Road Testing the Samsung SPH-A920

I'm writing this evening from Interstate 95 in Georgia, seven miles (and counting) from the Florida border. While we're driving, my laptop is connected to the Internet using the EVDO modem capabilities of the Samsung SPH-A920, a multimedia phone Sprint sent a bunch of bloggers for review.

Samsung SPH-A920 EVDO connectionThis phone has brought web access to a remote South Carolina campground and now the interstate highway system, leaving the bathroom as my last safe haven from total connectivity.

The SPH-A920 connects to the laptop's USB port and acts like a dial-up modem, requiring a call to one of my ISP's access numbers. The claimed speed of 230.4 Kbps seems like wishful thinking -- I'm getting one page load of web traffic per half-mile, and the connection dropped a few times as we zoomed through the Sumter National Forest. But the phone was fast enough for me to read the news and update the Drudge Retort.

When I first attempted to hook up the modem, Windows XP wouldn't install it without a driver. Sprint didn't include a CD and there weren't any A920 drivers available from the Sprint or Samsung support sites. The problem was fixed when I ran Connection Manager for Sprint PCS, a free download that installed the driver after a reboot while the phone was disconnected.

I routinely drop phones on hard surfaces, so without Sprint's blog-swag program I wouldn't have tried an expensive phone that offers live TV, music downloads, games, a camera and decent web access. After using this one on the road, I'm sweating the prospect of my free review period ending in a matter of days.

If I can't resist the urge to take the phone to the bathroom, I won't provide such a high-resolution photograph.

Comments're not supposed to drive, surf the web, and take photos all at the same time. That would be "Driving Under the Influence of Technology." Also, known as DUIT.


This is all well and good but the Drudge Retort has been missing in action since a little after 9 this morning...

You don't have total connectivity in your bathroom? What? Tsk, tsk. I'll bet my phone does something yours doesn't--it gives massages. There, take that.

Speaking of total connectivity, I read a story years ago in Penthouse or Playboy about a master race on planet Earth in some indeterminate future. These lords of the realm never moved. They lay on special lounge chairs to accommodate
their extraordinary girth.

They spent their waking hours plugged into a neural network that was connected to sensors on an adventurer's body, so that they could experience all the sensations of sound, sight, touch, taste and smell that that the action hero was experiencing.

Different adventures could be ordered up, according to the particular tastes of the connoisseur. Sexual escapades by proxy were of course very popular, but one of these corpulent beings got it into his head to have the ultimate adrenaline rush--to participate in 'real' mortal combat.

This vicarious soldier got more than he bargained for, however, because the poor slave who was commanded to engage in a fight to the death conceived of a way to win his freedom and exact revenge on his cruel taskmaster at the same time.

You can guess the rest. Anyway, I took it as an instructive allegory depicting the future our increasingly sedentary, but sensation-craving, society might face if it didn't get off its collective arse.

This was in the '70's, and I think we are 'experiencing' the realization of that fantasy of 'total' connectivity, but later than I thought it would happen. Almost anyone in the industrialized nations can participate, and be a lord of the realm, but I think I'd rather be an action figure.

Thanks, but no, thanks. You don't have to provide a photograph at all. This is what things have come to--everyone from a Korean schoolgirl to a sys.admin wants to document every waking moment of her life. And what about the people who have webcams focused on themselves sleeping?!

Give me a break. I used to think Andy Warhol was a fraud, but I've come to see that much of his avant-garde work was devastatingly accurate, and prophetic, commentary on American society and the fine arts world, to wit:

He made a film (Sleep) of nothing but a man sleeping for eight hours.

He truly was ahead of his time.

So if you really want to be connected in your bathroom, fine, but please, in the name of all that's Cadenesque, don't post any photos. Why do that anyway, when you can upload a video to YouTube?

If you're not getting loads of free merchandise, you should write more about the things you want. If you can't get a free phone out of this blatant product placement, you're doing something wrong. Do you have an agent? I know one with Madonna's negotiating skills--her name is Emily, but they call her Gorgonzola.

You Americans have to commercialise and make a media event of everything, don't you? Now it's going to the loo, for God's sake. Have you no decency, sir?

Ignore Spuds previous speculation on Rogers going cold turkey on the camping thread.

Shoulda known.

Rogers is techno-whore!

"He's gotta have it"

Be Well.

With the accelerating development of technology, and our increasing connectivity to it, I feel a premonitory sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach-- you might almost call it dread.

Total electronic connectivity for humans is the culmination of the science fiction nightmare of domination by machines. Not in that ludicrous 'omnipotent HAL has gone mad and is running amok' way, but by the simple fact that machines begin to offer so much that they begin to consume all our time. This is more insidious and much more to be feared than the nonsensical notion of a diabolical take-over by computers.

i cant find the program to download my mp3s to? Does anyone know where i can get it? I can download it online somewhere i just dont know how!

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To bad for the posting of all the neg. comments, I disagree with them.

I thought your road testing write up was informative. Thank you for writing the review of this awesome phone!

how do i get the cord to work? i can't get it to work on my phone(phone to computer) i want to import photos and messages to my pc but i don't know how to do it please help thanks much appreciated

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