The Samsung Instinct – Quirky But Hip


Anybody got a Samsung Instinct?  It’s not a car, but not a bad name for one.  Imagine, a car that drives itself.  Log in the GPS coordinates and hands free driving!  Text to your heart’s delight.  Read the newspaper or a book.  Blog!

The Samsung Instinct is a phone very much like an iPhone.  In fact, it wishes it were.  But is the iPhone really an iPhone?  Shouldn’t it be an aPhone – I mean if the i stands for Internet, what does that have to do with the iPod, for example – true, you can buy tunes off the Internet, but folks buy the iPod to listen to tunes and the iPhone for a whole lot more than browse the Internet. The real IPhone is the Instinct – and it’s cheaper too…but it is a bit quirky and takes a little time to get to know.

I hate manuals and refuse to read them.  If a gadget is not intuitive, I can’t be bothered.  I don’t want training or to talk to customer service.  Fortunately, true to its name, the Instinct is an intuitive device.

The Instinct can do pretty much what the iPhone does.  It has a sensitive touchscreen for tap and scroll.   You can take and store tons of tunes, pictures and videos.  You can watch TV and listen to the radio or groove to your favorite music if you are so inclined.   The thing comes loaded with games and cool apps, that I have not yet tried.  It comes with GPS, a calendar, lots of clocks – an alarm, a stopwatch and timer plus a world clock.  And of course you can access the Internet, make phone calls at the touch of a contact and text.  Cool device, but it has its flaws.

the camera….takes snaps at 2 megapixels but the sharpness of the images leave a lot to be desired. I suspect the lens is cheap – certainly nothing approaching the quality of lens you can find in today’s digital cameras.   You trade quality for convenience.

the stylus…I don’t know why they have to call it a stylus.  When I think of a stylus, I think of a record player.  The thing comes with a stick as far as I’m concerned for tapping and scrolling.  If you lose it, like I did, you have to use your fingers and this is problematic for two reasons:  1) fingerprints on the touchscreen, which dull the view and require constant wiping away and 2) tapping cleanly on links is next to impossible with a fingernail.  You could use a pen or just about anything else, but the stylus apparently protects the screen and is  made for tapping links.

happy scroll…the scroll is so sensitive, with one flick of your finger it’ll scroll to the last name in your contact book…but if you don’t apply the right pressure, it will open a random contact and dial the number.

phantom dialing…after you’ve made a call, if you don’t press the button to turn off your display, essentially putting your phone in sleep mode, and then put the phone in your pocket, the phone could dial a random contact because it would still be in scroll mode in your address book.   Also, if you aren’t careful, the random person you have no idea you dialed, could hear everything you say (almost as if you were miked) either at the other end of the line, or as a message you unwittingly record.  All a bit bizarre.

music player…stores tons of tunes, but plays them back at a lower volume level than you might like.  The only solution is to buy a decent pair of headphones; makes all the difference.  I suggest a pair of Sennheiser earbuds.

Despite these flaws, I like the Instinct.  It does all I need it to do at a fraction of the cost of an iPhone.  If you’re in the market for a phone, check out the Instinct – it’s quirky, but hip and true to its name.

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