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Wanted: ESPN Mobile Reviews

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Wanted: ESPN Mobile Reviews

Postby Smooth » Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:09 am

Anyone who currently has an ESPN Mobile phone? What do you think of it? Please tell me about your experience with it. Does game by game stats count against your monthly minute plans? Anything that you really like or don't like about it? Do you have the "old" version or "new" one? I am thinking about getting it but want to be convinced one way or another. I am a fantasy baseball/football nut so I like the fantasy stuff you can do with it. Let's get some input from the group.

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Postby Coppermine » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:38 am

I don't know of anyone here or personally that uses the service; it seems like a huge gimmick to me, but you've convinced me to research it myself (Google is your friend too you know). I found some helpful reviews:

CNET wrote:The good: Mobile ESPN features real-time scores and stats for most major sporting events; hundreds of news stories and columns; a massive stat database; dozens of new videos daily; slick-looking alerts; a speedy network service; and a camera. It also lets you manage fantasy teams, and most features are included with service plans.

The bad: The phone itself is clunky, and it has no Bluetooth or IrDA (though more are coming). Mobile ESPN also has skimpy text-message limits, videos are edited down, and there are no real-time NASCAR or tennis scores.

The bottom line: While the bulky MVP handset isn't our favorite, the actual Mobile ESPN service--jammed with news, stats, real-time scores, and videos--is sure to thrill road warriors with a fever for sports.

P-Tech wrote:When you think of U.S. wireless phone carriers, the name ESPN hardly leaps to mind alongside Verizon, Cingular, Sprint and T-Mobile. But this month, ESPN joined their ranks, sort of. It leapt into the cellphone business not merely with vastly increased sports content available from phones and a new phone customized for sports fans, but also with a whole new cellphone company.

The sports network isn't actually building cell towers or licensing frequencies from the government, as traditional carriers do. Instead, it is launching a "virtual" cellphone carrier called Mobile ESPN. It's leasing high-speed network capacity from Sprint and reselling that capacity as if it were a real carrier, complete with its own sports-oriented services, phones, pricing plans, billing and customer service.
[ESPN Mobile's first phone, the Sanyo MVP]

I've been testing the new ESPN Mobile service and its first phone, called the Sanyo MVP. In general, I liked the elaborate package of sports news and information that lies at the heart of the new venture, which can only be accessed via ESPN phones and the ESPN service -- not through traditional carriers, even Sprint.

But I encountered some glitches and problems, including missing features. And to my amazement, I discovered the phone's Web browser goes only to sites approved by ESPN. I can't imagine anyone other than the most hard-core sports addict going through the hassle of switching phones and carriers to sign up with ESPN, especially since the new company's prices seem to be on the high side.

Even worse, ESPN has crippled the phone's Web browser by blocking access to some sites. When I tried to go to several sites, including those of competitors like Sports Illustrated, I got a screen that said ESPN only allows you to go to "reviewed" sites it believes "work well on your ESPN phone." That's an outrageous level of control, in my view.

All plans include full use of the sports service, plus Internet access. The service runs on Sprint's broadband-speed EVDO network.

Bottom line: The sports content on this phone is excellent, but for most people, it's not worth the trade-offs in price, hassle and Web restrictions.

In my opinion, I don't understand why any cell phone needs to do so much; can we really not go more than 5 minutes without being entertained? I can't think of anything more nauseating than having the ability to download movie trailers and watch them on a 2 inch screen. It's all marketing and gimmicks.

ESPN Mobile seems like the granddaddy of mobile sports entertainment... for a price. Plus, it's clear that you only have access to ESPN features, some of which I'm sure you have to pay extra for on top of your monthly service, unless you get the $200+/month plan. That seems excessive. If you're never, ever at home or need access to scores and articles every 2 minutes without access to a computer, then maybe this is something you should consider. Otherwise though, it just seems like something people want because ESPN is telling you that you need it.
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Postby Jimboozie » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:15 am

Dang, those reviews sound a bit discouraging.

I was thinking of getting one just to keep up to date with all the fantasy scores but it doesn't seem to be worth it. !+)
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Postby teddy ballgame » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:41 am

To be honest, unless you're going to a deserted island for a year, I don't see why having one would be necessary. Maybe if you have a lot of money and want to have the cool new toy it's one thing, but I'm never really in a situation where there's no radio around me or I can't wait 30 minutes to get home and check a score on my CPU.
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Postby Lofunzo » Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:05 am

teddy ballgame wrote:To be honest, unless you're going to a deserted island for a year, I don't see why having one would be necessary. Maybe if you have a lot of money and want to have the cool new toy it's one thing, but I'm never really in a situation where there's no radio around me or I can't wait 30 minutes to get home and check a score on my CPU.

Agreed. It won't make the score change. Web access on my Nextel is just fine.

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