USA) is sold with Android Gingerbread v2.3.2 and the current Sprint phones are being sold with a July 30, 2011 build by Samsung.
I've also discovered some new gestures and shortcuts included in Touchwiz 4:
Contacts. Swipe right on a contact to call the contact or swipe left to text the contact.
Mute. Lay the phone face down to mute a sound or an incoming call.
Home screen. Tilt the phone left or right to move pages. Pinch in to see all pages. Swipe left or right on the 7 screen dots to change pages.
Brightness Adjust. Long-press the notification bar and swipe left or right to change brightness. Note: this does not work if Brightness is set to "Auto" in Display Settings.
Screen shots. Samsung added another feature to the SGS2E4GT that simply requires holding the Home and Power buttons at the same time to capture the image.
Lock Screen. Swipe your finger Up the screen to unlock the phone. You can change the lock screen wallpaper to an image file of your choice and move the clock to top, middle or bottom. Access the lock screen in Settings>Screen Display to make changes.
Screen Protector. Having a hard time finding an economical screen protector? I found one on EBay for 99 cents (includes free shipping) called the 6X EZ-HD Clear LCD Screen Protector. The merchant is in Utah so it arrived in 3 days by U.S. Mail. To my surprise (or stupidity) the "6X" meant that I got 6 screen protectors for 99 cents. Easy to apply but as usual, I can never get 100% of the bubbles removed but they are tiny and not visible when I'm using the phone.
VoiceMail. Set-up and recording a personalized greeting seem pretty standard when compared to Tmobile and other carriers. However, the SprintUI does include a visual alert that appears on the lock screen.
Apps. Having been an Android user for over 2 years, I came to love a few including TV.com, Astro, MX Video, ShopSavvy, Barcode Scanner, Polaris Office (pre-installed), Beautiful Home Weather and Jump Desktop. All are free with exceptions of Beautiful Widgets and Jump Desktop. Having installed and tested all these apps on the Galaxy S2, all of them run faster and smoother on this Sprint Epic 4G Touch which I attribute to the dual-core 1.2 GHz Exynos processor which is made by Samsung. Other apps pre-installed by Sprint include AllShare, Books, Kies Air, Latitude, Media hub, Music, My files, N.O.V.A. 2 HD, Open Garden, Photo editor, Places, Social Hub, Sprint ID, Sprint Mobile, Sprint Music plus, Sprint Radio, Sprint TV & Movies, Sprint Zone, TeleNav GPS, Video maker, Voice Command, Voice Recorder, Voice Talk and Youtube
Samsung Voice Talk. This app allows true hands-free calling, texting, playing music or opening apps. Samsung Voice Talk lets you do it all without touching the phone. To enable: Tap Home > Menu > Settings > Motion settings > Double tap
ROOTED within 2 days but has bugs. Geniuses achieved success at rooting the phone by 9/18/2011. However, there are bugs that may cause you to lose ALL phone service. I suggest being patient unless you want to risk having a $500 smartphone that can't make or receive phone calls and some Sprint Stores will not work on or replace a phone that has been rooted or has a customized ROM. If you're wondering why rooting is attractive, it let's you add apps like Rescan Media Root which removes the annoying media scans every time you boot the phone and Wireless Tether for Root Users which offers an AD-HOC connection signal. Note: AD-HOC is not the same as a hotspot signal which uses infrastructure, meaning you need a true hotspot/Wi-Fi signal to wirelessly tether to some devices such as an Acer A500 tablet unless you modify that device so it can recognize Ad-HOC.
Wif-Fi/Hotspot service is available anytime from Sprint for $29 but the good news is that you can buy it and pay only for a few days if you need it for a trip or vacation so you don't need to root a Sprint smartphone to achieve temporary wireless tethering.
Inexpensive spare battery. You'll find many offerings on eBay at around $7 including shipping but BE CAREFUL because the first merchant I chose sent me a battery for the European version of the Galaxy S2 which is NOT the same size battery that fits into the Sprint phone.
2 step wake. Trackball wake on my Nexus One spoiled me so having to press the right side power button on the GS2 and then swipe up is something I hope future custom MODS will eliminate.
Lack of a camera button is a slight disappointment and when you turn the camera horizontally so you can use the external volume controls to zoom, the "on screen" shutter button ends up on the left side of the screen. Every digital (and film camera) I’ve ever owned ALWAYS has the shutter button on the right, so I’m hoping either Samsung or a future Custom MOD will rectify this oversight.
Notification light. Sprint was kind enough to add an indicator light on the upper right which glows red when battery is charging and blue when fully charged. The indicator light is also used as message notification, however I wish the light was larger and hope that the guys at XDA or Cyanogen find a way to customize the light so it will glow or flash different colors to indicate notification of a text message, missed call or voicemail (Trackball Alert on my Nexus One is something I miss).
TW Launcher. Currently there is now way to change the desktop rows or columns in the TouchWiz4 Launcher so you’re limited to 4 columns across by 4 rows down which means a maximum of 16 shortcuts on each desktop screen. No way to edit icon names so anything with more than 8 characters is only partially visible. The free ADW Launcher app solves the columns/rows/renaming problem but limits you 2 5 screens (vs. 7 in the Touchwiz) and unless you purchase the paid edition of ADW the Picture Frame widget (and other functions) don't work properly.
TW Skype Keyboard has the numeric keys in a calculator configuration and smaller alphabetical buttons. If you want the standard layout go into Settings > Language and keyboard > Select input method and choose the Samsung keypad.
Browser. The default internet browser couldn't find my bookmarks so I went to Android Market and found the free Miren Browser which seems to be faster, smoother and instantly found all my bookmarks which I installed on my E4GT by using the free MyBookmarks app.
