Creating competition for Nextel's i58sr, Sanyo introduces one of its Push To Talk-capable phones, the RL2000 (also known as the SCP-7200). Designed for the weekend warrior, the RL2000 has a durable rubber case and ribbed spines for easy gripping. Offered by Sprint for a pricey $249.99, it also has a bold and innovative menu style.
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A bit on the bulky side, the RL2000 is not for those who prefer a compact model.
The RL2000 resembles a cross between Nextel's i58sr. Measuring 5.06 by 2.18 by 1.10 inches and weighing 5.2 ounces, the black-and-blue, candy bar-style RL2000 is about the same size, weight, and shape as the SCP-4900, but it inherits its heavy-duty rubber covering and side grips from the i58sr. Thanks to this covering, the phone was easy to hold, and we felt confident we could drop it without ill effect.and
Measuring a generous 1.7 inches, the bright, 4,096-color, 128x120 screen holds eight lines of text. An added plus: When the backlight shuts off, the phone enters a sleep mode and doesn't go completely dark. A four-way navigation key opens the phone book and one user-designated shortcut. Additionally, a Menu/OK button is on the left side, and a designated control for the speakerphone sits below the numeric and navigation keys, which are well spaced but not backlit. On top of the phone, a multicolored LED can be programmed for individual alarms and events.
But it's really the menu style that sets the RL2000 apart from many other phones. Instead of presenting a field of tiny or full-screen icons to scroll through, the Sanyo features a colorful 3D-like ring, reminiscent of the spinning circle on Wheel of Fortune. As with the SCP-4900, you can scroll forward and back on the wheel, with options above and below the primary function selection visible.
The RL2000 works with Sprint's new Ready Link service, the company's version of Push To Talk, a walkie-talkie/two-way-radio-like service using VoIP technology. (PTT is also offered by Nextel's Direct Connect, Verizon, and now Alltell's Touch2Talk.) The button activating the Ready Link feature is located on the side of the RL2000. In comparison to its counterpart on the PTT version of Verizon's Motorola V60, it's easier to find and much less difficult to keep depressed while you're talking.