Cell phone camera doesn't quite click

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January 09, 2003|By Kevin Washington

Cell phone camera doesn't quite click

Sprint PCS cellular telephones tend to be wonderful gadgets, but the Sprint Sanyo 5300 Vision Phone's trick as a camera impresses without being particularly useful for the average cellular telephone user.

Flip open the 5300 ($399 plus service charges) and you will see a sharp 1.75-by-1.25-inch, 65,000-color LCD that acts as a viewfinder for the camera, which has a lens and a tiny, tiny flash on the outside of the cover. You can shoot 640-by-480 pixel photographs - about the size you get with a Web cam - that can be stored in the camera for uploading to the World Wide Web. Using an e-mail address stored in the telephone, you can send an e-mail that links to the photo.

The camera's appeal is more as a novelty item worthy of conversation than as a camera for recording images. It takes practice to get the best pictures. I found that several of mine suffered from camera shake and looked blurry.

While the Sanyo 5300's fun comes from its LCD screen and the things you can look at, its telephone service was just adequate. Frequently, the sound of the person on the other end of the call seemed to fade in and out. And on occasion, people on the other end of the line said they had a similar problem hearing me.

I liked the sturdy construction of each wing of the flip phone and its hinge. The phone has easy-to-use menus for getting on the Web, checking the calls that have come in and choosing preferences.

Voice memos and voice dialing also are available with the 5300.

Information: 800-480-4727 or www.sprintpcs.com.

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