Samsung Instinct HD Review

Introduction and Design

The Instinct family now has its third member, the Samsung Instinct HD.   Unlike the s30, the HD is a true upgrade from the original, and what upgrades there are As the name indicates, the new Instinct is capable of recording HD videos, a first for the US market. The camera is up to 5 megapixels, the HVGA display now sports 16 million colors and the orientation can easily be switched thanks to the accelerometer. The Instinct HD is the first non-Windows Mobile phone to use the Opera Mobile browser, and for those without 3G, Wi-Fi is available. The Instinct HD is a serious upgrade, but Sprint’s lineup has been upgraded as well. Can the Instinct HD compete with the likes of the Pre and Hero?
Included in the box you’ll find:

•    Li-Ion battery
•    microUSB AC adapter
•    USB data cable
•    4GB microSDHC card
•    Stereo headset


The Instinct HD shares many design elements of the original and the s30, yet it is unique in its own way. The front of the phone still sports the large 3.2” display and you’ll find the familiar Back, Home and Phone buttons at the bottom. Now only the buttons that can be used light up, as opposed to having them all lit as was the case before. The display is now capacitive where previously it was resistive.  It is noticeably more responsive than before and still offers haptic feedback when pressed.  It does not support multitouch and is not as responsive as the Palm Pre, and in fact it was not immediately apparent to us that it was capacitive.  The Instinct and Instinct s30 both featured 240x432, 262k color displays but the HD is significantly better with a resolution of 320x480 and 16 million colors. It is extremely vibrant, and the light sensor now automatically adjusts the brightness to the current lighting conditions.

You can compare the Samsung Instinct HD with many other phones using our Size Vizualization Tool.

The overall dimensions are slightly larger than the previous versions, but like the s30 the rounding of the edges makes it feel smaller than it is. The phone feels great in your hand; the weight is just right and the slightly added width makes it comfortable to hold the phone.

The phone has silver trim around it and the back has been given a very subtle blue shade. Along the left side you find the volume rocker and Speech to Action button. On the right is the microUSB charging and data port, TV out port and camera key. Along the top is the 3.5mm audio jack and the power button. The 5MP shooter is very prominently displayed on the back above the LED flash. There is a speaker on the bottom, a change from the previous two iterations which had the speaker on the earpiece.

We’ve always been impressed by the design of the Instinct, but the HD takes it to the next level.  The buttons offer plenty of feedback, the display is responsive and easy to read in direct sunlight and the in-hand feel is very good. It is a well-built phone and we would be very happy to carry it in our pocket.

Samsung Instinct HD 360 Degrees View:

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