CTIA 2009: Live Report

Samsung Instinct S30 (Sprint)

Let’s us start by saying “Thank you” to the anonymous tipster for the heads up about the official name of the new versions of the Instinct. When the rumors about it started to float around, most people were calling it the Instinct Mini, which turned out to be far from the correct name. We came out with an exclusive news post indicating the correct name, the Instinct S30 a month ago.

The phone is definitely not a successor to the original Instinct, but is rather a different version. The size is almost the same, while the round- edges make it look far more up-to-date. It definitely looks sleeker, but this is hardly a reason to go for it instead of its predecessor. The in-hand feel and build quality are very good indeed.

The specs are practically the same, with the main difference being the lack of EV-DO Rev.A. We cannot think of any good reason as to why this has been done, except for nice marketing people getting in the way of progress. If the S30 does have Rev.A, why would people still opt for the original Instinct? The S30 also has increased maximum memory card capacity of up to 32GB (from 16GB).

The other differences are software updates.The S30 comes preloaded with Opera Mini 4.2, calendar synchronization and instant messaging right out of the box.

The developer community will be pleased (and eventually the consumers) to hear about the new Java APIs, which allow them to create better applications. The original Instinct is to get OTA and will eventually support them as well.

Despite considered merely prototypes, the units we have tested during the expo performed admirably. The interface is snappy and pretty much the same as on the first Instinct.

In a nutshell: A better design, but lacks Rev.A.

The Instinct S30 is expected to hit the Sprint stores on April 19th as we figured and will cost $129.99 after a $70 instant discount, a $100 mail-in rebate, and your signature on a two-year pact.

Samsung Instinct S30 Specifications

Samsung Propel Pro (AT&T)

It seems that adding a “Pro” to a popular model name seems to be all the rage these days – the Touch Pro from HTC, Matrix Pro from Pantech and now, the Propel Pro from Samsung. The second Propel has the same slide-to-have-a –QWERTY form-factor as the texting phone, but its design language has a more “professional” feel to it, with metal like finish and color. The display is 2.55” instead of 2.2 in the non-smart phone and features a not so stunning resolution of 320x320, which should be OK for reading emails. On the other hand navigation keys are smaller, although there is plenty of space to have been done as large as on the previous Propel. The joystick is not really our cup of tea and we would rather it had a standard D-pad.

Although wider than the average phone, the Propel Pro is rather narrow for a full QWERTY handset. Of course, this comes at the price of smaller keys, but we are happy to find out they are not awfully implemented, and typing feels comfy enough.

This is not the case with the screen though; in order to give it that glossy appearance when off, Samsung has used some “crappy” glass that simply loves reflections and it is rather hard to discern the picture even indoors, we can´t quite figure what using it on a bright sunny day would be like..

All told, we are pleased with the Propel Pro. It is a decent smart phone. We are looking forward to reviewing it!

Samsung Propel Pro Specifications

Samsung Impression (AT&T)

Those who enjoy making memorable impressions on others pulling all the rage gadgets out of their pockets should be on the look for the Impression. The device will be the first carrier dependent device to hit the US market that features AMOLED display, in fact it is an OLED technology that delivers greater contrast and colors depth alongside of the regular TFT displays. The Samsung OMNIA HD, announced at the MWC, utilizes the same screen technology, but its quality is far better. Still, we are happy as puppies to see AMOLED going mainstream.

With its 5.30 oz. The Impression is a little bit overweighed for our taste, , but holding it in your hand it feels solid. The main sales pitch of the device will be the mix of a large a 3.2 touch-screen and full fledged QWERTY keyboard for those prone to texting to excess.

As seen in the pictures we have posted, the keys are large, spaced out and offer good tactile feedback – the chatter’s dream.

The interface features Samsung´s latest version of the TouchWiz, which looks pretty much the same as the previous one.

All told, the Impression is nothing really out of this world, but overall a great offer from Samsung and AT&T. Currently, the only touch-screen, full fledged QWERTY devices being offered by the carrier are the smartphones FUZE, EPIX and Centro.

Samsung Impression Specifications

Samsung Mondi

Don’t ask what the Mondi is about – like the Advantage X7510 and the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, it is not a phone replacement (actually, it doesn’t even have a phone module at all) but is a personal internet handheld device. It is a WiMax gismo that utilizes Clearwire’s Clear service, but has also got Wi-Fi functionality to allow use local hot spots. Despite a Windows Mobile Professional device, it comes with a preloaded Opera Mobile 9.5 for a hassle free user-friendly internet browsing. The software pack includes Route 66 for GPS navigation, Fring multi-IM client and Gypsii. Still, being a Windows Mobile device, lots of different apps can be downloaded later.

We are not huge fans of the Mondi idea, as its functionality is far from being superior to any WM professional smart phone, the only thing going for it is its display and keyboard are bigger. Since it is rather huge, you cannot simply carry it around in your pocket and you better put it onto a table if you feel like typing, well, not quite what we think a mobile device should be like.

Samsung Magnet (AT&T)

Your teen kid has been after you for a BlackBerry? Well, “How about chatting on a different device? Why don´t you get them a Magnet instead? With its cool black over orange color theme and a patter on the Back (very Rumor-ish). It doesn’t have the most handy keyboard out there, because it is rather small, but Magnet is a very pocket friendly handset. Unfortunately, Samsung has only showcased early prototypes (some keys didn’t even work at all) so we won’t comment on its quality. Just keep in mind we have never been big with the D-pad design. Magnet will most probably fail to become a magnet to hi-tech junkies, but may come to be a decent rival to the Pantech Slate.

Samsung Magnet Preliminary Specifications

Samsung Finesse (MetroPCS)

And the winner is… MetroPCS! That’s right – the slim touch-sensitive Samsung Finesse will go to MetroPCS users. The handset feels really nice in your hand and it is obvious that Samsung has not gridged every cent when it comes to quality materials here. In addition, a rubber-like coating has been used for the back to ensure a better grip. The touch screen left us with quite positive impressions, the image quality is stunning.

The only thing that bothers us is that it takes some time to respond to menu commands. However, what we saw here is a far cry from a retail unit so we are unwilling to jump to any conclusions about the otherwise nice interface.

Samsung Finesse Specifications

Samsung Glyde Refresh (Verizon)

Remember the Samsung Glyde that came out almost a year ago? Most of the people, including us, have had issues with the capacitive touchscreen, but finally a new version of the phone has hits the shelves, by Verizon Wireless. Just like the Versa and Dare, it has got a resistive display and we are happy as clams to report that it is very responsive with only very light touches being  unrecognized. Moreover, the new Glyde also comes with an extra home screen shortcut launcher– press the icon on your right and it will take you to the shortcuts menu, where up to 9 icons can be placed. You can choose any shortcut on the Widget-like launcher.

Neither Verizon Wireless nor Samsung have announced this phone officially yet. As far as we know, Big Red will carry on with the old ones until they have cleaned out their stockpile before actually getting around  to the refreshed version. If you are on the lookout for  a Glyde, we advise that you make sure you are getting the new model.

Samsung Glyde Specifications | Review



1. rehnhart

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 27, 2009

You guys are the only ones actually covering this today, all the other sites are MIA. Hope to hear some good Android news, keep it going guys.

2. SDAlpha1510

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 09, 2009

I noticed that as well. I am really hoping for some Verizon phones to show up. Coverages is great, keep it up.

3. rehnhart

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 27, 2009

Yeah, come on Big Red, show us something new besides your "new" app store and The Hub. I'm looking for some new phones.

4. rehnhart

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 27, 2009

Is CTIA over, I haven't seen an update in hours. Hello. Hello. Anybody home?

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