Sanyo Katana DLX Review
The Katana DLX features a standard 1.3MP Camera with no flash, and is accessed by pressing the dedicated Camera button on the keypad. The camera will start up in 1.5 seconds. Pressing the Ok button will capture and save the image in 4 seconds. You can also choose to have the image taken without automatically saving it. In doing so, it only takes 1 second to take a picture. However, the total time to take one picture, save it, and take another picture is 9 seconds, which makes it impossible to take fast pictures back-to-back. The overall image quality produced by the DLX is nothing but average. Images lack good color saturation and have soft edges. It is also unfortunate that there is no camera flash, but instead an annoying red status light that constantly turns on and off when you are in the camera mode. If this were not enough, the external display says “Camera Operating”. We can safely assume that this was done so that people can tell when you are using the camera and taking pictures.
Available Camera Options Include:
- Picture Mode: Normal, Beach/Snow, Scenery, Mirror Image, Night/Dark
- Zoom: +1 to +12
- Self Timer: Off, 10 sec, 5 sec
- Multiple Shots: Off, 3 shots, 6 shots, 9 shots
- Fun Frames
- Color Tone: Normal, Orange, Blue, Green, Purple, Sepia, B&W, Sketch
- Brightness: Auto, -2, -1.5, -1.0, -0.5, 0, +0.5, +1.0, +1.5, +2.0
- White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Manual
- Contrast: Auto, -2.0, -1.0, 0, +1.0, +2.0
- Resolution: 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240
- Quality: Fine, Normal, Economy
- Shutter Sound: Default, Say Cheese, Ready, Off
- Icon Status Bar: On, Off
- Auto Save to: In Phone, In MicroSD, Switch w/Card
- Save Settings: Auto, Manual
Videos can be recorded at either 176x144 or 128x96 resolution, with length up to 120 minutes when using a MicroSD card. Because of the low resolution, video quality is poor and looks even worse when played back on a PC. Because of the low quality, we cannot imagine anyone recording 120 minutes of video at one time.
Music playback is supported, which will allow playback downloaded songs or your own MP3s that are copied onto the MicroSD card. Music is arranged by Songs, Artists, and Genres. Once the song begins playback, the main display will show the song information and album art. You can use the navigational pad to Rewind/SkipBack, Play/Pause, FastForward/SkipAhead. Closing the flip will show the song information on the external display. However, there are no external music control buttons, which means you must flip the phone open each time you wish to change a song or pause playback. Despite this limitation, music playback is loud and lacks any noticeable distortion. The only caveat is that the speaker is on the back of the phone, which means you must flip the phone over to achieve the best quality sound. The other option is to use a Stereo Bluetooth Headset, since the phone supports both A2DP and AVRC profiles.
The DLX is the only model in the Katana line that is capable of accessing the Sprint TV service. This service offers dozens of available channels that will playback prerecorded programming. There are also several Live TV streaming channels available. Regardless of which channel you watch, video quality is lacking and is pixilated, due to the download speed of the EVDO network. If you require higher quality live TV on your mobile device, then you might consider the LG VX9400 and Samsung U620 that utilize Verizon’s MediaFLO service.
Like most other Sprint phones, the Katana DLX uses the Java format for applications. There are five game demos included (Brain Juice, Diner Dash, Ms Pac Man, Platinum Sudoku, Tetris), but there are dozens of other games that are available for download.