Tethering. In Wireless and networking Settings, you’ll find Tethering which lets you share your phone’s mobile data connection via USB cable but ONLY if you're connected to a device that is running Windows or Linux. It does not work with another device running Android, which I discovered when I attached it to my Acer A500 Tablet. If you want the Sprint Hot Spot functionality, it’s an extra $29/month (but you can activate it from the pre-installed Sprint Hotspot app). Reminder; You can start & stop this extra service as you need it (only pay for days you need it).
Message light. The blue light in upper right corner will flash once every 5 seconds to let you know you have a message. IMHO, it should flash much more frequently or be a different color to be effective as a message alert.
USB Cable. Samsung includes one that is only 39" long. If you want a longer one or need a spare, you can use any USB to micro USB cable. I tried the cables that came with my Nexus One and Acer A500 tablet and they both work perfectly.
Sprint Customer Care. If you are in the Las Vegas area, I strongly suggest going to the Sprint Store on S. Eastern Ave and ask for Maggie Asprer (most knowledgeable and cordial cellular person I've encountered in a long time). She spent over an hour with me answering questions, setting up my new phone and porting my # from Tmobile. If you're closer to the Henderson NV Sprint Store on Sunset, ask for Adam who is also very tech savvy.
Just to see what happens, I phoned the Sprint 800# for Customer Care and was connected to someone in India with a pleasant tone but who had trouble understanding my questions. After a few frustrating minutes, I said goodbye and phoned Maggie at my local store. Makes me wonder how many American jobs are being outsourced at a time when I suspect that many unemployed Americans would cherish the jobs, make communications easier and generate some good FREE PR (can any tech company CEO's hear me?).
No 100% BUG-FREE custom MODS are available yet but based on the speed of the geniuses working 24/7 at XDA and Cyanogen, I expect to see a "safe" custom ROM within a few weeks. When you're ready to unlock the full potential of your Sprint Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, turn your phone off and then hold the volume button down while you power it back on. When you see the option screen, release both buttons. Then press volume UP to enter the ODIN download mode. Connect your USB cable to your phone and a Windows computer and follow the simple instructions to run ODIN. Note: Before rooting you'll need to install Samsung Kies which is a handy free utility for syncing your PC with a Galaxy S2 or Tablet.
Loss of Signal (LOS). Numerous posts on XDA Developers are reporting LOS with new Epic 4G Touch that have not been rooted or modified in any way (running stock ROM). Nobody seems to be sure if this is Samsung or Sprint issue. I've traveled all over the Las Vegas valley over the past two weeks and have yet to experience any such problems with my new phone. If you have this LOS problem, I can only suggest exchanging the phone for a new one from Sprint within the first 30 days.
Accidental ON. I keep my Epic 4G Touch in a horizontal pouch clipped to my belt. I was accidentally turning the phone ON while placing it into the pouch. Found a free app that solved this problem: Screen Off FX. Now if I accidentally touch the screen while storing Epic 4G Touch in the pouch, the phone remains in standby mode.
9/22/2011 UPDATE: Best price TODAY for this device seems to be from Wirefly: $149.99 including free delivery and no activation fee which makes this offer at least $85 cheaper than going into a Sprint Store. However, my research of Wirefly revealed numerous complaints so as they say "buyer beware."
WalMart also has it for $149.99 which you can order at http://walmart.letstalk.com/product/product.htm?prId=39607&corpId=522 with 2 Day shipping for $6.97 and I would personally trust them long before Wirefly.
9/26/2011 UPDATE: After readding hundreds of pages on XDA over the past 9 days, there still is no 100% bug-free custom MOD. However, there is a stock ROM that includes ClockworkMod Recovery and it roots the phone. This allows installation of WiFi Tethering For Root Users V3.1 Beta 6 which works perfectly as an AD-HOC hotspot. If you happen to have an Acer A500 tablet, rooting it and installing the latest Taboonay custom ROM will instantly add AD-HOC to the tablet wifi capabilities and tethers it perfectly to the Epic 4G Touch.
10/02/2011 UPDATE: Ready for a good custom MOD? If you're rooted and have ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM), StarBurst ROM v1.3 is ready for you at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1276320 After testing this and other custom ROMS currently available, this one seems to run the fastest, smoothest, nicest boot screen and most importantly it has ZERO negative effects on phone signal, WiFi, BlueTooth, wireless tether, battery drain or other apps. This MOD also lets you swipe your finger horizontally to go from lock screen to desktop. Follow the simple steps as suggested by PhantomHacker AFTER you've made a full system backup in CWM (just in case). Only problem I've encountered so far is that the included Netflix app doesn't work so I uninstalled it and downloaded a newer version from Market which solved the problem. After install Starburst V1.3 I downloaded & installed WiFi Tether for Root Users V3.1 Beta 6 and it works perfectly when tethered to my Acer A500 Tablet.
10/03/2011 UPDATE: If you root and install ClockWorkMod Recovery (CWM) you'll enjoy a handy free app called Quick Boot which you can download from Market. it lets you do a normal reboot, reboot into Recovery, Bootloader or Power Off with one touch.
10/04/2011 UPDATE: Only1 addition to report today ... after hearing Apple's announcement about the iPhone 4S and reading the specs, Sprint's Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch might remain the #1 SMARTPHONE for another YEAR !
10/6/2011 UPDATE: Starburst ROM V1.4 has a bug in the Camera apk so unless you do a complete Data, cache & Davlik wipe before installing it, you get an error pop-up when you try to go into camera settings. PhantomHacker posted a fix that you install after flashing the ROM and the fix works. Other than this, no other reported bugs in Starburst V1.4
10/7/2011 UPDATE: Being a Gadgetaholic who is trying to overcome my addiction, I waited 3 days before I raced to my local Best Buy on 10/5/2011 to grab the new Galaxy Tab 8.9 16MB so in case you're interested, I just posted my review of it on epinions and I'm happy to report the Epic 4G Touch smartphone can be wirelessly tethered to the Galaxy Tab 8.9 by only making minor changes on the Galaxy 8.9 Tab.
