On Tuesday, AT&T announced the newest addition to its smartphone family, the Samsung Epix, and if you think it's simply a minor upgrade to the Samsung BlackJack II, think again.
True, on the surface, the Epix looks pretty much like the BlackJack II, save for a couple of different buttons, but Samsung stepped it up and equipped the smartphone with a touch screen and optical mouse. That's right. You can now interact with your device through the 2.5-inch screen (with your finger or built-in stylus) and navigate with the traditional controls or with the optical mouse. The latter is located in the center between the Start and OK button, and lets you move a mouse-like cursor on screen with a simple finger sweeps over the area.
We've seen this feature on the Samsung Omnia, and I'm interested to see how people will take to it. I didn't find it particularly useful on the Omnia, and often just it switched back to the directional keypad. You can also do this with the Epix. Other design highlights include a full QWERTY keyboard, a silver finish, and slim design (4.6 inches high by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep and 4.4 ounces).
Featurewise, the Samsung Epix runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition and offers numerous e-mail solutions, including Microsoft Direct Push, AT&T Xpress Mail, and Good Mobile Messaging. Wireless options are fully represented on the Epix: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, HSDPA/UMTS, and quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) world roaming. The Epix is equipped with a 2-megapixel camera and supports AT&T's Video Share service for video calls.
The Samsung Epix is available now at select AT&T stores and online for $199.99 with a two-year contract. We should be getting our review unit in the next couple of days, so check back soon for a full review.