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Review: Samsung Instinct

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Jun 13, 2008, 10:57 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Samsung and Sprint break out the touch screen Instinct to combat the swelling ranks of touch devices. Does it compare to the competition? With video tour.

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The Samsung Instinct is Sprint's flagship media phone for 2008. While it bears a striking resemblance to you-know-what, it is different in many ways. It does almost all that you can ask of a media phone and packages it in a sleek, touch-based slab.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.


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Jun 16, 2008, 1:32 PM

Possibly a good phone, but Sprint will screw it up!

There's no way this will work right when they first release it. I have bought the Razr2 and the Touch within a week of release, and both of them have been garbage. I ended up returning the Razr2 twice due to software glitches. My Touch still doesn't officially have GPS or EVDO Rev. A on it. Sprint will do the same thing it has done previously, which is release the phone to get something to market, and then promise a firmware update in six months, which is exactly what they did with the Touch. I am still waiting for the update. Most of their network isn't even on EVDO yet either, which makes most of the advanced features useless.

I am seriously considering ditching Sprint. They used to have the best new phones of any carrier, but no...
Correct me if I am wrong, but, are firmware and revision(updates) are up to the manufacturer, not the carrier. Feel free to correct me.
IF I'm not mistaken software is the manufacturer firmware it the carrier. Also, the Instinct is the equivalent to a franchise player I doubt they will send it down the same route as the RAZR or any other device. That would be suicide. From what I've l...
Actually, most of their network does have EVDO Rev. A. If you live within the metropolitan areas of your city or town then there is EVDO Rev. A. Its backwards compatible within CDMA because its the same technology unlike Cingular that has to create ...
You need to do a little more research, Sprint has the largest mobile broadband network!
as far as the 2MP cam your right but sprint doescan a phone with a auto focus cam its the sanyo M1 😁

Jun 23, 2008, 7:10 AM

Instinct Modem NAI disable?

um. why?

Jun 23, 2008, 1:14 PM

Wrong about messaging you can do it in pictoral view...

there is a button you can hit to turn the keybord vertical instead of horizontal... so that you may do one handed texting... i sell phones for sprint and its sad that i refer alot of constermers who want to compare phones to your website when you have inacurate descriptions of the instinct.... unbelievable
How bout spell check bro... πŸ˜•

Jun 25, 2008, 5:34 AM

Security Features for Touch Phones

I've just purchased the Instinct and I'm shocked that the security is so lame. Please help me. Touch phones only allow you to lock the complete phone or have your information openly accessible? WTF!!!! So if my phone is lost or my girlfriend sees my phone which this phone is so attractive you are gonna want to play with it. My contacts, text messages, pics, and every personal info is exposed to the public. I would expect samsung, apple, blackberry and any other high end phone to have better security functions. This alone will make me return this phone. Am I over exagerating? I feel its a principle. You pay for something and input all of your confidential info and either the phone is completely locked or completely open.

Jun 15, 2008, 12:34 PM

Instinct = Failure upon Arrival

Let's see, near-unusable touch screen (I used a final production model and found it to be similar, though much better than the terrible Glyde) , sloppy web browser, erratic call quality (Even CNet said so).

I know of a much nicer touch screen phone for that price on a much nicer network. I wonder who honestly would purchase the Instinct over its *ahem* competition.
Where did you get the final version from? πŸ™„
The phone is not released, therefore you do not have a "FINAL" version, and therefore can not comment on it. DONE.
Do us a favor and go back to your Toshiba.

People may not remember you, but I sure do. You were banned from every website you frequented for spouting Apple and Toshiba garbage.

So funny.
You are full of crap, you do not have "access" to things others don't. Why make up BS?... Did you have a bad child life or something?
Adding to what monkeyracer said, he has no idea of what any of us have access to. It has also come to light that bluecoyote has lied on mmany other blogs and has been banned from those blogs.
I don't doubt that you have access through the phone through Samsung. I have a friend that works for Sanyo and had the phone that I have long before it was out so that he could test it. I've also had some Samsung phones in the past and wasn't comple...

Jun 17, 2008, 9:41 PM

Does Not Sync With Outlook????? MAJOR MAJOR MISTAKE!!!

I know this has been mentioned before, but how could Sprint/Samsung release a phone like this in 2008 and not give it the ability to sync with Outlook?

There is no excuse or no reason for this omission!!!!

I don't care what Sprint/Samsung say about this not being a phone for business users...that it is for "consumers". Why not have a bigger vision (such as Apple) and make it for ALL MARKET SEGMENTS of the cell phone industry?

because it would be redundant.

