Click here for more photos of the Samsung A920 which a bunch of us bloggers strangely received…
A few post ago, I mentioned how Sprint had been sending out invites to select tech bloggers for their Sprint Ambassador Program. I read about it first on Paul Stamatiou’s personal blog and wondered if I’d ever get “popular” enough to get kickbacks like this… the very next day I got that same email from Sprint.
Apparently they liked my blog as well, so today I have the Samsung A920 cellphone in my hands. With unlimited phone and data services (free for 6 months), you can watch TV shows on it, surf the web, playback mp3s, take photos/videos, and all that she-bang. Good or bad? My thoughts on it later.
What’s the catch?
Sprint didn’t state anything other than for me to give them feedback about the phone on their site. Still, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is more guerrilla marketing than market research. Giving away a free phone with unlimited service is a nice way of asking for a plug, since Sprint knows we’d probably blog about it anyway. Question: What if we gave it bad reviews? Perhaps online search presence is more important to Sprint than actual reviews.
To fellow bloggers, I’m sorry if you didn’t get invited to the club
(evil laughter), but maybe this might give you some perspective… Justin thinks that Sprint searches for blogs that discuss mobile phones and consumer electronics, then invites them in for the program. While it’s up to them to find you (invite-only), you could try contacting Sprint about it and ask them nicely to check out your blog. No harm trying.
So, how’s the phone?
If you look at my Flickr set, you’ll see everything it’s capable of doing, so I’m not going to repeat. I will talk about my experience with it thus far. Do note that I’m more of a Danger Sidekick kind of guy and since I talk less than I type, a big screen with a full keyboard is the way to go, so watch my bias.
First off, the Samsung A920 is a well-built phone, with lots of features to keep any gadget-fetish fiend at bay. The face of the phone did interest me since it has MP3 player controls embedded on the front with a tiny LCD screen to show you what’s playing. Samsung paid homage to Apple by a “Shuffle” button right there. Popping open the flip phone, I was greeted by a typical menu system, with a cheezy looking interface that’s oh so ninties (I’m a decerning Mac user).
Anyway, there are three things that piss me off about this phone:
1. The phone restarts itself whenever I fail to connect to the Sprint Power Vision network. This occurs pretty often for some reason and I can’t reliably connect to the web nor watch mobile tv.
2. You can’t transfer mp3 files easily to the phone. There are workarounds, but Sprint essentially turned it off to force users to buy tunes off their Sprint Music Store.
3. I can’t easily sync my AddressBook contacts via bluetooth.
To be fair, here are three things I like about it:
1. It works well as a normal cell phone (dual LCD screens help)
2. You can use the phone as a wireless data modem (Internet anywhere!)
3. The built-in 1.3MP camera does well for photos and video recordings.
Here’s how you can sync your contacts and mp3s with your Mac (it’s tricky!). If you’re interested to know more, just drop me a comment.