10/9/2011 UPDATE: Starburst V1.5 custom ROM now adds ability to change the style & colors of battery and clock on the statusbar, customize or add text to the lockscreen, Recent Apps (your choice of 4, 8, 12 or 16 app icons) pop-up appears when you press & hold the HOME button, assign an app to appear when you long-press the SEARCH button and seems to run slightly smoother and faster than the prior V1.4 custom ROM.
10/10/2011 UPDATE: Starburst V1.5 may cause erratic lockscreen behavior and cause FC (force closures of apps). I suggest waiting for a fix or patch before upgrading from Starburst V1.4
Found a faster way to put VOB video files on to the Epic 4G Touch. Using the USB cable supplied by Samsung, I plug it into a USB 3.0 port on my Windows desktop PC. Then insert DVD containing the VOB video files into desktop PC CD/DVD deck. On the phone, pull down Notification & connect USB storage. VOB files can then be directly copied from DVD to the Epic 4G touch at the rate of 300MB/minute which means a 90 minute DVD consisting of 4 VOB files (4Gb of data) can be put on the smartphone in 12 minutes.
10/11/2011 UPDATE: Cyanogen MOD released a custom ROM for the Galaxy S2 but it does NOT work on the Sprint Epic 4G Touch (nor will it work on the upcoming AT&T Galaxy S2 version and doubtful it will work on Tmobile edition). If you're trying to decide which USA Galaxy S2 to buy, keep in mind that in the USA the Sprint version is the ONLY one that has the LED that acts as a message or missed call notification light and Sprint has the unlimited high speed data plan (which is why I left Tmobile).
10/13/2011 UPDATE: If you're planning to use either WiFi Tether for Root Users for Sprint HotSpot, be aware that when you use WiFi Tether it automatically cuts off your Bluetooth connection and when you use Sprint HotSpot it shuts down your WiFi connection. When you stop/close Sprint HotSpot your WiFi connection is automatically reconnnected but when you close WiFi Tether For Root Users you'll need to manually go into Settings>Wireless>BlueTooth settings to restore whatever connection you had to your headseet or other Bluetooth device.
10/14/2011 UPDATE: Yellow Triangle Removal Tool and First Aid Kit for rooted Epic 4G Touch is only $1.50 on eBay (including delivery). Seller named patapom has a USB Jig that can remove the annoying yellow triangle you see during booting of aa rooted phone. It can also rescue you from a bricked or semi-bricked phone. More importantly, it resets your ODIN counter so that if you are forced to take your phone to Sprint for service or replacement, it removes the telltale sign that your phone was rooted of had any custom MODs installed (which voids your Sprint and Samsung warranties).
10/16/2011 UPDATE: Installed Starburst V1.6 ROM. No bugs found (so far). New additions include volume buttons on phone are turned into camera shutter button (when in Camera mode), LostKernel (for people with prior lost Sprint signal problems), DSP Manager (a sound equalizer that works well) and a few other techno tweaks that seem to have resulted in an even faster & smoother experience and possibly better/longer battery life. Upgrading from an earlier Starburst version is easy, provided people remember to format System (under Mounts), wipe cache (3 times) and wipe davlik cache (3 times) in that specific order BEFORE installing the zip from SD card.
10/20/2011 UPDATE: Installed Starburst V1.6 ROM. No bugs found (so far). New additions include latest stable version of LostKernel, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) wallpaper and a few bug fixes. Publisher warns not to use the 4tab lockscreen which he promises to fix in next update on 10/23/2011. I also installed an ICS Theme called ICS Starburst v1.3 Stable.zip which I stumbled across on XDA website. The theme adds lots of cyan color to text and overscroll throughout the interface and produces an overall look very similar to having a CM7 CyanogenMod installed.
Needed a 12V car adapter so I can charge my phone while driving and found one on eBay for $2.95 including delivery to USA from merchant named fcb_trading. Ordered the 12V adapter 10/10/2011, it arrived by US Mail on 10/19/2011 (only 9 days from China), works perfectly and is the most compact cigarette lighter USB adapter I've ever seen.
$$$ REWARD for Ice Cream Sandwich ROM $$$
I posted a donation thread & pledged of $100 at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1312432 and challenge others to contribute. Whomever creates the first "working" Ice Cream Sandwich ROM that can be used on a rooted Epic 4G Touch will get ALL THE MONEY. If enough people match my donation, the Sprint Epic 4 G Touch may be the first Galaxy S2 to run it. I welcome any comments here if you are joining me in this pedge or know of someone that is close to delivering such a ROM.
10/23/2011 UPDATE: I put my Galaxy S2 side-by-side with an iPhone 4S for the first time. Which one has the better screen? Aside from the Samsung screen being much larger than the Apple, I immediately noticed that the iPhone doesn't have "true black." Everything that should be solid black appears to be a shade of gray on the iPhone. When you see black on the Samsung screen, there are no lit pixels, which also means it's saving energy. iPhone also felt heavier and the sharper edges almost felt jagged, like I was holding a tin can of sardines when compared to the smoother edges of the Galaxy S2.
Installed Starburst V1.8 and everything seems to be OK except when I open the default internet browser, it freezes before loading anything. Miren Browser (free app) works perfectly so I am not panicking or going back to a prior ROM.
