Samsung Instinct Preview

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Update: This preview was written based on limited experience with this device. A much more in-depth version, based on extensive use of this model, is now available: Samsung Instinct Review

Last week, Sprint announced the Samsung Instinct, an upcoming device that has clearly been designed to go head-to-head with the Apple iPhone.

It’s not going to be what many people consider a smartphone, but it will still offer many of the features smartphone buyers are looking for, like a web browser, EV-DO Rev. A, email, GPS receiver, and more.

Samsung was demonstrating the Instinct at CTIA last week, and I was there to capture a video demonstration:

An Overview of the Samsung Instinct

The Samsung Instinct will be based around a 3.1-inch, 240-by-432-pixel touchscreen. This will include tactile feedback, called haptics, which will allow the virtual QWERTY keypad to feel a little more like a real one.

Samsung Instinct

(view large image)

I found this device’s keyboard to be remarkably easy to use. On first picking it up for the first time, I was able to type out a test sentence at high speed with only one mistake.

This will be Sprint’s first consumer-centric phone with EV-DO Rev A, the new faster version of this 3G cellular-wireless technology.  To take advantage of this, it will include an advanced web browser, access business or personal email, and allow users to listen to commercial-free radio or watch streaming TV.

Sprint will even allow this phone to function as a wireless modem for a laptop. 

In my brief testing, I found the browser to be fairly impressive, especially for a featurephone like the Instinct. It will offer portrait and landscape support,  and be able to reformat pages for its smaller screen. Samsung even added a cool trick: holding down the camera button and moving the device will let you scroll around in a web page, with the camera being used to determine how much the phone is being tilted.

It will come with a built-in GPS receiver, and be capable of giving users turn-by-turn directions.

Other features will include a 2.0 megapixel camera with camcorder, microSD memory card slot with SDHC support, and stereo Bluetooth 2.0.

Overall, this product will be 4.6 inches by 2.2 inches by 0.5 inches, and 4.4 ounces.

Sprint says the Samsung Instinct will be available in June. Pricing has not yet been determined.

UPDATE (6/20/08)

The Instinct has been released. It costs $130 with a two-year contract and a $100 mail-in rebate.

It is available on, in Sprint retail stores and Best Buy stores, or by calling 1-800-SPRINT1.

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Thanks to Kevin O’Brien for shooting the video.




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