Samsung Infuse 4G hands-on (updated)

We've seen it powered down and had it dangled in front of us and now, four months after its launch, we've finally had a chance to play with a real, working Samsung Infuse 4G. This 4.5-inch superphone -- the biggest Sammy has made to date -- feels surprisingly light in the hands, despite its width. That's largely thanks to its crazy-thin 8.99mm profile, along with a subtly textured backside. The Super AMOLED Plus display -- the same kind found on the smaller Droid Charge -- which promises to be brighter than Super AMOLED as well as easier to view in direct sunlight, is simply stunning. We were seriously impressed by the punchy colors and deep blacks, although that outdoor test will have to wait for another day.

Blessedly, Samsung lets those vibrant colors speak for themselves -- it loaded the phone with Android 2.2 and abstained from saddling it with its TouchWiz UI made its TouchWiz UI less intrusive out of the box. The handset packs a single -- not dual -- core 1.2GHz processor, but you won't notice or care how many cores it has unless you're a benchmark junkie -- the phone launches applications briskly, while the touchscreen is responsive and always precise. We noticed nary a delay as we swiped among the seven home screens and three application pages. Speaking of speed, this is AT&T's first device to promise max speeds of 21 Mbps. Samsung held its press event in a New York City restaurant with poor reception, alas, and we have a feeling the crawling rates we observed off-camera don't do this phone justice. We're walking out of here with one of these bad boys, and we're stoked to fully put it through its paces over the next few days. We'll be back with an in-depth review, but in the meantime, have a gander at the gallery of close-up shots below.

Updated: Unlike the Inspire 4G, Captivate, and Aria, the Infuse 4G enables app sideloading and features the "Unknown Sources" menu item in the settings. Check out a photo of the appropriate settings screen in the updated gallery.