Sanyo Pro-700 (Sprint) review: Sanyo Pro-700 (Sprint)

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The Good The Sanyo Pro-700 has a rugged military-spec exterior and works with Nextel's Direct Connect push-to-talk network. It also has built-in GPS, Bluetooth, and great performance.

The Bad The Sanyo Pro-700 is rather bulky with a lackluster display.

The Bottom Line The Sanyo Pro-700 is a good push-to-talk phone with a ruggedized exterior.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8

When Sprint merged with Nextel almost three years ago, there were concerns with how Sprint would integrate its CDMA network with Nextel's iDEN network, and how the two companies would coordinate their respective push-to-talk services. A new push-to-talk technology was developed by Qualcomm, called QChat, to help that process along. QChat is a CDMA upgrade to iDEN, and allows interoperability between CDMA phones and the iDEN network. Three years later and we finally see the first QChat phones to hit the market, in the form of the Sanyo Pro Series--the Pro-200 and the Pro-700. Even though both phones are CDMA handsets to be used via the Sprint network, they are compatible with Nextel Direct Connect.

The Pro-200 and the Pro-700 have essentially the same features, with different designs. The Pro-700 is the bulkier of the two, because it is clad in a rugged exterior built to military standards. Aside from push-to-palk capabilities, the Pro-700 has Bluetooth, built-in GPS, a speakerphone, and EV-DO Rev. A. The Pro-700 is definitely built to withstand the elements, and is slightly more expensive than the Pro-200 at $69.99 with a new two-year service agreement.

The key difference between the Pro-200 and the Pro-700 is in design. The Pro-700 is clad in a rubberized shell and is definitely ruggedized for the great outdoors. It's built to military standards, meaning it will withstand dust, shock, and vibration. However, it's not water resistant. Measuring 4 inches long by 1.8 inches wide by 0.8 inch thick, the Pro-700 is only a slightly bigger than the Pro-200, and weighs a bit more at 3.8 ounces. Thanks to the rubber exterior, the Pro-700 has a very nice feel in the hand, with a good solid grip. Unlike the Pro-200, the Pro-700 is clad in almost all black, except for a silver chrome border around the external display.

The Sanyo Pro-700 is more ruggedized than the Sanyo Pro-200.

Similar to the Pro-200, the Pro-700 has a 1.5-inch monochrome external display that shows the date, time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID. Backlight time and font size are adjustable. The speaker grille sits underneath that. Above the external display is a speakerphone microphone, which is only activated in speakerphone mode. The volume rocker and push-to-talk button is on the left spine while the right is home to a headset jack, a Side Call key, and a Side End key. The Side Call key lets you make calls with the phone closed, plus it toggles the push-to-talk speaker on or off. The Side End key can end a call, and it also brings up the recent call history when in standby mode.

Just like the Pro-200, the Pro-700 has a lackluster 1.9-inch 65,000 color display. You can adjust the backlight time, the background, the animation for outgoing calls, the color of the screen for incoming calls, the contrast, and font size.

The Sanyo Pro-700 has rubbery keys.

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