There's the treo the centro, the curve, pearl, and 8830, touch, mogul, ace, and 700wx, that's 9 phones that sync with outlook. Do we really need another one?

There's no such thing as an "ALL MARKET SEGMENTS" phone....
To my understanding it does sync with outlook, it comes with software and a USB cable.
surprise surprise ... PS screwed up something else without bothering to read anything about the phone.

The instinct will do the following:
Sync Contact List
Sync Email
imagine that.

Jun 23, 2008, 11:35 AM

The spin stops here!!

The review of the Instinct is obviously bias. I can say that I have used this phone myself and it is not near perfect. I do not believe any phones is. Not even the "amazing" Iphone. The web browser I admit is terrible. Sprint tried you have to give them a little credit. The rest of the phone is an obvious winner in my book. I will admit that this phone and the buzz around it does not compare to that generated by iphone 3g. Sprint is once again demonstrating how terrible their marketing is. They have adds here and there but they need to step it up a notch. They really have something here with this phone. I am sometimes amazed how a company with one of the best data and voice networks manages to do so terrible. Sprint and Dan will hopefully t...

Jun 16, 2008, 6:48 PM

There's no problems with the touchscreen, just the reviewer.

I viewed the youtube video three times now. Here are my notes:

Times when the touch screen didn't respond as expected:

1. Speakerphone while in call.

2. Done key after call

3. Eye logo that brings up the right side menu in web

4. While trying to tap "Alaska" in music player.

out of the 8+ minute video, you missed four key presses. *note that I didn't say "the phone failed to register 4 key presses."

In the instance in situation 1, If you had peered into the included user manual, you would have noticed that to activate the speakerphone, you would slide the speaker icon to the left over the word "on." Attribute to user error (not saying that this wouldn't be a common mistake, but it is in the user guide.)

In situation 2...
To add to this,
I don't expect that more than 3% of users will actually open their user guides, but I would expect that of a person who runs a mobile phone website.
So let me get this straight: the user tries to tap something that he should slide, which you acknowledge may be "a common mistake." You suggest that he should have looked in the manual, even though you also say you wouldn't expect more than a small pe...
Sprint Speed

Jun 21, 2008, 11:26 PM

Phonearena Gives the Instinct a better review also CNET

😒 😒 😒 πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€ Everyone seems to be upset since this phone came from Sprint if any other provider released this phone you wouldn't hear the fan boys whining. I think Sprint got it this time Simply Everything plans speak for themselves. Dan is known for being creative look how he turned AT&T around years ago. JUST WAIT AND SEE WHAT DAN THROWS AT THE MARKET IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS LOOK OUT!!! πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€ πŸ‘€ 🀨 🀨 🀨 😲 😲 😲

Jun 15, 2008, 10:24 AM

Real review

http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phones/samsung-instinct ... »
Now that's a real review. Phonescoop you have a bad unit get it together.
Did you forget your other comment?...

I disagree- I think PhoneScoop was very objective with their tests and didn't dwell on the fact it was an iPhone competitor much (given Sprint's massive ad campaign touting it as such.)

As I see it, demand will out pace supply for the first 90-days. In that time, informed shoppers will learn the Instinct's true performance characteristics, and its feature set. From what I have seen, it is a more realistic handset to carry than the ...

Jun 19, 2008, 2:51 PM

no instant messaging?

is there a way to get instant messaging on this phone? i like this phone but im also looking at the palm centro which does have instant messaging...any thoughts?
It's really just a matter of time for developers to release the IM programs.

Jun 17, 2008, 3:07 PM

To all the haters, if you haven't tried it, you can't say anything about it.

There are 1200+ people who have been using this phone as a training device for the past couple weeks, and I'm sure all 1200+ would disagree with some things in the review. If you haven't used it yet, then you do not have any personal experience, and your comments are now speculation, probably laced with bias, and have no merit.
As for the reviewer, I can not state it enough until they change the review:

Learn how to use the device before you bash it for your own misgivings.

I've proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reviewer was unable to perform certain actions because he has bad aim or wasn't doing what the software was designed to do. Because of this, he has given the phone a bad review. This is an injustice. If they want t...
Rich and Eric know how to use the device. We get you don't agree. Going on and on and acting all hyper spastic is know way to solidify your opinion.

Jun 21, 2008, 10:22 AM

Importing pictures take with a digital camera

How does the Instinct compare to the IPod Touch or IPhone when it comes to the quality of pictures downloaded from a PC. I'm not talking about pictures taken from the Instinct's camera.

Jun 19, 2008, 1:38 PM

Is IMAP with SSL supported?

