Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

36 responses to “Sprint Launches Instinct S30”

  1. Don Louie

    I’m still at a loss as to why a slower and less accessorized (1gb sd instead of 2, no charger case, no extra battery or headset) cost the same as the original

  2. Jeff

    They changed the shape so it fits better where Sprint is trying to stick it to you… 😉

  3. F1

    Please remember, in addition to all your observations, since it is such a special treat, it is also only available with the “Everything Plans”!!!
    Wait, at least you get to pick your choice of two colors,enjoy!

    Sprint used to have the coolest phones,…and always first shot at the best!
    Sad days for all of us who remember those long gone days.

  4. jose saavedra

    OMG seriously people there are two versions of the Instinct coming out, obviously this is the lower end of the Instinct line where as the higher end is coming out in the summer. These are the sign of the times, you either change your plan or there’s the door. You cannot have your cake and eat it too

  5. JJ

    Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too? Then why have a cake if you can’t eat it too? I don’t understand that saying. It is it kind of dumb. But anyway, you do make a good point. This I think is the lower end of the newest instinct. I think they will be coming out with a higher end version of the new instinct. But of course if you like the instinct then you should all just wait for the pre.

  6. F1

    @ jose saavedra
    “These are the sign of the times, you either change your plan or there’s the door.”

    Arrogance !

    1.Bait and Switch, is more like it, at this stage of the game it is a fatal mistake which will destroy and crumble the foundation which consists of the founding customer base,just like the corrupt mortgage industry and the greed factor that has put us in such a mess!
    Furthermore if you work for Dan Hesse, he made $14,000,000 last year at the cost of 1000s having lost their job’s, your arrogance confirms it,
    otherwise you still have no clue of the principles of marketing and success.

    2. “You cannot have your cake and eat it too”
    How does that apply to the discussion ?

    You buy a Car/Cell/Bluray, but you are not allowed to use your
    fuel/minutes/discs and drive/call/watch it , or use it in any way that you the consumer would like to apply your choice of where/which/what you want to do?

    That is at the very least, an ill advised practice, which could have not even been practised at the best of times, let alone in today’s economy!
    Mark my words this practise of forcing “Everything plans” will back fire!

    Thank You!

  7. jj

    Right on the money. I agree 100%. Companies need to rethink their business practices in today’s economy. Customers are very well aware nowadays and will defend themselves when they are cheated out of their hard earned money.

  8. jose

    What i meant by the cake comment is that people want to have everything, a great phone, a great plan, and a cheap price. well obvoiusly when sprint decided to change the requirements people got their panties in a bunch, i wouldn’t doubt that the other major carriers are practicing the same thing.

  9. jose

    eventually the higher end phones will require some sort of everything plan

  10. Braveheart

    I don’t get it, why did Sprint release this phone. Firstly, when you release an updated version, it is usually a step forward with a bunch of new features and improvements.

    This one is a step backwards in one major way. It has a CDMA REV 0 chipset. That means it is 2X slower on downloads and up to 10X slower on uploads.

    So if you really want an Instinct with Opera, I suggest getting the orginal Rev A version and download Opera 4.2 off the web. I laugh as I see the Samsung/Sprint people try to bedazzle people with a feature that is available to anyone FOR FREE!

    So, while Sprint get a lower spec’d model selling at the same price, ATT gets the superior Samsung Impression, and even smaller regionals (US Cellular will get a 3 MegaPixel Touch/QWERTY smartphone from LG, and Alltel the sexier Motorola Evoke) will get better handsets.

  11. Braveheart

    @ jose saavedra

    Looking at the number of ppl leaving Sprint, I thinking millions are taking your advice. This phone will help continue that trend.

  12. Christopher Price

    I’ve explained in the past why the S30 was made… but let’s bulletpoint this for easier reference.

    * It’s cheaper to make. Less handset subsidy, more profit for Sprint
    * It’s cheaper to make. Less handset subsidy, more profit for Sprint
    * It’s smaller, and Samsung was expecting an iPhone mini by now
    * EV-DO Rev A doesn’t really benefit the dumbphones like it does the smartphones (there aren’t any Rev A-dependent apps other than QChat out there for them…)
    * It’s cheaper to make. Less handset subsidy, more profit for Sprint
    * It’s cheaper to make. Less handset subsidy, more profit for Sprint

    And yes, I know what you’re thinking.

