Sprint's variant of the Samsung Galaxy family, the Samsung Epic 4G, was rumored for several release dates, but today, Sprint announced that the handset will be releasing on August 31st for $249.99 after rebate with a new two year contract. The presale of the phone starts tomorrow, and you can try and sign up here for instore pickup on launch day. If you go that route though, Gizmodo recommends that "you have to buy your phone by 6PM local time on September 1" in order for your phone to still be held for you.
AndroidandMe thinks that "this could be Sprint’s biggest launch this year as their 4G coverage area continues to expand and Samsung tries to capitalize on the HTC EVO 4G shortages."
The phone features much of the same hardware as the rest of the Galaxy S family, including the 4" AMOLED display, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and 5MP camera with a front facing VGA camera. However, the Epic 4G differs in that it sports a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and access to Sprint's 4G network, making it the world's second 4G phone.
AndroidandMe notes that with Sprint's current pricing scheme, "the Epic 4G is one of the most expensive Android phones. Sprint did not provide the off-contract pricing, so we will have to check with them and report back later. Clearly, Sprint is marketing the Epic to the high-end crowd so I bet they figure price will not be an issue.
Engadget adds that "Sprint's got a video laying out the differences highlighting the Epic's Super AMOLED display, keyboard, Samsung Media Hub movie store (available post-launch), and DLNA to wirelessly send pics and video to other DLNA devices in the home."
Check out Sprint's official press release here for more details.
Image from Android Central