This is the phone I got from the Sprint Ambassador program – a Samsung A920 media phone (I was mistaken before when I called it an A930). It’s pretty slick, for a “dumb” phone. Handles media really well – a very nice 1.3 MP camera, plays music and video very well (those are stereo speakers on either side of the hinge).
Here’s how the Ambassador program works – Sprint picks people by reading blogs, and contacts them with an invite (that’s how they found me, at least). I don’t have any way to recommend/suggest someone to the program (sorry to all those who have asked – I wish I could!). I don’t know what criteria they choose to invite people, but I’m guessing they look for tech/phone/gadget blogs.
The terms of the program are simple – they send you the phone, and six months of unlimited voice and data service, and in return, they ask for feedback. No NDA, no obligation to them. It’s smart marketing, if you ask me, because I’ve learned that a non-smartphone like the A920 is a very attractive option for someone who only needs to do basic web/email stuff, and wants fancy video/music options. And I’m telling people that. I wonder if more tech companies will catch on to this kind of word of mouth marketing?
One thing that has blown me away so far is the Sprint TV service. I thought that it was going to be just dumb streaming movie trailers, etc., but they actually have a lineup of dozens of live regular TV channels, like TLC, Discovery, CSPAN, etc. that you can stream and watch right on the phone. Impressive, and more than I expected.
Three more impressive items:
- Sprint’s “Power Vision” unlimited EVDO high speed data plan is only $15/month (compared to the $45 I pay on Verizon).
- Even though emailed photos don’t get sent as an attachment (it goes to the Sprint Picturemail website instead), Flickr was smart enough to process and swallow the full-size image when I send a PictureMail to my post-by-email address at Flickr.
- When you’re watching video, or using the camera, and close the phone, the video/viewfinder switches to the smaller color LCD on the front of the phone, and still looks great. Very cool feature.
So far, it’s been an eye opening experience, and because of all these things, I’d probably recommend Sprint and their “Power Vision” service (available in most metro areas) to someone looking for a new “media” phone, but who didn’t want or need a Smartphone.
I guess their marketing is working.