Tagged With instinct

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.

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.

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.