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printed July 24, 2014
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Review: Samsung Instinct S30

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Touch  

Screen

I was really hoping to see some improvement with the S30's screen compared to the original Instinct, and am sorry to report none. It definitely ranks as "good", but colors just look off a bit. I had a hard time getting real, true whites out of the device, even after adjusting everything I could about the display. Web pages looked grey, not white. Also, the S30 suffers from the same fuzzy issue that the 08 model did. Icons, images and text just don't appear crystal sharp. There's no plainer way to say it. Outdoor readability, however, is better.

Signal

The S30 showed a massive improvement in signal strength. As I traveled with it throughout the metro NYC area, the signal didn't vary too much. It held into signal in my basement (a known Sprint dead zone) and also survived the NJ vault test (the local ShopRite). I was able to make/receive calls in the vault with no problem. In general, I didn't miss any calls with the S30. Signal strength never played a role in making/receiving calls, nor did it effect data performance.

Sound

Call quality was a bit sketchy. I was able to ramp up the volume of the earpiece to eardrum-threatening levels, but that did nothing to improve how callers sounded. There was a lot of static and noise. You're not going to have any problems hearing people (via the earpiece or the speakerphone) even in noisy environments, but the static issues are a real problem. Ringers can be set nice and loud, no problems there. You won't miss calls if you have the ringer set high.

Battery

I've only had the Instinct for a week, but I was still able to get some decent battery life out of it. It arrived with a 60% charge. I drained the battery in just two days of use. After charging it once over night, it lasted 4 days with regular use.

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