Sanyo Vero SCP-3820 review: Sanyo Vero SCP-3820

Sanyo Vero SCP-3820

Kent German

Kent German

Senior Managing Editor / Features

Kent is a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and has 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).

See full bio
5 min read

Sanyo Vero SCP-3820 - black (Sprint)

Sanyo Vero SCP-3820

The Good

The Sanyo Vero has an accessible design that should appeal to visually impaired users. Call quality is decent and you get the basic features for communication.

The Bad

The Sanyo Vero's plastic skin isn't very durable, and we don't like the 2.5mm headset jack. Audio quality at the highest volume levels was distorted, and the speakerphone is only marginally usable.

The Bottom Line

The Sanyo Vero doesn't get the highest call quality marks, but its user-friendly design and functional features make it a decent handset for basic communication.

During the past month, Kyocera has touched all corners of the cell phone world with its Sanyo-branded line of cell phones. The Android-powered Zio makes a play for smartphones; the Innuendo centers on messaging; and the new Vero brings up the rear. Sporting a simple design and functional features, the Vero, aka the SCP-3820, is built for communication. It's easy to use and it performs well most of the time. Yet, the handset's name is a bit much. Vero means "true" in Italian, and according to Sprint, that's "what this small and stylish phone delivers." Seriously...who thinks this stuff up? You can get it for just $9.99 with a two-year service agreement and a $50 mail-in rebate. At full price, it's $209.

If you're like us and have been reviewing cell phones for far too long, you start to notice similarities between handsets, even if there is a couple of years between them. Indeed, when the Sanyo Vero arrived on our desk, we thought of an earlier Sprint phone almost immediately. Samsung's SPH-M150 isn't exactly the same--its camera, for example, is on the opposite side of the phone--but its flat, glossy surface and curved lines remind also us of a skipping stone. For such a minimalist design, the Vero is a bit attractive.

The Vero measures 3.8 inches long by 2 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick and weighs 3.4 ounces. Though thin is no longer a huge trend in cell phone design, the Vero certainly fits the bill. It slips easily into small pockets, and it's almost unnoticeable in a purse or bag. The plastic skin doesn't feel entirely durable, but the hinge mechanism is sturdy. We should note that the Vero has a reverse hinge where its front flap folds behind its rear face when opened. It makes no difference in usability, though.

The Vero has a smooth, curvy shape. The font on the external display is huge.

Front and center you'll see the postage stamp external display. It is monochrome, but it shows the time in huge font, plus the handset's battery life and signal strength. The 2.4-inch internal display takes full advantage of the phone's size. What's more, the rich color support (65,546 hues) and vivid (320x240 pixels) resolution makes it very easy in the eyes. The menu system is easy to navigate, and you can change the brightness and backlight time and add a greeting.

The Vero has big keys with large text and numbers.

We'd recommend the Vero for users with visual impairments since all keys are marked with large text and numbers. What's more, the spacious navigation array is well-designed. There's a four-way toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, a camera shutter, a dedicated speakerphone control (nice), and a Back key. The Talk and End/power keys are marked in green and red respectively. The keypad buttons also are large and are brightly backlit for dialing in the dark. Our only complaint is that the keys are flat and rather slick, but we could still dial by feel.

The rear face has a textured material, though it's also made of plastic. The camera lens and speaker sit up top. On the left spine, you'll find the tiny volume rocker and the Micro-USB charger port. Over on the right spine is the 2.5mm headset jack. We'd prefer a standard 3.5mm jack.

The Vero's phonebook holds 600 contacts with room in each entry for multiple phone numbers, plus an e-mail address, an instant message handle, a URL, a street address, a birthday, a company and job title, and notes. You can organize into groups and pair them with a photo and one of 37 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 Vero also supports Sprint Navigation, the carrier's Family Locater service.

The Vero's camera has a 1.3-megapixel resolution that takes pictures in three resolutions. 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, and three shutter sounds. The Vero does not record video.

The Vero lacks a flash and a self-portrait mirror.

After shooting photos, you can save your images to the Vero's internal memory. You get 12MB, which isn't a lot, but it's enough for a basic phone like the SCP-3820. You can transfer photos off 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 for a low-resolution camera. The Vero doesn't allow for self-portraits.

We liked the Vero's photo quality.

You can personalize the Vero with clock styles and screensavers. More customization options and additional ringtones are available from Sprint with the WAP 2.0 browser. The handset comes with just a ScanLife application, but you can download more apps and games.

We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Sanyo Vero in San Francisco using Sprint service. Call quality was quite good on the whole. We enjoyed clear conversations and a strong signal that wasn't interrupted by any static or interference. Callers said we sounded great. Most could tell that we were using a cell phone, but that's not a bad thing. On the downside, though the volume level was satisfactory, the audio was warbled at the highest levels. You should be able to hear in loud places, but your friend's voice might not sound completely natural.

Sanyo Vero call quality sample
Listen now:

Speakerphone calls could get quite loud, but the audio was tinny and a bit distorted from the Vero's sole speaker. Our friends could understand us if we were in a quiet place, but we advise turning off the speakerphone when calling an automated voice-response system. Bluetooth calls were fine, though quality will depend on the headset. The Vero is compatible with M4 and T4 hearing aids.

The Vero has a rated href="http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-11288_7-290-11.html">battery life of 5.2 hours talk time. Our tests revealed a talk time of 5 hours and 42 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests the Vero has a digital SAR of 1.49 watts per kilogram.

Sanyo Vero SCP-3820 - black (Sprint)

Sanyo Vero SCP-3820

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 6Performance 7
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping