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Sanyo Katana Eclipse hands-on

Chris Ziegler

Sanyo handsets are like cats: you either love them or you just really, really loathe them with every fiber of your being. Sprint and Sanyo both seem to be pretty okay with that; clearly, not every phone in Sprint's lineup is going to be for everyone, and the Katana Eclipse is no different. Sanyo fanatic or not, though, our gripe list added up pretty quickly with this one, so would-be buyers might want to put it through a good workout in store before taking the plunge.

The phone's hinge design causes the upper half of the phone to rest behind the bottom half; that is, the intersection of the planes containing the two halves is not the center of the hinge (think MacBook, for example). We thought that felt a little weird against our face and made it more difficult to get a good seal between the earpiece and our ear. Also, the front of the phone -- arguably the most attractive of any Katana to date -- isn't the most user-friendly. The tiny external display was difficult to read even in a moderate amount of shade, and the music controls are nearly flush with the shell which makes actuating them trickier than it should be. Speaking of displays, the primary one is pretty small, leaving a huge gray bezel with no function whatsoever (don't be fooled by the white dots at the bottom, they serve no function other than to make you think that they're touch-sensitive soft buttons, which they're not).

It's not all doom and gloom, though. The dedicated speaker key is a nifty parlor trick, you've got a 1.3 megapixel cam in there, and it does stereo Bluetooth. Plus, it's a Sanyo, and we know that for a few of you out there, that's all that matters. For you guys, you'll be able to pick up the Katana Eclipse immediately for $99.99 with a new two-year contract.

Gallery: Sanyo Katana Eclipse hands-on | 23 Photos

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