After my Samsung Instinct trash talk, it only seemed fair to actually grab one of the suckers and give it a whirl. Above see a video comparing the two devices -- with a focus on the Instinct's UI since we all know (and love) the iPhone's UI so well. It's not everything -- I haven't set up the Instinct with email, music, or videos quite yet. Here's the thing, though: the Instinct doesn't suck.
Compared to the original iPhone 2G, the Instinct actually holds up quite well. It's not as elegant as the iPhone, the touchscreen isn't as responsive (but it does give you a little haptics-vibrate on every tap), they keyboard isn't as good (but does offer a landscape version throughout), the apps are a mix of quality iPhone knocks off and java craplets, the browser is decent but nowhere near the quality of the iPhone's, ...I could list the "not as good as" for quite awhile. The bottom line is that, feature-for-feature, the Instinct holds its own, and it's especially nice that Sprint's 'unlimited' plan includes sms, data, gps, etc.
When you use it, though, you're often presented with 'opportunities' to buy more services from Sprint, be it music (can't really complain about that, eh iTunes?), games, SprintTV channels, and so on. Basically the Instinct is designed from the get-go to be Sprint's version of the iPhone, which means that if you're in love with Sprint you'll like it.
For me, though, it's the overall fit and finish and the joy of using a device that keeps me coming back. See the title of the blog up there? Yeah, I still prefer the iPhone, but maybe I won't be as merciless in mocking the Instinct. Until the iPhone 3G with the 2.0 software comes out, because then, like Uncle Walt, I think the Instinct will not be in the same league.