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Review: Samsung Instinct

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Touch Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

Messaging is pretty straight-forward. Since you can load the messaging application into your Favorites list, it is easy to get started. Hit the messaging application and it automatically brings up a list of all your SMS conversations, just like the iPhone. It allows for threaded messaging, so all your conversations are clustered by contact. Opening up a conversation gives you access to all the SMS messages sent back and forth. Just as with the call log, it groups messages into days. Messages are color coded, so you know which ones you sent, versus which ones you received.

In the messaging application home screen, there are two software buttons at the bottom of the screen. The left one will start a brand new text message, the right one will start a brand new picture message. The MMS messages are formatted very much like emails, and you can send them to multiple people, as well as insert voice memos and place subject lines in the message. The process is a no-brainer.

A few words about the software QWERTY keyboard. It is always oriented in the landscape mode. This means the buttons can be somewhat bigger. The problems with the software keyboard are related to the touch technology. Presses that don't work, false positives and other feedback issues make for frustrating typing. One thing that is maddening is the delete button. It is placed way up at the top of the screen. Below it is a button that gets rid of the keyboard. Pushing the delete button rather than that keyboard buttons is nearly impossible. Sprint and Instinct need to seriously consider placing the delete key, which is needed often because of the failings of the touch screen.

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You can also switch the keyboard to portrait mode, but it loses the QWERTY layout and switches to a simple ABC configuration. When in this mode, there is also a character recognition software tool. You can use your finger to write letters and the recognition software works pretty well at figuring out what you mean to type.

The email application has all the software aboard so you can easily configure email accounts with providers such as AOL, Gmail, Windows Live Mail, and Yahoo. Once you have them set up, you can set the mail program to auto-retrieve email. This is no push email service, though. One thing I really liked was the ability to add attachments to emails. You have access to your photo library, videos, as well as music files and other documents. These can all be attached to emails and sent from the Instinct. You can also format your email settings to accommodate your time zone, the date format, upgrade the software, and refresh the inbox. The Instinct does not support IM.

Incoming messages will pop up alerts on the Instinct's standby screen. When you unlock it, the first thing you see will be a list of any missed calls or messages you received.

The Instinct also comes with Visual Voicemail. After your inbox is set up, you get a visual record of all your voicemails similar to how they appear on the iPhone. You can listen to the ones that you want, rather than listening to all of them to get to the most recent message.


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