updated 02:40 am EDT, Wed April 1, 2009
Samsung Instinct S30 debut
(Updated with pricing information) Sprint and Samsung Mobile on Tuesday evening announced the much-rumored Samsung Instinct s30, a thinner, more streamlined successor to the Samsung Instinct touchscreen phone that debuted last summer. The updated Instinct s30 offers full touchscreen functionality, broadband speeds using Sprint's 3G network, and services such as built-in instant messaging, improved Web-browsing using either the default browser or Opera Mini 4.2, and new games such as "Guitar Hero® - World Tour" and "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" preloaded. The Instinct s30, available in two color options -- Cobalt blue or Copper, also includes quick access to corporate calendar functionality via Microsoft Outlook, while Sprint Mobile Email Work provides access to corporate email, contacts, and calendar from Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003/2007 or IBM Lotus Domino accounts at no additional charge.
Matching its predecessor, Instinct s30 offers touchscreen functionality with localized haptic feedback -- giving users a gentle vibration as they use the virtual QWERTY keypad as well as iPhone-like Visual Voicemail that allows users to listen to messages in their order of preference and manage them with a simple tap of the screen. The phone is also bundled with Sprint TV, the Sprint Music Store for downloading songs at 99 cents each, advanced stereo Bluetooth 2.0, audio caller ID, SMS voice and text messaging with threaded text, and a 2.0 megapixel camera with camcorder and 2x zoom. The handset also offers a standard Lithium (1000mAh) battery with up to 4.6 hours of talk time and microSD card memory expansion.
The Instinct s30 offers a Speech-to-Action button that offers voice activation for functions such as calling, texting, picture messaging, traffic updates, movie times, sports scores, news updates and internet searches. In addition, Speech-to-Action is integrated with Sprint's Telenav-powered navigation services, offering GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, traffic rerouting and more than 10 million local listings.
Looking to stimulate development of applications similar to the growing App Store for Apple's iPhone, Samsung also said that the new handset will be more "open" than its predecessor, allowing developers to take advantage of more core services and hardware features. The company will offer more access to core Java APIs (application programming interface), including messaging, multimedia and Bluetooth, enabling them to create more sophisticated and innovative new applications.
Developers will have access to features such as recording audio, playing media files, streaming content, the built-in camera/camcorder hardware, text/picture messaging, Bluetooth functions, calendar and address book contacts, file access, and more. Sprint says it plans to extend access to these Java APIs to the Instinct s30's predecessor, Instinct, through an over-the-air software upgrade and that the Java APIs will then be available on all future Java-enabled Sprint phones (along with an extensive set of free resources, including a kit with Instinct programming templates and device emulation, sample applications with source code, developer guides and developer forums, etc.).
It is expected to be available on Sprint's network on April 19th.
Update: The S30 will cost $130 on a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate and $70 in instant savings.