Samsung Instinct HD Review

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:



12. douchka

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 12, 2010

Is it me or Phonearena just rates Sprint phones above 8, and any other carrier 8 or below? Same way always rates ATT's phones way above average and any other carrier phone average or below? Must have something to do with advertising. I mean most of the advertisement on here are sprint ones... Just saying

5. lovinlissa1984

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 29, 2009

also for those that dont know the battery life on the first batch of phones is terrible also for now you can get the phone at Best buy for 199.99 after instant rebates..and i can imagine that when the phone comes out officially on sprint it will be a little cheaper, tho with a mail in rebate. Dale

9. thunder18

Posts: 156; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

Yeah, I'm kind of wondering how they got their battery life that high. I want a tester phone!

3. lovinlissa1984

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 29, 2009

"Unfortunately it does not have the slick panoramic mode found on many newer Samsungs, including Sprint’s Reclaim." The phone does have a feature that will stitch 4 photos together( just in case you wre wondering)

4. mr. anderson

Posts: 92; Member since: Apr 16, 2009

i havent tried the instinct hd, but i have used the omnia II and it takes 8 or 10 shots in succession, basically creating a 270* view. im not sure how much id use it, but it is a very cool feature and youd think with such a camera-centric phone theyd include s/w theyve already written

6. lovinlissa1984

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 29, 2009

it does have a multi-shot capability but im not sure of the amount of photos Dale

7. thunder18

Posts: 156; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

The multi-shot mode allows for 3, 5 or 10 pics to be taken in quick succession.

10. lovinlissa1984

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 29, 2009

Thank you for clarifying thunder

1. acipollo

Posts: 34; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

The screen is not resistive, it capacitive. Just because it does not have multi-touch, people seem to think that. Try using a stylus or a fingernail on it and it wont work.

2. lovinlissa1984

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 29, 2009


8. thunder18

Posts: 156; Member since: Aug 06, 2009

Trust me they did. Anyway, the did mention first off that it was not immediately apparent to them that it was capacitive. They're not saying that it's not. I think a lot of that has to do with the UI lag after pressing the home back and call key. If you turn of least on mine, there is a small but noticeable lag when pressing each one which you might feel is alleviated by pressing the button harder/longer. However, in testing you will find that if you feather touch those same keys and just wait, the UI will change screens like it's supposed to.

11. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

Yes, the screen is indeed capacitive. We are sorry for the mistake we accidentally did in the beginning.
Instinct HD
  • Display 3.2 inches
    480 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
  • Storage , microSDHC
  • Battery 1440 mAh

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