written by: Robert Faustus•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/19/2011
The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show was a big moment for every cellphone manufacturer, including Samsung. Samsung announced the Samsung Infuse 4G for AT&T. The Infuse 4G was announced as having the largest display and yet the slimmest design. Does the Infuse have what it takes to compete?
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Samsung Infuse 4G Review
Samsung has been on quite the rise with the Samsung Galaxy series, from the Galaxy S phones to the Galaxy Tab, they've truly made their presence known. The Samsung Infuse 4G is somewhat of a successor to the Samsung Galaxy S variant for AT&T, the Samsung Captivate. Revealed at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, the Samsung Infuse 4G was definitely one of the slimmest, yet largest, smartphones at the event. Another advantage of the Samsung Infuse 4G is the fact that Samsung has the Super AMOLED technology backing their smartphones. The Samsung Infuse 4G is definitely a competitive smartphone to keep an eye out for in 2011.
Samsung Infuse 4G Specifications:
Display: 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen display, 480 x 800 pixels
Memory: 16 GB + 32 GB MicroSD
OS: Android OS 2.2
Processor: 1.2 GHz
Camera: 8 megapixel camera with LED flash (1.3 megapixel 1 front facing)
The Samsung Infuse 4G has the usual candy bar design with a dominant display but it takes it to a new level. At first glance the Samsung Infuse may not even register as a smartphone with a large screen. However, upon closer inspection, one will notice that It has one of the largest displays currently available on a smartphone at 4.5 inches. The phone itself looks as large as a Motorola Droid X but the Samsung Infuse 4G has a bigger display. While Motorola decided to take a different approach by allowing the Atrix 4G to be dockable on a laptop station, the Infuse 4G pretty much makes the smartphone display a larger work area.
The 4.5 inch capacitive display uses Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus technology, meaning it performs much better in direct sunlight, the colors are more vibrant and the viewing angle is tremendous. Underneath the large and beautiful display are the four familiar Android shortcuts for menu, home, back and search. Above the 4.5 inch display is a small front facing camera. To the left is the volume rocker, the right the power / lock key, up top resides the 3.5 mm headphone jack and on the bottom is the microUSB. The other surprisingly great design of the Samsung Infuse 4G is its thinness. The Samsung Infuse 4G is one of the slimmest Android powered smartphones to be released on AT&T.
The design is very much reminiscent of the Samsung Captivate, just with a larger display and much slimmer, and the Samsung Infuse 4G is set to continue the Galaxy S line of smartphones.
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Hardware and Software
The Samsung Infuse 4G is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor, which allows it to compete with the likes of the Motorola Droid X and Droid 2 Global. The 1.2 GHz processor also allows the Samsung Infuse 4G to run Android 2.2 smoothly and allows it support Adobe Flash. The downside is that Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), is already on its way out with the Samsung Nexus S and one has to wonder if the Infuse 4G will even be upgradeable. In the U.S. market, the Samsung Galaxy S variants still haven't gotten their OTA update for Android 2.2, leaving many customer disappointed and distrusting of Samsung's smartphones. The Samsung Infuse 4G may suffer the same fate when it comes to upgrading to Android 2.3.
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The Samsung Infuse 4G has the familiar Android interface mixed in with a bit of Samsung flare. Similar to the Samsung Captivate, the Samsung Infuse 4G will feature Samsung's proprietary overlay, TouchWiz UI. This is a good and bad feature to add into the Android powered Samsung Infuse 4G. The good is that the user interface is more friendly to all users, and it keeps the interface easy to learn for beginners. The bad is that it prevents the Samsung Infuse 4G from receiving immediate Android updates. Stock Android devices such as the Nexus One and the Nexus S, or even the HTC G2 all receive OTA updates earlier for new versions of Android because there are no delays by the manufacturer. However, once the manufacturer becomes involved, the updates start to slow down.
Beyond the inconvenience of the Samsung Infuse 4G possibly not receiving the latest version of Android, it's a smooth ride. New users can quickly become accustomed to the phone and there is very little training needed when it comes to understanding the phone. For people who already have an Android handset, the Infuse 4G should not confuse them in any way, as it is the usual interface Android users are at ease with.
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The Samsung Infuse 4G comes packed with the usual features of Android handsets, and it can be assumed that it will come with AT&T's suite of applications. The biggest feature is that the Samsung Infuse 4G, like the name suggests, will use AT&T's "4G" network. AT&T has not had a solid stance on what their 4G network exactly is. They were the same company that claimed that HSPA+ was not 4G and that they were going to pursue a different true 4G network. It seems they've changed their tune, now that T-Mobile's HSPA+ has been acknowledged as 4G technology. This means the Samsung Infuse will be using AT&T's HSPA+ network, which, when it comes to network speeds, does not compete with other 4G networks right now. It'll be interesting to see how powerful the network that supports the Infuse will actually be.
The Samsung Infuse 4G also, of course, has access to the Android Market, allowing you to access 100,000+ applications and games, which expands the capabilities of the smartphone. Another great feature of the Samsung Infuse 4G will be the front facing camera, once again, utilizing the 4G network of AT&T to perform video calling. The other camera on the Infuse 4G, the 8 megapixel camera rounding out the back, is a big improvement over competitors who use 5 megapixel cameras. The 8 megapixel camera will give the Infuse a slight edge over the competition in the Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 space.
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The Final Verdict
Overall the Samsung Infuse 4G is really shaping up to be a great follow up to AT&T's Captivate and ranks in at a 'Good' overall rating. It seems Samsung will continue to try to dominate through their Galaxy S moniker, and are trying new avenues with larger displays. Though as mentioned earlier, Samsung does need to be careful on how they launch updates to their phones as customers will continue to lose confidence if promised updates do not roll out. With the disappointing OTA update of the AT&T Captivate, one can expect that many hardcore Android fans won't be flocking to the Infuse 4G. However, the general public will most likely fall in love with the 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus screen and the slim design of the Samsung Infuse 4G.