wants needs an iPhone competitor. In a market flooded with notions that sleek and slim smartphones with a rock-solid and intuitive interfaces are the way to go, no carrier can afford to ignore the touchscreen craze that’s sweeping the mobile space. And, Sprint has just announced their own attempt to woo the touchscreen crowd with the Samsung Instinct.
Sprint’s Samsung Instinct wasn’t available at Sprint nor Samsung’s booth for some reason. I had to wait until an evening-event to get my hands on the Samsung Instinct, where Sprint had a handful of reps ready to showcase the new Sprint touchscreen handset.
Packed with a 2 megapixel camera, GPS, FM radio, EVDO Rev. A (the first Rev. A device on Sprint, according to the Sprint rep), 3-inch touchscreen (pressure-based and flush with the face of the device), and microSD card slot, the slim touchscreen offering from Samsung should help Sprint regain (or at least retain) some of its lost customer base. The Samsung Sprint measures a svelte 2.17 x 4.57 x 0.49 inches and tips the scales at a rather solid-feeling but still light 4.4 ounces.
The Samsung Instinct looks and feels much like the Samsung F700 Croix/U940 Glyde, without the sliding keyboard (of course) and without the award-winning Croix interface. The haptic feedback on the Samsung Instinct is the same pseudo-haptic feedback system that Samsung likes to use on their touchscreen handsets – the entire device vibrates with every touchscreen input. The vibration feedback novel at first, but then gets annoying quite quickly.
Overall, the pressure-based touchscreen was nice and firm – there was very little touchscreen “squish.” The display’s flush design helps to keep the Samsung Instinct’s lines clean and smooth, and the LED backlit navigation buttons added a bit of flair to the device. As an iPhone competitor, this is probably as good as it’s going to get for now (on Sprint). Capacitance touchscreen technology would have made the Samsung Instinct a little snazzier, and the UI could use some refinement. But in the end, if you want to get in on the full-body touchscreen craze, and you want to stay with Sprint, the Samsung Instinct is probably your best bet.
Booth reps said that the Samsung Instinct should be launching in June at a price point that is sure “to surprise” us all. I’d put money on the Sprint Samsung Instinct commanding a mid-$200 price tag with new contract.