Review: Kyocera Rise for Sprint
The Rise uses the stock Android 4.0 camera. It can be opened from the lock screen thanks to the shortcut, or with a quick press of the camera button when the phone is unlocked. It opens fairly fast, but I've definitely seen faster.
All of the controls are bunched up on the right side of the viewfinder. By default, the viewfinder offers a slider for zooming in and out, but no other tool shortcuts. You have to press the settings button to get at the camera's more in-depth controls.
The camera controls allow you to adjust the color effects, and exposure; switch between several different scenes (portrait, scenery, etc.); set white balance; and toggle the flash.
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The Rise doesn't have autofocus nor touch-to-focus, so it takes pictures fairly fast.
The Rise's camera takes crummy photos. Pictures max out at 3.2 megapixels. The lack of autofocus really hurts the results, as many of the images I took were soft and lacking clarity. Toss in an unhealthy amount of grain and the bulk of images are simply unusable. Some turned out well, those taken under a bright-and-sunny sky, for instance, but winning shots were few and far between.
The video camera is limited to capturing 480p video. Videos I shot were as poor as the still images I captured. It's fine for snagging the kids soccer practice during the day, but anything that requires delicate light sensitivity will result in a grainy, awful mess. The Rise might come through in a pinch, but I'd rely on something else if you're looking to record something important.
Again, the Rise uses the stock Android 4.0 tools when it comes to the gallery software. The central image library ties together all the photos associated with your Google accounts, including Picasa and Google+, and you can sync them to the device for offline access if you want.
When you dive into individual libraries, the images are arranged in vertical columns. Poke the image you want to manipulate and it loads in a jiffy. The image fills most of the screen, but there's a ribbon that stretches across the bottom so you can jump to other images in the library fairly quickly.
Up top, you'll see the sharing tool. You can also trash the image, or open the full menu to start a slideshow, edit the photo, etc.
Editing features include the ability to add effects, such as highlights, shadows, and so on; add filters such as fisheye effects; adjust colors and tones with sepia, B&W, etc. The last tool lets you crop the image, fix red-eye, adjust for face glow, straighten images, rotate or flip them, and sharpen them.
Hands-On with the Kyocera Rise
Kyocera's new Rise stands out for having a physical keyboard, when other manufacturers seem to be moving away from such things. We spent some time with it.
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