Is IMAP4 supported by the email client app of the Instinct? Can it sync with MS Outlook contact and calendar?
Thanks in advance.
IMAP with SSL is supported,

Outlook contacts yes, but not calendar as of right now, but will be soon.

Jun 20, 2008, 3:05 AM

For those considering...

Check out this review by Walt Mossberg. It might be just an opinion by at least its by someone who has used the phone! Follow the link:

http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20080612/samsungs-instin ... »

Jun 20, 2008, 12:59 AM

kudos to eric

for playing All Bodies by BTBAM 😁 in the review! amazing band... sooo is this phone worth that economic stimiulus check and a 75 upgrade?

Jun 19, 2008, 9:07 PM

I have the instinct....it is amazing

I have had the phone all afternoon and love it so far. I have had no problems with the touch screen or applications running. I have noticed that the web browsing is somewhat limited and difficult to use with the size of the screen. But, the phones interface and functionality is nothing short of outstanding. And yes, I had an iphone at one time. The iphones internet is a little better, but its advantage is limited to that. The instinct is my choice.
Eric M. Zeman

Jun 16, 2008, 1:28 PM

Our Review Unit was FINAL Hardware and FINAL Software

Just to clear things up, the review unit we have on hand from Sprint/Samsung is DEFINATELY final hardware and final software.

It is not defective, it is a production unit that met Samsung/Sprint QA before shipping.

We even updated the software during the review process to be sure we had the latest version.
Thank you for an honest review. I wish people would just accept it may not be the greatest phone ever, contrary to what Sprint is saying.
There are know issues with the web browser and music store, among others,that are being addressed and are going to be updated OTA (over the air) by release date. So while yes you did have the final hardware, you do not have the latest software. In f...
"blockquote>We even updated the software during the review process to be sure we had the latest version."

That would mean you in fact did not have the final version. Also as lvillecards13 pointed out visual voicemail was not operable, I believe i...
Please do us all a favor and open up the back. What is the two digit dot two digit (xx.xx) code on your device?

If it is anything other than 08.06 then it is NOT by any means whatsoever a "final" version.

No way to dispute this, I'm sorry you a...
Actually, a friend of mine works at the Sprint store and he says that the "final" launch firmware won't be available until just before the phone launches which be today or tomorrow. Also, the demo units that they sent out to editors and such are hard...
Thank you for the review. I can't believe how fired up people are getting about it. I have never made a buying decision based on a website review and if you do then that's your fault. If it's anything like the touch screen on the Glyde it will be a b...
Some of these folks are so bitter. Pay them no mind PhoneScoop and keep up the good work.

Jun 15, 2008, 11:41 PM

Here's an idea: Think for yourself!

If you think you might like this phone, then go down to your local store once it's released and try it.

If you are on the fence, go try the phone out in the store.

To anyone who wants to corroborate what the reveiwer or any detracted posted, please, try it for your self before you bash it. Too bad you'll have to wait a couple more days to do so.

Ten people online can say that a big heap of dog crap tastes like apple pie, but until you try it yourself, you will never know.

I think the phone is awesome. I'm keeping my Treo though, because I don't need a music phone, I need a PDA.

Make your OWN opinions about the phone rather than the BS on this and other forums and reviews.
Eric M. Zeman

Jun 16, 2008, 1:34 PM

A Few Words On Bias...

Sorry, guys, but I am not going to stand to be called biased.

I am not loyal to one manufacturer, nor one carrier. I have no emotional ties to any device or service.

Each and every review we perform of phones is based on facts that arise during our experience with the phones we test. When we spot something good, we point it out, when we spot something bad, we call it out, too.

A lot of you are complaining that we compared the Instinct to the iPhone. Sprint positioned this device as an iPhone competitor, so using the iPhone as a basis for comparison is entirely natural.

You might want to remember that we were hard on Apple for the faults that the iPhone has. It has many.

No device, no manufacturer, no carrier has a perfect...
Heres the thing, phonescoop called the Instinct an iphone-clone which one can miscue as trying to be like something else in actuality it is not, that alone shows bias especially since there is nothing in Sprints marketing that labels it a clone of a...
Is it possible to accept that maybe, just mayybe, this phone did not live up to everyones review expectations? I guess it is possible that they got a lemon to review, but if everyone feels so strongly against the review, ignore it and go get your Inst...
"It took several tries to get a response out of the touchscreen."


It took several tries to get a response out of the touchscreen... not at all like the iPhone, which responded right away."
You did not have to add this thread. The problem is that Sprint and its employees were banking on this device bringing them from the depths of the Pacific back to land and once you pointed out its deficiencies, the crying began. You know its bad whe...
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