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Review: Samsung Instinct

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Touch Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

Similar to the iPhone, the process of making simple calls can become rather involved. Let your finger on the almighty Phone button, and rather than launch a dial-pad, you jump to the calling menu. The home screen is a list of your speed dials, just like the iPhone's. You can add to these at will, as well as delete them. This page corresponds to the Speed Dial button on the bottom of the phone. There are three other buttons: Contacts, History and Dialer.

Tapping any of your speed dials will call them. There is also a little arrow on the far right of each speed dial. Tap that, and the phone will open up that contact's main information page, where you can choose actions other than placing phone's calls.

Since there are no send/end keys, the History button is the only way to get to your calling history. One nice touch about the history is that all the calls are grouped by date. There is a separator that delineates each day, so you can see how many calls you received on a given day. Tapping any of the calls will automatically call that number. If you want to do something else with that number, such as save it, you have to tap the arrow on the right side of the contact. If you do this, you can choose to see all the calls placed to/from that number. I happen to like that feature.

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As with the iPhone, you have to be careful on this page. Accidentally hitting the screen can initiate a call when you don't intend to. This can lead to embarrassment and awkwardness, depending on who you accidentally call. You can also scroll up and down with your finger. Above the call list is a little trash can. If you want to delete some of your call records, you have to hit the trash can button. This will let you delete all your calls, or select specific calls to delete.

The Dialer button brings you to a software keypad. The numbers are ginormous, so it is easy to dial (as long as you don't have any mishaps with the touch screen). Above the touch screen is a huge green Talk button. Once you've dialed, hit that big ole button to place the call. On this page, you can also save numbers to your contacts list, set up your voicemail, or set up a pause for dialing extensions.

With a call in progress, you have a a nice big picture of the person you're calling, along with several options. Directly below the caller ID picture is a red End Call button. To hang up the phone, you have to slide it sideways. Below that button is a mute button, speakerphone button, add a call button, as well as links to your contacts and the dialer. One you get used to the entire process, it speeds up, but calling does take longer than it would with phones with traditional keypads because you have to take actions to reach your speed dials or the dialpad.

As for the contacts, in the Contacts page, it is as simple as hitting the + button to add a contact. The contact application lets you enter names, numbers, emails, street addresses, URLs, memos and set a ringtone or picture ID. If you have a mobile number set for a contact, a little bubble appears next to the mobile number. Tapping it will initiate a text message. There is no way to search the contacts application, so if you have a lot of names stored in your phone, you have to scroll to find them.

The annoying thing here is that any time you need to enter text information for your contacts, the phone automatically reorients itself sideways for you to use the QWERTY keyboard. If you have a lot of information to load into a contact, the back and forth and constant rotating of the phone is pure hell.

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