iClone Attack: Samsung Instinct drops to $129.

We've already told you that the Instinct is a sad, pale, wannabe version of the iPhone. That's not just because we're fanboys (we are), even old Walt Mossberg agrees. Sprint apparently saw the writing on the wall too after Uncle Walt's "review" of their device, so they've decided to drop the price down to $129. Actually, it might be cheaper overall, too, given that Sprint will give you that price after a contract of around $70 total per month for unlimited data and 450 minutes. Oh, yeah, and the Instinct will go on sale tomorrow, giving it a huge jump on the iPhone. Or Not.

Honestly - is anybody out there seriously considering an Instinct over an iPhone? We'll grant that there are some people who prefer to pick their carrier first, phone second -- but still, is it possible to even pick up the clean end of a piece of ...Instinct?

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Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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Reader comments

iClone Attack: Samsung Instinct drops to $129.


If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it does it make any sound? Cue tree...

Sprint seemed dead-set on positioning this device against the iPhone 2G, which for all intents and purposes, no longer exists as a product available to new customers.
Huge miscalculation. Like Motorola short sighted.
Price drop was mandatory, but again they would have been better off taking the $100,000,000 they set aside to advertise the device, and just given away that much of product for free. Would have at least gotten some market share that way...

I suppose they're just trying to prevent some of their existing customers to switch to AT&T. Sprint sucks though. I discontinued them about 9 months ago because of poor service and they just called me about the "issue" I was having about a week ago. Way to be prompt

The iPhone sucks, even with 3G. It's still just a pretty device that doesn't really do much. And is ridiculously overpriced with an At&t contract... But I'm not looking to get the Instinct either. I'm waiting for the new HTC Touch phones to come to a US carrier. The current HTC Touch is a great underrated PDA that I love using.... So whoever gets the new HTC Touch phones will get my business.

It makes me laugh when I read all your fan boy comments. AT&T has always been horrible, they get the Iphone and everyone claims there the best ever..haha..I would put AT&T right up there with cricket, but at least with cricket your getting what you pay for.
My friend has had to return her Iphone 6 times now. She loves the phone, it just is not reliable like it should be. Sprint use to have bad customer service, they are getting much better though.
If better resolution and Itunes is very important to you, than stick with the Iphone, if not....the Instinct beats it out in every way. (Not to mention the price)

@David: I'm not in the US, so could care less about AT&T or Sprint. If Samsung made a more innovative, better phone for my needs, I'd get that. But instead of investing $100,000,000 to create that new, game changing phone, Sprint it blowing it on competing with the old iPhone. That's what's wrong with the global telco and handset market...

The Instinct beats it in every way?
Wow, I must have missed the part of the memo that said the Instinct had a desktop class OS and presented itself as an amazing platform for future development.
I guess I will go read it again.

I agree with David. I had ATT and they have horrible service, patchy reception, and they charge you for everything! Sprint is just as bad but they are just starting to improve thier customer service with a new CEO. Personally, I really wanted the iphone and might get one if I can jailbreak it to Tmobile. The instinct would be OUTSTANDING if you could add it to Sprint's $49.99 SERO plan. However, I don't think that will happen. Both carriers are insane to charge a minimum of $70 a month for a freakin' phone service! Now, if only Tmobile had better reception....

I'm eagerly waiting for the Instinct launch. The day it hits I'm changing my coverage from AT&T to Sprint.
People can say what they want about Sprint but fact of the matter is, if people knew crap about cellular service before subscribing, then there wouldn't really be issues with the carrier. Not to mention the fact that Sprint is turning over a new leaf, may be a slow turn.. but its happening.
Besides, I'll be saving about $80 a month by switching to Sprint. Getting everything the $69.99 Simply Everything Plan offers through AT&T comes out at about $150.
Yea, I'll take Sprint thank you.

