Pros Outer touch screen = mirror
Native email app = good
Web access not crippled by Boost
Runs Opera Mini java app browser & other java apps
Flip protects display screen
Good camera w/picture editor, special fx, color filters
Cons Non-standard 2.5mm headphone jack
Not much customization of screen/nav
Touch pad can't text & easily scratched
Can't open/edit Word/Excel/PDF docs
No 1-handed texting
Calendar can't sync w/Outlook/Google
Only gets 50 emails, max 3K text of each mail
Summary Apps, apps, apps. That's all you hear about in ads for iPhones, Android phones, and Blackberry users tout.
Well, I'm a smartphone user of several years. Prior to my BBerry, I had a Palm Centro. Once you've used a smartphone, the problem is that you never want to go back to a dumb phone!
I hated my BBerry when I first got it, but then I fell in love with it because of all the cool apps. I had weather and news apps, I even purchased a calendar app (mostly I use free/open-source apps) to replace the native BBerry calendar (the app I used is called PocketInformant, and it's a nice product).
But my contract plan was costing me $85-100/month for the unlimited talk/250 text and unlimited data. The Blackberry service alone was $24.95/month of that $85-100. I just couldn't afford it. The early termination fee for my contract phone was $150, but I did it because in 3 months of using Boost, I would *save* $150 on my cell phone bill!
I tried Straight Talk. What a mistake! Yeah, it's $45/month for unlimited talk/text/web, whereas BoostMobile is $50/month for the same thing.
But that five dollars makes a *world* of difference. Boost doesn't cripple their phones; you can use other browsers to access the web on a Boost phone. Not possible with Straight Talk; their phones are crippled to only access the web with the native browser. Boost offers some pretty nice phones. Straight Talk doesn't. I had Straight Talk for 22 days and then switched back to Boost.
When I first got this Sanyo Incognito, I hated it. I go through that with every new phone, though. And over time (a couple months) I grew to love it. (Especially after I used a crippled Straight Talk phone!)
The Incognito is very customizable in terms of apps. If you go to www.getjar.com, look through the apps, and download the ones you want that also have positive reviews by multiple people. That's what I've done and I have no complaints.
You access the phone's features through a "carousel" that you sweep through at the bottom of the screen. Unfortunately, this is not very customizable. Most of the tabs can't be removed (e.g. Facebook, etc.)
There is one tab that you can edit, called Favorites. Unfortunately you can only add 5 items to it. You *can* add other tabs (I haven't tried that yet). But I have about 24 apps and games on my Incognito now. So having only 5 slots for favorite apps isn't enough.
But the 5 favorites do allow me to put the most important apps in quick reach. On my phone, those are the Opera Mini browser, Gcal (a java app that puts a calendar on your phone which syncs with your Google Calendar), ForecaWeather (a *phenomenal* weather app that even gets current/recent satellite and radar pictures, it's amazing!), and Moon (a moon phase, moonrise/set, sunrise/set app).
Unfortunately, the Gcal and ForecaWeather apps require 'net access. So if you're in a basement, where you get no bars, you can't access your Google calendar or the weather.
But I am able to include in my five slots the Opera mini browser, the Gcal app, the ForecaWeather app, a note app, and I generally rotate other frequently used apps into the last open slot. All of the useful apps I have found came from http://www.getjar.com/. I only download 4 or 5 star apps with positive reviews from more than 1 reviewer. The Gcal app isn't perfect, but as far as I know, it is the only java app that syncs with Google Calendar.
The native music player is kind of stupid -- it can't search your phone for music -- but the sound is very good if you use decent headphones, and you can change the equalizer.
I don't use the Facebook app because I'm not on Facebook that much. Don't know if it works.
Messaging is threaded, yay! And I've been using it for 3 months and haven't run out of space. (On the Straight Talk phone, I ran out in 2 weeks and had to delete texts.)
All in all, this is a pretty smart dumb phone. If you know how to exploit it's possibilities, you can almost make it into a smart phone. I still miss my Blackberry, but I don't miss the $85-100/month bill that came with it, when I can do almost all the same things for $50/month instead.
If you select the right apps, and give it a chance, this phone can do a *lot*. It's a bit overpriced from Boost, but it's also worth it in what you save.
Pros Nice keyboard, good camera, External turn on (Hold down keyguard), external doubles as mirror, text and photo shortcuts on internal keyboard , good battery life , doesnt "but" dial, loud ringer, micro sd port on outside, strap holder, charges quickly
Cons NEARLY USELESS FRONT SCREEN, bad camera location, quiet speakers, cant set text messages to vibrate only,loud clicking noise when opening
Summary This phone is easy to use, somethings are stealthily hidden so that youll have the phone for awhile and then figure it out. Cnet proves this because they clearly stated that the phone can only be turned on, on the inside however if you look on the outside left spine you will see it has the same power symbol as the inside, to turn on simply hold down slider (Key lock) and it will turn on (its in the manual). Phone is well thought out but they should have some feutures altered and (or) moved but if you not stubborn you will get used to them. Dencent feautures for a cheap price.
Pros I really love the internal keyboard. I text a lot and view the internet via my phone, so the large and wide keyboard makes it much easier to navigate. Upload videos and photos straight to facebook and youtube and immediate access to thes sites.
