The primary attraction of the M1 is its feature set. Not only does it have support for Sprint's ReadyLink push-to-talk service, but also it has plenty of multimedia features that take full advantage of Sprint's EV-DO service. The M1 has a 500-contact address book, and each entry can hold up to six numbers, an e-mail address, a Web URL, a home address, and a memo. You also can assign them to a caller group, or pair them with one of 17 polyphonic ringtones (a bit low for a music phone), and a photo for caller ID. You can even assign a video ringtone if you wish. Other features of the phone include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, stereo speakers, Bluetooth 2.0 with an A2DP profile, a voice recorder, voice command and voice dialing, text and multimedia messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, an alarm clock, a world clock, a calendar, a countdown clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, and a wireless Web browser. You can also use the M1 as a mass storage drive via USB, and as a Bluetooth modem with your laptop. Sprint also has an optional Wireless Backup feature so that you can store your contacts list on Sprint's server as a backup.
One of the main attractions of the M1 is its support of Sprint's offering of multimedia content from its Power Vision streaming video service. Available channels on Sprint TV include CNNtoGo, ABC News, the Weather Channel, the Cartoon Network, Music Choice, Access Hollywood, Diva for beauty tips, Fox Sports, Discovery Channel, and even movies and trailer previews. You can also stream Sirius radio, Rhapsody Radio, and many more audio channels. If you want more details on Sprint's multimedia offerings, please read our review of the Sprint Power Vision service. An additional feature: the M1 also supports Sprint's new On-Demand service, where you can get the latest news, sports, weather, and stock market information.
The highlight feature of the M1 appears to be its music player. Thanks to its 1GB of internal memory, the M1 can store up to 16 hours of music (or a combination of data, music, and images). Though we would've liked a microSD card slot for additional memory, the 1GB of memory should satisfy most users. You can either transfer MP3, AAC, and AAC+ files from your PC to the M1 or download tunes from Sprint's music store. You can manage your playlists via the music store or create your own playlists on the phone itself. We loved that we could use our own earphones, thanks to a headset adapter. Audio quality was actually pretty good when heard through the earbuds, and even the stereo speaker sounded pretty decent.
The M1 also comes with a 2-megapixel camera with autofocus. We were impressed with the sheer array of camera settings. They include four different resolutions (1,200x1,600; 960x1,280; 480x640; 240x320), three quality settings (Fine, Normal, Economy), six different picture modes, a flash, up to 16x digital zoom, a self-timer, multiple shots, fun frames, color tones, the brightness, the white balance, sharpness, and contrast. You can also choose from three shutter sounds, plus there's a silent shutter option. There's also a camcorder, which can record both in 320x240 or 176x144, and from 10 seconds all the way to 120 minutes.
Personalization options are plenty. You can choose from an array of different wallpapers and screensavers, plus the way the date and time are displayed on the menu screen. You can also alter the greeting, the menu style, and the color the screen flashes when there's an incoming call. You can download additional ringtones and images from Sprint's Web site. The M1 supports 3D games, and some of the built-in games include Pac-Man, a demo of Tetris, and Midnight Bowling.
We tested the dual-band, dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800; EV-DO) Sanyo M1 in San Francisco using Sprint's service. We really liked the call quality, and callers reported great sound quality on their end as well. Speakerphone volume was nice and loud, probably thanks to the stereo speakers. Photo quality was a little disappointing for a 2-megapixel camera, and images looked a little too murky for our tastes. Streaming video and audio quality from Sprint's Power Vision network was pretty good; we experienced fast load times, and it took us an average of 5 seconds to download a song. We managed to pair the M1 with the Plantronics Discovery 665 Bluetooth headset successfully. The Sanyo M1 impressed us with a 4 hour and 20 minute talk time. According to FCC radiation tests, the Sanyo M1 has a digital SAR rating of 0.71 watts per kilogram.