October 2, 2014

My First 48 Hours with the Samsung Instinct

I’ve had a chance to play with the device over the last two days and get a feel for the phone. Outside of my normal 40 hour work week and family time, I’ve spent enough time to learn the handset. Here are a few things that I can say about the Samsung Instinct so far.

First off, the phone is the best Samsung handset I have ever played with. I’ve owned 5 Samsung phones over the last 6 years and this is far superior to the others. It is made with some serious craftsmanship. It’s considerably better to hold in my hand on phone calls than the T-Mobile Wing I am using now.

The phone feels substantial without being too light at the same time. I can’t imagine it getting any skinnier without giving up some features. The Sprint network is ridiculous fast for GPS, live telesvision, search, etc.

The menu is very intuitive. I never even cracked open the manual for help. Out of curiousity, I did look through it to see what it was like. It’s very detailed with full color pictures. The device is very fast and makes my Wing seem like it’s antiquated when pulling up even text messages. The haptic feedback is amazing. The more I use it, the more I come to enjoy that feature.

So where do I see potential for improvement? First off, I’d love to see support for Wi-Fi. Even with Sprint’s network, I’d like to have the option to grab my network at home. Where I live, the reception was so-so when compared to T-Mobile’s service. Was the device to blame or the service? Comparing in other spots, I think it’s the service. Give me the option to hop on Wi-Fi at home for some of the features.

For those of you who like to text with one hand, you’ll probably be disappointed when you see what happens with the keyboard layout. By default, the screen flips to landscape mode and has a full QWERTY keyboard. Touch the button to flip it back to portrait mode for one hand and you lose the QWERTY. That’s right, it goes to ABCDE mode. Hopefully a firmware update addresses that.

Other things that can benefit from a firmware update would be other color schemes and icons. I’m not sure what other applications are lined up for the “FUN” section, but I’d like to see Flickr, Sirius/XM, and a few other options added.

I love the resolution of the screen and the brightness. I’m also a big fan of the last minute Exchange Server support. Big time bonus for enterprise folks. It’s strange, but I found myself enjoying the Instinct more when I thought of it as a device and less as a phone. Personally, I have probably only spent 1 hour of time with an iPhone so I am not the best one to answer the tough question everyone is asking, but I can offer this:

This is one of the smartest things you can do with $130.00 (after rebate), especially if you haven’t graduated from a traditional handset.

Is it a smart phone? No, but it has above average intelligence.

Is it an iPhone killer? Let’s just end this by saying in the right court, it could be found guilty of attempted murder.

I’m going to let Jamie have the device for a few days so he can tell you his take on it.

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