Cons You cannot text from the external keypad. This is really just for dialing, and since it is touchpad, it can be too sensitive and I have to redial a lot. Smudges easily as well, and is not convenient to have to flip phone open each time a text comes.
Summary I do love my Incognito, however, I am trading it in for a Blackberry. The internal workings are awesome, including a great 'carousel' of shortcuts to my favorite sites. It is just too inconvenient for my uses. I text much more than I call, so the constant flipping open and closed becomes annoying. Also, although you can turn the touchpad on or off easily by a flipswitch on the side, sometimes it turns on accidentally while I am on a call, and my cheek will hang the call up. I am a female who wears makeup occassionally, and that tends to rub off on the (very sharp looking when clean) front display and looks dirty much of the time. Bottom line: If you dont mind the opening and closing of the phone whenever you need to go on the internet or text, and if you dont mind the touch front and the phone often looking messy, then this is the phone for you. I really will miss it when I trade it in, but I will not miss the inconveniences.
Pros Good price - Good menus - Upgradable memory- PC sync - Has bluetooth technology - spacious keyboard - easy to use -
Cons Mirrored front panel - Sound on onboard speakers is quite "tinny". - Browser is very limited ( other browsers are available for free and work very well on this phone).- Carousel buttons - Limited and or no instructions for advance use.
Summary THE GOOD: The Incongnito in my opinion is a fine platform for the beginner to Intermediate user. I found the interface both intuitive and easy to use. I found myself flying through menus in a matter of days (without reading the manual and light casual use). I still suggest reading the manual as there are a number of features you will not know you have until you've read the manual. The service (I used Boost Mobile via Sprint network) for phone, text and web has been exceptionaly fast and reliable. With a Mirrored face and hidden keypad and display the Incognito is a sleek and sexy phone. Its sheek enough for the fashion minded woman and "techy" enough for the guys or vice versa. Upgradable to 16gigs of memory via a micorSD card more than enough for 1000's of mp3, 100's of contacts or loads of applications.
THE BAD: The Incognito is not without its shortcommings. What makes this phone so good to look at is also detrimental to the phones function. By that I mean the mirror finish with glow through keypad and screen. While this is very cool at night or even on an overcast day. The entire display is absolutely useless on a sunny day. You will find yourself ducking for cover in order to use the glow though display to answer a call. You can open the phone and use the internal screen and keys to find out who its is and answer a call. But, on a sunny day even the internal screen is hard to read. Besides, who really wants to have to open up their phone every time it rings and or buzzes. If you're like me, you have become quite accustom to looking at the phones display and deciding weather or not to answer it in a blink of an eye. Speaking of the internal display, I would have paid extra money for a larger display. The phone looks like it has plenty of room to increase the viewing area.
The onboard cameras usefulness is that of the very first camera phones ( and even then, they were better laid out) You have to open the phone in order to use the camera function and even then its very akward to use. It is Ok for having fun but for real moments.....get a real camera.
As I mentioned, both onboard speakers sound very tinny. Using them for a call is OK at best. Get some type of headphones for all other uses.
I find the carousel feature annoying and limiting. The carousel is kinda like shortcuts on your desktop. The "shortcut" brings you to programs or websites with one click. The annoying part is if it brings you to a program like "Navigation" of course it asks you for money for the feature. If you want to know what the movies times are or the current temp with "one click" you will find yourself constantly changing the setting to reflect where you are. When you are finished and logged out, all the settings are lost and must be re-typed. So much for "one click". These "shortcuts" are pre programed into the phone and cannot be permantly deleted or changed with shortcuts of your own (boo).
I think advanced users will get tired of the very basic Operating system os well as its current limited app availability. The phone is only a couple of months old so I guess we shall see.
THE Verdict: Overall, despite what I wrote above, I do think the Incognito is a fine phone. It does what it supposed to do with out much fuss. Remember, it's an entry level smartphone. As my first smart "type" phone I am not dissappointed. I am sure in time, I will want more out of my multiphone. But, for now, this is the phone for me.
Pros Beautiful mirror exterior; Beautiful interior screen; Spacious keyboard; Ease of usability; Outside keyboard and screen perform as optimally designed; Above average sound quality.
Cons Bad camera positioning; Exterior smudges quickly and easily; Web Issue(See (1) Below).
Summary I purchased my mirror-faced and silver Incognito on 02/05/10. I could not be happier with my decision. Boost Mobile is the best thing to hit cell phones.
Using the exterior touchpad and screen setup, navigating recent calls, phone book and missed alerts is made quite simple. I'm not sure that recording a soundbyte fits into the menu.
It's a toss-up, pro/con, that you have to open the phone to view your text. I'd like an exterior preview, but I definitely didn't intend to text without a full keyboard anymore.
Clicking the phone open and going to town on the buttons is made easy, too. Button spacing is around 1/8" of plastic, so there's room to spread out. The large navigation square makes navigating the internet, emails and text messages simple.
The only drawback, that I see, is not having a full dynamic screen outside (which would jack the retail price up to $300+, easily...)... For it's price tag, this phone outperforms most in it's class and price range.