10/31/2011 UPDATE: Installed Starburst v1.95 and life with Sprint Galaxy S2 just keeps getting better (faster & smoother), thanks to hard work by PhantomHacker and his helpers. Even more exciting is that he is working on the Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for us and says he is making progress.
11/3/2011 UPDATE: If you're running Starburst V1.95 want to add an overall look similar to what we'll have when we get the Ice Cream Sandwich UI, download the ICS Theme v1.5 Beta 2 zip file and install it from CWM. I've been running it for 2 days, like the new icons, cyan highlights, larger phone keypad numerals and haven't seen any problems with the added theme.
11/5/2011 UPDATE: Found a faster & smoother ROM created by Calkulin that makes all my prior Starburst ROMs seem like turtles. Calkulin's E4GT v1.0 is also compatible with the ICS Theme.
11/10/2011 UPDATE: Calkulin released V1.1 of his ROM which now includes Sprint Hotspot and better battery life among other minor tweaks. Unfortunately there seems to be conflict with his V1.1 and the V1.6 ICS Theme that was made for his V1.0 so make a complete backup in CWM and use caution if you are upgrading the ROM and has ICS Theme V1.6 installed.
11/13/2011 UPDATE: Had a few problems with Calkulin 1.1 so went back to his v1.0 and then reinstalled ICS Theme V1.5 beta 2. tested all my apps and only Polaris Office won't open any docs or spreadsheets in Calkulin's V1.0 or V1.1 ROMs, so I installed Documents to Go and it opens everything perfectly.
Decided to try overclocking my CPU using a free app called CPU Master Free from android market. I set Max to 1600MHz and Min to 1200MHz and checked "Set on boot." Rebooted and WOW ... what big improvement in speed! I tested my most important apps at the new warp speed and so far WiFi, Bluetooth, phone, Sprint HotSpot, Miren Browser and a dozen others all working perfectly. and superFAST! However, I know that these settings will be a huge battery drain so I changed to Conservative Mode and with settings at 1600 Max & 200 Min. Battery drain is now only 1% an hour with phone in standby mode but boot time is now about 3X faster and most apps still seem to open and run noticeably faster.
Overall, this combination of Calkulin V1.0 with CPU settings of 1600 & 200 has my Epic 4G Touch running faster and smoother than I've ever seen it, and that's after 2 months of testing numerous other ROMs and combinations of settings.
11/27/2011 UPDATE: Upgraded to Calkulin's V1.5a and then added V1.6 ICS Theme. Just when I start to think this smartphone can't get any better, it does, thanks to the genius developers on XDA.
12/1/2011 UPDATE: Today I asked the moderator of my REWARD for ICS ROM thread on XDA Developers to delete the entire thread, despite having raised
$1960 in pledged donations. Although XDA Developers create some fantastic custom ROMs, the site is infested with people who post personal insults, including a moderator who hides behind the screen name "jerdog" and initially refused to delete the thread despite the fact that it contains my real name and numerous personal insults aimed at me. If this were being done in most public schools today, those slanderous people might end up in jail for cyber-bullying. Instead of expelling "internet trolls", XDA emails a verbal warning which does no good at stopping abusive behavior. So, if you go to XDA Developers to get a custom ROM for your rooted phone, be forewarned of what they allow before you read or post any messages.
12/5/2011 UPDATE: unofficially, Samsung released update V2.3.6 to fix the LOS (Loss of Signal) that a number of Epic 4G Touch users have reported. Although I've only had 2 LOS incidents since 9/16/2011 and each was quickly rectified by rebooting my phone, I wasn't really concerned but decided to install Calkulin's V2.0 ROM to see what other improvements might be included in the update. Haven't noticed much different yet other than lockscreen is much more responsive (unlocks faster & without hesitation) and reboot time MUCH faster.
12/7/2011 UPDATE: Calkulin released V2.01 ROM to further eliminate the CIQ spyware. Rather than using his Calkulin's_FORMAT_ALL_for_E4GT.zip which wipes everything before installing a new ROM, I decided to try simply installing the V2.01 zip and was pleasantly surprised to see that it worked perfectly while retaining all my prior settings and apps that I had in his V2.0 ROM. Unfortunately, a bug in V2.01 damages Voicemail (can't hear messages) so I restored V1.5a from backup in ClockWorkMod Recovery.
12/14/2011 UPDATE: Calkulin released V2.01A ROM to further eliminate the CIQ spyware. Before installing it I used his Calkulin's_FORMAT_ALL_for_E4GT.zip and although this ROM runs smooth as silk, Voicemail still a problem so I decided to try PhantomHacker's_Blazer_Rom_v2.0_12.11.11.zip and although it's not quite as fast as Calkulin's ROM, it is very smooth, Sprint Voicemanil is working 100% perfectly and battery drain looks like i could keep the phone on standby for 4 days.
12/15/2011 UPDATE: Calkulin released V2.01A ROM. Voicemail still not working (no sound when playing messages) so rebooted into CWM and restored backup of PhantomHacker's_Blazer_Rom_v2.0_12.11.11.zip of which, I've yet to find ANY bugs. While I was in CWM I did update the radio by installing E4GT_Modem_EL13.zip before I did the restore.
12/18/2011 UPDATE: None of Calkulin's recent ROMs have allowed my Sprint Voicemail or Polaris Office to work so I'm currently sticking with PhantomHacker's ROMS. Today he released V3.0 which runs great, except he accidentally unrooted the ROM. After instalkling V3.0, I restored root by downloadling SuperUser su-188.8.131.52-efgh-signed.zip from mediafire.com/?q3ujsx1m4uq1662 to my PC, then moving it to phone witvia USB connection. Reboot in Recovery, install the SuperUser zip, reboot and root is restored. Everything working perfectly. Also very happy to report that 4G now works with Sprint Hotspot!
