Samsung Galaxy Nexus or Samsung Epic 4G Touch: Should I stick with stock?

Okay my fellow Android lovers, I have a serious question for all of you and I would like your honest opinions. I currently own a beautiful, white Samsung Epic 4G Touch (GSII) that I really do love. Though I am not a huge fan of TouchWiz, I do like a lot of functions that it incorporates and it actually runs very smooth on the device. It has a gorgeous 4.5 inch display, a notification LED, headset jack is located on the top (which I prefer as I rest my phone in my car cup-holder while it’s plugged into the auxiliary port), expandable/removable memory, 8 MP camera, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, and a top-notch GPU for all my gaming fixes.

Despite the fact that it was released on Sprint in September of 2011, many would say that the company’s GSII variant is still one of the top phones today. That being said, why on Earth do I want a Galaxy Nexus? I find myself combing eBay and Craigslist searching for a great deal on one of these bad boys, and according to my math, if I can sell my Epic 4G Touch for what I want, and then buy the Galaxy Nexus for the price that I want to pay, it will most likely just be a wash.  So I guess my question is should I go through the trouble? Hit the break for more of my dilemma!

To make matters worse, I actually still own a Nexus S 4G with the Ice Cream Sandwich update which is practically identical to its big brother Nexus sans the larger, sharper screen and the dual-core processor. I just can’t seem to get away from the fact that I really love having stock Android on my phones. I have always been a huge advocate of the Nexus line of devices for that reason, and I also just simply adore stock ICS. It’s so beautiful and functional and I love everything about it. I literally have been switching back and forth between my Nexus S 4G and my E4GT for the last few weeks unable to decide what I like more. I know I would love the GNex but let’s be honest, because on paper, the E4GT seems to be the clear winner on almost all hardware fronts.

Just to recap, the Galaxy Nexus comes with a larger 4.65 inch display with slightly sharper resolution versus the E4GT. The camera is smaller at 5 MP, there is no expandable/removable memory, and the headset jack is awkwardly located on the bottom of the phone. The GNex also sports a 1.2 GHz processor, just like the E4GT, however its PowerVR SGX 540 GPU is widely accepted to be much less powerful than the ARM Mali-400 found in the E4GT. As a lover of everything games, this is a huge pill to swallow. In fact, I tried running Super Smash Bros. on a Nintendo 64 emulator on my E4GT and on my buddies GNex, and to my surprise, the E4GT completely smoked the GNex. It was choppy but playable on the Nexus, yet ran like it was the actual N64 on the E4GT. I immediately decided that this was a deal breaker and thought nothing more on making the switch. Or did I?

Again, I find myself just millimeters away from hitting “buy it now” on eBay. Then I pull away to question my intentions and true desires. Houston, we have a problem! Possibly an addiction to really awesome smartphones, but the fact you’re reading this probably means that you can relate and might possibly have some advice. I realize that the specs listed do put the E4GT in a brighter light, but is the sharper, larger display and stock ICS worth making the switch? I realize some of you may be thinking, why doesn’t he just wait for the GS3 or the Evo 4G LTE? Well for one, they are not stock ICS devices, and what I really want to know is whether or not I should stick with stock? Please feel free to leave your opinions and suggestions in the comments below. Thanks for the therapy session!


About the Author: Tony Rosario

Yet another one of Krypton’s last son’s, Tony grew up in a small town not too far from Dallas, Texas. Being a lover of all things games, a good part of his childhood was spent mastering Mortal Kombat techniques and perfecting Fatalities, yet he always made time for artistic endeavors such as singing, acting and playing in rock bands. Tony graduated from the University of North Texas in Music Performance for Double Bass. He freelanced in the DFW area and taught privately for several years. During this time, he discovered the benefits a smartphone could make in his line of work, being able to respond to gig offers in a timely manner and navigate to performances with GPS, all while on the go. He did months of research, finally deciding on the Android OS. And the reason you ask? Emulators. The fact that he now had a phone, GPS system, instant messenger, mp3 player, camera and 4 different videogame consoles with 100+ games, all in a single device, was mind blowing. Tony’s new love for Android blossomed rather quickly into an obsession that landed him a job with Sprint. He now gets to play with all kinds of phones, fix them and write about them for Talk Android.


  • Kris

    Save your money and stick with the epic touch… I have one and love it but I think ill wait till this phone gets discontinued before I buy anything else.. Nexus is gonna get old real soon. The next and the best will be out again in no time LOL

  • PizzaFan

    I’m in the same boat. Might get a nexus this week cause I want ics-officially. And I like the screen res increase but the epic touch has better hardware and is faster. I may be frugal and just wait out the official ics update. For once I find myself actually pleased with a device in the epic touch and I’ve had htc, Samsung and a nexus s. We’ll get ics soon (hopefully).

