Hands on with Sprint's Hero and Instinct HD
phone in the US to offer HD video recording, and with an optional HDMI cable content can be displayed on an HDTV. The 5 megapixel camera with flash is a hefty jump up from the original 2MP shooter without. There are proper apps this time around, including the ever-popular Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps. The interface has been slightly reworked for the better, allowing outlets like weather.com and CNN to deliver content straight to the homescreen. The screen has been upgraded to 3.2" at 320x480 and is much crisper, and an accelerometer lets the user switch to landscape easily. WiFi has been added for those of you who don't live in 3G areas, and the HD marks the first time we've seen the Opera Mobile browser outside of Windows Mobile. All in all, we're really impressed with the upgrades...just not enough to justify the $250 pricetag.
European GSM unit, but it has undergone a complete visual makeover. Gone is the distinctive chin, a huge plus in our book, and the the hard lines have been replaced for hand-caressing curves. The buttons have also been mercifully rearranged to be more symmetrical. We wouldn't have minded seeing a dash of color, but the silver-on-gray looks better than it sounds, and the phone feels wonderful in your hands. As for features, Sprint has left the device pretty much alone. Their TV, NFL, NASCAR and navigation apps come preloaded, and visual voicemail has been thankfully included. Beyond that it is the same Sense UI-running Android beast that it was when we first took a look at it. Everything we loved is still there, and the major lag issue seems to be fixed, though some minor lag is still present at times.
So let's review Sprint's lineup again. Best (only) webOS device, check. Best BlackBerry, check. Best Windows Mobile device, check. Best Android device, check. Best (overpriced) dumbphone, check. Best plans, check. Can you hear them now? Check back for a full review of both units soon!
Samsung Instinct HD Specifications
HTC Hero CDMA Specifications
*images of the Hero have been shot with the Instinct HD, and vice versa. Images of both have been shot with our normal camera.