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iPhone 3G vs. Samsung Instinct

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 04, 2008

There’s an interesting section dominating the top of Sprint Nextel’s Web site. It offers users a comparison between Samsung’s best-selling Samsung Instinct and AT&T’s legendary iPhone 3G. According to Sprint, the Instinct often comes out on top.

Here’s why: Instinct offers turn-by-turn directions. The iPhone does not. Web access via the Instinct works faster than browsing via the iPhone, according to Sprint. On the other hand, the iPhone allows for access to more than 3,000 cool applications on the iTunes App Store. And, of course, there’s the familiar music player.

Has anyone out there tried both phones? What are the pros and cons, in your opinion?

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Reader Comments


September 4, 2008 06:13 PM

No WiFi on the Instinkt. No built in memory. Only upgradable to 8 gig. No app store.

Can you install your own ringtones?

Sync it with a Mac?


September 4, 2008 07:22 PM

Ah, come on. Have you seen those lame graphics in the so called "turn bu turn," directions. It's like comparing Window 3.1 to Leopard.

Roger Wyse

September 4, 2008 10:14 PM

The iPhone 3G is a superior piece of technology. I have used other cell phones and none compare. Here's how it is better than anything else out there - by a mile.

1. Interface. Superior user interface with excellent built in apps.
2. iPod. It's an iPod. What other cell phone can make that claim?
3. Browser. The internet browsing experience is second to none. In fact, for my money there isn't even a second. Other cell phones are universally bad in this regard. That's why cell phone usage of the net was zip - until the iPhone.
4. App Store. The 2500 or so applications along with the iTunes ecosystem make for an unbelievably lush third party environment in which to enhance and extend your iPhone.
5. Network. It has WIFI. This is huge. When I’m sitting at a panera, or some other WIFI hotspot I can enjoy super-fast speeds.

So, why is the iPhone so much better? It's a great phone, an iPod, a phenomenal browser, and a computer with WIFI with third-party applications. No other phone can say that. End of story, or I should say, just the beginning


September 5, 2008 04:15 AM

Windows Mobile on instinct sucks.
Frequent crashes, freezes, looks like a dinosaur.
IPhone has much superior OS in MAC OS-X.

Instinct is a CDMA phone, CDMA itself is dying if not a dead technology.

Steve Wildstrom

September 5, 2008 06:26 AM

I wrote a column comparing them. The iPhone wins hands-down. About the only place where the Instinct is superior is in turn-by-turn nav, and that's a deficiency Apple can fix any time it wants.


September 6, 2008 02:59 PM

You previous commenters are idiots. I'm sorry, but good god. I'm not getting into every little thing, but this one is particularly priceless:

"Windows Mobile on instinct sucks." WTF are you talking about? The Instinct doesn't have WinMo.


September 7, 2008 02:57 AM

Ugh. The tired comments above.

The Instinct is a fine piece of machinery. It's only flaw is being compared to the iPhone.

Sprint staged their marketing to be a comparison piece, when in reality the phones are still very different.

On the instinct you can watch LIVE television, or on demand stuff - and behold - Sprint has a much better, all encompassing plan ... that includes EVERYTHING.

It is a great, no nonsense phone, that has been mainly directed towards business. An app store is on the way (see above).


September 9, 2008 09:15 PM

I agree completely with Roger. I tried out the Instinct in the store because I was tricked by there frankly fake campain ads vs the iPhone 3G. Now I have the iphone 3G, and I felllike Im on top of the world-its the newest and greatest.


September 19, 2008 11:59 PM

I had an instinct. And let me tell you, it is NO where near the iphones level. Period. As for the comment that the instinct is for've got to be kidding me? No sync with outlook. No calendar sync. Calendar can only hold 30 dates. Web browser doesn't work 80% of the time. The instinct is a great introductory touch screen phone. It's a phone for the novice. If they just want a phone with come cute gimmicks, an instinct will suffice.

However for heavy cell users, they may be better off going with a blackberry, htc touch diamond or an iphone.


September 28, 2008 06:27 PM

the instinct sucks compared to iphone


November 3, 2008 11:49 AM

On a scale from 1 - 10 Instinct is a 3
On a scale from 1 - 10 IPhone is a 12


November 8, 2008 01:57 PM

i want to know what is better i have sprint and want to go to att but i want to get the iphone cause i want to have an ipod and a phone all in one.
as much as i like ;the idea of having everyhthing i want to have a iphone cause its just so cool looking and its like really cool the way the internet works. tell me why i want to by.


