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Sanyo Innuendo SCP-6780 review: Sanyo Innuendo SCP-6780

Sanyo Innuendo SCP-6780

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German
6 min read


Sanyo Innuendo SCP-6780

The Good

The Sanyo Innuendo has a functional feature set, agreeable call quality, and a comfortable and spacious messaging keyboard.

The Bad

The Sanyo Innuendo's exterior controls and display aren't very user-friendly. Internal performance was mixed and the audio was somewhat distorted at the highest volume levels.

The Bottom Line

We still don't love the design concept, but the Sanyo Innuendo succeeds as a messaging phone with some multimedia.

Almost a year ago, Sanyo released its Incognito messaging phone for Sprint. Though we appreciated its spacious keyboard and call quality, we weren't so impressed by the exterior touch controls and tiny display. Sure, the design was attractive and original, but it just wasn't for us.

Now, just over 11 months later, Sanyo and Sprint are giving the design another go with the Innuendo SCP-6780 (no, we don't get the "Innuendo" name, either). It's slimmer and less angular, but like its predecessor it's not always easy to use. You can get it for $49.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.

As mentioned, the Innuendo closely resembles the earlier Incognito. Indeed, you'll see the same exterior features and flip-open design. It's also about the same size as the Incognito (4.2 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick), but the curved ends give it a trim and more aerodynamic profile. The Innuendo has a more attractive blue color, but its glossy surface also shows smudges and fingerprints way too easily. We like that it catches the light--and you can use it to check your teeth before a date--but the fingerprints are distracting and unappealing.

The Innuendo features touch controls and a glossy exterior.

The exterior touch controls are similar as well, though Sanyo tweaked the design slightly and added a dedicated speakerphone control. Otherwise, you'll find the standard 12-digit keypad, a back key, the Talk and End buttons, four directional arrows, and a central OK button. Here again, the arrangement is spacious, but you can't dial by feel and the surface is slick. Vibration feedback helps a bit, but not much. What's more, we remain dissatisfied with the smaller external display. Not only is it monochrome, so it won't show photo caller ID, but also you can access only a few menu options.

In contrast, the Innuendo mixes up the remaining external controls just a bit. The Micro-USB charger port and small volume rocker remain on the right spine, but the microSD card slot is now inconveniently located behind the battery. The camera lens sits on the rear side next to a speaker and on the top of the device are a 2.5mm headset jack and the power control.

The hinge runs the length of the Innuendo's left spine. It's a tad bulky, but the trade-off is a sturdy construction that feels solid (3.4 ounces). The mechanism is neither too loose nor too stiff, and the phone clicks into place on either end. The Innuendo opens almost a full 180 degrees, albeit with a slight S curve. Unless it's opened completely, it wobbles slightly when resting on a table.

The internal display measures 2.8 inches (the Incognito has a 2.6-inch screen) and supports 262,000 colors. Its resolution (400x240 pixels) is slightly higher than the Incognito, which means you'll have a rich viewing experience. The display has a landscape orientation, and Sprint's OneClick interface offers customizable shortcuts to favorite features.

The Innuendo has a spacious, comfortable keyboard.

Below the hinge are the two soft keys. As they're not directly under the corresponding command on the screen, the arrangement may not be intuitive at first. The keyboard has just three rows, which means letters share space with numbers and symbols, but the keys are large and spaced far apart. We could dial and text quickly without any issues, and we appreciate that the buttons aren't completely flush. You'll also find a navigation toggle, Talk and End/power buttons, a back control, a camera shutter, a speakerphone control, a key for accessing emoticons, a messaging shortcut, and a spacious, well-positioned space bar.

With the exception of a higher-resolution camera, the Innuendo's feature set is almost unchanged from the Incognito. As such, portions of this section are taken from the Incognito review.

The Innuendo's 600-contact phone book has room in each entry for multiple phone numbers, an e-mail address, a street address, an instant-messaging ID, a URL, and notes. You also can organize callers into groups and pair them with a photos and one of 39 (72-chord) polyphonic ringtones. Sprint offers a wireless backup service for your contacts in case you lose your phone.

