No one is stupid enough to call their touchscreen phone an iPhone killer, and Samsung and Sprint are no different. But that’s not going to stop us from comparing Apple’s dream phone with the Samsung Instinct, due in June. This 3G device isn’t a smart phone per se, but unlike the iPhone it offers a touchscreen with local haptic feedback (so you can feel those presses) and GPS capability (via TeleNav). You also get full access to all of Sprint’s other services, including the Sprint Music Store and Sprint TV, Microsoft Live Search, and Pocket Express for instant access to news and other info.
Pricing hasn’t yet been determined, but we expect the Instinct to undercut the iPhone by $100 or more. It’s also lighter (4.4 ounces versus 4.8) than the iPhone. Then again, the Instinct will come with only a 2GB microSD Card (expandable up to 8GB), compared with the iPhone’s standard 8GB. Plus, the iPhone rocks a bigger 3.5-inch display, compared with the Instinct’s 3.1-inch screen, and is a hair thinner (0.46 inches versus 0.49 inches).
Sprint recently came by our offices and showed us a pre-beta version of its device, and we were impressed by some things and underwhelmed by others. The carrier assured us that both it and Samsung’s engineers were hard at work on addressing some of our concerns—namely, the lack of a delete key on the keyboard, the somewhat crude and poky HTML Web browser, and some overall sluggishness—and we wouldn’t be surprised if our hands-on evaluation of the Instinct at CTIA was more favorable than our iffy first impressions. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, here’s why the Instinct has a lot of potential.
Samsung Instinct Specs Entertainment and Personalization: • Sprint TV with an extensive selection of live and on-demand programming including Sprint Exclusive Entertainment (SEE), the industry’s only made-for-mobile sports and entertainment video programming network • Sprint Music Store allowing users to wirelessly download full-length songs directly to their phone for just 99 cents each • More than a dozen streaming-radio applications, including Sprint Radio with more than 150 channels • Sprint Media Manager PC to phone transfer application • Background music mode allowing the user to play music while text messaging, playing games or surfing the Internet • Customizable Favorites menu • Sprint PCS Picture MailSM • Picture caller ID Productivity: • Sprint Navigation with GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, one-click traffic rerouting, and more than 10 million local listings • Live Search for Sprint, powered by Microsoft, provides easy access to directory information, integrated GPS-enabled directions, interactive maps and one-touch click to call access • Voice to Action button providing many functions using voice activation including call, text, picture messaging, traffic, movie, sports, news, and search. • HTML Web browsing • 2-megapixel camera with 2X digital zoom and video camcorder • Advanced Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Technology with audio caller ID • Access to corporate and consumer (POP3) email including AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo • Threaded text messaging provides a view of the full conversation • Mobile Sync to restore contact information if the device is lost, stolen, or damaged • Phone as Modem connects the phone with a computer for Internet and email access SPECIFICATIONS • Dimensions: 2.17 x 4.57 x 0.49 inches; 4.4 ounces • Display: 3.1-inch TFT (240 x 432 pixels and 262K vibrant colors) • Standard Lithium (Li-Ion) battery: up to 5.75 hours continuous talk time