The comments about Sprint are funny. They're just as sorry (still) as ever with my account. So's Verizon, and so's AT&T, and so's T-Mobile. I have current accounts with all of them and none of them are noticeably different in customer service or reception.
So I exercised my consumer rights... picked a phone I liked and a carrier I hate the least. lol

$130.00 after rebate my ass i went to upgrade my phone to the instinct and was told that i didn’t qualify for any discounts because im only a 1yr 8m into my contract but i could get $75.00 off the retail price of the instinct $449.99 so my cost would be $374.99 and start a new 2yr contract then i was told that i didn't qualify for the mail in rebate either
cheaper then the iPhone yeah right
ill just want four more months when my contract is up and get the real deal “iPHONE”

I also just came back from the Sprint Store.
Very unhappy!! I must say!! I have been a Sprint customer for 8 years and have put up with the dropped calls, poor customer service and crappy phones for a majority of that time. I was going to upgrade my 2 phones to the Instinct but changed my mind after I went there. the $129 is actually $229 with a $100 mail in rebate. I qualify for $150 dollars off to upgrade for both of my phones but when I tried to upgrade they told me that the price included my upgrade fee and that it would be $229 today per phone. I asked "how could that be if anyone off the street could get the same price!" I don't mind paying for the Instinct but I should be able to use my upgrade money!! SO MUCH FOR CUSTOMER LOYALTY!!
I called customer service and they said that the salesperson was misinformed. The price of the Instinct is $449 for someone off the street and the $229 was for me a loyal sprint customer. Also I would have to upgrade my plan which will cost me the same as a plan for the IPhone (I checked previously because I was pretty sure something like this was going to happen) My contracts are up and I believe I know what I am going to do on July 11th

@Tom "amazing platform for future development"??? You mean like everyone who bought an iphone a year ago, needs to buy a new one now because of the "future development"=brand new iphone. Let's go spend another $200 dollars on the "NEW AND IMPROVED IPHONE 3G"...oh wait...3G is only going to work on 3G networks where AT&T provides...which is pretty much no where..DAMN!

@Bill, make sure you read between the fine lines.The plans may look the same, but if you like to text...you are going to need to pay another $20 dollars in order to have it unlimited through AT&T.

I've been with Sprint for about 4 years and have had no problems with their service. The rest of my family has Verizon and I always have reception in places they don't. No complaints for customer service, either. Anyway, my most recent 2-year contract is up and I've been debating between Instinct and iPhone. I really wanted an iPhone because . . . well, because it's the iPhone! Unfortunately, no MMS capabilities, SMS costs extra ($20 for unlimited), no video, and AT&T's 3G network isn't available in my area. Sprint has 450 any time minutes, unlimited data, UNLIMITED SMS, unlimited nights/weekends, unlimited roaming all for the same $70. Also, Sprint's 3G coverage is much better than AT&T's. I've decided to stick with Sprint and get the Instinct.

The Instinct is not only 70 dollars cheaper, but the plans are also much cheaper with Sprint (if you like to text). Not to mention Sprint is just better than AT&T overall. To get the same plan with AT&T costs 20 dollars more a month and you don't get mobile television or video. The total savings over 2 years to get the Instinct is $550. DONE.

Summary of features not found on iPhone 3G found on Samsung Instinct for all you Apple Hard-ons.
* Voice activated commands and search.
* Video recording
* Picture messaging
* Haptic feedback on touch
* Unlimited 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
* Music and calls can be heard via Bluetooth
* It comes with two batteries that can be changed by the owner, iPhone batteries can't be changed.
* 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
* Sprint TV, with an extensive selection of live and on-demand programming
* Sprint Exclusive Entertainment (SEE), the industry's only made-for-mobile sports and entertainment video programming network
* Pocket Express with up-to-date information on sports, weather, news, movie showtimes and other options customized to the user's zip code.


