Almost a year ago, Sanyo released its Incognito messaging phone for Sprint. Though we appreciated its spacious keyboard and call quality, we weren't so impressed by the exterior touch controls and tiny display. Sure, the design was attractive and original, but it just wasn't for us.
Now, just over 11 months later, Sanyo and Sprint are giving the design another go with the Innuendo SCP-6780 (no, we don't get the "Innuendo" name, either). It's slimmer and less angular, but like its predecessor it's not always easy to use. You can get it for $49.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.
As mentioned, the Innuendo closely resembles the earlier Incognito. Indeed, you'll see the same exterior features and flip-open design. It's also about the same size as the Incognito (4.2 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick), but the curved ends give it a trim and more aerodynamic profile. The Innuendo has a more attractive blue color, but its glossy surface also shows smudges and fingerprints way too easily. We like that it catches the light--and you can use it to check your teeth before a date--but the fingerprints are distracting and unappealing.
The exterior touch controls are similar as well, though Sanyo tweaked the design slightly and added a dedicated speakerphone control. Otherwise, you'll find the standard 12-digit keypad, a back key, the Talk and End buttons, four directional arrows, and a central OK button. Here again, the arrangement is spacious, but you can't dial by feel and the surface is slick. Vibration feedback helps a bit, but not much. What's more, we remain dissatisfied with the smaller external display. Not only is it monochrome, so it won't show photo caller ID, but also you can access only a few menu options.
In contrast, the Innuendo mixes up the remaining external controls just a bit. The Micro-USB charger port and small volume rocker remain on the right spine, but the microSD card slot is now inconveniently located behind the battery. The camera lens sits on the rear side next to a speaker and on the top of the device are a 2.5mm headset jack and the power control.
The hinge runs the length of the Innuendo's left spine. It's a tad bulky, but the trade-off is a sturdy construction that feels solid (3.4 ounces). The mechanism is neither too loose nor too stiff, and the phone clicks into place on either end. The Innuendo opens almost a full 180 degrees, albeit with a slight S curve. Unless it's opened completely, it wobbles slightly when resting on a table.
The internal display measures 2.8 inches (the Incognito has a 2.6-inch screen) and supports 262,000 colors. Its resolution (400x240 pixels) is slightly higher than the Incognito, which means you'll have a rich viewing experience. The display has a landscape orientation, and Sprint's OneClick interface offers customizable shortcuts to favorite features.
Below the hinge are the two soft keys. As they're not directly under the corresponding command on the screen, the arrangement may not be intuitive at first. The keyboard has just three rows, which means letters share space with numbers and symbols, but the keys are large and spaced far apart. We could dial and text quickly without any issues, and we appreciate that the buttons aren't completely flush. You'll also find a navigation toggle, Talk and End/power buttons, a back control, a camera shutter, a speakerphone control, a key for accessing emoticons, a messaging shortcut, and a spacious, well-positioned space bar.
With the exception of a higher-resolution camera, the Innuendo's feature set is almost unchanged from the Incognito. As such, portions of this section are taken from the Incognito review.
The Innuendo's 600-contact phone book has room in each entry for multiple phone numbers, an e-mail address, a street address, an instant-messaging ID, a URL, and notes. You also can organize callers into groups and pair them with a photos and one of 39 (72-chord) polyphonic ringtones. Sprint offers a wireless backup service for your contacts in case you lose your phone.