12/21/2011 UPDATE: Found a new MOD that smooths out a few wrinkles with my latest PhantonHacker ROM & ICS Theme combo. Downloaded and installed EL13AIONoCRT.zip MOD from XDA and my Epic 4G Touch now runs even better and slightly faster. Before installing this MOD I only wiped cache and davlik, NOT data.
12/24/2011 UPDATE: Received email from Smith Micro (company that makes the Sprint Voicemail app). They suggested I turn off Bluetooth (BT) so I can hear voicemail messages. I was only having the problem when using Calkulin ROMs, so I decided to try Calkulin's latest V2.6 to see if he fixed the problem without having to turn off BT. The good news is that Smith Micro's suggestion solved the problem. The bad news is that having to turn off BT each time I want to play a voicemail is a pain and turning BT back on does not automatically restore my BT connection so I'll probably go back to a PhantonHacker ROM. Calkulin did fix the bug that was blocking Polaris Office app so it now works in his V2.6 ROM.
01/17/2012 UPDATE: New custom ROMs appear almost daily on XDA website and I tried a few but have gone back to Phantomhacker's latest Blazer_3.3_12.31.11_EL26.zip ROM which seems to offer the best stability, 7 desktop screen, speed and most importantly the phone, 3G, 4G, GPS, WiFi HotSpot and Bluetooth all work perfectly. Still waiting for the day when Samsung/Sprint delivers Ice Cream Sandwich (which I have been enjoying for 2 weeks on my Galaxy 8.9 Tab).
01/23/2012 UPDATE: Newest Blazer_Rom_El29_v3.7_Swagger.zip custom ROM is so close to the real Ice Cream Sandwich, I can almost see it dripping vanilla! If you're hungry for ICS, go to XDA Developers for the download link(s).
02/07/2012 UPDATE: Upgraded to Blazer_Rom_El29_v3.8_stable.zip without any problems. Battery life seems slightly better than v3.7
02/19/2012 UPDATE: Official Ice Cream Sandwich finally coming to Sprint Epic 4G Touch from Samsung! As I type this, I am downloading an FB17 file that should also be pre-rooted and odexed thanks to the guys at ACS and XDA who never sleep. Bad news ... first FB17 I tried froze on initial Samsung boot screen. Had to ODIN stock ROM and CWM before i could restore my Blazer ROM. There's another ICS FB17 available on XDA but I think I'll wait until someone like Calkulin or Phantomhacker offers an ICS download which shouldn't be more than another day or two. Stay tuned!
02/20/2012 UPDATE: Developers at XDA and ACS have been VERY busy for the past 24 hours building a variety of FB17 ROMS and workarounds for things like the lack of a CWM in FB17 and ways to remove the yellow triangle if you go back to a gingerbread ROM. After spending half my Sunday testing FB17 ROMs, it runs smoother and faster than any stock or custom ROM I've ever had on this smartphone. WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G and face recognition unlock all work perfectly. There are still bugs to be worked out my Samsung, Sprint or the genius developers at XDA and ACS. Voicemail, market, email and browser freeze and crash at random. In general, Sprint Voicemail has been a problem regardless of whatever ROM I've been running and I blame Smith Micro for this. Smith micro is the publisher of the voicemail software for Sprint. However, the overall ICS is so good I'm currently running ICS now as my daily ROM.
02/22/2012 UPDATE: After trrying several of the FB17 ROMs which install through ODIN or CWM, I decided that Calkulin_'s_Stock_Rooted_De-odex_'d_FB17_ROM_v1.0.zip with E4GT_Modem_FB15.zip are the most stable and they simply install in CWM. Install BOTH of these before you reboot and run Calkulin's_FORMAT_ALL_for_E4GT.zip BEFORE you install the ROM and modem. When you reboot, expect the 4G screen to freeze for 2 or 3 minutes while it loads all the new framework. This ROM even includes an old version of CWM 3. In order to restore CWM, you'll need to use ODIN to install rogue_ET-recoveryonly-1.2.1-rc2.tar . Once you install it, you can boot into the CWM and make a backup of your new ICS system. I've switched back and forth between my former Blazer ROM and the new ICS ROM using the backups and have run into ZERO problems using restore.
03/02/2012 UPDATE: If you've been waiting for a beta version of Ice Cream Sandwich that can also provide free WiFi tethering and a more stable Voicemail, it has arrived. Calkulin's FB27 rooted and de-odex ROM, FB27 modem and wifi_tether_v3_1-beta11.apk deliver on all counts.
After you install the WiFi app, go into it's settings and change the device profile to "Samsung Galaxy Nexus CDMA" and you'll instantly have infrastructure tethering with 4G speed! I tested it with my Galaxy 8.9 Tab and it works prefectly. There are a few bugs in FB27 (voicemail hangs, MMS erratic, market freezes). Just remember that there will be bugs until we get the official ICS release from Samsung & Sprint OR the geniuses at XDA and ACS beat them to it. We are getting closer with each new FB release and FB27 runs so well, I'm keeping it as my everyday ROM. Just found one other app on XDA which many might find VERY handy if you are tired of seeing the yellow triangle when you boot and don't have the $2 USB fixer: Download TriangleAway-v1.10.apk and install it from your SD card with Astro File Manager or something similar.
03/08/2012 UPDATE: We're getting very close to an Ice Cream Sandwich ROM that is ready for formal release by Sprint or Samsung. Last night I installed Calkulin's FC06 edition which seems to have fixed a Visual Voicemail bug that has been plaguing my ROMs for months. Just don't install the update from Smith Micro which caused damage to volume so I uninstalled the update. Play Store (formerly known as Market) still freezes if I try to install a few apps withought giving it a chance to catch it's breath. WiGi, Bluetooth, camera, email, messaging, GPS, broswer .. all seems to be running fast and smooth.