Summary of Features not found on Instinct:
* Decent user experience (i.e. you don't want to throw it at the wall after 5 minutes of trying to make it do something)
* Wi-Fi
* Decent screen
* Decent web browser
* Decent email
* Decent onscreen keyboard
* iTunes movie rentals (priceless for plane flights)
* 3rd party software
But yeah if feature phones are your cup of tea and you don't like the iPhone experience, then by all means enjoy the Instinct.

The I phone sucks ok plain and simple. And the widescreen view is only for retards who has reading problems. But for real wifi is good but the thing is that att needs it since its data isnt as mainstream as sprint plus the newer instinct will have that in about 6 months."Samsung Omni" the movie rentals thing ok you can have that but he did say sprint tv thats like having dish network there is so many channels. and I guess thats all you had to say in defense to some bandwagon crap so all I can say is check mate to anyone that fights what I say with some facts.

$130.00 after rebate my *** i went to upgrade my phone to the instinct and was told that i didn’t qualify for any discounts because im only a 1yr 8m into my contract but i could get $75.00 off the retail price of the instinct $449.99 so my cost would be $374.99 and start a new 2yr contract then i was told that i didn’t qualify for the mail in rebate either cheaper then the iPhone yeah right ill just want four more months when my contract is up and get the real deal “iPHONE”
Im quoting this for emphasis. This is my EXACT situation (down to the 1year 8month contract).
I called sprint saying i wanted to cancel my contract (I was mis informed that they were prorated contracts) and the account management rep said that the stores are limited in what they can do but he offered me the instinct for $150 off, which brings the phone from 379 back down to 229 which is reasonable I suppose. It is still a slap in the face though. I guess loyalty only counts for NEW people.
Good game.

2 things bother me about the Instinct. The first is the fact that they have to put ad's that say things like "An iPhone Killer...", because if the were 100% sure that the phone was better then the iPhone, they wouldn't have to put ad's like that. The second thing is that the Instinct has actaul buttons along the bottom. The iPhone has 1 button on the bottom. To me, a true touch phone would have everything touch controlled. But the Live TV the Instinct will have seems pretty cool, I probably wouldn't use it that much though, but it'd be cool to have.

Lets face facts the iPHONE 3G is right arround the corner and it will be a better phone then the instict. I currently have sprint and would never switch to ATT because of their pricing but at the same time I'm happy with my centro and I can't believe sprint is making customers change their plan in order to swith to the instict.

I just got mine today. It's pretty nice. I do wish that the power/lock button was not at the top-right of the phone. It makes it harder to use with a right hand. It should of been either on the top-sides or top-center. One thing I'm going to hate is charging it. The charging port is on the top-left side and not at the bottom which means there is not going to be a charging dock like my Sanyo candybar phones.
I don't know what the hell Mossberg was talking about. I'm still playing around with it and learning but I'm really liking it. And this "jolt" that he mentioned, it doesn't feel anything more than a mild phone silent vibrate.
In all, the iPhone is a really nice display phone and the Instinct can't compete with it or the new one coming out but there are other features that way make up for it. I'm very happy with my new phone.
oh... I just plugged in the phone to see if I could charge it on a computer USB port and it didn't like it. It says "To place and accept calls, disconnect the USB cable." :( Maybe if I install any software it may have but I don't think it will work.

Boy did I make the WRONG decision!! I bought the Instinct yesterday because I had to eBay my iPhone since I moved out to the country where there is no ATT service. Boy - after 10 months on the iPhone - the Instinct really inSucks!! I'm going to return this POS and by a first Gen iPhone and unlock the sucker. Man - Sprint is gonna crash with this thing. Mossberg was right, "This ain't no iPhone".

