Pros Great design, great speakerphone, decent battery life, nice display, user-friendly menu scheme, durability
Cons VGA camera, no expandable memory slot, small outside LCD screen in comparison with size of phone, volume rocker placed poorly
Summary I went to Wal-Mart to renew my Sprint contract with the intention of getting the Razr V3m. The salesperson that worked for Sprint there began to show me the differences between the Razr and the Katana II. I was shocked. The Katana II is a much better phone. The Razr's keypad is glued on compared to the Katana's which is embedded into the phone. the Razr is made of cheap plastic parts that are not assembled well. It was flimsy and poorly made compared to the Katana II.
The Katana II has a fantastic speakerphone. Many phones have very poor ones that are hard to hear and hard to be heard on. Many of them produce an echo or muffle your voice to the person you are talking to. Not the Katana. Everyone that I have talked to using the speakerphone said that they couldn't even tell that I was using it at all. They thought I was using the phone normally.
The phone gets decent, but not spectacular battery life. Not much better than many phones, but not much worse either.
The internal LCD display is very crisp and vibrant. At 2", it is very easy to see what you are doing.
The menu scheme is very good for this phone. It is very user-friendly. You don't have to fumble around trying to guess where you are going for the most part. It has a very nice "Favorites" menu that you can link to any function on the phone. I have mine set to enable/disable Bluetooth, find Bluetooth devices, a list of trusted Bluetooth devices, incoming call history, and Bluetooth visability.
On the negative side, I am very disappointed with Sanyo's decision to only include a VGA camera when the Razr sports a 1.3 Megapixel camera. It makes for decent, but under average pictures. However, most people don't use their phone as their main camera, so it's not a huge deal.
The external LCD display is a little on the small side. It is visible, but for those with poor vision, it would be a hassle to see it with any clarity.
I also don't like the absence of a slot to put a SD card in. However, I don't use my phone for many things that require memory, so it's not a huge imposition, but an annoying one.
My biggest gripe with this phone is the placement of the phone/call volume rocker. It sits on the left side of the upper portion of the phone. It is very awkward to get to in the middle of a conversation. A simple oversight, but one that annoys me greatly.
All in all, a grade-A phone that I am very pleased with.Updated
It's also only $38.88 at Wal-mart, not the $50 that Sprint stores and Sprint.com want.
Pros Build, Voice Quality, Bluetooth
Cons Skinny volume keys, no speaker independent voice dialing
Summary The build quality of the Katana II is excellent with the phone feeling solid and well-built in my hand. Its slim profile is nothing new nowadays, but still appreciated. The battery life is decent, not great. Not surprisingly, the glossy surfaces do attract smudges and fingerprints.
The Katana has OUTSTANDING voice quality. I think Sanyo is one of the few manufacturers out there that has remembered that primary purpose of a phone is to, well, make calls. With the Katana II, it is truly a pleasure to carry on a conversation with the speaker’s voice always sounding loud and very clear. The speakerphone turns in an equally great performance. I also love the fact that there is a dedicated speakerphone button so that you can initiate calls or answer a call using the speaker phone.
The Katana II paired easily with my Jawbone Bluetooth headset (odd choice you may say, to buy a headset that cost me more than the phone – but I just needed something good but inexpensive to ride out my contract). Voice quality sounded great using Bluetooth as well. The previous phone I tried out (STAY AWAY FROM THE SAMSUNG M300!!!) made me critical of the volume through my pricey Jawbone. Using the Katana, it became obvious that the blame laid with the inferior M300 and not my headset. I was also able to transfer contacts with other devices without any issues.
Like many other phones without a QWERTY keypad, the Katana uses the T9 predictive typing. I have to say that the Katana’s implementation of T9 is more appealing than others I’ve used. As you type, the word options appear below allowing you to quickly choose the word you intended without having to cycle through words using a NEXT key. I was wary at first but have come to love this method. Of course, no predictive typing is going to be as natural as a full QWERTY keyboard, but this is the next best thing. The keys are not as large as the previous Katana, but I am able to text easily and quickly.
Couple of nice features are the ability to screen calls though the phone and also a HOLD function. If you press the button on the right side in response to an incoming call, the caller gets a message to please hold for a moment. A nice feature to allow you to politely end a conversation and still get to your caller. Do be careful that if you press the volume buttons too often to suppress a call that it will actually answer on speaker phone. I had a couple of embarrassing moments before I realized this.
