Sprint's Samsung Epic 4G finally gets Gingerbread

By JR Raphael (@jr_raphael)

Many of us have our sights squarely set on Google's Android Ice Cream Sandwich release at this point, but plenty of phone owners are still waiting for their first taste of Gingerbread. Among them are users of Samsung's U.S.-based Galaxy S handsets.

Sprint Samsung Epic 4G Gingerbread

Today, at long last, the wait will end -- for original Galaxy S owners on Sprint, at least. Sprint has officially announced the rollout of Android 2.3 for its Galaxy S Epic 4G phone. The rollout is beginning today and will happen in waves, meaning a subset of users will receive the software each day. Sprint says it'll take about 10 days for the process to complete and the upgrade to reach all Epic 4G devices (you may be able to force the download to begin immediately by going into the "System Updates" section of your device's "About Phone" settings menu).

Samsung has been notoriously slow with its Android upgrades, particularly with the high-profile Galaxy S phones in the U.S. We're nearing the one-year mark of Gingerbread's release, but the trend is nothing new: Back when I looked at Android upgrade reliability by manufacturer at the start of 2011, Sammy had taken an average of 159 days to upgrade its devices to Froyo. That was more than twice the upgrade delay I measured for Motorola or HTC.

Of course, Samsung isn't alone in its sluggishness; numerous devices are still waiting for their first taste of Gingerbread, including the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon versions of Samsung's Galaxy S as well as other high-profile phones.

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You can get the latest on the upgrade status for any device at my Android 2.3 upgrade list; it's always kept up-to-date with the most current status for all Android products. (An Ice Cream Sandwich version of the list will be launching soon.)

And for more about the Gingerbread release and what it'll do to your phone, click over to my massive Android Gingerbread FAQ. It has everything you could possibly want to know about the upgrade.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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