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Sanyo SCP-2400 review: Sanyo SCP-2400

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Like the Sanyo SCP-3100, the SCP-2400 has the appearance of a child's toy. Its plastic exterior and large speaker grille scream kid-size walkie-talkie. At 3.3 by 1.8 by 1.0 inches and 3.5 ounces, it fits in a purse without a problem, but it fits rather tightly in a pants pocket. Opening the clamshell takes a negligible amount of effort, and it cradles comfortably next to the ear.

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6.6

Sanyo SCP-2400

The Good

The Sanyo SCP-2400 supports family-friendly features, such as Sprint's parental control and family locator services. It also supports Sprint's Ready Link push-to-talk network, plus it features voice recording, voice dialing, analog roaming, and a speakerphone with great audio quality.

The Bad

The Sanyo SCP-2400 has a rather unappealing design, and the colors on the internal display appear washed out.

The Bottom Line

The Sanyo SCP-2400 is a basic handset that didn't impress us in terms of design. But because of its support for family-friendly services, it could be a great phone for both parents and kids.
Sprint is one of several cell phone carriers now offering family-friendly handset packages. Verizon has its Chaperone service for the , which lets parents know where their kids are, and Disney Mobile will have its own version sometime soon. Sprint's service comes in the form of a built-in parental control feature in selected handsets, and the Sanyo SCP-2400 is one of them. While it is a basic phone, the SCP-2400 also supports the Ready Link walkie-talkie network, which is another handy feature for families wanting to keep in touch. The phone is available now for the suggested retail price of $179.99, though it's only $29.99 after rebate with a two-year agreement. It comes in five different colors: Silver Sky, Midnight Black, Dark Bronze, True Blue, and Misty Rose.


The Sanyo SCP-2400 has a large speaker grille.

Right beneath the speaker grille is the 1-inch-diagonal monochrome external screen that has an orange backlight when activated. It displays the signal and battery strength, the time, and caller ID. On the left spine is the headset jack, a voice-recording key that doubles as the Ready Link key, and the volume rocker. The SCP-2400 has an extendable antenna as well.

Open up the phone, and you'll find a rather disappointing 65,000-color, 1.75-inch-diagonal display. Colors appear washed out, and the screen is difficult to see in bright sunlight. You can adjust the backlight timer of the internal display, the keypad, and the external screen. The font size, the default greeting, the background, contrast, the background color for incoming calls, and the sleep-mode timer are adjustable to suit your preference.

The navigational controls and keypad layout are very similar to those of the SCP-3100. There are the two soft keys, a five-way toggle that doubles as shortcuts to messaging, the phone book, the My Content folder (a list of games, ring tones, screensavers, applications, IM and e-mail, and call tones), and the My Favorites folder (a "smart" list of shortcuts to frequently used features). Underneath the left soft key is the Web browser button, and underneath the right soft key is the Back button. We found this arrangement a little odd, and we found ourselves accidentally hitting the Web button when we meant to make a call because it is located where the Talk key usually is. Below those are the Talk, Speakerphone, and End/power keys, followed by the keypad. The keys have a greenish backlight when activated.

The primary attractions of the SCP-2400 are Sprint's parental control services and support for the carrier's Ready Link push-to-talk network. Aside from those, the phone has mostly basic features. There's a 300-entry address book, and each contact can store up to seven numbers, an e-mail address, a Web site URL, an assigned group label, a personalized ring tone [you can choose from 16 polyphonic (32-chord) ring tones], and a picture caller ID. As the phone doesn't have a camera, you'll have to get the picture ID in a multimedia message or download some clip art as photo substitutes. There is a separate Ready Link contact list that stores up to 200 personal contacts and 200 business contacts. Other offerings include text and picture messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, a calendar, a scheduler, a to-do list, a world clock, a calculator, a stopwatch, an alarm clock, voice dialing, voice recording, a vibrate mode, a wireless Web browser, analog roaming, and a built-in speakerphone that can be activated prior to calls. The SCP-2400 also supports an optional service called Wireless Backup, which lets you back up your entire phone's information to Sprint's servers, in case your phone gets lost or stolen.

Accessing the parental control features couldn't be easier; it's actually the first option on the top left of the main menu screen. Enter in a lock code, and you can then set limitations on incoming and outgoing calls (ranging from allowing all calls to just special preselected numbers), lock or unlock the Ready Link walkie-talkie service or the PCS Vision service (which includes text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, and games), assign special phone numbers, edit the phone book, and change the lock code for the phone. What's more, there's an optional service called Sprint Family Locator, which uses GPS technology that lets parents track where their child is at all times. Parents can track their child either from another Sprint phone or from their PC.

As for personalization options, you can customize your phone with a variety of different backgrounds, animations, screensavers, ring tones, and more. The only game included is World Poker Tour, but as with all the other options, you can download more from Sprint's store via the wireless WAP 2.0 browser on the phone.

We tested the dual-band, trimode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) Sanyo SCP-2400 in San Francisco with the Sprint network. Call quality was great on both ends, and callers could hardly tell we were on a cell phone. Speakerphone audio quality was similarly impressive. Web performance was slow, as expected.

The Sanyo SCP-2400 has a rated talk time of 3.5 hours, which we met in our tests, and a standby time of 5 days. We doubled the standby time to 10 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the Sanyo SCP-2400 has a digital SAR rating of 1.27 watts per kilogram.

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6.6

Sanyo SCP-2400

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 7