What's hot: Very affordable messaging phone. Attractive phone for the younger crowd. Good messaging features.
What's not: No video capturing, no expansion slot and no A2DP support.
Reviewed April 28, 2009 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor
Texters who require full QWERTY keyboards on their phones have a lot to choose from these days, but few are at the entry level. Sprint and Sanyo have changed that with the Sanyo SCP-2700 full QWERTY phone, available May 10, 2009. Dressed in your choice of boy/girl blue or pink with floral overlays, the Sanyo SCP-2700 targets the young mobile texting crowd with a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and built-in GPS and Sprint Navigation support. The phone has the Sprint grid UI that's simple to use, threaded messaging and a web browser. At $29.99 debut price (with a 2-year contract after mail-in rebate), the Sanyo SCP-2700 has some omissions to separate it from higher-priced phones in Sprint's line up: the phone doesn't have an expansion slot, doesn't shoot video, lacks A2DP Bluetooth stereo and it only supports 1X (no EV-DO).
Phone Features and Applications
The Sanyo SCP-2700 surprisingly doesn't get full bars of 1X everywhere in metro areas where Sprint has good coverage. It usually gets half of a full signal strength but full when coverage is very strong, although the phone never drops a call. Incoming voice quality is very good with clear audio and very little noise, and outgoing voice quality is also good but has some white noise. The SCP-2700 has an internal phone book that can store up to 600 contact entries with up to 7 numbers, 3 email addresses and 1 URL for each entry. The Sanyo allows you to store up to 98 speed dials and supports photo caller ID and unique ringtones. The Sanyo has the excellent Nuance voice command software that works great for voice dialing, using voice to launch applications and checking the time and the phone's status. We tested the voice command via Bluetooth headset and it worked like a charm.
The Sanyo has Infraware's Polaris 6.01 basic web browser that loads web pages reasonably fast over 1X networks. The browser can't display full HTML pages very well, but it had no problems with WAP sites we tested. The phone also has a full set of built-in PIM applications including calendar, scheduler, to-do list, world clock, alarm clock and stopwatch.
Keyboard and Messaging
The Sanyo SCP-2700 is about the same size as the Palm Treo 755p for Sprint, though the Sanyo is half as thick as the Treo. The QWERTY keyboard on the Sanyo has slightly larger keys than the Treo 755p but without the Treo's space between keys. You will need to use the tips of your fingers to type on the QWERTY unless you have smaller hands, which is another design cue in favor of the pre-teen to early teen market. The keyboard is easy to use and has dedicated keys to launch the messaging application, turn on/off speakerphone and emoticons. The 2.2" TFT LCD isn't terribly bright and it supports 65K colors at QVGA resolution. For phone users who favor phone charms, the Sanyo provides the lanyard holes.
The Sanyo SCP-2700 handles SMS, Picture Mail, SMS Voice messaging and POP3 email including AOL, Yahoo!, Windows Live and G-Mail as well as corporate email. The phone also supports Sprint's web-based IM and chat services. The text messaging application also supports threaded messages and comes with 20 canned messages. The messaging application has Signature support. Sprint offers its "Everything Messaging Plan" which includes 450 anytime minutes and unlimited messaging for $49.99 per month with the Sanyo for users who text a great deal.
GPS and Sprint Navigation
The Sanyo SCP-2700 has a built-in GPS that works well with Sprint Navigation. The 1x data speed is slower for map updates and POI searches compared to phones with EV-DO, but it's not terribly slow. The GPS reception is good and Sprint Navigation runs fine on the Sanyo. Trip routing is fast and the turn-by-turn directions take a bit of time in the beginning to catch up with your position. Routing is very accurate and the voice guidance is on target. The phone also supports Sprint's Family Locator service and both Sprint Navigation and Family Locator require monthly fees.
The Sanyo SCP-2700 has a decent 1.3 megapixel camera that shoots photos but not video. The camera has three resolutions and quality levels and provides white balance, effects and other settings. The camera phone takes good photos by 1.3 megapixel camera standards, for what that's worth. Outdoor shots with good lighting look bright and color saturated but indoor shots have significant noise. The phone can save 24 photos at the highest resolution and quality level, and since there isn't an expansion slot you will need to either delete the old photos or send them off the phone. The camera application doesn't offer file transfer via Bluetooth, so you will need to upload the photos to the Web or send them via picture mail to other phones or email accounts.
The camera application gives you many options for uploading photos. You can send them to YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, Photobucket and even to Fuji Films retail stores for prints. Sprint has a Picture Mail web site where you can view your uploaded photos.
The Sanyo SCP-2700 has a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that's 840mAh in capacity. The battery life is very good on the Sanyo thanks to the lack of power-hungry EV-DO. The claimed talk time is 4.8 hours, which was on target in our tests, and the standby time reached a week easily.
For its intended entry-level users, the Sanyo SCP-2700 is both attractive and easy to use. Pre-teens and young teens who mostly text and make phone calls should give this phone a look. GPS and support for the Sprint Navigation and Family Locator services add great value to the phone. Though it lacks the spiffy multimedia features and faster data found on the Samsung Rant or the LG Lotus, the Sanyo's low price-point and the all-you-can-eat messaging package is a strong selling point. The 3G omission might not matter to texters who don't care to watch Sprint TV or download music, but the lack of an expansion slot really limits the phone's potential.
Pro: Attractive phone for the younger crowd. Good voice quality and strong contacts database. Good messaging features. GPS works well with Sprint Navigation. Good battery life. Good price with the rebate.
Con: Keyboard is small. The web browser doesn't work with full HTML sites well. No expansion slot. No A2DP support.
Price: $29.99 with 2-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Display: 2.2", 65K color TFT LCD. Resolution: 320 x 240.
Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. Model number: SCP-33LBPS. 840 mAh. Claimed talk time: up to 4.8 hours.
Performance: Phone Book can store up to 600 entries.
Size: 4.3 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches. Weight: 3.4 ounces.
Phone: CDMA PCS, digital dual band, 800/1900 MHz. 1xRTT for data.
Camera: 1.3 megapixel camera with three resolutions and 3 picture quality settings. Can't record video.
Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 2.5mm headset jack (headset not included).
Networking: Bluetooth 2.0. Bluetooth profiles: headset, hands-free, DUN, object push, Generic Object Exchange, basic printing and phone book access.
Software: Sprint grid UI. Contacts, applications including calendar, scheduler, to-do list, world clock, alarm clock and stopwatch applications included. WAP browser, SMS, Picture Mail, VoiceSMS, web-based email, IM and Chat.
In the Box: Phone, battery, charger and printed manual.