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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  1. Sounds like an awesome phone, at $129.99 after rebate it looks like Sprint has got a winner on there hands

  2. Yes the Instinct is an amazing phone. I've seen it in action and was amazed by its fluidity… no for why this is not an option over the iPhone:

    1) No Wi-Fi…. unacceptable. I can't believe it doesn't have Wi-Fi. Mid-range 2007 phones have WiFi.
    2) No easy available SDK = Very limited 3rd party apps.

    For me, I don't even consider getting a phone until I'm sure there are many (as with the iPhone, S60.) or will be many (as with Android) third party applications for this phone. For me, a phone out of the box is only 10% of what it could be with 3rd party.

    But it's a great phone otherwise, and surprisingly from Samsung, I must say.

  3. Hopefully a firmware update addresses that?

    How many of your previous samsung's cellphones you had a update? Haha.

  4. TareX – The Instinct runs BREW apps… it has a very accessable SDK but we'll have to see how many apps are written to support the unique screen layout/etc for the Instinct. Keep in mind that a whopping number of devices are BREW capable and there are many, many more BREW devs than iPhone developers. What it comes down to, is BREW development hasn't been quite the darling of the media that the iPhone devs have been so you hear less about them.

  5. Ummm screen shots?

    What browser is it running? Did you try using Goosh with it ( )? If yes, what were the results? How does it work with the mobile versions of all the Google apps?

  6. In response to the SDK comment:

    "Sprint is planning its first ever application developer contest, the Instinct Java Developer Contest (Contest), which is focused on the recently announced, new Samsung Instinct. Java Mobile developers will have the opportunity to create an application on the amazing touch-screen phone with a network to back it up, the Now Network. Keep checking (the Website) and the associated forum to review the latest updates."

  7. I just received my Instinct phone friday 6/27 and I love it, I spent all weekend playing with it, it takes awesome pics, and to me the text messaging is way quicker than my old phone i.e. (Nextel i920), the touch screen is pretty simply, it’s great for folks without ipods but then again who doesn’t have ipod these days (so that device on the phone was irrelevant to me)haha, anywho I’m a gadget girl and found this phone to be real cool, GOOD WORK SPRINT/SAMSUNG!!

  8. There is alot of great Applications coming real soon for this phone.And even more coming not so soon.Aim is going to be added among other cool stuff. Also alot of programs that are already out there will be able to run on the Insitnct real soon. Including ebuddy, Loopt google talk & google maps.Also new browser availability. FireFox being one of them.It may not be the Iphone killer just yet but trust me when its all said and done people will be trading in their Iphones to get the Instinct. It has only begun the fight, and It will win my friends.Dont ask me how I know just believe, I know….


  9. Here is my unbiased review of the Instinct vs the iphone…

    the Instincts GPS is sooo fast, you can find the nearest…anything…cheapest gas..

    surprisingly its very responsive (touch screen),

    you can even write out words and it will type what you write, even full words.

    I personlly like the keyboard way better than the iphone’s,
    the fact that they give you 3 keyboard layouts to choose from is amazing.

    Some websites dont load right or dont load at all (myspace) still working on it they say

    you tube videos load very fast but quality is poor (iphone kills the instinct here)

    photos take a long time to load, but there cover flow imitation works pretty good.

    Camera has no flash, pictures come out all right, video recorder is really good actually.

    email is very fast you can have as many email acounts as you, yahoo, aol..

    speaker quality is so so doesent get very loud and somewhat distorts

    they give you a favorite home screen that you can shorcut any application, website, even a shortcut to text someone,

    no wifi but internet is very fast

    I was going to get an iphone but i love sprints network, and since everyone is getting iphones it seems its freeing up some bandwidth on sprints network. Sprint is running on a new Rtt Network or something or another, which they say is “faster than 3G” ..instincts biggest flaw is thay you cant pinch the screen to make an image or website larger like you can on iphone, but all in all its the best phone sprint has ever had…period.

    iphone is a way better video player

    I’m waiting for apple to release an iTouch with some damn speakers on it…
    the iphone is the best at everything except being a phone…and there keyboard sucks

  10. Can you get google talk for the instinct yet? I hear there is all these apps available soon (as of july 25th) but I just got my instinct and can’t find google talk that works on it. Anyhelp will be APPreciated! :)

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