Call Me Ambassador


Recently Sprint issued new high-tech mobile phones with six months of unlimited service to various members of the internet community – the people known as “bloggers.”
Presumably this is a marketing effort and not charity.
Naturally, Banterist was included in the mix. Sprint is wisely intrigued with the power and influence this site wields over tens to twelves of people and would like to harness it for their gain. I have no problems with this. I like free things.
They are calling this their “Ambassador” program. As an Ambassador I have been asked to use the phone as much as possible and offer regular feedback to my handlers.
So, I am now in possession of a brand new Samsung SPH-A920 multimedia telephone with Sprint service. In return for unlimited free domestic calls and unlimited downloadable content, Sprint would like my opinion. And, presumably, they’d like me to mention Sprint and their phone as much as possible. I believe this to be a fair trade and intend to conduct experiments and issue dispatches regarding Sprint and their phone.
First impressions, appearances:
The phone is lightweight and, as New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin would say, “chocolate.”
I like the looks of the phone better than my bulky LG VX8000 which I purchased after my toddler murdered my LG VX7000.
The phone’s default font is “Rainbow” which makes every number you dial a different color. I quickly found out how to make it stop doing that and now enjoy a solid, masculine dark blue color. I’ve also arranged to have it speak the keys to me so instead of tones I get a nice lady saying “Two! One! Two! Five! Three! Seven!…” and “Ok!” I imagine I will grow tired of her fairly soon and make the keys silent.
The screen has very good picture quality. I opted for the “blue skies” wallpaper as opposed to the default one, which I’d describe as “blazing corn field.”
Downloadable content:
Sprint claims that as an Ambassador I can download content for free. To test this I went to their music store and purchased U2’s “One.” It would have cost me $2.50 were I not an Ambassador. But I am an Ambassador, and it cost nothing. I made a mental note to download all of John Mayer’s songs in the hopes that he’d see a percentage of the proceeds. I am thoughtful like that.
The phone has an 816 area code – Kansas City, MO. Caller ID reveals the name on the phone to be “Ambassador.” I immediately decided to take advantage of this to harass my friends.
To test out the phone I called my brother, who did not recognize the number. In a falsetto Hispanic accent I told him I was Carlito looking for Mister Santos. He told me I had the wrong number. I apologized and hung up. I called him again as Carlito looking for Santos. He told me I still had the wrong number and asked which number I was trying to call. I mumbled “Santos” and hung up. I called back, but before I could say “Santos” he was on to me. I confessed. I regretted confessing, and wished I’d dragged the thing out until April 1st.
I then called my friend Dave and in an English accent claimed I was calling on behalf of “Ambassador Cleary” who needed to reschedule a ride to JFK airport. Dave didn’t quite get it, and said he didn’t need a car service and hung up. I called back and reiterated that Ambassador Cleary needed a ride to JFK at 9:30, but Dave still didn’t get it and said he didn’t need a ride to JFK. I then sent him a text message saying the same thing, followed by a “Voice SMS.”
The Voice SMS is one of the cooler features I have discovered so far. It lets you record and send a voice message to someone’s phone – no ringing or answering required. It’s a very cool feature for those times you don’t feel like talking to someone but need to convey information to them.
After the Voice SMS, Dave stopped answering the phone so I simply called and called and called. When he finally answered I hung up on him and called back. Eventually this became tiresome. To me. To Dave’s credit he never once seemed irritated, he was just confused because he didn’t need a ride to JFK. Dave is a nice and laid back person whose exacting physical standards place 98% of all females in the “heavy” category.
Both calls had good sound quality, and were free as I am an Ambassador. The sound quality seems better than my LG VX8000, though in fairness my son has possibly damaged that phone’s audio by chewing on the receiver.
High-tech wizardry:
The more I explore the Samsung SPH-A920, the more I realize how cool some of the features are. I think that’s the point of the Ambassador program. Sprint doesn’t want to have to explain all these things to people, so they cleverly make other people do it.
In my case the Media Player was a great find when I was out shopping with the wife. Shopping is boring. The solution? Watch Fox News in real-time on your phone. It’s fair and balanced, and you learn new things while your wife is doing whatever women do in dressing rooms. I like how Fox has news alerts constantly. I’m not sure what their standards are for something being declared a “Breaking News Alert” but they seem to be pretty low. Sprint offers plenty of other channels to check out once you get tired of “Breaking News” every three minutes. The only problem with a small screen is you can’t make out the scrolling news, time, logo, weather, date, barometric pressure and flashing things that Fox News clutters their broadcasts with. It’s mainly just a person talking about breaking news.
Later in the afternoon I tried to re-find Fox News but got lost and eventually discovered another feature – movie trailers. I watched a trailer for The Omen which consisted of a kid sitting on a swing for about 30 seconds. Technology that lets me watch movie trailers on my phone is pretty cool, though if Omen is about a kid on a swing I’ll stick with the original. Speaking of remakes – they never should have remade Pink Panther.
After the boring shopping expedition we were hungry and wanted to eat food. This is when I discovered how new technology is going to make life much better for all of us. Sprint’s Samsung SPH-A920 handset has a great directory search feature that tells you what’s around based on your GPS coordinates. Sprint will only look at your GPS coordinates if you give them the OK, so you Black Helicopter-seeing Big-Brother-is-Coming freaks can chill out. I typed in “restaurant” but before I could get any listings my wife decided we’d be brunching at Café des Amis across the street and that was that. She is the boss of me.
More on my Ambassadorship with Sprint and their magical Samsung SPH-A920 phone later.