03/11/2012 UPDATE: Calkulin's FC07 edition of Ice Cream Sandwich ROM is smooth, fast & almost bugfree. Play Store (a/k/a Market) still doing random freezes. Wouldn't call it a "bug" but phone felt warmer than usual and a few posts on XDA suggested rebooting 3 times, which I did and the heat disappeared.
03/18/2012 UPDATE: Closer we get to receiving ICS from Samsung, the faster the beta versions are coming. Just installed Calkulin's rooted & deodexed FC15. Smooth as Breyer's Vanilla and if there are ANY major bugs in this ROM, I can't find them. Nobody at XDA or ACS has compiled a rooted deodexed ROM that includes the Sprint Hotspot Hack or Quick Boot app so I had to do the update in several steps. First, I went into CWM and wiped cache and davlik-cache. Then installed the stock rooted Fc15 and FC15 Modem from CWM. Booted fine and retained all my data and apps. Used ODIN to reinstall rogue_ET-recovery-1.2.2-FC07-rc0.tar. Booted into CWM and installed FC07_Hotspot_deodex_new.zip to restore Hotspot Hack. Rebooted and screen froze at the 4G logo. This forced me to start all over again and also told me that the FC07 Hotspot Hack is not compatiible with FC15. Used Astro File Manager to install and run TriangleAway-v1.10.apk which removes the yellow triangle and resets ODIN counter to zero. My only continuing minor gripe is with Visual VoiceMail. Unless I remember to go into VVM settings and check the box for Automatic Speakerphone ON, the app won't let me playback any messages with speakerphone. I hate to sound reduntant but FC15 is faster and smoother than any prior ROM I've used on this phone since getting it at a Sprint Store 6 months and 2 days ago, just wish I had a Hotspot Hack for it, which will likely appear on XDA in a day or two. Until then, I am restoring FC14 because the FC07 Hotspot Hack DOES work with it.
03/22/2012 UPDATE: Calkulin's FC18 ICS V1.2 ROM is awesome and it includes the latest Fc18 Modem, CWM and Sprint Hotspot hack.
Haven't found any bugs yet in FC18. Have noticed a number of new options in settings which I will tinker with, and report here in my next update.
03/30/2012 UPDATE: Just upgraded to Calkulin's FC24 ICS V1.3 ROM without doing any wipes or deletes and everything seems to be working perfectly. Two very noticeable change is that MTF mode of USB is now set as default which means the minute you connect the smartphone to a PC by USB cable, you can transfer files back and forth. Other change is that the Kernel/CWM is now included in the ROM zip file so you simply go into CWM, install the ROM, install the Fc24 Modem and reboot.
04/04/2012 UPDATE: The beta ICS updates are coming so fast, hard for XDA, ACS and Cyanogen developers to keep up with them. Latest is FD02 which Calkulin has already rooted and posted on XDA. If I hold my breath for a few minutes, FD03 and FD04 will probably appear so for now I'm happily sticking with FC24.
04/09/2012 UPDATE: FD05 betas of ICS are starting to appear on XDA and I will likely try Calkulin's when he posts it because I'm still experiencing problems with Visual Voicemail. Sometimes it plays messages perfectly and sometimes the only way I can hear messages is by phoning myself rather than using the VVM app.
04/18/2012 UPDATE: Just installed FD16 via the self-extracting ODIN file posted on XDA. As we get close to the official ICS, hard to detect whatever slight improvements Samsung & Sprint are making. Market/PlayStore still crashes if I try to download & install apps too quickly and the annoying VoiceMail still has the same bug that has existed for months.
04/24/2012 UPDATE: Samsung has officially announced that this device will get an Ice Cream Sandwich update. Only question is, will we get it before Christmas?
On May 3, 2012 Samsung will be revealing Galaxy S3 so I'm already wondering how long it will be before it reaches Sprint. However, if I find out that it has the capability of running on GSM, CDMA, LTE and they go on sale in the UK next week, I may just fly to London to get one!
MAY 10, 2012 UPDATE: What a big disappointment by Samsung. I flew from Las Vegas to London hoping to see & bring back a new Galaxy S3 that would give me cellular service globally. Instead and after all the "Apple-easque" cloak & daggar hype, they intro a phone in a wierd new color that won't even work on Sprint in the USA! Not sure why they did this but I won't be upgrading to a new smartphone until one of the manufacturers gives us a phone that can speak all the major cellular languages. In the meantime I'm downloading the latest FD26 custom ROM for my E4GT and knowing his track record, Calkulin's ROMs just keep getting better. Stay tuned for more updates!
MAY 28, 2012 UPDATE: The bad news: Samsung is leaving some good things out of the ICS update (that we still haven't received). The good news is that Calkulin continues to offer fantastic custom ROMs on XDA which contain the best of current & future flavors. His latest E4GT.2.ROM.v1.6 is further proof to me that custom ROMs may always surpass what we get from the manufactureres and service providers. I've been running Calkulin's excellent ROMs since last Fall without problems. After updating to his v1.6 (based on FE22), I couldn't download anything from Google Play Store, kept getting error codes. Tried all the usual remedies which didn't solve the problem. My last attempt was to Update PRL and like magic, Play Store working perfectly again.
JUNE 6, 2012 UPDATE: Sprint has started taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S3 which may be released 2 weeks from now. Thus, I started contemplating whether or not to upgrade. As of now, I have decided AGAINST the Samsung Galaxy S3 for several reasons:
1. Only 9 months into my Sprint contract means having to pay full price for the new phone.
2. Sprint LTE service not available yet.
3. Samsung & Sprint disappointed me by not making the S3 a phone I can use to make phone calls from outside the USA.
4. I will wait to see what XDA developers can do, to possibly make this a more attractive device (maybe they can make it into a worldwide phone but I doubt it).
