Tagged With instinct
The first rule of dumbphones: They shouldn't cost more than smartphones. This shall not be broken. The second rule of dumbphones, or really all phones: An announcement should be accompanied by useful information about the product. So, Sprint—what the hell?
The Sprint/Samsung S30 'Mini', a presumed colleague of the existing Instinct, well, isn't. Nope, it's the replacement for the current Instinct, and if anything it's slightly larger than its predecessor.
We played with Opera Mini 4.2 on Android yesterday, but it's got one other new platform up its sleeve: the Sprint Instinct. Opera is something we've been waiting for ever since the Instinct's browser totally blew on an otherwise great feature phone (though it's gotten better with the recent 1.1 update). Opera Mini should add some spring in its web-surfing step, since it's reading optimised pages that have been crunched Opera's servers and spat back to your phone. You'll need to sideload it, but if you've got the Instinct, you should give Opera a test drive.
Another talking point for the throaty fake movie announcer in Sprint's occasionally amusing Instinct vs. iPhone schtick: The Instinct now has a Pandora app. However, it'll cost you three bucks a month (like on most phones with Pandora), even though it's free on the iPhone. You can grab it through your Digital Lounge. Comment competition: Somehow spin that into an "Instincts Win" blurb.
The Instinct firmware update BH29 was pushed out over the air (a cool feature in and of itself) a few days ago, with one main purpose: fixing the browser with an entirely new codebase. Lame page rendering and navigation were our biggest problems with the Instinct, so this update is definitely worth exploring. Release notes after the jump.
Back when Sprint's US$100 million shot to the iPhone's nuts kicked off, the Instinct had two big things the iPhone didn't: 3G and GPS. Now, the iPhone's got both of those, making the Instinct a non-contender, right? Not in Instinct vs. iPhone, 3G Redux. We won't spoil it for you, but guess who wins by Sprint's count with a bigger 3G network, turn-by-turn directions, and sprinkles. Yes, sprinkles.
Sprint's best phone, the Instinct got a little bit better today with a firmware update that patches some sniggles. No new features, but this update apparently lubes it up for a big one next month that'll drop in changes to the browser (dear god, make it better), Sprint Nav, TV, Picture Mail—and pretty much everything else on the phone.
Sprint is spending a lot of money in attempts to slay the iPhone and give AT&T a run for their money. And while we may all snicker over how closely their new posterboy the Samsung Instinct resembles the iPhone, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sprint has worked closely with Samsung to put a sleek iPhonesque UI over a pocketable handset that can handle video, stream TV, and offer turn-by-turn GPS.
Despite what we and other media have hinted at, despite what Sprint itself is spending a lot of money trying to convey, the Samsung Instinct is not an iPhone killer. To be sure, Samsung and Sprint borrowed liberally from the iPhone playbook when it came to look and feel. But the comparison itself isn't fair: The iPhone is a software platform that is growing every day, soon to have a host of applications that put it squarely in the smartphone category along with BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile. The Samsung Instinct will never be mistaken for a smartphone. Then what is it? It's the best carrier-centric feature phone I've ever seen, a delight to use for many—though not all—of its intended purposes.
The latest batch of Sprint Instinct vids are mercifully (and smartly) short on the iPhone bashing, instead going for a feature walkthrough/tutorial, kind of like the iPhone's (sorry Sprint). There's five vids showing different features of the phone, though live search is the most worthwhile, where you say what're you looking for, like "pizza" or "McDonald's," and the Instinct tosses up a list of nearby places using GPS, with a map, phone number, etc. It was a little buggy when we saw it back in April, but they've had plenty of time to fix, so we can't wait to check it out soon. All the vids are below.
newVideoPlayer("instinctiphone1_giz.flv", 463, 287,""); Starting May 9th, Sprint will begin a massive, US$100 million marketing campaign aimed straight at the iPhone's nether regions. Stacking its 3G Instinct against the iPhone, Sprint hopes to show that EVDO and GPS make their product way better than anything coming out of Cupertino.
newVideoPlayer("sprintinstinct.flv", 475, 376,""); Samsung Instinct, second pass, this time in a room with real lighting! Besides learning that it'll come out for under US$300, we took another look at the web browser, which we weren't super impressed with earlier, partially because its slick, headlining interface feature—panning through a website by tilting the phone up or down—was brokified. Turns out, the dark discotheque room is what nuked it, since it made it impossible for the camera to detect any movement.
Sprint's Instinct is so special the carrier is holding its own super special event. Unfortunately, it hasn't quite finished baking, so the full feature set wasn't entirely ready to go—we had to visit different "stations" to check out each feature individually to keep us from diving too deep. The iPhone-challenging visual voicemail, for instance, ain't quite live. Plus, it locked up when I was messing around with the music store, and needed a hard reset for the more money shot voice command features, which still didn't quite work (or finding a McDonald's is just too much). And the web browser doesn't, um, touch mobile Safari, at least not in its present state.
Samsung's Instinct may be the best stab at the coveted title of iPhone killah this CTIA. The 3.1-inch touchscreen phone has localised haptic feedback, plus three hard navigation keys. If it sounds familiar, it's because we've seen versions of it before, but only in Korea. Mind you, this is not the LG Prada-ripoff Samsung F480, which had a much smaller touchscreen.