Though the exterior of the Taho is unique, its insides are fairly ordinary. Indeed, you'll find a standard midrange set that's functional, if not flashy. The phone book holds 600 contacts with room in each entry for multiple phone numbers, an e-mail address, a URL, a street address, a birthday, a job title and company name, and notes. As always, you can organize contacts into groups and pair them with a photo and one of 37 polyphonic ringtones.
Basic features are just what you'd expect; you'll find text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a calculator, a voice memo recorder, a countdown timer, a speakerphone, a stopwatch, and a world clock. Higher up in the feature chain, there's stereo Bluetooth, GPS, speaker-independent voice dialing, an airplane mode, limited parental controls, and PC syncing.
The 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions and three quality settings. Other editing options are plentiful. There are four image modes (including night and beach/snow), a 12x zoom, a self-timer, a multishot mode, six color tones, nine frames, and options to adjust the brightness, white balance, sharpness, and contrast.
The camcorder shoots clips in two resolutions and offers a set of editing options similar to the still camera. There's also a mode to record a silent movie, which is something you don't see often. You're limited to just 30 seconds when recording a clip to send via MMS, but you can shoot up to 15 minutes in standard mode. That time will decrease, however, as you fill up the Taho's 40MB of integrated memory. You also can store content on the microSD card. Though a 1GB card comes in the box, the slot accommodates cards up to 32GB.
The Taho comes with Sprint's Family Locater service and. Both features work well enough, though the Taho isn't our ideal GPS device given its small internal display. The handset doesn't come with any games, but you can download a range of titles and other applications from Sprint. Just be aware that some apps will require data use, which can result in additional charges. The WAP 2.0 browser is available for browsing and Web-based POP3 mail. The experience is serviceable, but fairly tedious if you've used a smartphone for even a few hours.
You can personalize the Taho with screensavers, clock and calendar styles, a greeting, and display brightness and backlight times. More options and additional ringtones are available for purchase from Sprint.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Sanyo Taho in San Francisco using Sprint service. Call quality was quite good on the whole. The signal was strong in most places, even in a subway station, and the audio was free of static or interference. Voices sounded natural as well, even if some of our friends sounded the tiniest bit raspy at times. If we had a complaint it's that the audio gets distorted at the highest volume levels. It's great that the phone gets loud--we had little trouble hearing in even the noisiest place--but it doesn't help much if your friends sound like robots.
Sanyo Taho call quality sample
On their end, callers also reported good conditions. They could tell that we were using a cell phone, but they didn't report any significant problems outside of some background noise. Calls to automated systems were satisfactory as well, but it was best if we were in a quiet room. Speakerphone calls were just average. The external speaker gets quite loud, but the sound was somewhat distorted even at the medium levels. It wasn't unusable, but we were hoping for better.
The Taho has a rated battery life of 6.1 hours talk time. Our tests revealed a talk time of 6 hours and 32 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Taho has a digital SAR of 0.61 watt per kilogram.