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CNET First Look
Sanyo Zio SCP-8600Sprint's Sanyo Zio will pale in comparison with Sprint's other Android handsets, but it offers functional features and serviceable performance at an affordable price.
-Hi! I'm Kent German, senior editor here at cnet.com. Today, we'll take a first look at the Sanyo Zio. Now, this is the Sanyo Zio for Sprint. We've already showed the Sanyo Zio for Cricket. This phone is largely similar. It does have a few differences. On the outside, you'll see it has a little more chrome detailing, but a silver that goes all the way around. So, here's the Sanyo Sprint phone and then here's the Cricket phone, so this is dark all the way around and this has silver. So, otherwise, the design is exactly the design. You have that soft touch material on the back. There's the camera with the speaker. Navigation controls are also the same. You'll have that trackball on the center that's a little recessed so it's very easy to use. You can press down on it to select things. Though, the display is the same as the Cricket phones. It has the same resolution. It's the same size. Sports the same colors. There is one big difference that this phone has. It supports a new feature called Sprint ID. The Sprint ID can program the phone with ID packs with wallpaper, with shortcuts, with widgets. And as you cycle through them, the wallpaper will change and the appearance of the display will change so everything that's on it. So it really makes the phone different as you move between them. You can download ID packs that are provided by developers. The phone does come with 2. The Sprint ID pack is what you'll see here. It has a lot of yellow on it, of course, for Sprint. It has access to NASCAR, access to Sprint TV, so all of those Sprint specific functions. I think the experience feels pretty forced. I didn't like that I was sort of funneled in into this area where I had to chose one, I had to chose another. I also think it takes Android and just locks it down and breaks it up in a way that just goes again its open spirit. So, again, I'm not really a fan of Sprint ID. On the upside, though, Sprint ID does mean one really good thing for this phone. Because the feature only runs on Android 2.1 that means Android 2.1 is on the Sprint Zio. Otherwise, features are exactly the same. You can access the menu here. It has the standard Android menu design. The virtual keyboard looks the same. The phone dialer looks the same. All of those things we saw on the other Zio will be available here. Just those 2 big feature differences are Sprint ID which I'm not crazy about and Android 2.1 which I do like. The last thing I wanna show is the packaging of the phone that comes in. Now, if you buy it for Sprint, you're gonna get this pretty standard box. It's a little boring. You just open it up, and inside, the phone, not a lot there. Kyocera, though, which of course makes the phone under the Sanyo brand, is offering this box. A little nicer. It has a magnetic lock here. You open it up. This has a kind of a felt interior with the nice phone neatly positioned there. You got your user manuals over here, so definitely nice packaging but not gonna be available for most people in the Sprint store. I'm Kent German and this is the Sanyo Zio for Sprint.