I've owned an iPod Touch since the first came out. It's an iPhone without the phone services. Amazing browser and wifi-enabled features. A little hard to hold on to, and could stand to have several apps upgraded.
I picked up an Instinct yesterday, knowing full well how it would differ from the iPhone. There is no AT&T coverage in my town, yet there is a Sprint tower about 1/2 mile away. The web browser on the Instinct is a poor first attempt. There's a rumor Samsung has licensed Safari from Apple, and if so I'd love to see it on the Instinct.
I walked out of the Sprint store with the activation fee waved, a 15% discount for being a state (of Kansas) employee, and an Instinct for $130 plus $70 a month. 3% taxes/fees, Unlimited data, and 450 minutes talk time.
Music great. TV so-so. Radio so-so. Web poor. Phone features GREAT.
For me it's about who had coverage in my area. I'm happy with the Instinct for the price I paid. I can always use my Touch for wifi network access and all the iphone/touch apps with no monthly plan.

You said, and I quote:
"@Tom “amazing platform for future development”??? You mean like everyone who bought an iphone a year ago, needs to buy a new one now because of the “future development”=brand new iphone. Let’s go spend another $200 dollars on the “NEW AND IMPROVED IPHONE 3G”…oh wait…3G is only going to work on 3G networks where AT&T provides…which is pretty much no where..DAMN!"
End quote
I think you need to look up what it means to be a platform. Every single iPhone user is getting access to firmware 2.0, both old and new alike. Firmware 2.0 opens the iPhone to 3rd party applications. The OS the iPhone runs is the platform, and the opening of said platform to 3rd party developers is HUGE.
The fact that you couldn't even understand what I meant by platform goes to show your knowledge of phones. Enjoy your Instinct that will go the way of all the other "iPhone killers" though. What was last years big one? The LG Voyager? Yeah, that had quite a few more features than the iPhone (like the Instinct does) and it was also released during the iPhone's "locked phase," yet it still couldn't touch the iPhone.
If the Voyager couldn't do it last year when competing against the "locked down" iPhone (not to mention the Voyager being on the Verizon network as opposed to Sprint), how do you expect the Instinct to compete against the "3rd party playground" iPhone?

I bought the "instink's" yesterday ...its going back tommorrow even if I have to pay re-stock fee of $25.00 and its only 129.99 after mail in rebate ..the phone. the phone is a joke ..
1st of all you cant even see the screen on it in the sunlight ,
2nd yeah it has live tv but its not clear and frezzes
3rd the web browser sucks the images on the web paiges are fuzzy and squarey if that a word ha ha ... and you can not zoom in on the pictures on the web paiges like on the Iphone ..
bottom line the phone does not meet the expectations and performance its like having a ferrari and no engine in it . I guess Ill be switching to ATT next month

I upgraded my phone at Bestbuy yesterday to the Instinct. There, I only paid $129.00, the hundred dollar rebate was instant. I have to say the phone has impressed me, but it is only day 1.

i bought the instinct yesterday, i am happy with everything except the internet, it needs some kind of upgraded internet software, i cant even log into my accounts, it wont let me type my user name and passwords on some websites, like the windows operated smart phones do. boy am i sorry i gave up my htc touch phone for this, internet was much better on htc touch.

I just upgraded to an Instinct myself at best buy the mail-in rebate is instant, so I'd go there to get it. Alot of you here make valid arguments and alot of you are just plain fanboys. But its true, the iphone is really nice and the Instinct is basicly a lookalike. Its OK though, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? I've always trusted Samsung's for their reliability and Sprint has better coverage here in Colorado than AT&T and of course you do get more for your money with the "everything plans" than with AT&T, I should know since I sell both companies, so......But if a cheap iPhone were to fall in my hands I would not say no either, know what I mean? So kudos to both phones......

hi. There. I. Got. To. Play. With. A. Demo. Sprint. Instinct. Features. Buy buy. iPhone. Became. The. Sprint. Instinct. Has. Tv. 14. Preloaded. Games. Voice. To. Action. Buton like. Star. Trek. Comunicaters. Worked. Alwsoume too. Gps. Was. Beter. Then. iPhone. Sprint. Instinct. Beats. iPhone. May. Even. Beat. The. 3 g. iPhone. Too

I just got my unstict and I really like it.No one at sprint tec support really knows anything about all the things that thephone can do.Is there anyone out there that knows alot about this phone and can help me with a few things.
sent from: fav.or.it [FID272835]

This reply is to Nick:
You actually can get the Instinct with the SERO plan for $129 after rebate. You can get it with any sero plan, just look on the site. I'm sure of this cause I'd never switch off my sero plan and I was thinking of getting the instinct so I checked the site to be sure.