    “But Chris! Web pages must load slower on the S30 because it lost that Rev A”

    Sorry, doesn’t really work that way. The poor built-in browser and post-processing of Opera Mini (as a secondary browser) both add up to being the bottleneck. I’d be willing to bet that there’s only marginal difference in page load times on either browser, between the two Instincts.

  13. F1

    I have been ditching the Sprint browser OBIGO since 2006, using Opera Mini 3 on my Samsung m610.
    Upon introduction of Opera Mini 4.2 in 2007, just months before the iphone was introduced (apple brought similar functions to it’s browser), however my experience confirms Opera Mini 4.2 is far more data intensive, Opera Mini 3 has been stable and data and memory efficient and very speedy.

    Mind you that the m610 was one of the first Java enabled units,YouTube playback capable, 2.2 Screen, microsd and first Sprint 2 mp camera phone.

    I recommend giving Opera Mini 3 a shot, if you are happy with OM3, you could later free up memory by deleting the larger OM 4.2 file out of your application folder.

    Thank You

  14. braveheart

    ” EV-DO Rev A doesn’t really benefit the dumbphones like it does the smartphones (there aren’t any Rev A-dependent apps other than QChat out there for them…)”

    There is another lie.

    Rev A is beneficial in

    Uploading pictures, tethered data, webrowsing, downloading.

    Using dumbphones, this is the difference when a website compared download speeds of EVDO Rev O Verizon vs EVDO Rev A Sprint (also EDGE T-mobile).

    The difference was even greater on the uploads.

    “It’s smaller, and Samsung was expecting an iPhone mini by now”

    from Phone scoop:

    Original Instinct: 4.55″ x 2.16″ x 0.49″ (116 x 55 x 12.4 mm)
    Instinct s30 4.61″ x 2.16″ x 0.52″ (117 x 55 x 13.2 mm)

    So the phone is actually slightly larger and slightly thinner. I’m sure the iPhone Mini will have a slight variance in size.

    So Christopher Price is absolutely correct when he says Sprint made this phone because they want more dollars from you. If you look at what comes in box, you’ll notice alot less in the S30.

    It’s nice to see that Sprint coming out with a device that is a step backwards at the same price. Is this what they call progress?

  15. braveheart


    You are probably right, as software becomes upgraded, it is often bloated with extra features that slows things down.

    Opera 3 still available at

  16. F1

    @ braveheart

    I attempted a “download opera mini 3” google search for you,
    however none of the listed links that show “opera mini 3” actually provide it anymore,when you follow the links, they have been replaced by opera mini 4.2!

    The only way I was able to locate an opera mini 3 file, was by
    lowering the model identification of the brand.

    1.Go to this link:
    2.Download to your PC ->
    3.Transfer the files to your Cell in the application folder, execute file!

    I hope it workes out for you!

  17. Christopher Price

    Bravehart, do not accuse me of lying again. It’s easy to ban people that make such baseless accusations.

    I did not say that there was no benefit, I said it doesn’t really add a benefit. Faster uploads may sound like a benefit at first, but that’s in the eye of the beholder.

    Sprint does a lot of focus group testing. I’m sure that this is something that they’ve spent hours polling, asking, and market researching on.

    Remember, the Instinct, like many popular Sprint phones, does many uploads in the background. Does it really matter, then, if a 1.5 megabyte photo takes 15 seconds to upload, versus 25 seconds? The answer to that would be no… the user will never notice the increase in time, since it’s all done in the background.

    The jump from EV-DO Rev 0 to Rev A is not the same as going from EDGE to UMTS. The benefits for a dumbphone can be easily compensated for by well-designed firmware, as the Instinct (and S30) have.

