Sanyo Katana II: Not Quite Cutting-Edge

The Katana II- Sanyo’s minor upgrade to the Katana model that it released last year-doesn’t offer much to get terribly excited about. Even so, this slim and trim phone will enjoy strong appeal among voice-centric Sprint customers.

Call quality is good, and like other Sanyo phones the Katana II gets quite loud, although, like the original Katana, it tends to distort voices somewhat when played at top volumes. Unfortunately, ringtones are limited to scratchy, low-quality MP3- esque purchased ringtones. Reception for phone calls is fine, though not quite as solid as on my beloved Sanyo SCP-8400. Also, rural users be advised: Sprint has removed analog service from this Katana. Forget about fancy features, too. There's just a novelty-value-only VGA camera and a pretty good Web browser provided by Access NetFront. Even so, the phone's 145-MRz ARM9 processor should provide relatively snappy gaming performance.

Sprint's Motorola RAZR,the V3m,is being sold for the same price and has a bunch more features. On the other hand, Sanyo’s reputation for voice quality is legendary, so I’m comfortable recommending the Katana II instead for folks looking for a thin, voice only phone.

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