"Decent phone, but painfully slow and unresponsive."2.5 starson by ceomrman
Pros: Nice QWERTY keyboard, ability to access internet anywhere, very simple Android apps run well (like notes, gmail, podcasts). It works well as an MP3 player and basic cell phone. The camera is sharp.
Cons: It's extremely slow - basically worthless for anything but chatting and taking notes. Web browsing is horrible, even with the latest Skyfire and Opera Mini browsers. The camera is sharp, but wildly slow to actually take a picture.
Summary: My roommate has an iPhone 3gs, which I use as the baseline for my comparison. The Samsung Instinct from Virgin Mobile is not even remotely close to it in any way. Yes, I know the Instinct is cheaper. That's the catch, of course. You can use this thing to watch youtube videos or check your email or find directions in a pinch, but you have to have the patience of a saint. I have a strong WiFi signal that reaches all the five of our laptops all the way into the backyard, but the Instinct can't get more than 1 or 2 bars and browsing is awful, even at home. The touch sensitive buttons on the front are terrible, like all of them. Why phone makers don't just use buttons is beyond me. These touch sensitive things may or may register when you press them - there's no way to tell. You just press a button, wait... wait... wait for it.... wait.... ok, I guess it didn't take. I'll try it again. Wait...... wait... wait... oh, there it goes. It's doing something.OK, I think this phone actually deserves another star or two than I gave it. I've gotten used to its slow speed and learned how to deal with its problems, with patience and work-arounds. The fact is, the Intercept is not very good. Compared to the best phone out there, it's a 2 star unit UNLESS you consider the price. The Intercept is only $190 from Radio Shack w/ a printable $10 coupon. The good phones cost much, much more - $500 - $600 without a contract. You can get a nice phone for free, like the Droid Incredible from Wirefly (free w new 2 year contract) but that actually costs even more. It's about $80/month for the not-quite-unlimited individual plans, compared to $40 for Virgin's similar option. So over 2 years, the nice phone still costs $770 more than the Intercept! You get a somewhat better network that way, but you're also tied to the major carrier for 2 years (and you KNOW prices on data plans will drop before that time is up, effectively costing you even more in reality).
The frustration doesn't seem worth it. I'll keep it for a few more weeks to see if I figure out tricks to make it tolerable, but if there's no way to improve the user experience on this clunker, I'm taking it back and sucking it up until a good budget smartphone comes out.
Updated on Nov 20, 2010
Updated on Sep 6, 2011After owning this phone for a while, all I can say is, I hated it more every day. It goes in the record book along with the LG Dare as the worst phones I've ever owned. I finally got a real phone (a Motorola Triumph) and the difference is incredible!