The Sanyo SCP-4700 is practically identical to the popular SCP-4500 except for one major enhancement: The SCP-4700 will work with Sprint's next-generation voice network. Unfortunately, the phone will not be compatible with the company's high-speed data network, so users won't see any difference in wireless Web surfing or modem speeds. As noted, the candy bar-style Sanyo SCP-4700 is essentially a mirror image of its predecessor, the SCP-4500. It has the same dimensions (5.3 by 1.7 by 1.1 inches) and weight (5 ounces) and also shares the same scratch- and fingerprint-resistant faceplate. Unlike the 4500's pewter-colored finish, the 4700 has a shiny, silver cover that we prefer. While this isn't the sleekest phone available, it does feel comfortable in the hand.
Like the SCP-4500, the SCP-4700 has a large, five-line ClearGlo, blue-backlit display that's easy to read in most lighting conditions. It also sports a roomy backlit keypad and a large navigation button for accessing the phone's functions and surfing the Web. There's even a dedicated button to access the SCP-4700's speakerphone capability. Feature-wise, the phone comes fully loaded. It has caller ID, analog roaming, voice-activated dialing for up to 20 numbers, voice memo, a calendar, a to-do list, wireless Web access, a couple of mildly amusing games (Crab Catcher and Slots), 13 types of ring tones, a vibrate mode, and a 300-name phone book. One area where the SCP-4700 shines is battery life. We came close to matching Sanyo's rated talk time of four hours and fell just a couple of days short of the 12-day standby time, which is still quite impressive. Furthermore, if you need to take the charger on the road with you, it's slim enough to fit easily in a suitcase or bag.
We tested the dual-mode (CDMA 1900/AMPS 800) mobile on Sprint's network in the San Francisco Bay Area. Overall, we typically got coverage wherever we used the phone, and while we could typically hear callers, there were some occasions when we had to move the phone's mike closer to the mouth in order for callers to hear us. The speakerphone, however, sounded better than those found on most landline phones.