Sanyo Innuendo Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

As a follow-up to the Sanyo Incognito, the Sanyo Innuendo by Kyocera has arrived on Sprint shelves.  It boasts a few modest upgrades as well as an elegant re-design.  Still sporting a clean, mirrored face with a hidden keypad the Innuendo has slimmed down and gotten a nicely reworked keyboard.  The camera has been bumped to 3.2 megapixels and niceties like a proximity sensor has been added.  It is still a 3G featurephone running Sprint’s One Click UI.  Included with the Innuendo are the lithium ion battery, AC adapter and a 1GB microSD card.

Design:

The Sanyo Innuendo retains the same side-flip design as the Incognito and made popular by LG’s enV series of phones on Verizon.  The blue and grey mixture adds a touch of personality to the Innuendo while still keeping it classy.  We actually love the way the phone feels, which isn’t something we’ve said about a Sanyo phone since…well probably the 8400.  The back has a soft touch coat of paint which is in stark contrast to the typical plastic feel of recent Sanyo phones, and the Innuendo has slimmed down to just 15mm thin which makes for a better feel in your hand.



You can compare the Sanyo Innuendo with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Like the Incognito the keypad glows through the mirrored front when brought to life via the lock button on the top.  It is much more accurate this time around; with the Incognito we had issues simply dialing phone numbers but no such problems were found on the Innuendo.  Flipping the phone open reveals a 2.8” 400x240 display, up from the 2.6” QVGA one found on the Incognito.  The display is nice when viewed indoors, but loses almost all readability when used in direct sunlight.


Like the back of the phone, the keyboard is coated in soft touch paint.  The keys are slightly wider and definitely more pronounced than the Incognito, with better spacing.  It leads to a completely different and much better experience.  The keyboard feels very premium, something we haven’t come to expect from Sanyo.  The look is high end as well, with a very sharp white backlight coming through around the keys.


The phone opens and closes very reassuringly, but thankfully the Sanyo click is gone.  In a touch of design the left edge of the phone kind of falls away when closed, but when opened the blue trim on the two halves meet to form a stylish s-curve.  The 3.2 megapixel camera sits atop the back housing, offset next to the centered speaker.  The right side of the phone has a volume rocker and microUSB charging port, the top has the power/lock key and 2.5mm headphone jack (yeah, perplexingly not 3.5.)  The keys are very small and well integrated into the design, but they offer reassuring feedback when used.  Unfortunately the microSD card is only accessible with the battery removed.




An interesting note about the Innuendo is that it’s the first time we’ve seen Kyocera branding on a Sprint phone since looong before color phones were around.  When you open the flip you’ll find the Sanyo logo, but on the back it’s branded “by Kyocera.”  Over the years Sanyo has kind of lost its way; at one point they were the recognized market leader in handset quality, but over the years the cash-strapped company began churning out predictable phones that lacked in quality, never quite competing in the featurephone market.  You could definitely tell a Sanyo device by its build quality, but not so with the Innuendo.  The phone feels very good in your hand, the keyboard is modern with a very good feel and the click is gone when opening and closing the phone.  It’s little design touches are a reassuring sign that the Kyocera merger may finally breathe some life into the company.

Sanyo Innuendo 360 Degrees View:




Interface:

Like the Incognito and many other phones before it the Sanyo Innuendo runs Sprint’s One Click UI.  We gave a full rundown when it debuted on the Rant, and still think it’s the best featurephone UI on the market.  It blends elements of social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter, with entertainment, news and sports to deliver a personalized user experience.  The main menu has the familiar 12 icon layout that most Sprint phones feature at this point, nothing new to report.


The phonebook is relatively robust for a featurephone, offering storage for several numbers and emails as well as advanced features like birthdays, addresses, job titles and company.  It’s no smartphone, but it will get the job done and then some for the average user.  Nuance’s excellent voice recognition software handles the voice dialing.



Other features remain standard as well.  The user is given a basic personal calendar, and exchange calendars are supported by the Sprint Mobile Email program.  The latter feature is very cool, but we just don’t see many people who have an Exchange account using a phone like the Incognito. Other basic amenities include an alarm, calculator, world clock, memo pad and voice memos.



Messaging and Multimedia:

Again, everything is pretty much the same here.  Text messaging is threaded so the user sees conversations in their inbox, not messages.  The included IM client supports AIM, Yahoo and Windows Live Messenger.  Sprint Mobile Email is one of the better email clients we’ve seen for basic phones.  It supports most everything you can throw at it, including Exchange, but unfortunately uses POP instead of IMAP.


As an EVDO phone the Sanyo Innuendo features all of Sprint’s multimedia offerings; Sprint TV, Radio and Music Store.  With support of 32GB microSD cards it acts as a decent on the go mp3 player, though we don’t think it will be replacing many iPods.

The Innuendo sports a 3.2 megapixel camera, up from the 2MP shooter of the Incognito.  Results are mixed: in good lighting the Innuendo was able to produce passable shots, but once the light dimmed images became vary grainy.  Colors were almost too saturated at times, but detail was very good.  The video camera is capable of recording at QVGA resolution and was barely passable for YouTube.






Performance and Conclusion:

Call performance on the Sanyo Innuendo was fairly good.  Callers sounded much more natural than we’ve come to expect from Sanyo phones.  They were loud and clear, an 8/10 on our end.  We found similar feelings on the other end as callers also rated us 8/10, saying that we sounded pretty much ok but if they had to pick something we were a bit hollow.  Battery is a mere 4.5 hours, which will get almost anyone through the day but well below what modern CDMA featurephones are getting.

The Sanyo Innuendo is good at what it does, and addresses a lot of the shortcomings of the Incognito it replaces.  With its curvy lines, mirrored finish and reworked keypad this is a much more stylish phone.  Performance was solid all around; it didn’t stand out in anything but at the same time it didn’t disappoint either.  It faces some tough competition with the LG Rumor Touch positioned along side of it in Sprint’s lineup, but for those not wanting an actual touch screen the Innuendo is a good choice.

Sanyo Innuendo Video Review:




Pros

  • Keyboard is much better to use than the Incognito
  • Modern styling with more attention to detail
  • Good feel in the hand

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Display easily washed out

PhoneArena Rating:

6.5

User Rating:

3.7
3 Reviews

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