Open up the VI-2300, and things get a little better. The square display (1.13 inches diagonally) supports 65,536 colors but is not especially bright, even though it employs STN (supertwist) technology that is supposed to improve contrast. We especially noticed a difference between the VI-2300's display and the more vivid one on Sanyo's higher-end MM-7400 Ready Link model. You can change the backlighting time and contrast, and while you can also alter the font size, users with vision impairments should take a closer look before buying.
A clean and functional layout includes de rigueur clear-plastic navigation and dial-pad keys that are relatively large and well spaced; however, they're flush with the phone's surface, making operation by feel difficult. Though not exactly haute couture, the lime-green keypad backlighting is bright enough to ease dialing in the dark. Your contacts, the messaging menu, the downloads list, and a user-definable list of menu shortcuts are all instantly accessible from the five-way circular navigation toggle, and there are direct Web, speakerphone, and dedicated Back keys above the dial pad. Other navigation controls consist of two soft keys and a Back button.
The exterior Ready Link push-to-talk and volume-toggle buttons are the same color as the body and nearly flush with the left spine, making them tough to spot and access. The phone lacks the usual exterior speakerphone button found on most Ready Link models but includes a 2.5mm earphone jack.Though it lacks flashy multimedia offerings, the Sanyo VI-2300 is a fully packed cell phone. Its organizational features include a 300-contact phone book; each entry can include seven different numbers (mobile, home, work, fax, other, and "no label"), an e-mail and Web address, and the choice of eight 32-chord polyphonic tones and 8 standard electronic tones. For caller-ID purposes, you can also match a picture with a contact, although you'll have to download images to the phone, since there's no built-in camera, and the images won't appear on the external display. For ease of use, the 1 key cycles through punctuation and symbols, and the star and pound keys are labeled Shift and Space for messaging.
Aside from the aforementioned Ready Link capability, the VI-2300 includes a vibrate mode (which can be separate or combined with ringing), five special Ready Link ring tones, 1xRTT Web surfing, text and multimedia messaging, emergency-911 and GPS location-based-service (LBS) compatibility, voice dialing, 72-second voice-call and memo recording, three-way calling, a calendar, an alarm clock, a calculator, a stopwatch, PC syncing, and a world clock.