Sprint goes after mid-range with Sanyo Zio (Android)

The Sprint Zio (Android) comes with Sprint ID

The Sprint Zio (Android) comes with Sprint IDSprint has been the second carrier to pick up the Android-powered Sanyo Zio and it will be one of the first devices to launch with Sprint ID.

The device is definitely a mid-range device with a 3.5-inch WVGA screen, 600 MHz processor, 3.2-megapixel camera but we’re glad to see that it will launch with Android 2.1. The carrier said it will soon be updated to Android 2.2, although it did not give a definitive time frame.

One of the major features of the Sanyo Zio will be the Sprint ID feature, which enables Android phones to quickly toggle between profiles and content. For example, you can download the ESPN and Disney ID packs and quickly switch between content for a sports fan or for when you give the device to your kid.

It’s an interesting concept but it may be suffering from a branding problem. At first, Sprint ID just seems like a way for advertisers to get deeper into your phone but there could be some real uses for this. It’s nice to quickly toggle between work, play and a variety of other options.

The idea itself isn’t that new, as Nokia devices have been pushing quick-switching profiles for quite a while now. It will be interesting to see how Android users take to this, as well as the impact it could have on the Android Market.

“With Sprint ID, Zio introduces a new level of personalization that allows users to completely customize their devices to match their hobbies, interests or personalities,” said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development, in a prepared statement. “Each ID offers a variety of unique apps, widgets, wallpapers and ringtones and gives users the opportunity to customize their devices. Pairing Sprint ID with Zio, a robust and easy-to-use Android 2.1 device, offers a rich multimedia experience with a large intuitive touch-screen at an amazing price.”

I had a chance to play with the Cricket version of the device and I don’t think it’s going to topple the Droid X from the top of my Android list, but it’s not a bad first-time smartphone. It should be $100 after a mail-in rebate and two-year contract

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