The Sanyo Zio is coming to Sprint stores soon and it will be the cheapest Android phone the carrier has ever offered. When Cricket Wireless launched this phone back in August it retailed for $249, which happens to be the exact subsidy that Sprint offers on their current Android phones. This means that if you are willing to sign a 2-year contract with Sprint, you can take home the Sanyo Zio for absolutely free.
Crickets’s version of the Zio shipped with Android 1.6, but we hear that Sprint has upgraded the device to Android 2.1. Kudos to Sprint for refusing to sell any new Android 1.6 phones (unless you count that Nextel Motorola i1)!
The Zio features a 3.5 inch display and 600 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor (same as what you would find in the HTC Aria, Legend, and most mid-range Android phones), so this is actually a pretty decent offering when you compare it to other “free” phones like the upcoming Motorola Ciena.
Minus the Android 1.6 OS, I’ve actually heard pretty good things about the Cricket Zio and I’m interested to get my hands on Sprint’s version. We have a briefing with Kyocera Sanyo next week at CTIA, so check back soon for a hands-on report of this device.