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While we didn't particularly find the optical mouse useful on the Samsung Omnia, we're singing a different tune with the Epix. The fact that the trackpad is slightly bigger and it's located in the middle of the phone (rather than the bottom) made the user experience so much better.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The full QWERTY keyboard is similar to the one found on the BlackJack II, though the keys are a bit smaller. The size of the buttons wasn't so much of an issue as there's an adequate amount of spacing between them, but we did find the keys stiff to press, which led to errors.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The Samsung Epix comes with a 2-megapixel camera with 4X digital zoom and video-recording capabilities. Picture quality was just mediocre, since colors looked washed out, but we were impressed by the clear video quality.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The right side has a power/headset connector and a microSD-expansion slot. Unfortunately, the Epix uses a proprietary Samsung jack for the AC adapter and headset, which restricts the accessory range.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
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.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The Samsung Epix is the first smartphone in the United States with an optical mouse, which is located between the Start and OK buttons. If you find you're not a fan of the feature, you can switch it back to the traditional directional keypad.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The Samsung Epix isn't a major overhaul of the Samsung BlackJack II, but the new design features add great value and provide a good user experience. The Epix is available now from AT&T for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
Aside from the design enhancements, the Samsung Epix ships with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition and adds integrated Wi-Fi.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The Samsung Epix comes in a silver/charcoal gray color and, while attractive enough, we thought the device's casing was slippery and felt a bit plasticky.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
The Epix measures 4.6 inches high by 2.4 inches wide by 0.5 inch deep and weighs 4.4 ounces. It's slightly thicker than the BlackJack II, but the Epix houses a larger battery, so there's good reason for the extra thickness and weight.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
On the left spine, you'll find the power button and volume rocker, while the right side has a proprietary power/headset connector and a microSD-expansion slot.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
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