5. Took 9 months to get an ICS custom ROM on my S2 that runs great so I expect to see a similar timetable with the S3.
6. Until I can put my S2 side-by-side with an S3, I'm not sure if the S3 screen (brightness & sharpness) is any better than S2.
JUNE 15, 2012 UPDATE: Until recently all CWM (Recovery Modes) required using volume and power switches to navigate. Along comes Team Win with their Team Win Recovery Project ... a touch screen CWM, so I had to try it. When I installed it using the zip file from my current Rogue CWM, I thought it would change ONLY my CWM. Instead it affected my smartphone so that I could no longer download ANYTHING using my ODIN 1.8.5, install ANY zip files via TWRP or restore any backups I made with Rogue CWM. For about an hour, I was starting to think that I had become a prisoner of Team Win with no way to escape. The only thing scarier is being totally bricked.
As a last resort, I tried a One Click package created on XDA by sfhub which includes it's own ODIN (a version other than Odin 1.8.5). Sfhub's SPH-D710.FE16_CL579416 One Click package and restored CWM to factory version. I was then able to use ODIN 1.8.5 to reinstall Rogue Recovery CWM, which then allowed me to restore my Calkulin ROM from a backup I hade created with it 2 days ago.
In fairness to the TWRP recovery system, it is faster than using volume & power buttons, created a complete backup in 250 seconds and restored that backup in 169 seconds which is MUCH faster than any other current CWM for this smartphone. However, until Team Win offers a version that offers the flexibility of installing zips and using ODIN 1.8.5 like Rogue does, I won't be trying TWRP again.
JULY 14, 2012 UPDATE: After 10 MONTHS of waiting for ICS, I finally got to test the OFFICIAL Sprint/Samsung 4.0.4 Update yesterday. Royal pain installing it if you have a custom CWM because it won't install unless you have a factory recovery or install the update via KIES and as expected you won't even receive a notice of the update OTA (over the air) if you're running a custom ROM. Once I had the update ROM running, only took me a few minutes to decide that I didn't like it because it runs slower than most custom ROMs and is LOADED with bloatware. I quickly decided to try the latest Calkulin V1.6 custom ROM which runs great and automatically switches to 4G. Curiosity then prompted me to try Agat's latest kernel and CWM. Things just got even better ... finds my WiFi and BlueTooth connections even faster when I boot and his CWM includes a boot menu that lets you also choose to reboot into CWM or ODIN.
AUGUST 22, 2012 UPDATE: Several new custom ROMs, kernels and modems have appeared on XDA Developers site over the past month so iI trieds a few to see if any would improve upon Calkulin 1.6 with FE22 modem. Best combo I found was simply installing FH13.zip modem.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 UPDATE: Jelly Bean Time! Finally have a custom AOSP 4.1.1 ROM that might be as good (or even better) that whatever Samsung decides to bestow upon us lowly Americans months from now. My 3 days of testing says this ALPHA6 ROM is faster and smoother than any prior GB or ICS ROM on this smartphone and I've yet to uncover any bugs. Thanks to sbrissen you can dash over to XDA Original Development for the Epic 4G Touch and download it now. BTW, I've compared JB on my E4GT to my Nexus7 and Jelly Bean on my phone might be even faster and smoother than on my quad-core tablet.
OCTOBER 13, 2012 UPDATE: With a number of new Jelly Bean ROMs appearing on XDA website, decided to try a few others. Currently running AOKP JB d710 Build 4 which seems to run the fastest & smoothest.
NOVEMBER 10, 2012 UPDATE: Prior custom ROM had a few bugs so I updated last week to aopk_d710_unofficial_Nov-04-12 and after 6 days of use, it seems to run flawlessly. If/when I encounter any bugs, I'll post a new update.
For anyone reading this who has yet to purchase this smartphone, I suggest waiting until Thanksgiving eve or November 23 when major retailers will be offering it for as little as 1 penny (according to Black Friday ad scans posted 11/9/2012). Only usual catch is that you must sign up for 2 years of service.
DECEMBER 29, 2012 UPDATE: Can't believe I still prefer this smartphone over ALL others after 15 months! Got even better this week after I installed the latest Samsung FL16 ROM. It was as easy as using the One-Click created by TrayLunch. Sprint Hotspot, 4G, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, camera,email and all my other apps working perfectly. Improvements include better voicemail app, faster boot, slightly faster & smoother overall responsiveness. One major CON is that it reverts you back to the stock 3e CWM which means you can't create backups or restore. You can't install CWM 4, 5 or 6 (I tried) which seems to be the result of Samsung changing partitions in this ROM so the best I can do so far is to use my Nova launcher to backup some settings and rely on Google's PlayStore to reinstall all my apps if I move on to another ROM in the future. The REAL test of my loyalty to this smartphone will be on January 8, 2013 when I attend the next CES Show to see what we'll be offered in the coming year.
JANUARY 14, 2013 UPDATE: Several things have changed in the past week. On 1/11/2013, Agat posted AGAT_FL16_repack2.tar which is a new kernel for FL16 ROMs that fixes the problem of being able to install and run apps from your SD card. Prior to that, I attended the 2013 CES Show to see if I could find any upcoming smartphones that might compel an upgrade from my E4GT. Despite 3,000+ exhibittors at the show, only 1 phone made me drool: Sony's Xperia Z ... 5" screen, eye-popping color & sharpness, 13 megapixel camera, NFC, microSD, quad-core and you can drop it in a toilet (waterproof for up to 30 minutes). I'll be watching to see what USA carriers will be offering it. Until then, I'm still VERY happy with my Galaxy S2 especially with the superfast & smooth FL16 ROM. In case I failed to mention it above, Sprint released a new version of VoiceMail with an improved interface.
