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Sprint today announced its Instinct touchscreen phone will be just $129.99 (with a two year contract, and available June 20th. The iPhone killer is Sprint’s first EV-DO Rev A phone (Instint web site).

The touchscreen device also provides support for corporate and consumer (POP3 and IMAP) email, multitasking capabilities that allow the user to play music in background mode while surfing the Internet, texting or playing games, a 2.0 megapixel camera with camcorder and expandable microSD memory of up to 8GB. Additional features include advanced stereo Bluetooth(R) 2.0, SMS voice and text messaging with threaded text, picture caller ID and Sprint Mobile Sync.

The 2GB microSD card can hold approximately 2,000 songs from Sprint Music Store, and two standard 1,000 mAh batteries offer up to 5.75 hours of continuous talk time each, says Sprint.

GPS applications include Sprint Navigation, with GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions and one-click traffic rerouting as well as Live Search for Sprint, powered by Microsoft, providing easy access to directory information on-the-go, interactive maps and one-touch click to call access. Live Search automatically take the users’ location into consideration.

PCMag.com has a full review. Sprint’s service plans are also slightly cheaper, because they include unlimited text messaging, explains GearLog. Both Sprint’s 450 minute plan for the Instinct and AT&T’s 450 minute plan for the iPhone cost $69.99. But unlimited SMS costs another $20 on top of that for AT&T, while Sprint’s plan includes SMS. Their Simply Everything Plan costs $99/month.

TgDaily points out, the Instinct is offered with an annoying $100 mail-in-rebate, which means that the phone is actually $30 more expensive than the iPhone at the time of purchase. Count in sales tax (we assume 7% here) and activation fees and you will leave the AT&T store with an iPhone for about $251 and a Sprint store with an instinct for about $281.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse compared the Instint with the iPhone and AT&T’s HSPA (3G) service. “We (Sprint Nextel) have five times more 3G coverage than AT&T Mobility,” Hesse said. An iPhone also can’t be tethered to a laptop (although it’s not yet clear if that option will be available on the Instint).

C/Net says it still lacks Wi-Fi and instant messaging, and its call and video quality were erratic. InfosyncWorld says it has great call quality, excellent Web browser, and great navigation. Walt still likes his iPhone.


Enkin from Enkin on Vimeo.

I wonder if it can be hacked to run Android Apps. Andy Rubin, the man heading Android at Google, gave C/Net a sneak preview of Android’s interface and some of the applications independent developers have created for it.

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