Once I got used to the unusual layout, the S750 was satisfactory to use a phone. A video call to a mobile on the 3 network went smoothly and both parties could see and hear each other clearly. However, the main thing that people will get a 3G phone for and what Orange is promoting heavily in its expensive TV adverts is being able to download or stream videos from its Orange World homepage. As I mentioned at the start, this proved to be something of a trial. If seeing the words “Error, Connection lost to the Server” is your idea of a good time, then this is the phone for you. Despite the Orange web page suggesting I was in near an area of solid good coverage, it seemed that my house was situated in a 3G hole. And while the office was apparentely also in a 3G area, it only worked reliably outside. Often 3 bars would appear indicating a 3G signal only for it to drop to two just as the video download started, which proved annoying. This compared unfavourably to the Sony Ericsson V800 on Vodafone with which we had no problems getting a signal.
When I could browse Orange World I actually wasn’t bowled over by the speed, with pages taking just too long to load. The range of content was pretty good, with the usual mix of news, sport and movies. However, I was disappointed with the quality of the videos, which appeared small on the hi-res screen. You can enlarge them but then they just look very pixelated.
Even receiving calls sometimes proved a problem, with the phoned not ringing for no apparent reason. Orange alerts you to missed calls by sending you a text message and I was baffled to receive these when I supposedly had good coverage. Standby time is quoted as 260 hours, with 170 minutes talk time or 100 minutes of video calls. During testing though I found myself charging it every day.
The Sanyo S750 is available free on Orange right now on any pay monthly contract but though I'm in the market for a phone, I can't say I'm tempted. The S750 has some good things going for it, such as a large screen and easy to understand interface but its cumbersome looks and Bluetooth quirks greatly lessen its appeal. But the problems I had with the Orange 3G network were the real deal-breaker leaving the Sanyo S750 well short of the 3G benchmark set by the Sony Ericsson V800.