November 26, 2008 09:16 PM

Firstly let me say that I think very highly of Apples iPhone, and generally all things Apple. That said I had tried both and decided to go with the instinct. Now to be fair, 1/2 of that decision was due to the fact that the iPhone is on AT&T and they had made quite a business of screwing me the last time I was with them. Sprint works very well for me, my bill is always the same and generally cheaper than other peoples "all-inclusive" plans. Why else the Instinct, well I think there is truth to the fact that they are apples and oranges. Truly it is the gimmick phone for Sprint like the iPhone is for AT&T, so there is the comparison. For hardcore business app, you shouldn't have either, but a blackberry (not the storm). The instinct is true to it's name, instinctive, a little more simple and streamlined. Meaning that it doesn't have the mounds of awesome apps available on iPhone, but there are some for it and most of your bases are covered. Internet, e-mail, phone, texting, all very easy to use and natural. Plus it has small clicking/vibration that happens when you touch the screen so you know when it reads you. The TV is cool, if a bit spotty out in the sticks. Definitely cool is the trade out battery, first of all the batteries last for a long time, but it comes with two so you just leave one on the charger and get it when needed. Pictures and picture/video messaging is great and easy to use on the instinct, which I know that picture messaging hasn't always been available on the iPhone. The push to talk feature is fantastic, especially if you are driving, you can ask it for directions, to call somewhere, look up a place all with your voice. The iPhone is outstanding, but it is more like a handheld computer that happens to call people. The instinct is a phone first, with loads of other nice features and a beautiful screen. At least that's my 2 cents.


December 14, 2008 01:52 PM

i agree, the instinct, or at least thts my opionon, is the bettr phone. although it doesnt have multi-touch its still a great phone, faster internet, better GPS, live tv adn all for $70. Sprint also is a better network thn at&t but if u wana good fone get the instinct, if u want a "ok" fone get the iphone 3g, instinct is, and always will be the better fone. oh and people talk about free games on the ihpone 3g, who cares most people i know dont play games, its like a 1-20. Oh and on a scale of 1-10


December 20, 2008 01:23 PM

I also agree, the instinct is a better phone, and not locked into the "apple-mindset" that many of the Ipod people suffer from.

Apple products are fine but lock you into a cash cow for Apple called Itunes. Technology should be open, not restricted. Plus where is the built in tuner and built in encoder for recording from analog sources like CDs or great FM radio shows like "Blues Before Sunrise" on public radio in Chicago?

Media should not be restricted to whatever Steve Jobs believes it should be.


December 29, 2008 10:47 PM

I instinct and the i phone the same but if you want to watch tv and go on youtube you should get the iphone because the instinct is horriable


December 30, 2008 10:34 PM

I LOVE the Instinct!!!!! it is wayyyy better that the iphone. FUCK YOU BITCHES!!!!!!!!

peter north

January 5, 2009 02:29 PM

Both the iphone and instinct are both let downs 2 me l have them both and went back to my old pda

Ricky Ricardo

January 7, 2009 05:37 PM

I have a iphone that has been jail broken on the latest firmware. I have to say that the instinct could never compare to applications u can get on the instinct. I can downlaod whole movies download youtube vids straight to my phone among other things. Ive seen the instinct with its 2d graphics and dinasour feel. there is NO way that the instinct can be better than the iphone. Just by holding it in your hands you can feel the difference. I know that if you gave both phones to a person who knows nothing about them iphone will win all the time.


March 6, 2009 08:10 PM

I have used the iphone and i own the instinct and i gotta say they both win in certain areas. the instinct is a better phone because it does everything so much better than the iphone and sprints network and plan are great for me.the built on browser sucks but if you use opera mini(free) it is a better web browsing phone than the iphone. i do have a problem with looking through my music with this phone though. The iphone is a better toy because of the buttload of apps!!! there are so many that u never get bored!!! especially if u hack it to get everything free. the apps just make everything good. but at&t sucks as a service friends all hate em'.

chris ed

March 20, 2009 02:32 PM

if you loose an iphone, you have no insurance replacement like the instinct.


June 11, 2009 12:55 PM

My service provider is currently AT&T. I am trying to decide on whether to purchase an I-phone and stay with At&T or switch to Sprint and purchase an Instinct. I have heard all the arguments over which phone is better and know that Sprint has better service than At&t. Has anyone heard that The I-phone does not get reception in a lot of areas??

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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