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Friday, March 31, 2006

Sprint Ambassador Program Features & Service Updates

Sprint Broadband Phone Service Features & Reviews So I received the Samsung A920 cell phone last week. This is the same phone Sprint has offered up to a few bloggers as part of their Ambassador program. Shortly after receiving the phone I came down with a terrible flu-like virus and was unable to work much less play with a new cell phone, even if it was free.

Well I finally got around to opening it up and playing with it a little bit. It's kind of funny too because the phone has so many features that it's kind of overwhelming. I mean you're looking at this phone and wondering how on earth they could cram all this stuff into that tiny phone...
- live television
- Sirius satellite radio
- broadband internet access (no joke - this is bad!!!)
- a 1.3 megapixel camera
- a video camera
- the tiniest flash card I've ever seen
- an mp3 player
- this display that makes every Motorola and Nokia phone I've ever used look like a vga monitor sitting next to an HD plasma display
- and the list goes on

So a few thoughts on the Sprint service and then I'll move onto some intriguiing viral marketing campaign elements.

1.) The Sprint phone service is pretty decent. Haven't made a ton of calls but none have been dropped yet. And the phone works great at my office where my Cingular Motorola Rokr completely stinks.

2.) The live tv on the phone is really sweet. Say you're at a Dora concert with your two daughters (ages 1 and 3) and your wife has taken the 1 year old out during intermission to get some snacks. Do you just have to sit there and stare at all the other exhausted parents? NOPE! You crank up your Sprint cell phone with the Power Vision network (includes live tv and updates sports scores & such) and watch yourself a little bit of TV. I call it Jet Blue for my cell phone. Now you and your 3 year old daughter are both amused. She's enthralled by tv of any sort and you're loving the fact that you now know what's happening with March Madness.

3.) The graphics on the phone are the best I've seen on such a small screen. Much better than the Motorola Rokr (my annoyingly cute non-free phone).

4.) The mp3 player is just as good as the Rokr but the sound isn't anywhere near as good. The Samsung A 920 comes with earbuds as well but who's going to plug headphones into their cell phone? Note: if you are saying to yourself "hey there's nothing wrong with that" then you need some help.

5.) The phone has broadband internet access! You can use it as a modem and don't have to get a Verizon wireless cell phone card at an additional $79/mo. That's a huge deal. Especially when you're bootstrapping a startup and you need to be able to save money wherever possible... Thanks for donating this phone and service Sprint, it really is quite helpful.

There are several other features I'll go over in more depth later but now I'd like to talk a bit about the viral marketing side of the whole Sprint Ambassador Program.

I highly doubt Sprint really knew much about me when they filled out the contact form here on Marketing Shift. They probably just knew that I dominated the search results for anything and everything I post about and some other bloggers talk about mshift every so often.

Add to that the fact that I put up the banner on top of mshift saying we're looking for some good sponsors and it's a done deal.

However, they got really lucky, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I fell priveleged to be able to get free cell phone service for 6 months and get to keep the phone at the end of the period. But I doubt they knew how much I could use the free internet access their new phone offers... when you're traveling it hurts to pay that extra $10 a day at the already overpriced hotel for internet access and now I don't have to.

I also doubt they had any clue I was looking at some of the new micro cell phone service providers that cater to niche markets. And that this phone has pretty much everything I want and a ton of stuff I don't need but don't mind having since it doesn't seem to have an effect on the batter life of the phone.

All in all I'm quite pleased with the Sprint Power Vision Phone and Networks, especially since they're free. There are several points I'm going to save and let simmer regarding the viral marketing campaign Sprint's put together. They've done a lot of things right and (at least right now) there's only one thing they did wrong. I'll let you in on that little secret next week.

By Jason Dowdell at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

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