Although it takes advantage of Sprint's high-end 3G EV-DO network, the Sanyo MM-7500 borrows its design cues from the lower-end and the . Integrating a rugged exterior with a standard flip-phone design, the MM-7500 includes access to Sprint's latest multimedia services, a 1.3-megapixel camera, video capture and playback, and a digital music player. Yet, when compared to Sprint's other 3G phones, the handset lacks such important elements as an expandable memory slot, external media buttons, a high-quality QVGA screen, and Bluetooth. As a result, it's a less desirable choice for those intending to use Sprint's live and downloadable services. The MM-7500 comes at a hefty $299, but you should be able to find it for less with service. With a strong, masculine appearance, the Sanyo MM-7500 flip phone is definitely a guy's mobile. The textured rubber trim on the front and the side of the flip is eye-catching and should protect the handset from minor falls. It's no Nextel phone, but it's rugged and durable nonetheless. You get a choice of changeable faceplates that contrast nicely with the gray exterior. We like blue the best, but you also get silver and red. The MM-7500 measures a thick 3.4 by 1.9 by 1.1 inches, but it's surprisingly light, weighing only 4 ounces, so it's comfortable to hold while talking. The size of the phone, however, makes it difficult to fit into a pocket, and it's a tad large for a belt clip. The antenna is external and extendable, but it's flimsy when pulled out.
For accommodating the huge speakerphone directly above it, the Sanyo MM-7500's 260,000-color, 96x64-pixel, postage-stamp-size external display is on the small side. Still, it shows all the information you need, including battery life, signal strength, the time, the date, and other status indicators. It supports photo caller ID and acts as a viewfinder for self-portraits. The camera lens and the flash are well placed at the top middle of the front flap. We lamented, however, the lack of multimedia controls, which make for easy use of the digital music player when the flap is closed.
The Sanyo MM-7500's internal display measures 1.8 inches diagonally (176x220 pixels) and supports 260,000 colors. Although nice enough, it's a big step down from the 2-inch QVGA display on the. It's easily readable in dark and light conditions, and gameplay is clear and enjoyable, but it's not that excellent for streaming video or playback. The MM-7500 could have accommodated a larger screen, given its overall size. You can set the backlight time and change the font size.
The gray interior of the Sanyo MM-7500 is attractive and keeps with the industrial feel of the phone. The five-way navigational toggle is nicely sized and has nonprogrammable shortcuts for On Demand, music and messaging menus, and the phone book. The top soft keys access the Favorites menu and your contacts when in standby mode. Finally, the dedicated camera button is located just below the soft keys, across from the Back button. The keypad buttons are small and too flat, but they're nicely separated. All controls are backlit in blue and easy to read in dark conditions.
The right spine of the Sanyo MM-7500 has a key-guard button at the top, which acts as the voice-command menu when the phone is closed and answers incoming calls. Just below is a key that operates the camera, the voice-memo recorder, and the camcorder. On the left side of the phone, the top button activates the Ready Link menu, a two-way walkie-talkie service proprietary to Sprint. The volume rocker is located on the lower-left side and operates the volume, as well as allows you to scroll through other menu options when the flip is closed. When held down, the volume rocker also activates the blinding LED light, which is turned off by the top buttons on either side of the spine. Completing the exterior of the phone are a covered headset jack on the left spine, as well as an accessories connector port and a charger jack on the handset's bottom.
As with the Sanyo MM-9000, we are baffled as to why--with the multitude of options assigned to the exterior buttons on the MM-7500--it has no dedicated MP3 player buttons. While you can turn the volume up and down and go to the next song when in the player, you can't launch the music-player application or fast-forward, rewind, stop, or scroll through your songs. If Sanyo wants to compete with other multimedia phones, it must remedy this.The Sanyo MM-7500 holds 500 unique contact names, with up to 700 total phone numbers, 500 e-mail addresses, and 500 Web addresses. You can organize contacts into caller groups, assign them one of 17 polyphonic (72-chord) ring tones, and pair them with a picture for photo or video caller ID. As a bonus, the ringer can be set to announce the name. Other organizer features include an alarm clock; a calendar; a to-do list; a countdown timer; a stopwatch with five lap times; a world clock; and a calculator. A voice-memo recorder records up to 18 seconds or 12 recordings for a total time of 72 seconds.
The Sanyo MM-7500 has a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, text and multimedia messaging, and voice messaging (for leaving a voicemail without the caller's phone ringing). There's support for Sprint's PCS Ready Link push-to-talk service, with storage for 200 contacts. Voice-activated dialing without necessary training, including commands such as Dial Number, Find Contact, Go to Menu, and Call Voice Tag, all worked well. The two major issues we have with the features, or lack thereof, are the absence of an expandable memory slot and Bluetooth. Both should be basic requirements for a 3G mobile--fortunately, however, they are available on other Sprint EV-DO phones.
As a 3G EV-DO phone, the Sanyo MM-7500 supports live radio, live streaming TV, downloadable music, and video clips, all through Sprint's Power Vision and Sprint Music Store services. The media player itself supports a variety of file types (MIDI, AAC, AAC+, and MP3), but we weren't crazy about its interface, and we would have liked more functionality, such as the ability to fast-forward and rewind within a song.