Mossberg reviews Samsung’s Instinct: ‘It’s no iPhone’

“The parade of iPhone lookalikes continues. Soon after Apple announced the first iPhone a year ago, factories in Asia, at the behest of U.S. phone carriers, were asked to respond to the sleek, touch-screen device. Some already have reached America; more are coming,” Walter S. Mossberg repots or The Wall Street Journal.

“The latest to arrive is the Samsung Instinct, to be introduced by Sprint on June 20. I’ve been testing the Instinct, and while it isn’t a bad phone and has some features the Apple product lacks, it’s no match for the iPhone,” Mossberg reports. “The manufacturers haven’t replicated the iPhone’s greatest strength: beautiful, powerful, breakthrough software.”

MacDailyNews Take: Samsung’s Instinct doesn’t even offer Wi-Fi. Yes, you read that right.

Mossberg continues, “I don’t do full reviews of products until I have tested them extensively, but my first impressions of the 3G iPhone are largely positive. The price of the new iPhone’s base model, which comes with 8 gigabytes of memory, is $199, a 50% price cut from the comparable first-generation model. Yet, it now works on AT&T’s fastest data network, promising anywhere from two to five times the speed of its predecessor. It also has GPS for tracking your location, and fully supports over-the-air synchronization of email, contacts and calendars — through Microsoft Exchange in corporations or via a similar new consumer service from Apple called MobileMe. And you’ll be able to download directly to the phone a whole universe of third-party programs, from productivity software to games.”

“While the Instinct is a touch-screen device, it lacks the iPhone’s ‘multi-touch’ system, which includes features that recognize multiple fingers and gestures, and allows actions like shrinking a photo by ‘pinching’ it. The touch system on the Instinct is more like that on an ancient ATM than a cutting-edge gadget,” Mossberg reports. “…Physically, the Instinct looks a lot like the iPhone — a dark slab without a physical keyboard or many buttons dominated by a large screen. It’s a bit longer and thicker than the iPhone, but a tad narrower and lighter. Its screen is smaller than the iPhone’s and has lower resolution… [The Instinct also] comes with just one-quarter of the memory the base iPhone includes… It’s no iPhone.”

Read the full review here.

Samsung and Sprint should be ashamed. As our own SteveJack wrote back in April: “It’s the same old, same old in an iPhone-inspired wrapper… You can judge the distance behind and overall cluelessness of iPhone’s future roadkill by the amount they copy the iPhone’s exterior… The question I’m left with for [all] of these companies rolling out imitation iPhones this year is: Exactly how stupid do you think your customers are?”


  1. I was in a movie theater when a commercial came on – Samsung InstinK. I almost threw up when a quote was used in the commercial, it read “iPhone Killer”….I felt really ill..stupid dipshitz.

  2. Strangely for Walt, he missed the BIGGEST difference between the iPhone and this knock-off: developers, developers, developers!! (no sweat)
    The iPhone, running a powerful OS and accompanied by a SDK, will very shortly have an amazing range of software available to it. This knock-off and others like it? Nah.

  3. It’s about marketing “See it looks like an iPhone, People will think you have an iPhone, well with just a quick glance anyway.” With the iPhone you get the unique OS and the unique abilities of multi-touch that no phone (in the near future anyway) will ever have.
    Apple swings, it’s going, going, going, gone!! For an out of the park across the highway grand slam home run with Multi-touch.

  4. > …review of Samsung’s Instinct or iPhone 3G. There’s almost more text about iPhone.

    Apple is the master of manipulating the media. Every time one of these knock-offs is released, it will be compared to the iPhone. More free publicity for the iPhone.

    Apple knows it, and welcomes the pathetic imitators, because consumers know the “real” iPhone is called an “iPhone.” No matter how “dumb” they actually are, they are NOT going to buy an “Instinct” thinking it’s an iPhone.

  5. He didn’t like it because it doesn’t have a physical keyboard or run Windows Mobile, which would make it just like an I-Phone. The Instinct does have Sprint Music Store which is way better than the I-Tunes Store.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  6. Bg Al… Flip phones? UGH. Add a Hello Kitty or Barbie theme and you’re set!

    Phone makers have taken their design cues from Microsoft. And how does Microsoft “design” their products?
    Copy Copy Copy

    Their design philosophy? If it looks close enough, then it’s good enough. Good Enough™ =Big Profits. The clueless will never know the difference and we’ll dance all the way to the bank.

    Unfortunately, many phone users are quite a bit smarter than that. We’ve all suffered through horrific phone interfaces for years. When you get the chance to play with an iPhone for even a few minutes, it’s such a revelation compared to every other phone on the market you’ll know a fake when you see it.

    Sorry Samsung.

    BTW: what a crappy name: Samsung.

  7. @ Big Al:

    “What happened to the flip phone? Chocolate bar type cell phones are so last century. I want an iPhone killer that folds in the middle.”

    You’re kidding me, right? Flip phones were being used in Europe back in the late 90’s – I know, I had one. The US is so far behind the rest of the world in cellular technology it’s embarrassing.

    I have an iPhone and .much prefer this shape – clearly, so do Apple. And I know where I take my design cues from… and it ain’t from you.

  8. I watched his video review, it seemed more like he was reviewing the iPhone 3g rather than the instinct…

    For a non iPhone phone, it’s better than most, now I find myself moving to a remote location with no broadband, with Sprint I could tether for free with their data plan, with the iPhone it’s not even an option…

    I own and love my iPhone, but was going to bring my wife in on a dual iPhone family plan, now I might keep her with Sprint and buy her one of these, just due to the tethering option..

    come on AT&T;at least give us a choice, i’ll pay a little extra

  9. Yeah, I am sick to death of hearing ‘iPhone killer’. But since Mossberg is the tech Godfather, it eases my mind to see him put these phones in their place. Like he says, eventually someone will come out with a device that IS a worthy competitor, and as more and more of them get announced, who knows how good they actually are until someone like Walt gets his hands on it. It turns my stomach the way these companies keep coming out with phones they say are better than the iPhone. Well they had YEARS to get their act together and come out with something really innovative and different, and they chose to sit on their ass and come out with phones that were only incrementally better. Here’s a story : in the Fall of ’06, my Verizon contract was done and I was planning to get a new phone and a new contract, as was my habit. Only I didn’t go that route because I didn’t like ANY of the phones they had. I waited for them to have something that didn’t turn my stomach, but it didn’t happen. At the time, I didn’t know anything about a possible Apple phone. Then the iPhone was announced. I wasn’t even an Apple guy at the time, I had an iPod that I loved, but that was it. I was starting to think about buying a Macbook because I had realized how much I hated Windows, so I looked up the Keynote to see if there was any word about Leopard coming out soon. Watching it, I almost TURNED IT OFF when the iPhone part came up. But luckily I watched the first couple of minutes, and my decision was made…immediately. If Verizon had just ONE phone that I really liked, I’d still be waiting for that contract to expire so I could get the new iPhone. Luckily for me, they had nothing but junk, and I’ve been joyfully using my iPhone for almost a year now. I really believe that competition is good and all that, but I truly hope that this new iPhone sells tens of millions and just crushes the competition. They had their chance…

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