Essential features include multimedia and threaded text messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a calculator, a countdown timer, a speakerphone, a stopwatch, and a world clock. You'll also find stereo Bluetooth, a voice recorder, instant messaging, speaker-independent voice commands and dialing, USB mass storage, and PC syncing. The Innuendo also supports Sprint Navigation, the carrier's Family Locater service, and most POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail accounts.

The Innuendo lacks a camera and self-portrait mirror.

The Innuendo's camera has a 3.2-megapixel resolution (the Incognito had a 2-megapixel shooter). It takes pictures in seven resolutions: from 2,048x1,536 pixels down to 320x240 pixels. For editing options, you can adjust the image quality, brightness, sharpness, contrast, white balance, and color tone. The handset also offers a digital zoom, a choice of fun frames, a multishot mode, a self-timer, three shutter sounds, and a few "scene" modes like beach/snow and night. The camcorder shoots clips with sound in three resolutions, but you can shoot without sound. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 30 seconds, but you can shoot for longer in standard mode.

The Innuendo has great photo quality.

After shooting photos, you can save your images to the Innuendo's internal memory. You get a respectable 40MB, which is smaller than the 60MB of shared space that the Incognito offered. The change is disappointing, but at least Sanyo doubled the memory card slot capacity to 32GB (a 1GB card comes with the phone). You can copy photos from the phone via a multimedia message, upload them to an online album hosted by Sprint, or transfer them to a printer via Bluetooth or PictBridge service. Photo quality is quite good with natural colors and little image noise. The Innuendo doesn't have a mirror for self-portraits.

As a Sprint 3G device, the Innuendo offers access to Sprint TV, which includes live and on-demand programming from a wide variety of channels. When it's time for tunes, the Sprint Music Store offers simultaneous downloads both to your PC and wirelessly to your phone. The music player interface is similar to other Sprint 3G phones with album art, repeat, and shuffle, an airplane mode.

You can personalize the Innuendo with greetings, wallpaper, clock styles, and screensavers. More customization options and additional ringtones are available from Sprint with the WAP 2.0 browser. The handset comes with three demo games--Guitar Hero 5 Mobile, Pac-Man, and Uno--but you'll have to buy the full versions for extended play. The Incognito also offers access to three social services (Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace) and a selection of applications (Google Search, Where, ScanLife, Sprint Football Live, Social Zone, and Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile).

We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) in San Francisco using Sprint service. Like its predecessor, the Innuendo offers excellent call quality. The audio was sharp and clear, voices sounded natural, and we encountered no static or interference. In a welcome improvement over the Incognito, the Innuendo offered a higher volume range. We could hear in most places, though we noticed that the audio was slightly distorted when you turned the volume up completely. The Innuendo is compatible with M4 and T4 hearing aids.

Callers also reported a good experience. They didn't mention the buzz that they heard on the Incognito, though a couple friends mentioned some wind noise. But even then, it didn't seem to be a big deal. Most callers could tell that we were using a cell phone.

We didn't have trouble with automated calling systems, though we had the best experience if we were in a quiet place. Speakerphone calls were sufficiently loud, though this audio also was distorted at the highest levels. And remember that the rear-facing speaker can muffle the sound if you make a call while the phone is resting on a table. Bluetooth headset calls were about the same as regular voice calls.

Internal performance was mixed. Though menu navigation was quick, some features took a couple of seconds to open. Also, it took several seconds to send a multimedia message. We though that perhaps the 3G EV-DO connection was to blame, but Sprint's 3G performed well in other areas. The WAP browser was fast (it will default to the mobile version of a site if one is available) and streaming videos loaded quickly. We also enjoyed good video quality, though we didn't like that the frame size doesn't take up the whole display.

The Innuendo has a rated battery life of 4.5 hours talk time. Our tests revealed a talk time of 5 hours and 14 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Incognito has a digital SAR of 0.96 watt per kilogram.


Sanyo Innuendo SCP-6780

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7