Underneath the display is the navigation array, which consists of two soft keys, a dedicated new text message button, a four-way toggle with middle Menu/OK key, a dedicated Web key, and a dedicated Back key. The toggle also acts as shortcuts to the messaging menu, the My Content folder, the recent Direct Connects list, and the calendar. There's also the Talk and End/Power keys, plus a speakerphone key. The keys are rubberized and slightly raised above the surface of the phone, making it a breeze to navigate. Similarly, the number keypad is well-spaced apart and make for easy dialing.
The Sanyo Pro-200's big feature is that it utilizes QChat for push-to-talk communications, but it has other smaller features as well. For starters, it has a 600-entry phone book, with room in each entry for seven numbers, an e-mail address, a URL, a real address, and a memo. You can also add them to caller groups or Direct Connect groups, or pair them with one of 26 polyphonic ringtones or one of four vibrating patterns. You can add an image for picture caller ID, but bear in mind that the Pro-200 doesn't have a camera, and the external screen won't support it. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a countdown clock, a world clock, and a calculator. Also, the Pro-200 steps it up a notch from other push-to-talk phones with a very fast EV-DO Rev. A connection (which it uses to run QChat), a wireless Web browser, instant messaging, e-mail, Bluetooth, voice dialing, and built-in GPS.
Of course the reason to get the Pro-200 is its compatibility with Nextel's Direct Connect push-to-talk network. You have the capability to Group Connect, which lets you chat with up to 20 other Direct Connect users at the same time. You also have the option to create a customized caller group called Team DC, which allows nationwide group calling with other Direct Connect users. You'll have to go online to Sprint's Web site to set up your own Team DC. Sprint claims that Team DC is especially useful for small companies who want to keep in touch with all members of the group. However, as of this writing, Group Connect and Team DC are only available with Sprint phones, and not Nextel handsets. Sprint hopes to upgrade these features in the future.
You can personalize the Pro-200 with a choice of wallpaper, graphics, screensavers, and alert tones. You can always download more options via the wireless Web browser as well. Games include demo versions of Midnight Pool, Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man, Tetris, Tower Bloxx, and World Series of Poker, and you can download more via the browser as well.
We tested the Sanyo Pro-200 in San Francisco using the Sprint service. We found the call quality to be impressive, with clear voices and loud volume levels. We did hear a bit of static, but it wasn't a big deal. We also tested the Direct Connect service with the Pro-700, and it worked flawlessly. Speakerphone voice quality was nice and loud, and callers could hear us just fine. We do recommend holding the phone close to your mouth even when on speakerphone though, as callers did report the occasional echo.
We really liked surfing the Web, even with the scaled-down WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser, simply because of the fast speeds provided by EV-DO Rev. A. Mobile Web pages loaded in mere seconds.
The Pro-200 has a rated battery life of 4.9 hours talk time and a tested talk time of 5 hours and 19 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Pro-200 has a SAR rating of 1.21.