Review: Kyocera Rise for Sprint
The Rise is a low-cost device and nowhere is it more obvious than the display. It measures 3.5-inches and offers just 320 x 480 pixels. Individual pixels are quite easy to see, and there's a definite low-rez haze visible along the ragged-y edges of pictures, icons, and such. The luminosity of the display is OK. Set to the highest level of brightness, it isn't as dazzling as today's best devices, but it is readable. Outside it fares poorly, I'm afraid. I found it nearly impossible to read or use when outdoors.Signal
The Rise does a fine job attaching itself to Sprint's 3G network. It performed slightly better than the average Sprint phone would in the New York City area. Not only did it remain tightly connected to the network, it never dropped any calls, and always connected them on the first attempt. The Rise easily made calls even under the poorest network conditions. The data always worked, too, but browsing sessions slowed down dramatically in crummy coverage areas.Sound
The Rise is an excellent voice phone. The majority of calls I made were crystal clear and had a pleasing timbre. I didn't notice any noise, choppiness, or other problems. Further, the earpiece is plenty loud. I easily heard conversations over the din of a noisy coffee shop and bustling restaurant. The speakerphone loses a bit of quality and a bit of volume, but I'd still rate it as very good. The speakerphone will work perfectly for use in offices or in cars if you need to share the conversation. Ringers and alert tones were decent, and the vibrate alert produced a significant vibration.
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With a smaller display and no 4G on board, the Rise offered plenty of battery life. It lasted nearly two days on a single charge with average use (checking email, social networks, browsing, listening to music). Using Bluetooth and GPS for navigation were the only activities that took a noticeable toll on the Rise's battery life. The Rise also includes something called Eco Mode for fine-tuning power consumption (more on that later). Power users may want to charge every night, but if you forget, you won't be staring at a blank screen come morning.
Review: Kyocera Verve for Sprint
Kyocera still knows how to make a basic smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard, as evidenced by the Verve. This low-cost handset handles calls and messaging - though not much else.
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