Hands-On: Samsung Instinct S30 Promises Faster Internet Browsing and Advanced Touchscreen

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Samsung just formally introduced the heavily leaked Instinct S30, the followup to Sprint's hot-selling 2008 feature phone. This one supports up to 32GB of SDHC memory, and has improved Calendar functionality.


The phone will be available on April 19 for $130 (according to Gadget Review), and seems eerily similar to its predecessor. But Samsung claims it has an "Advanced Responsive Touchscreen", faster internet browsing with Opera 4.2, GPS with 2D and 3D maps, Bluetooth 2.0, a 2-megapixel camera and haptic feedback for the on-screen keyboard. It also has a 3.2" screen and is only half an inch thick.

After messing around with it for a few minutes, I can tell the touchscreen is definitely improved, with a responsive UI, more vibrant display and haptic feedback that serves its purpose well. The UI design is extremely similar to last year's offering, but the browser also seems to be a step up, even if it's still not up to snuff with the Webkit-based mobile browsers. The phone is slightly bigger than the original Instinct, though hardly noticeable, and has a nice bronze back.

Also included is live search with voice commands, Sprint TV and Music Store support, Visual Voicemail and video recording.


All the best of award-winning Instinct, including Visual Voicemail, Speech to Action with GPS integration, full touch screen and the speed of
America's most dependable 3G network, coming soon on new Instinct s30

Available April 19; Sign-up now at HYPERLINK "http://www.sprint.com/SamsungInstinctS30" www.sprint.com/SamsungInstinctS30
to be among the first to own the next generation in the Instinct family

LAS VEGAS – March 31, 2009 – Sprint (NYSE: S) and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) today announced the upcoming availability of Samsung Instinct® s30, a successor to the iconic Samsung Instinct touch screen phone that debuted last summer exclusively from Sprint. Instinct s30 offers full touch screen functionality and the broadband speeds of America's most dependable 3G network.*

Instinct s30 raises the bar with built-in instant messaging, an improved Web-browsing experience through both the default browser and Opera Mini 4.2 as well as the popular games "Guitar Hero® – World Tour" and "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" preloaded to keep consumers connected and entertained while on-the-go. Instinct s30 offers a thinner streamlined design for a smoother feel in the user's hand with two color options - Cobalt Metal or Touch of Copper.

Instinct s30 is ideal for customers looking to simplify and increase the productivity of their business and personal lives with quick access to corporate calendar functionality via Microsoft® Outlook®. Sprint Mobile Email Work provides access to corporate email, contacts, and calendar from Microsoft® Exchange Server 2000, 2003 or 2007 accounts, or IBM Lotus Domino accounts at no additional charge.

Like its predecessor, Instinct s30 has the following industry-leading features:
Expansive touch screen featuring localized haptic feedback giving users a gentle vibration as they use the virtual QWERTY keypad
Live Search for Sprint, powered by Microsoft, provides easy access to directory information on-the-go, GPS-enabled directions, interactive maps and one-touch click to call access
Visual Voicemail, allowing users to listen to messages in their order of preference and manage them with a simple tap of the screen
Sprint TV® with an extensive selection of channels and on-demand programming
Sprint Music Store allowing users to browse and wirelessly download full-length songs directly to their phone for just 99 cents each
Advanced stereo Bluetooth® 2.0
SMS voice and text messaging with threaded text
True HTML Web experience from both the enhanced embedded browser and the addition of Opera Mini 4.2 with a desktop-like browsing experience
2.0 megapixel camera with camcorder

Instinct s30 offers a Speech to Action button providing many functions using voice activation including call, text, picture messaging, traffic, movie, sports, news and search. Speech to Action brings the user seamless integration with Sprint Navigation, powered by Telenav, with GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, one-click traffic rerouting and more than 10 million local listings

"Samsung Instinct s30 is proof that it is possible to improve on even one of the most successful mobile phones," said Bill Ogle, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Mobile. "Instinct s30 offers people a new way to enjoy a fast and fun user experience with their phone."

Instinct S30 will also be more "open" than its predecessor, with access to core Java APIs (application programming interface), including messaging, multimedia and Bluetooth, that allow developers to take advantage of the phone's features. By providing this open access, Sprint is providing what developers have been seeking and making it possible for them to create more sophisticated and innovative new applications for customers to use on the Instinct family of phones.

Developers will have open access to the following Java APIs when creating applications on Instinct s30:
Multimedia: recording audio, playing media files such as MP3 songs, streaming content and using the camera to take pictures
Messaging: sending and receiving messages
Bluetooth - establishing connectivity to send/receive data with peripherals
Contacts/Calendar: reading and writing to contacts/address book, and reading and writing to events
File Access: reading and writing to the internal file access on the handset
"We are excited to introduce Instinct s30 into our portfolio in a few weeks as we continue the tradition of innovative and easy-to-use touch screen devices that will appeal to a broad array of our customers," said Kevin Packingham, Sprint senior vice president of product and technology development. "The original device surpassed our highest expectations for both customer interest and industry accolades. The enhancements on Instinct s30 make it even more versatile for our customers and access to core Java APIs like messaging and multimedia will make it even easier for more developers to create new applications."
Sprint plans to extend access to these Java APIs to the Instinct s30's predecessor, Instinct, through an over-the-air software upgrade. The Java APIs will then be available on all future Java-enabled Sprint phones.
In providing open access to these capabilities, Sprint is creating a leading open software environment for developers to create innovative applications. Sprint's industry-leading Application Developer Program ( HYPERLINK "http://developer.sprint.com/instinct" \o "http://developer.sprint.com/instinct" http://developer.sprint.com/instinct ) further supports development in an open environment by providing 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.


Les Mikesell

Sprint? Open the java api? Like actually following standards so apps can work? Can it be true?