Preview: Is Samsung's Instinct Really an iPhone Killer?
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Samsung's new Instinct, a Sprint exclusive, was one of the most talked about mobile phones at this week's CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas. Why? Because Instinct is the latest touch screen phone to have Apple's iPhone in its sights. And, it appears, Sprint and Samsung have gotten much right.
The partners have been working together on Instinct for the last nine months, according to Sprint's director of product commercialization David Owens.
They wanted to build a handset that offers a touch-centric user interface "consistent with the iPhone", which Owens readily admits raised the bar for usability for everyone in the industry.
Instinct is due to become available from Sprint in June for a far more consumer-friendly price than the iPhone of between $199 and $299. It is also more about services it enables Sprint to deliver to users out of the box.
And, whereas the iPhone's operating system is one of the most advanced ever, with huge potential for developers to create a wide variety of consumer and, eventually, business applications, Instinct runs on a proprietary platform with a Java-application layer. Hands on with Sprint's Samsung Instinct at CTIA Wireless 2008.
While that means their will be plenty of software available for Instinct when it launches, you won't see the same level of sophistication from third-party developers as you do now unofficially and soon will officially with the iPhone or other types of smartphones for that matter.
Be that as it may, Instinct will offer plenty the iPhone lacks:
Instinct's intial storage capacity is limited but expandable, as it sports a microSD slot for up to 8GB cards. It also includes a GPS chip to support some highly-integrated Telenav-based location-based services.
These include GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, one-click traffic rerouting and more than 10 million local listings. A feature called Live Search provides access to directory information, GPS-enabled directions, interactive maps and one-touch click to call access.
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