First Impressions: Samsung Instinct HD (Sprint)

Aaron Baker
Writer from  Dallas, TX
| September 25, 2009

If you remember, we were the first to report information about the launch date - did you think we were going to leave you in the dark?  Absolutely not!  The Instinct HD showed up on our doorstep, and with features like a 5.0 megapixel camera, EVDO Rev. A, stereo Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), microSD card slot (with a 4 GB card pre-loaded), and an HD TV-out connector, it's definitely an update to the original Instinct and the S30.  But is it worth the $250 price tag?

Before we get started, I'll admit - I'm not going to get into a debate about the price of the device itself.  Rather, I want to focus on initial impressions of the device (after all, it's a review of the Instinct HD and Sprint's services, not their pricing scheme).  The price of the device is another debate for another day.

I'm sure that, as with any design modification, this is going to be a love or hate item, but I'm very pleased with what Samsung has done to the body of the Instinct HD.  The rounded edges make the device far easier to grip than its predecessors, and reminds me a lot of the Samsung Impression - significantly thinner, but with a similar front.  More importantly, it just looks good; the chrome exterior meshes well with the black body, and makes the device appeal to more than one demographic.  Just like I could see this device in the hands of a texting teenager, I could also see it in the office.  The screen offers 320 x 480 pixels with 16 million colors, and is a treat to look at.  Colors are crisp and rich, and the screen seems to be a near-perfect size.

Much like the original Instinct and the S30, the Instinct HD's portrait keyboard frustrates me.  Why Samsung opted to move away from the traditional QWERTY interface in favor of an ABCDEF one is beyond me.  Landscape looks just fine (and is a QWERTY keyboard), but it would be nice to have the same in portrait mode.  Those that are used to typing on a standard keyboard almost have to rotate the device to type accurately.

In short, the 5.0 megapixel camera is impressive.  As you can see in the picture above, colors are rich, and the device offers a number of features for enhancing your pictures.  The Instinct HD includes a flash and portrait mirror, so rest assured - those wild nighttime pictures will come out just fine.  Since the Instinct HD ships with a 4 GB microSD card, you'll be able to snap around 1200 pictures before deleting becomes a concern.

I'm still in the process of calculating the battery life and will report the numbers in my full review, but with an estimated talk time of 5.8 hours, the 1440 mAh battery sounds more than capable for handling a regular day (with moderate use).

Stay tuned for my full written review, coming soon!  In the mean time, be sure to check out the pictures below.

The Instinct HD ships with a home charger, instruction manual, battery, 4 GB microSD card (installed), earbuds, and a USB cable.

The Instinct HD's box (front)

Samsung Instinct HD (front)

Samsung Instinct HD (back)

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