For the past few weeks, I’ve been wandering around with review versions of a Verizon LG9800 and a Verizon broadband wireless card. I put both to use during a layover at DFW to check in on the AFC title game and was a little startled in a span of 10 minutes to get some pretty diverse results between online and mobile sports sites. The biggest surprise: at 4:34 Central, the front page of ESPN.com proclaiming “Steelers, 3-Broncos, 0 LIVE!” when the game already was in the 4th quarter. A few minutes later, I checked ESPN via Verizon V Cast, where the score was Steelers, 27-Bronco’s 10 with 9:13 to go in the 4th. At CBSSportsline.com, at 4:37 p.m., the game had 3:31 to go in the 3rd; the score was 24-10. CBS Sportsonline via V Cast had the right score but the amount of time left in the game wasn’t obvious. Fox Sports was the most consistent with matching, correct scores and times that appeared to differ only because of my own lag time between checking.
Most people probably rely only on one source, so they wouldn’t notice some of the inconsistencies. The greater frustration could be in the mobile navigation, which seems to be constrained to the regular season layout, too often forcing a drill down to get to the playoff scores or game details. If all I wanted was the score I might as well have signed up for text alerts. One of those “we’ve come so far, we have so far to go” moments.
As for the equipment, I’ve never had more people stop and ask about a phone than the LG9800. Open, it looks like a handheld computer. It has a sharp LCD , an easier-to-manage keyboard than other handhelds, mp3 capability, 1.3 megapixel camera, mini-SD slot, and stereo speakers good enough (for me, at least) to use as a headset sub on the road. The web access relies on Verizon coverage areas but usually does the job. More on the modem another time.
NATPE conference coverage is sponsored by Brightcove.