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Sanyo RL7300 (Sprint) review: Sanyo RL7300 (Sprint)

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The Sanyo RL7300's list of features isn't extensive by current standards, but its offerings are well integrated. The phone book holds 300 entries, each of which can store up to seven numbers and includes entries for e-mail and Web addresses. Contacts can be paired with any of seven polyphonic (32-chord) ring tones. Though there's also picture-caller ID, the handset does not have a camera, so you must download your pictures. You save Ready Link numbers in a personal list, which can hold up to 200 contacts. (Businesses that establish a PCS Ready Link server can create company lists; only the server administrator can maintain company lists.)

The biggest draw, obviously, is the RL7300's Ready Link capability. When you press the Ready Link button, you see a display of all of the contacts stored in your personal list. Scroll down to select the proper contact, then press the Ready Link button again to make a walkie-talkie-style call. You should note that the contact list and personal list are completely separate, so a number saved to one list doesn't automatically appear on the other.

Other features include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, a world clock, a to-do list, an alarm clock, and WAP 2.0 wireless Web access via Sprint's 1xRTT next-generation network. A feature called Match Area Code will display the state of incoming and outgoing calls for numbers not listed in your phone book.

You also get voice dialing, which is very useful for hands-free use. You can press the Side Call key, say the name of the contact you've saved as a voice-dial number, then hold a conversation, all while the phone's cover remains closed. You can also use the Side Call key for answering calls via the speakerphone. The RL4920 can be personalized with a variety of screensavers, many of which are available from Sprint. No games are included, but you can download titles as well as additional ring tones.

We tested the triband (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) Sanyo RL7300 in the Chicago area. Some callers had trouble hearing us, though most said we sounded perfectly clear. On our end, the audio was largely static free, but voices consistently sounded muffled through the earpiece. Ready Link calls were loud and clear however, over the integrated speakerphone.

We reached 3.75 hours of talk time in our test, beating the rated 3 hours. And though we matched the promised standby time, four days is still rather short. According to the FCC, the Sanyo RL7300 has a digital SAR rating of 0.97 watts per kilogram and an analog SAR rating of 1.32 watts per kilogram.

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