The Good The Sanyo Zio has a decent set of features and nice quality. Welcome to Android 2.1.
The Bad Zio data transfer speeds are quite slow and speaker calls are low. The Sprint ID experience is quite compelling.
The Bottom Line The Sanyo Zio Sprint pales in comparison to other Sprint phones on Android, but it offers functional features and performance at an affordable price.
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Sanyo Zio SCP-8600
Editors’ note: Since Sprint’s Sanyo Zio closely resembles Cricket Wireless’s Zio, in this review we’ll concentrate on the differences between the two devices. For a full description of the Zio’s design and features, see our Sanyo Zio M6000 review .
Not long ago, we reviewed this program Sanyo Zio for Wireless Cricket than Sprint decided to counteract its own Android phone version. Overall, the Zio Sprint is much like the Zio Cricket, though it does show some unique features, such as the extra chrome around the edges and the inclusion of the new Sprint ID feature. In fact, they wouldn’t be significant in themselves, but Android OS 2.1 (Cricket’s phone had 1.6) gives Sprint Zio a solid boost over its competition. Again, Zio is manufactured by Kyocera, although sold under the Sanyo brand. Its price is a respectable $ 99 with a two-year contract and a $ 100 discount on mail. If you pay the full price, it will cost you $ 349.
As mentioned, the Sprint Zio hasn’t changed much compared to the Cricket Wireless model. Its design is just as utilitarian, but we don’t think it’s a bad thing considering the intuitive controls and touch screen. Speaking of which, the 3.5-inch WVGA display supports the same resolution (262,000 colors; 800×480 pixels), and the whole phone measures the same dimensions (4.6 inches, 2.3 inches, 0.48 inches wide, it weighs 3.7 ounces).
Still, the Sprint Zio has its own style. Cricket’s handset was black everywhere, but this model showed chrome detailing around the edges. This is a different greeting on a regular phone. Other external features include a 3.5mm headphone jack, volume, and a hands-free Micro-USB port on the left side of the spine. The MicroSD card slot is conveniently located on the right of the spine next to the camera shutter. You get a 2GB MicroSD card in the box.
The Zio virtual keyboard does not change compared to other Android phones.
Although the main menu, phone number and virtual keyboard are standard Android design, home screens are extremely different thanks to the Sprint ID feature. Next to Samsung Transform and the LG Optimus S, Zio is the debut Sprint ID device that offers users a deeper level of customization that goes beyond the typical Android experience.
The Sprint ID package shown here is the default ID package for Zio. You can change it by touching the “D” touch control at the bottom right of the display.
In short, Sprint ID offers “ID packs” that you can change by tapping the designated touch control at the bottom of the display. Each ID pack contains a combination of wallpapers, widgets, home screen shortcuts, and applications that come together to create a themed experience. When you switch between ID packages, the home screen and other items will change accordingly. Zio comes with a choice of ID packages, but you can download more and create your own. For example, the Sprint ID Pack has yellow wallpapers and includes access to special Sprint applications such as Sprint Zone and Nascar Mobile.
Although the Sprint ID is interesting and allows the operator to differentiate, I’m not a big fan. The whole experience feels forced, and it seems to be another way for an operator to repackage Android in a way that contradicts the open spirit of the operating system. I also agree with Jessica Dolcourt’s analysis of it Sprint ID review . Not only does it perceive it as an avenue for crafting software, but it also experiences that Sprint ID will lead to adverts.
On the other hand, Sprint ID does bring one big advantage to the Zio SCP-8600: since the feature is only compatible with Android 2.1 and higher, Sprint had to give Zio a newer OS version. Although we prefer Android 2.2 out of the gate (Zio will be upgraded to Froyo in the future), we will move to 2.1 over the old OS 1.6 we had on Zio Cricket. The benefits of Eclair includes five home screens and notable interface improvements.
The Zio camera lens sits on the back near the speaker.
Other features do not change. Inside you will find a personal organizer, 3.2 megapixel video camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, speakerphone, PC sync, USB storage, music player, GPS, voice commands, messaging and email, Android market access and regular a range of Android applications. On the other hand, you do not get the File Browser application that we had in the cricket player.
Zio offers decent photo quality.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Sanyo Zio in San Francisco with Sprint. The call quality was quite good, with excellent clarity and low or no static or interference. We also liked the slightly louder volume than the Cricket, which is surprising given that it’s basically the same phone. The difference was minimal, but still noticeable.
In the end, the subscribers said we sounded good. They could tell that we were using a cell phone, but most of our friends had no complaints. A couple of people mentioned some static, but they said it didn’t prevail. Also, like a cricket phone, we had to talk if there was a lot of background noise, especially if we were talking to an automated voice system. The loudspeaker calls were loud, but also a little shrill at our end.
Data support is prevalent on 3G EV-DO Sprint, so don’t count on WiMax speeds on the Zio. Data transfer speeds on this Zio were generally slow – it took more than a minute for busy sites such as Giantbomb.com to open – but sites with less graphics would load faster. To save time, Zio uses the mobile version of the website, if available, by default.
Zio’s rated resource has 4.6 hours of talk time, compared to the promised 6.9 hours on the cricket phone. Has a proven talk time of 5 hours 4 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Zio has a digital absorption coefficient of 1.39 watts per kilogram.