OK, so originally I went with the instinct (still have it -- though it's for sale now), and gave it enough time for a fair evaluation. I waited past the 30 days to see if updates would come out, and was unimpressed overall. I have to admit all the marketing hype surrounding the phone before the release worked on me (I ended up ditching my Mogul). A little under 2 weeks ago, I switched to the iPhone (My sister has the original iphone, so I have experience with that one as well, and knew what to expect coming into the 3g), and here's my experience having had both for enough time to give my fair (as fair as fair can be) opinion.
My family is on a shared plan, so to add my new phone on to their plan was only $30/month for unlimited data, and $10 for the added line of service (our plan has shared minutes, rollover, unlimited early nights and weekends, and family unlimited texting), so my part of the bill is $40 -- with Sprint i had the $100 SEP, so I'm saving a little bit of money there too.
Excuse the crappy pictures. I'm at work, and only have my P+S, and don't want to use flash, lest everyone thinks i'm taking myspace photos at work (lol!)
I'm not sure where to start...Physically, I prefer the iPhone. It's a bit wider and feels better in my hand. The instinct is a tad bit taller, but slimmer. as far as thickness goes, they're about even. The InvisibleShield really helps with the grip on the phone -- without it, the iPhone just wants to jump out of your hands, it's so slick. I have the IS on both phones so that's a non-issue. (BTW, I highly recommend it if you're not into holsters, gaudy leather cases, or colorful bulky gel cases)The main reason
why I decided to make the switch is because I use my phone for lots of work email and browsing
while i'm out of the office. It's debatable, but I really think that the Instinct's mail application is not up to snuff for professional use. It's probably good enough for casual emails, but it wasn't working too well for my needs. I know I could have just waited for say, the blackberry bold, but I like to have fun on my phone too.OS/UI/Usability
I have to hand this one to the iPhone as well. The menus are smoother, prettier, and more intuitive. The Instinct works well enough, but lags often. The contacts navigator on the iPhone is better [sorting options, etc]. Notes and Calendar are a lot better on the iPhone. I haven't had any time to sync all of that with my desktop yet, though. The iPhone seems a lot more stable, having not crashed once, where my Instinct would crash/stall maybe once every other day.Screen
iPhone is larger and sharper, with richer colors. Not too big of a surprise there.Safari
blows away the instinct's browser and is likely the best mobile browser out at the moment. I browse lots of news and forums with my phone, and the arbitrary zoom on the Instinct really bothered me [having to scroll back and forth to read an article was painful]. The 'mobile' mode on the instinct worked sometimes, but not as well as I'd have liked. Even with EV-DO Rev. A, the Instinct's browser was too clunky to even make it seem like it was any faster than 3G/Regular EV-DO.App Store
I know there's nothing to compare it to yet, but the apple apps store is pretty nice. I know many will make the weak argument of there being lots of useless programs that cost money, but no one is forcing you to buy a stupid beer mug program. I'm sure there will be some apps just as useless coming out for the instinct in the future, so that argument holds no weight. Many free apps work very well, and some apps are even worth paying for (I love dynolicious
, and there are some other paid apps i'm looking at). AIM on the phone works well enough, as do the facebook and myspace apps. One thing I loved using on my iPod touch (which ultimately led to my decision to make the switch after having programs which require, or would work better with internet connectivity) is the Bloomberg
app to keep track of my investments, and other programs like it. It's a free app and it's great. Pandora
is also free and is awesome, as well as Shazam
. all of these programs are free and are nothing short of amazing.Texting
is comparable on both phones, though i prefer the longer history of stored messages on the iPhone. The iPhone also allows me to continuously type and breaks up the message into 160 char blocks (this bothered me on the Instinct). The keyboard on the instinct is actually more usable -- you cannot text in landscape mode on the iPhone, but it does have a QWERTY configuration in portrait mode, which the Instinct does not. In landscape mode in safari, the iPhone keyboard is fine, but you often hit keys you dont want to in portrait mode. The adaptive dictionary in the iPhone sorts it out pretty well most times, however.Live TV