  18. jose

    Mr. Price,
    I think the reason that Sprint came out with the s30 is that Sprint I think is going to split the phone into two phones. When you had the roadmap posted a few weeks ago, it showed two instincts one that it touch centric and one that is more multimedia centric. So in other words, the s30 is catered to people who want a touch phone without the difficulty of messing with different features and the new Instinct Dash is going to be catered to people who want everything on a phone short of being a windows based phone.

  19. Christopher Price

    Certainly Sprint is giving customers a choice right now. There’s nothing stopping folks that want EV-DO Rev A from buying the original Instinct. Even from eBay, you can always add ESRP… if the phone breaks, you’ll get an other first-generation Instinct.

    I can understand though the frustration right now that, unlike iPhone, the second Instinct is cutting a few corners (which again, most people interested in the Instinct couldn’t care less about).

    As we’ve said in the past, Instinct could gain some momentum from a high-end platform that gives developers direct hardware access, via the underlying AU-MIC OS. In Korea, Samsung uses the same platform as Instinct complete with an App Store… and no Java hampering developer’s efforts.

  20. F1

    @ Chris
    Interesting, because since it’s introduction, Retention & Customer service have been adamant that the Instinct does not work with any plan, with the exception of the so called “Everything Plan”, irregardless where and how you aquire the device, “it simply is programmed that way, otherwise we would love to give the Instinct to you, it just will not work on the network, unless you cancel your current plan and change it, it is out of our hands, sorry” !
    That was as recent as 2 months ago,…maybe NOW because of the S30, the NOW Network has changed it’s policy ?!

    Thank You

  21. Don Louie

    Does the s30 use the same battery as the original?

  22. Christopher Price

    F1, we’ve covered in-depth that the Instinct could work on virtually any Power Vision plan.

    Sprint clearly is deceiving customers as to the motivation to restrict Instinct, and the S30 to Sprint’s higher-revenue plans. We know it’s purely for marketing and positioning purposes.

    What I’m curious about, is why you want to keep beating the dead horse? Vote with your wallets people, if you aren’t happy that you can’t have an Instinct on your plan, you’ve got choices:

    1) Continue to whine about it.
    2) File an FCC complaint for Sprint using deceptive marketing practices (trying to incorrectly blame it on a technological problem).
    3) Activate a different phone.
    4) Port out to another carrier.

    And yes, sending in an FCC complaint is a perfectly valid thing to do here. Just be calm, proofread your complaint, and make sure that a typical human being can understand what you are saying.

  23. jose

    Thank you Mr Price for providing those options. I’m getting tired of people complaining about different issues but yet most of them just sit there and deal with it.

  24. F1


    1.”…the Instinct could work on virtually any Power Vision plan.
    Sprint clearly is deceiving customers as to the motivation to restrict Instinct, and the S30 to Sprint’s higher-revenue plans. We know it’s purely for marketing and positioning purposes.File an FCC complaint for Sprint using deceptive marketing practices (trying to incorrectly blame it on a technological problem).”

    I respectfully disagree, Sprint is not deceiving customers in this case,the Fact is that Sprint and Samsung had made design decisions regarding data usage (i.e.GPS) on the Instinct, those designs interfere with PAM, which people like to use in conjuction with the Rev A capabilities.Unforunately this combination causes havic on the Instinct, which is difficult if possible to reverse and undo, that is one of the reasons S30 uses Rev 0!
    So it is a little of both “tech.decisions” and “marketing and positioning purposes.”
    I personally only use the FCC route, when I know all my facts, as in the past when I have won against T mobile (2004) and VZW (2000).
    At this point, I can not reasonably, based on my own research, conclude willful deception by Sprint, hence I do not see merit for FCC action yet.

    2.Re:” Continue to whine about it.”
    I consider my contribution more as “constructive critisism”,as an element of “hope”, towards Sprint Corp.monitors, for them to realize that these issues do matter to consumers, in other words it is not about me alone, it benefits them in preventing as sited above by another customer, “Looking at the number of ppl leaving Sprint, I thinking millions are taking your advice”.

    I hope this covers your “What I’m curious about, is why you want to keep beating the dead horse?”. I am “hoping” that Sprint does not become a “dead horse”, but potentialy a “sprinting horse”…no pun intended !