Just traded in my Palm Treo 650 for the Instinct...what a mistake!! This isn't even rated as a PDA. The GPS sucks..I've been in 5 major cities this week and was lost every time. Contacts list is limited..no sorting. Business people...stay away!! I'm running back to the store and picking up the Palm 755p...yes I know its dated technology but NOTHING works better for a "road warrior"

I have exactly on month until my Verizon contract is up. I see a lot of angst here, so I"m looking for some reality feedback from you folks when the new iPhone 3G comes out. I'm curious how well the voice clarity is in Colorado, general coverage and how it does once you exit the 3G network and fall back onto the 2G, texting on a touch screen, GPS accuracy, wide screen keyboard in any app (any ideas when and if?), etc

By the way, there are people out there who consider the instinct a lot better than the stupid iphone. and just for the records sprint has a much better internet avaiable on teh instinct than the sucky one avaiable on at and t.
iphone is just a scam as the owners probably arelady know. instinct give your an sd card expandable to 8 gb from the first model unline iphone who now wants you to upgrade and get some more of your money. design is not equal to functional mr. jobs.
sent from: fav.or.it [FID428053]

Instinct aside, I have two Blackjacks w/ATT now sharing 1400 min on a family plan and it's costing me over $225/month. If i get two iPhones, they require the same data plans and therefore the same cost. If I get two Instincts with Sprint, we share 1500 minutes with unlimited everything else for only $129/month...c'mon now. Oh, and the phones are $70 less on top of that.

if you reall ywant the iphone then you wolud read
about it but no. everyone believes that the iphone is JUST 199 and thats true but it is only 199 if you bought the original iphone its sort of a discount.so lets say u dont have the iphone then its gonna cost you 399.
see thats a bunch of bs. and if you dont believe me then just look it up on the internet. and since i already have like 3 years with sprint im gonna go with the instinct.

What are you talking about? Learn to type and also learn grammar. You have no clue what you are talking about.

To funny.. Why are mac user so Insecure? Or should I say Iphone users, I see the same crap here on Mac verse Pc.
Get over it!!

Прикольно! Хотелось бы побольше точно таких же заниматльных сообщений

for my needs any phone that isnt locked into the shittiest of shitty AT&T beats teh iphone. and i bet 3g even works on this thing.

I have the Instinct, and I love it, and I love Sprint. The only better experience I have had with a carrier was T-Mobile, but Sprint ended being the best choice for me, personally. I can't say the Instinct is "better" than the iPhone, but it certainly isn't worse. Mine does what I want and need it to do, so for me, it was the best buy. On the other hand, the iPhone is NOT a f**king computer. If you need a laptop, buy a damned laptop, not a telephone. You fanboys make this thing sound like the best thing since bl*wjobs. It isn't. Besides, anyone who needs a REAL enterprise solution gets a Palm or a Blackberry...not an iPhone or an Instinct. And who CARES if the iPhone is built on a scalable platform - which by the way, is the least used platform in modern computing (you Apple guys ever hear of Windows and Linux?) Most people use phones for text and calls.

Hey read all these comments from everyone and thought i'd put in some words..my guy just got me the instinct as my xmas gift..but it was part of a deal or whatever..two phones for $250 and each line is $70 a month..for unlimited text and 1400 minutes..good deal indeed..i'm totally new at this touch screen business but i'm learning..ha.so far so good.i'm happy so far and hope to stay that way!!

Really cool blog. I found it on yahoo. I am looking forward to read more posts.
Can anybody tell me what´s the best hotel in Paris for my honey moon? I going to married next month..
Thank you