LAS VEGAS - With its sleek design, flashy menus, haptic feedback, and full-on 3G access, this touchscreen delight for Sprint users looks to be one of the strongest iPhone competitors to date. Read on for my hands-on impressions.
Announced Tuesday here at CTIA, the Instinct (set for release in mid-June) looks like a virtual clone of the iPhone, but it delivers many of the features missing from Apple's red-hot handset, including 3G access for speedy browsing and downloads, a replaceable battery, expandable memory, and haptic feedback for the touchscreen - that is, a slight vibration each time you tap the screen. This key feature is sorely missing on the iPhone.
I got an early, hands-on look at the Instinct a couple of weeks ago in New York, and I have to say, it's the most impressive iPhone contender I've seen yet-or at least until I try out LG's touchscreen Vu, which is also set to debut here at CTIA.
The Instinct certainly scores in the looks department, with its smooth, jet-black face (à la the iPhone) and 3-inch display, along with three keys-Back, Home, and Call-just beneath.
Measuring 4.6" by 2.2" by 0.49", the Instinct is a tad narrower but a bit thicker than the iPhone, and it's also a bit lighter, weighing in at 4.4 ounces.
The Instinct's sleek, animated touch interface looks promising, if still a bit rough-and-ready. The unit I tried was still in the testing stage, so I'll hold off on direct iPhone comparisons until I've seen a final device.