It seems like staring at a sub-3 inch display for hour upon hour could prove to be a punishing experience, which is exactly what Sprint is asking bleeding-edge customers to do with their new Sprint Movies service -- but in practice, how does it pan out? LAPTOP Magazine spent a few minutes straining their way through Spiderman 2 on an SPH-A900 and found that the image quality and sound synchronization were both surprisingly good; in fact, it sounds like they'd actually have come away with a positive recommendation if it weren't for the fact that the viewer is restricted to an approximately 1-inch area of the phone's screen. Obviously, the screen's small enough as is, so we share LAPTOP's sentiment that Sprint needs to maximize the available real estate and provide a full-screen player if they're actually going to go through with this (especially at $4-6 a pop). Otherwise, they saw the occasional (expected) dropout, but came away with the belief that this might all actually make for a compelling product one or two iterations down the road. If true, we're hoping California drivers don't start feeling the urge to catch a flick on the 10.

HDTV Listings for September 19, 2006