obviously not available on the iPhone, but I always had doubt that Sprint TV was actually "live". It worked well most of the time, especially after the update, but I rarely used it so it's not a big thing for me.Live Radio
This worked OK on the Instinct, and I used it sometimes, but I recently downloaded Pandora for the iPhone and much prefer Pandora.Music/Media Player
the Instinct severely lacked here. Lack of storage is one thing (obviously limited by the hardware/MicroSD card, so I won't hold that against the Instinct). Overall the media player was slow and clunky, and just felt...unpolished.Camera
The iPhone's camera is a lot sharper than the Instinct's, in all lighting conditions. they are both strapped for features, however. Video is not possible on the iPhone (though, a jailbroken iphone _can_ do video with some 3rd party apps, haven't looked into any officially supported apps in the app store, though).Visual Voicemail
is comparable between both phones.WiFi
is available on the iPhone, which I use at work [and thus, kills my battery life], but at home i have my laptop, so it's no big deal to have WiFi.Bluetooth
bluetooth volume is a lot louder on the iPhone. I don't use any stereo devices, so lack of A2DP at the moment doesn't hurt me. my B&O A8's are just fine for listening to my music/Pandora Now, since this is meant to be a fair review, some things I liked/miss about the instinct:The big one: NETWORK.
AT&T's network is spotty, and their 3G coverage is the same. Only in the larger cities toward LA can I get full signal 3G coverage. Out where I live and the places I work, I get weak 3G signal, or no 3G at all (and thus, relegated to EDGE). With Sprint I rarely dropped a call (maybe two or three times in the two months I had the Instinct), and the ATT network has already dropped two calls in the <2 weeks I've had my iPhone.Plans
I was on the SEP $100 plan with my instinct. I'm lucky my family has a family plan with ATT, so I only pay $40 for the added line of service and unlimited data on the iPhone. The family plan has shared minutes, rollover, unlimited nights/weekends [starting early], and unlimited text. So I'm saving roughtly $60 a month with the iPhone. Had we not already had a family plan, i may not have switched, because Unlimited everything on an individual plan with the iPhone would be nearing $160/month.Voice Command
lacks on the iphone. I used it often with the Instinct, and really miss being able to dial hands free. It worked flawlessly on the instinct (especially with my Jawbone). With the new CA headset laws, this was a big plusLive Search
Quite possibly the single most used feature (for me) on the instinct. I used it all the time in unfamiliar places, and being able to map it out and use the nav to get there was invaluable.Navigation/Search
on the instinct Stomps the iPhone's Google Maps with turn by turn and GPS. On the instinct it was very accurate and the voice guidance was awesome. the iPhone isn't completely terrible, but you would think it'd be more full-featured than a simple mapquest type deal that plots your position on a Google map. But, with telenav and other rumors looming, it looks like it may get filled out on features or a separate app to fill the gaping hole in the iPhone's GPS system.Battery Life
is actually quite comparable between both phones, provided you don't switch out the battery on the instinct. taking into account you can have another battery charging and on standby with the instinct, the Instinct comes out on top here.Video Camera
was quite useful sometimes on the Instinct.Haptic Feedback
I know some people don't like it, but I liked the more tactile 'feel' of the instinct when interacting with the screen.Calculator
was more full featured on the Instinct, though it lacked the ability to calculate more than (one? or was it two?) decimal places. Tip calc and unit conversion were cool, and i used it often.
Overall, as much as I would like to believe they are two different phones, they aren't -- they both try to do the same things, and complement each other -- the iphone lacks things, as does the instinct, and each one has something the other doesn't. In my opinion, however, the iPhone does more of them better/cleaner, and ultimately is the phone for my needs. As a result, I've decided to stick with the iPhone (my Instinct is for sale at http://www.instinct-samsung.com/index.php/topic,3865.0.html