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Review: Sanyo MM-5600

Form Function - Basics Function - Extras Wrap-up Comments  17  

Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging  

The MM 5600 takes advantage of the beautiful display with a full screen wallpaper. A clock and date readout can also be displayed over the picture. There is also an annoying little rat in overalls that runs around the home screen while the display is on but idling. For the life of us we couldn't figure out how to make him go away until we discovered he is called "my buddy" in the display settings. The home screen is better off without him.

Hitting select on the D-Pad brings up the main menu, which is a finely rendered grid of easy to recognize icons. Each of the 9 icons is mapped to the corresponding number on the keypad as well as accessible using the D-Pad. It can also be set to a text list, but that is not as interesting, nor is it as usable since only 8 of the 9 choices can be seen at once.

The menus in the applications are clear and well organized, the phone is easy to use in most situations. The right softkey always displays options and the left is usually defaults to a common option like send or call. Options are displayed in a small window overlaying the current screen. Using the D-Pad select and back buttons on the keypad takes you forward or back one level, respecitvely. The only trouble is that most things seem to require one extra step than should be required, even reading a text message has an extra click or two.

Although the application menus are clear and straightfoward, the settings menu is anything but. Beneath a clear top level of categories lies is a series of poorly labeled functions with even more poorly labeled options. Each category also has inconsistent select and back schemes, further confusing us.

Excellent application design but confusing setting menus is actually a fairly common, but unfortunate problem on many Japanese manufactured phones.


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