The Good: Stylish, unique design; great physical QWERTY keyboard; beautiful internal display; 3.2 megapixel camera.
The Bad: 2.5 mm headphone jack; awkward camera placement.
The Verdict: The Innuendo is a solid messaging phone that is fun to use. It is easily one of the best messaging phones on Sprint's current line-up.
The Innuendo is a follow-up to the Sanyo Incognito, a messaging phone that featured a "glow-through" touchpad on the front display and an internal color display and QWERTY keyboard. The Innuendo carries the same style, but updates the industrial, "brick" look of the Incognito to a more stylized, modern design. The Innuendo is also given an upgraded 3 megapixel camera, has a slightly larger internal display, and a redesigned keyboard. So, how does it perform?
Design & Features
The front panel of the phone features a touch-sensitive dialing pad with a 1.3-inch monochrome OLED display that is mostly used for basic functions like calling, checking missed calls, and viewing your contacts. The dialing pad responds very well and the glowing numbers make it look very "space-age". The panel is very reflective and can be a fingerprint magnet. In testing, I didn't really use the front panel very much.
The internal 2.8-inch LCD display is where all of the action takes place, and rightly so. The screen is beautiful. Though it is a basic LCD screen with a resolution of 400 x 240, colors show up rich and vibrant. My first thought when I saw it was 'wow'. It's not a touchscreen, but the provided D-Pad makes navigation easy.
The top of the device contains the power/screen lock button and the 2.5 mm headphone jack. The volume rocker buttons and microUSB port are on the right side of the device. The Innuendo does have a microSD card slot, but it is hidden underneath the battery. The phone ships with a 1 GB card and supports up to 32 GB.
Usability & Performance
The Innuendo uses Sprint's One Click interface. You're given a carousel at the bottom of the internal display where you can plant up to 15 tiles and shortcuts. Options range from anything like news and weather to Twitter, Navigation, and E-mail. It is very useful and easy to use.
The Innuendo's keyboard is fantastic. Though it will take some getting used to since it is offset to the left because of the D-Pad, it wasn't long before I found a rhythm and could type out messages quickly. Compared to the Incognito's, the keys are more rounded a maybe a little shorter. They do have a plastic feel to them, but there was enough grip to where I could easily type without my fingers sliding around too much. The Innuendo does feature threaded text messaging. Along with the D-Pad, the keyboard also has buttons for Talk, End/Power, Speakerphone, and the camera.
The Innuendo ships with a 3.2 megapixel camera. Though it doesn't have flash or autofocus (it does feature digital zoom and captures video) I'm still pleased to see a camera with this many megapixels on a messaging phone. Picture quality wasn't outstanding, but it was satisfactory. I had a problem finding a comfortable way to hold the phone when taking a picture. The phone has to be flipped open when in camera mode and my fingers kept slipping up and covering the lens. I found a way to hold it that worked for me, but it took some getting used to.
Battery life on the Innuendo was surprisingly long. Though it ships with an 860 mAh battery, which seemed underpowered to me, it ended up lasting about five days on standby and nearly three days with normal use.
The Sanyo Innuendo is definitely one of Sprint's top messaging phones. It's fun to use, looks cool, has plenty of features, and performs very well. And the $49.99 price tag isn't too bad either. Check it out at any Sprint store.