updated 12:45 pm EDT, Tue April 1, 2008
Samsung Instinct at Sprint
Sprint today issued a challenge to the iPhone with the launch of the Samsung Instinct [link active soon]. The handset known internally as the M800 is not only the carrier's first home-focused phone to rely almost exclusively on a touchscreen but is also the first home phone from Sprint to run on faster EVDO Revision A networks: in real-world situations, the phone can download at up to 1.4Mbps and upload at up to 500Kbps. The extra speed both allows for quicker web browsing and uploading as well as improved access to Sprint's streaming Internet radio and video services.
The Instinct is also said to improve on the interface of other touchscreen phones with haptic (vibration) feedback that replicates physical button presses, a customizable front-end that allows shortcuts common apps as well as websites. The handset even includes its own form of Visual Voicemail, Sprint claims.
While it shares a 2-megapixel camera and full-size headphone jack like its Apple rival, the Samsung phone adds assisted GPS supoprt, voice commands, and a USB tethering mode for data; storage is handled through microSD cards rather than built-in flash memory.
Sprint hopes to encourage buyers by selling the phone with a 2GB microSD card bundled in the box along with two batteries to ensure a quick swap. The carrier has not set full pricing for the phone but says the device will need a special $70 version of its Simply Everything plan that includes unlimited data. Shipments start in June.