  • Joe Bowden

    I absolutely adore my Epic 4G Touch, and I still believe that it is THE best non-Nexus device out there, still. I’m personally contemplating a switch to Verizon when my contract is up in August, so that means that I have to consider either the Galaxy Nexus, or by some stroke of luck Verizon gets the Galaxy S III when it comes out. So, my recommendation would be to stick with the Epic Touch, at least until the Epic Fantastic! (Sprint’s GS III) comes out. Stock ICS is a big deal, but not worth the hit in hardware, I just run LauncherPro to hide TouchWiz as much as possible. ICS on the Epic Touch will be interesting, can’t wait for it.

  • GNEX PRIME

    Just root the E4GT, this is android people we have many options. I have the nexus ( greatest) and everyday I’m online looking for the next best thing. Its just an addiction we have. I have had every 4g Verizon phone, 2 blackberry bold touch even played with the iPhone a few times ( week was longest ) but if Verizon had GS2 I would just get it and root it and run CM9

  • Da4ofus

    I have the same prob, only I’m trying to decide between Tmobile’s gs2 and gsm galaxy that’s on the play store for 400 bucks. Good luck on your choice

  • Funkmon

    Stick with the E4GT.

    Here’s the only thing that keeps me from telling you for sure: you swap between that and your Nexus S.

    The Nexus S is a sub par phone by far, and if you’re torn between the two, then you would like the Galaxy Nexus more.

    For me, the important part is the camera, and I also really do like Touchwiz.

    I also have a Galaxy device and a Nexus S running ICS, but, more importantly, I have an Evo 4G, and I wouldn’t even trade THAT for a Nexus S.

    So, if the camera doesn’t matter and you like stock ICS that much, get the Galaxy Nexus.

    • Funkmon

      But, again, I’d stick with whatcha got.

  • http://www.dolphinfree.net Tenkely

    Nexus. Without question. The specs on the 4G are solid no doubt, as is the design of the device, but when it comes to vanilla ICS against anything, vanilla wins. Always. Cleaner, crisper, faster, stabler. Also, Touch Whizz is gross. 

  • http://TEKADDIKT.COM/ TEKADDIKT.COM

    I’m sticking with my E4GT until Galaxy S3 comes out. I like the expandable memory (comes in handy for me) and I like the better camera.

  • snowglyder

    I just sold my T-Mobile GS2 and ordered the GNex from the Play Store. I had an ICS rom on the GS2, but it’s hacked and therefor buggy. I found myself flashing ROMs to get the latest Android version anyways, and this way I get them as they’re available. The screen on the GS2 bothered me, having such a big screen with that resolution. I’m looking forward to having 720p and the latest updates. 5mp doesn’t bother me as I always change the 8mp to the 6mp wide. I heard the quality isn’t as good though, but I’ll judge that for myself. 

  • Ty 234

    I’ve owned both and I can say the Gnex wins hands down. The Nexus line will always be first in attention and updated which is a plus and you can’t deny that the 720p screen smashes the old 480p display. Give yourself a couple weeks with the Gnex and you’ll wonder how you ever used anything else. Anyways, good luck with your decision!

  • Bdavis2111

    I’m in the exact same boat but I’m gonna wait on the Evo lte and Galaxy S3 since they’re so close

  • mobileman43078

    The gnex only slightly under performs the gs2 it isn’t the gpu is better the gnex runs a lot higher Res screen which makes the difference a nexus with a good rom and a Franco kernel will toast gs2 I’m a owner of both quit scrambling ur brain get the nexus. And tail to be told the new razr HD is suppose to have unlocked boot loader will see if this happens but the gs3 is a bad choice to wait for there is much better devices on the horizon

  • http://twitter.com/ImSteevin ImSteevin

    No brainer, put CM9 on the GS2!

  • Jay

    Stick with the epic 2 4g. The phone is just a better machine and the company actually gives a damn about their customers.

    Gnex owner

  • Nick Vercoe

    Just stick a stock ROM on your GS2 and you’ve got the best of both worlds! I have, and I love it. It’s like getting a new phone that you already love! :-)

  • Joshua Barta

    You’ve left out one important piece of information: are you in an area where Sprint has LTE coverage (or will in the near future) ? If not, the WiMax 4G on the E4GT is better than no 4G at all.
    Also worth noting: although the GNex has a lower megapixel camera, it gets significant points for having zero shutter lag.

    Definitely a tough call…