The display is nice and bright, even in direct sunlight. It has the standard Sprint menu layout, but the graphics are nice compared to other phones. The Katana also has a Favorites menu where you can link to your most used menu options, like enabling Bluetooth, etc. It nice because you don’t have to dig through a number of menus to get to the functions you use most. The menus are very responsive with no delays.
The VGA camera on this phone is only so-so and won’t win you any Pulitzer Prizes. However, this was not an important feature to me. Especially given that the phone lacks any memory card slots and I’m not willing to pay for Sprint’s Vision Plan to get a grainy picture off my phone.
One thing I really wish that this phone would include is VoiceSignal’s speaker independent voice dialing. This is the ONLY thing I missed from giving up the crappy Samsung M300. Coupled with a Bluetooth headset, it made for truly hands-free operation.
My other gripe, is the placement of the skinny volume buttons on the upper-half of this clamshell phone. Also, the placement of the earphone relative to the mic can sometimes cause me to position the phone in a less than optimal position. On rare occasion, I have to adjust phone’s position to my face for someone to hear me better. I also wish the external display was better.
Bottom line… if you’re looking for quality budget phone that has outstanding call quality, Bluetooth, is customizable, and has some nice phone features – this is a great choice. If you’re looking for a phone that is less phone and more a multimedia messaging device, then you’ll be very disappointed. Me … I was looking for the former and am extremely happy with this phone.
Pros Easy to hear someone during a phone conversation. Great price!
Cons There are none!
Summary I recently left Nextel for Sprint and decided to get the Sanyo Katana 2. The Katana 2 is a solid built phone. I was very surprise on how loud and clear the phone is. You don’t have to worry about not being able to hear the other person. This was a big difference from my Nextel phone (Motorola i730) where I found myself at times needing to turn the volume up. Not the Katana 2, it just the opposite! I don’t get any drop calls, but this could also be due to the fact that Sprint has a better network then Nextel. My friend has the Motorola Razr and the phone is falling apart. You can’t go wrong with this phone.
Pros good signal, loud ringers, sleek and attractive look,alright battery life, user friendly
Cons shows fingerprints easily,
Summary okay so i picked up this phone on thanksgiving or this year and i really like it!
the signal is better than my last sprint phone (samsung MM-A92o). in my house i used to get 0-1 bars. now i get 1-2. .. and in some other places the signal is significantly better (ei - in one place i used to get 0-1 bars, now i get 2-4)
very loud ringers and voice quality! though this phone's voice quality can be a little muffled depending on the volume level of the call, it is still pretty clear and most understandable.
battery life is not bad. it could be better. i have to charge it nightly. i text alot during the day and call alot on weekends. they pretty much kill the battery by the time its 6-7 oclock pm.
i dont like the fact the it is prone to fingerprints. if you go in the light you will see that there are many finger prints. and they arent easily removed like with a swipe of a napkin. you have to do a little work to remove them.
i like the placement of the internal antenna. its by the microphone of the phone. this is a good thing because i can place my hand confortably on the phone without interfering with signal strength (which is probably why this signal is better than the last phone)
if you are looking for pretty much an entry level phone with the sleek look of a top notch one, go with this phone, you wont be disappointed!Updated
since i already reviewed the phone, i cannot change what i rated it ... but i think id give it a 4 or a 5!
the call varies depending on who your talking to, how well the bother to annunciate their words, and what kinda of phone they are using.
when i talk to my friends on flip phones its probabaly the worst. call quality is so muffled over and after they say something i must ask to repeat it 1-3 times!
when i talk to others on other phones, this is usually not a problem. it comes in loud and mostly clear, but nothing worth buying it over other phones.
dont get this phone its not great. i feel like im using a different phone sometimes when i talk to certain people, and i have never felt this way using any other phone
idk if its a sanyo thing... i really hope not
but the kat II is a no buy!
Pros good volums, and can hear calls really good
get better service then others
Cons battery gets way too hot after being on it for a few mins
battery life sucks
very cheap phone
no memory card slot
very flemsy phone
Summary i would never have paid money for this its really a waste of time and money