Now that Sprint has absorbed Nextel, the carrier's Ready Link phones seem to be suffering from an identity crisis. Before the merger, the handsets were sort of Nextel-lite. You could get push-to-talk service and a rugged handset, but you didn't have to lug around a brick, totally devoid of style, and you didn't have to be chained to Nextel's businesscentric services. But now that Nextel and Sprint have joined forces, and Nextel is putting out smaller, more attractive phones, Sprint's Ready Link handsets just look a little ridiculous. Take the new Sanyo RL4930: Although it is on the bulky side, as well as sports rubber edges and PTT capability, we'd rather go with the real thing and just get a Nextel phone, such as the . The RL4930 is $189, but it's cheaper with a service plan.
To be perfectly frank, the Sanyo RL4930 is not a looker. A dull candy bar shape, along with a basic-gray color scheme and a protruding antenna, makes it more like a cordless phone than a mobile device. Also, considering it measures 4.5 by 2 by 1 inches and weighs 4.4 ounces, it's not compact by any means. On the upside, a rubber coating on either spine adds a touch of durability, but the extendable antenna is rather flimsy.
The Sanyo RL4930's 65,000-color display measures 1.6 inches (128x112 pixels) and is the best thing about the handset's design. Although its overall resolution is a bit washed out, it's nonetheless fine for viewing the user-friendly menus. You can adjust the contrast, the font size, and the backlighting time, but you can't alter the brightness.