    3.”Activate a different phone”
    I am not “in Love” with the Instinct, it is about the consumer having the freedom of choice, not being forced into plans or devices based on greed!
    I would love an OmniaHD, I am waiting for something understated, advanced and conservative like my vintage m610, not a shiny toy!

    4.” Port out to another carrier”
    Last resort, for me, see I find Sprint less greedy than VZW, more advanced than the other two, with more potential with the right leadership and policies!

    In my book, the ideal customer/account/client,is one that does not silently walk away, but actually provides feedback,however passionate, but perfectly legit and concrete advice.How else could you expect Sprint to improve?
    The ball is in their court, they can take it or leave it, that is their choice, with its own consequences.
    Mind you,the game will change again, when 700Mhz kicks in.

    Thank You!

  25. Christopher Price

    F1, you’re completely incorrect about the technical aspects of Instinct.

    There is nothing about PAM that would cause aGPS (or anything else in Instinct) to interfere with it. There are many (older) phones that do not offer PAM, and have no problem being activated on any modern plan.

    Whoever told you that was either lying to you, or is totally ignorant about the technologies involved.

    Further, the decision to block PAM on the Instinct was marketing-based. Samsung could issue a firmware update that enables PAM within hours. It’s a simple setting when they compile the firmware. In fact, you can even hack it back on if you want to.

  26. Don Louie

    I’m still in the group saying you SERO holders complaining being lock out of feature phone acting are crybabies, get the Everything Plus or leave. Only people that have any empathy coming are subs that have regular plans w/data that don’t want to switch

  27. F1

    Chris, I don’t know who your sources are,
    I spoke to 2 tech support reps at tier2, 1 store rep and 1 regular tech support, the later put me on hold and came back saying my F&F 700 Plan with the unlimited EVDO Data that I have, should work with an Instinct and she did not know why Retention said no, “maybe they did not pay attention to your account plan detail”!
    However 3 of 4, a store rep, and both tier2 techs informed me of the technical issues with PAM and said that the phone was designed by Sprint and Samsung to handle all inclusive data hence the introduction of the Everything Plan, because the phone does automatic updates along with GPS, except for when customers tried to add PAM; that is when they come across cases where it would mess up its system, causing havic!
    Surely they can not be all lying or be wrong??!
    You denying their position at this point does not matter anymore, I can not tell them that Chris P. told me it works, either way no matter what the truth is, marketing wise, with so much misinformation so late into the game, it is sad to see how a company like Sprint can not train the staff uniformly!

    Thank You!

  28. Christopher Price

    F1, welcome to Sprint. If only three or four techs could be completely consistent half the time! Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where you are going above their pay grade, asking them to address a policy matter. They aren’t trained to do that.

    Now, Tier 2 technicians undergo a lot of training. However, they have no engineering background. They are given shut-the-customer-up explanations from floor managers at the call center. I see it all the time, and that is why you are getting consistent (albeit, wrong) answers from Tier 2.

    If what I was posting was incorrect, there would be a flood of emails, from SEBU division all the way down to media relations, to me personally. Sprint has yet to correct once, on anything we’ve said regarding the Instinct and Everything plans.

    And yes, you can tell them said so (it has worked in other situations)… but it won’t change anything this time.

    As I said, there are four things you can do, and just because Sprint doesn’t give the real reasons in training their customer service staff, doesn’t change those underlying reasons.

    Sprint simply does not want to offer PAM on Everything plans (in order to upsell Simply Everything Plus Mobile Broadband), nor do they want to offer Instinct on any other set of plans.

    They are within their legal rights to do that, even though they may be illegally explaining the problem away as a technical flaw.

