The Samsung Instinct and the iPhone have a similar look and feel but the similarities end there. The iPhone is a not only a smartphone but a software platform; the Instinct is a smartphone with some features not found on the iPhone.
The Instinct’s interface (with some exceptions) is reasonably well thought out; visual voicemail allows one to see and listen to individual messages (the iPhone lacks this feature); and the Favorites page is easily customizable.
Sprint’s 3G network performed very well in our tests and hasn’t been plagued by the problems that have been reported by iPhone users on AT&T’s 3G network in the U.S.
One of the best things about the Instinct is the monthly cost: for about $100 per month, one gets unlimited calling, unlimited texting, unlimited video messaging, voice-guided turn-by-turn GPS, and live TV.
My biggest complaint was that it was easy to misdial a call on the keypad and it is especially easy to hit the voicemail button located below zero. Once you hit that key, there is no going back.
While Web pages appeared quickly in the browser, reading them was a different story. The zoom feature would resize the page to an arbitrary size, making the page either too big or too small but almost never just right. As a result, I didn’t use the browser very much. A variable zoom setting would have remedied the situation.
The phone comes with haptic feedback (vibration) turned on; I found it extremely annoying to dial and have the phone shake like a minor earthquake so I left it off.
If you’re already a Sprint customer and want the best phone available for that network, run, don’t walk, and buy one today. You’ll be glad you did.
David Goldes is a Contributing Editor at Executive Road Warrior and President and Senior Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.