Samsung Instinct S30 Review

Apr 22, 2009
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As mentioned before, the Samsung Instinct S30 is the followup to Sprint’s most popular phone from last year. Originally, the Instinct was positioned as an iPhone killer. While that never actually happened, the Instinct was a great phone in its own right; easy to use, reliable, and offering a good user experience. I mean, I use one. Sprint and Samsung released the S30 to follow up on the goodness that the first Instinct brought them. While there are only a few differences between the previous generation and the S30, the new model fills a crucial role for Sprint, especially with the imminent release of the Palm Pre.

What’s new with the S30 that warranted an update? There’s a new, sleek form factor. We also have some color additions, including Copper and Cobalt. The expanded microSD card capacity to 16GB is nice for those of you who want to carry around all your music, and the .1-inch screen size increase well, isn’t terribly noticeable. The camera is still the same 2.0 MP and the operating system is almost exactly the same as the previous model. I say almost because Sprint says that they’ve opened up the API’s to developers so that the GPS, music, and other phone functions can be accessed by third party applications. This is a little late to the game, but maybe it will satisfy some users.

Other than that, we have Opera Mini pre-installed, and it works well enough, just like on the previous Instinct. Browsing the internet on the Instinct isn’t as painful as it used to be, but the browser just doesn’t pack the punch that other phones do.

The basics of the phone worked as expect. Call quality was clear and the speakerphone seemed to be a little louder and clearer than my old Instinct. The phone feels less bulky, and fits better in the hand. Battery life will get you through the day and then some, depending on if you use Bluetooth and all that. I miss all the nice little accessories that Sprint included on the last Instinct to make it compete with the iPhone: the extra battery, carrying case, stylus, etc.

The thing to keep in mind here is that the Instinct S30 isn’t meant to change much. It’s a feature phone that’s meant to introduce users to the capabilities of the mobile web and GPS, etc. The price point of the Instinct ($129.99 w/ contract) is meant to be a lower level entry into the world of touchscreens, and a phone with smartphone-like capabilities for users who don’t need smartphones such as the Palm Pre.

Everyone who has a current generation Instinct is going to be upgrading to the Palm Pre. You can bet on that. Users who want to dip their feet into the world of social-networking, mobile browsing, and GPS-capable applications. The phone is still a solid device; capable and fully functional. Sprint just might want to consider lowering that price point to oh, $49.99 or so, just so they can entice the lower-end user into getting a quality phone with a nice Simply Everything Plan.


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