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CTIA 2008 - Live Report

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Samsung Instinct

CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report
Samsung Instinct
Samsung Instinct

Samsung Instinct

Like all recent full touch-screen phones released on the market, the Instinct tries to copy or resemble in appearance the iPhone. Compared to the Apple's product, it has very similar dimensions, with the major difference being that is narrower. The nowadays popular metal trim around the front edge is present here also. The back side features only the 2.0 mega pixel camera. The left side houses the volume rocker and the charger/data port, while on the right is the camera dedicated key, speakerphone/voice activated commands and the microSD slot. At the top are located the display lock key and a 3.5mm headset jack.

Unlike the iPhone, which has only one button, the Instinct features three whole ones: back, home and call keys. This makes navigation though menus a lot easier and leave more screen real-estate for other functionality.

Starting with an actual interface, it features four tabs. The first one is Favs and it is taken from other Sprint phones. It is fully customizable and can contain shortcuts to specific functionality, application or contact. A very neat feature is how just by holding down one it could be moved up or down in the list, thus allowing very Web 2.0 like feeling.

CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report

The second tab is the MAIN, where you can find messaging, navigation, calendar and settings. The third tab has links to the music player, TV, camera and so forth. The last tab is with links to the Web – the actual browser, Live Search, Weather, News etc.

The short tests we ran on the Web browser brought us to the following conclusion – it is just great! Phone Arena page loaded a little bit slow, but that could be due to the actual phone or the current state of the network. All of the Instincts at the show are early prototypes, so we saw a bunch of the usual crashes and reboots. The functionality included in the Web browser is not limited just to simple very good rendering of the webpages. Three levels of zoom are present (0.5x, 1x, 2x), mobile or desktop optimized viewing as well as panning around the page, simply by tilting the Instinct (accomplished by using the camera, instead of accelerometer).

CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report
CTIA 2008 - Live Report


Messaging
What we slightly disliked was that when entering a text message, the phone defaulted to landscape mode always. This of course requires rotation of the whole device every time you want to type a message. Once the display is rotated, there is an option for going back to portrait mode, but the next time you want to write another message, it defaults to landscape again. We hope there will be an option to permanently select portrait mode.

To be completely honest, this really is the first phone after the iPhone which can be considered its competitor. The whole UI (when working on the test models) is just great – very intuitive, very easy to use, very fast, very iPhone like. Given the presence of high speed Rev.A data and GPS navigation, the great UI and browser, this will definitely become a huge hit for Sprint!


CTIA: Hands-on with Samsung Instinct





Samsung Access

Samsung Access is one of the phones in the AT&T line of MediaFlo mobile TV service. Unlike the higher-end LG Vu, the Access is more of a low-midrange device.

The landscape oriented 2.3" QVGA display is hands-down gorgeous! Once we started the TV service, all we just wanted was to grab a beer and sit down and watch! If you are looking for the antenna (like we did), you will not find one as unlike the Vu, it is internal only. Still, the image quality was great.

Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access

Having a landscape display required the whole device to be wider compared to a regular phone. Still, it was quite comfortable to hold!

The front design of the Access is done in such a way, so the first time you glance at it, it seems like an open slider. This is because the top half, with the screen and D-pad below it, are separated from the rest of the keypad. The whole back, sides have soft touch feel to them, while most of the front surface is highly glossy.

Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access
Samsung Access

The UI theme is the standard seen in AT&T Samsungs. The reactions of the UI were fast. We gave the browser a try and to one point it seemed like PA's home page will load properly, but right then we got the dreaded "Page too large. Content may not be displayed properly". Still, lighter full HTML pages should display OK.

Our first impressions from the Access are very positive! AT&T is obviously targeting unpretentious customers who do not care so much about the whole "touch" experience and higher price tag of the Vu, but still want to take advantage of the mobile TV service!

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