JANUARY 19, 2013 UPDATE: This week I upgraded my ROM from FL16 to GA10. Not seeing any major boost in speeds, smoothness or reception but Samsung has added a new heading the in About Device section of settings. It now shows your Software version, which in my case is now GA10. Best way to install GA10 STOCK ROM is with Mobile ODIN. Make sure you also install the GA10 Modem. Agat has already released a repacked kernel which you install afterwards so you get his Recovery mode that lets you create & restore backups. If you want to add free Hotspot service, download and install the free WifiTether_TrevE_Mod_11_22_2012_driverReload2.apk which works perfectly with GA10.
JANUARY 31, 2013 UPDATE: Found a new favorite Jelly Bean ROM on XDA: [GA10] Dandroid v1.0 which has a normal Samsung boot animation, lots of extra toggles and if you're tired of green icons, Dam is also offering a nice blue theme. If you're coming from another stock GA10 ROM, simply boot into CWM, run Modified_Calkulin's_FORMAT_ALL_for_E4GT_NODATA.zip and then install DANDROID_V1.0_Signed.zip which will launch an Aroma installer that will give you a vast array of options. I chose the stock kernel and Nova launcher. rebooted and the only things I had to manually rebuild & install were voicemail, a few picture frames and theen reinstalled Agat's repacked GA10 kernel using Mobile ODIN. I've tested everything I can think of in past 24hrs and all seems nice and silky smooth.
FEBRUARY 25, 2013 UPDATE: As we anxiously await to heaar about all the new smartphones being presented at Mobile World Congress, I decided to try one of the latest GB08 ROMs available on XDA. I chose Sextape's SPH-D710_GB08_950738_Stock_Nodata.exe which is stock and rooted. Had no problem installing the MD5 from Sd card in my phone using Mobile ODIN. Happy to report that this latest ROM is slightly smoother, faster and the included new VoiceMail app is more responsive. All other aapps working as they should. Then I installed SXTP_Agat_GB08_Repack_v2.tar (again using Mobile ODIN) to restore CWM. Rebooted into CWM and aside from making a new backup, my prior backup of GA10 is still there too. hate to repeat myself but the ROMS for this phone just keep getting better. No HotSpot hack available yet but WifiTether_TrevE_Mod_11_22_2012_driverReload2.apk works perfectly with GB08.
BEST NEWS OF ALL (for me anyway)... It appears that an annoying bug in Voicemail has finally been fixed. Since day 1 with my Galaxy S2, I've had my phones setup so that my landline automatically forwards all calls to the cellphone using a Bluetooth connection between my Vtech landline base and the cellphone. Until now, a bug in Sprint's Voicemail has always caused 1 of 2 problems: Either I lost the Bluetooth connection every time I tried to play a voicemail on the smartphone OR I lost all audio of voicemails wheen trying to play them. Now everything works perfectly, meaning that when I play a voicemail, the Bluetooth temporary disconnects from Vtech and I can hear all my voicemails through the smartphone speaker.
MARCH 16, 2013 UPDATE: Exactly 18 months ago today, I was first customer at local Sprint Store to get my hands on this smartphone. Could this be my final update? Maybe. According to several posts, GB27 will be THE LAST official release for this smartphone from Samsung & Sprint. I downloaded SPH-D710_GB27_1014481_Rooted_Nodata.exe , copied to SD card on E4GT and installed with Mobile ODIN Pro. WOW! Everything seems noticeably faster & smoother. The GB27 modem needs to be installed separately so I then installed SPH-D710_GB27_1014481_Modem.tar.md5 same way.
Based on how well everything is running, I will survive with a smile until I upgrade to either HTC One or Galaxy S4. I do wonder how long it will be before someone gets their hands on the ROM in either of the newer devices and we find customized ROMs online. If/when I do, I'll try it and report it here!
While preparing for some travel with my phone and Nexus 7 tablet, I started searching to see if I could find 1 a/c charger with 2 USB ports that can provide a 2A and 1A output at the same time. Found one on everbuying.com called THUNDER-CHARGE and after some testing, might be the best $10 I've spent in a long time (SKU #II0030001). Alhtough it took 3 weeks to arrive from China, it works better & faster than any charge I've had for my portable devices. It also emits a blue light when you plug in a device. During testing with my GS2 phone, the 1.0A port charged my phone at rate of about 1% a minute and slightly faster when I used the 2.1A port.
CONSIDERING TMOBILE? I canceled their service on 9/16/2011 when I got this Sprint smartphone and
MORE THAN ONE AND A HALF YEARS LATER
I'm STILL waiting for a $5.97 refund!
Called their 800#. After 14 minites the person (speaking from a call center in a foreign country) said I transfered the $5.97 to another Tmobile account. As I said to her, I NEVER HAD ANY OTHER TMOBILE ACCOUNT! (nor will I after such poor service). They continue mailing multiple-page monthly statements showing a credit (minus) $5.97 balance. All INTELLIGENT Tmobile employees must have retired or moved to Sprint.
FED UP WITH VERIZON'S ARRROGANCE & POOR 4G? After 18 months with Sprint, ONE dropped call and maybe 5 minutes of LOS (loss of service), I can easily say that Sprint is currently THE BEST service provider I've had over the past 31 years (yes...31 years because I had Novatel cellular installed in 1982 in my car). With rates that are lower than both Tmobile or Verizon plus unlimited data. I'm a happy SPRINT camper. ;)
I will continue expanding this review as I discover new ways to enjoy this device and make it better.