  29. Doakie

    unlike any of the other people who replied to this story i actually owned two S30s. i ended up returning them thinking the handsets were to blame for poor voice and data connection at my office. come to find out the Rant i got for free has worse data connection. odd cus my old sanyo 8400 was bulletproof everywhere.

    so all this strife about two versions of the instinct was easily explained to me by the sales manager at a local sprint store. the Instinct M800 was designed a year ago with the idea it was sprints high end touch phone so it came with a spare battery with charger, and also came with a larger storage card. the Instinct S30 M810 is designed with the idea there is going to be a higher end Instinct that is more expensive. So I comes with less features a lower hardware set cus its destined to go downmarket in its pricing.

    i believe they launched the S30 at the same price point so they could offload the last of the M800s but now they have already started dropping the price of both m800 and m810. look on after rebate both are $99 after rebate now.

    i personally loved the s30. it was a great feature phone. not as powerful as my G1 but i loved it as a backup web device. its OSK and messaging / im client integration were beautiful. i dunno you guys can knock it all you want i miss my s30. having a rant to use everyday is a poor consolation. is it odd to say i’m heartbroken to not have my s30 anymore? Is it odd to have that feeling toward a phone?

    I never could tell the diffence between rev 0 and rev a on instincts. Using opera mini they seemed to load webpages identically. I got the s30 over the m800 cus the s30 was sexier. It still worked great. Didn’t have the extra battery but I didn’t care. I have my G1 for all my intensive work. The S30 doesn’t compete with smartphones. If you want a smartphone go get one. But I’m here to say I loved the S30 and miss it greatly. Personally I found it to be a great phone. Sorry for any missed typos, typing this on my G1.

  30. turner howard

    i got a samsung instinct s30 bout 3 weeks ago and i love it, only thing is that i hate havin to turn it sideways to get on the internet so i downloaded the app opera mini and the phone has been great ever since!!

  31. Just Plain Joe

    How many of yall have every thing plans with the S30?
    I dont, i have a family share plan….
    So why complain about having to have an everything plan, if indeed you dont….

  32. Corey Wilson

    I have had the m800 since november and Love it my gf got her daughter the s30 because they phased out the m800 and the drivers for the computer messed up our m800 drivers (guess they can’t co-exist ont he same computer) and as far as I can tell no PAM hopefully the next one that comes out does have it.

  33. Blaine B

    To get Opera Mini 3 on the S30, go to games and apps. Press the arrow next to “Opera Mini”, press online info, then click “install a previous version”. Then click “Try old Opera Mini 3”. Last click “Download Opera Mini”, then folow prompts.

  34. Blaine B

    I am not much of a web browser on the phone ( A little but not much), Three things I like about both Instincts:

    1) Being able to check email!
    2) I love the turn by turn – audible GPS, is as good as my Garmin! And way better than my friends I-thingy!
    3) The live search feature is the best! I say coffee and it shows me many spots to go pretty fast, address, phone numbers, then I can see where it is, and have GPS take me there! That is RAD! Did I just say RAD!?

    Oh, I just found out I can do messenger!!! Don’t know if I will on the phone! But hey…..

    I have had many phones in the past. I am not into it as much as Chris or (I think) Jose. But cudos to you guys for hammering out the bugs! You guys are both awesome in this arena! Me, ahhhh, whenever I bought a phone, I always had lower expectations than all the hype… so I guess I am not too dissatisfied with them… unless they have crappy coverage/reception/charge times. I have been with Sprint since 99. Well I did a short stint with Verizon, and went back to Sprint.

    I had a M800 and now have a S30, I don’t notice much diff, but remember I do not care so much… My M800 is in the drawer… If the S30 hoses up, I will resort back! And wait on the 2010 model… Personally… I like they way the Basic Instinct (Isnt that a movie??), or 800 feels in the palm… seems more rugged or something.

    Take care all… happy Sprining…

    PS: I know you guys last talked June, but hey…. maybe one of you guys will see this…


  35. Blaine B

    Spellcheck… Happy Sprinting!

  36. Badvinny39

    I just want to say I like sprint and I can’t really say anything bad about customer service. However I had the first version of the instinct and the main selling points where sprint T.V. and being able to pam the phone. I had to replace the phone of my dreams with the s30 after it was broken in a tragic mishap and I have to say that it is a piece of JUNK!!!!!!!
    It keeps freezing up and I have to do a hard reset to get it working again, it gets very hot and it has serious software issues’. My first s30 stoped working completely and had to get a second phone from sprint. Very disappointing and I’m looking for a new phone and maybe a new service.