Sprint’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II has finally graced the iFixit team with its presence. It arrived on our shores just last week and was branded by Sprint as the Epic 4G Touch. Although we’ve watched this phone’s reputation grow throughout Europe, we were very excited to see what all the hullabaloo was about.
We were delighted to find that taking apart this allegedly Epic phone was not too challenging. In fact, the Epic 4G Touch appears to fare better than its overseas cousin in terms of disassembly and repair. Expect to use a Phillips #00 screwdriver and a plastic opening tool if you want to see what’s inside. Expect significant trouble if you try to replace a cracked display.
We wanted to reward the Epic 4G Touch with a laudable repairability score — you can disassemble most of the phone with just basic tools — but its fused display and glass knocked it back a couple points. The iFixit team gave it a very reasonable 7 out of 10 for repairability.
The glass panel and AMOLED display are fused, making cracked screens a costly repair. And you have to use a heat gun to take the two apart. So don’t drop your phone!
The Epic 4G Touch has slightly more girth than its overseas counterpart, the Galaxy S II. At 9.65 mm and 128 grams, the device gained a millimeter and a 14 grams during its trip to the U.S.
Unfortunately, Samsung and Sprint decided not to include NFC support in this variant of the Galaxy S II, which means no Google Wallet support either.
We love phones with batteries that are easy to replace, and this device fits that mold — just pop off the back cover. The 1800 mAh Li-ion battery in the device has a claimed battery life of 8.7 hours of continuous talk time and 10.5 days on standby. Compare this with the Galaxy S II’s 1650 mAh battery.
The Samsung Epic 4G Touch does not come with a microSD card. If 16 GB of internal memory isn’t enough for you, you’re going to have to spring for your own card.
A Phillips #00 screwdriver from our 54 piece bit driver kit and some plastic opening tools allow us to take apart most of the phone. There’s a total of 9 Phillips #00 screws to remove in the whole device.
We are pleased to announce that the device doesn’t house a smorgasbord of EMI shields and that its single EMI shield is removable with only a few gentle pries. It made our job easier (and less destructive) for this teardown.
The front-facing camera assembly is paired along with what seems to be the LED/ambient light sensor. Since these components share the same ribbon cable, overall repair cost increases if just one component fails.