Performance:

We had absolutely no reception problems with the Instinct, though the bars do jump wildly. We could go from 1 bar to full coverage and back down to 1 without even moving, but call quality remained excellent and we never dropped a call. Bars should be taken with a grain of salt anyway, as they are not a true indicator of signal strength. Callers said we sounded as good as we did on the Touch Diamond, which was the best ever. They even said we sounded “pretty good” over Bluetooth, which is a rare compliment. On our end they sounded great as well, voice quality was rich and volume was fine even in a moving car with the windows down.

Battery life, however, was not so stellar. It is rated at an incredibly high 5.75 hours of talk time, but we were only able to manage a bit over 3.5 hours. Just to make sure, we ran the test with both included batteries, but got talk times of 3h32m and 3h41m. For such a feature-rich CDMA phone those numbers are still on the high end, and we were pretty skeptical of the 5.75 hour claim to begin with.

Conclusion:

We came away quite impressed with the Instinct. The touchscreen is responsive, call quality top notch and multimedia suite expansive. Some of the features need more refinement, such as the portrait keypad and music player, but overall Sprint and Samsung should be commended for their ground-up approach to the phone. We have high hopes for both the UI and the forward thinking that went into it.

So, is it worthy of a crown? Absolutely, just not the one it aimed for. It’s a commendable adversary to the iPhone, and indeed outperforms it in many areas, but in the end the Instinct lacks the slickness and wow factor that the iPhone has. We’d be happy to crown it “Best of the Rest” though, and at just $130 see no reason why Sprint users- or anyone who doesn’t want AT&T but wants a feature packed touchscreen phone- wouldn’t go out and buy one today.

Pros

  • Responsive touch screen
  • Great QWERTY keyboard
  • Excellent call quality
  • Easy to use user interface
  • Rev. A data
  • Threaded messaging
  • Live Search/Navigation/Speech-to-Action combo
  • Easy access to the information you want

Cons

  • Portrait keyboard not T9
  • No IM client
  • Issues with music player
  • Poor camera performance

PhoneArena Rating:

7.9

User Rating:

7.5
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