Review: Kyocera Rise for Sprint
The Rise has barely any bloatware. In fact, aside from stock Google apps, all you'll find is Sprint Zone and Sprint iD. That's just awesome! Of course, both Sprint Zone and Sprint iD can be used to stuff tons of Sprint apps on your device should you so wish.
Bluetooth worked perfectly on the Rise. The device connected to mono headphones, stereo headsets, other smartphones, and PCs without issue. Phone calls sent to my car's stereo system sounded very good, and music passed through stereo Bluetooth speakers sounded excellent.
The stock Android 4.0 browser is quite good. I find it works well and renders both full HTML and mobile-optimized sites nicely. It can be a little but pokey, though, when Sprint's network coverage isn't all that great. As I've noted in other reviews, the Chrome browser is a better option, as it syncs with the Chrome desktop browser and offers handy controls for managing multiple tabs.
When you press the screen lock key, the time is displayed in a pencil-thin font close to the top of the display. It's way too small, in my opinion. You also can't do anything to adjust its appearance. The home screen clock widget selection is pretty anemic, as well.
The Rise offers a settings tool that allows users to control the power consumption of the device. It is called "Eco Mode." By default, Eco Mode is on. Basically, you can use the tool to adjust the device so that it is more eco friendly (i.e., uses less energy). How do you know it is more eco friendly? Eco Mode shows you how efficient your device is by using a scale of green leaves. The less power you're using, the more green leaves you rate. Make changes to the settings (i.e., amp up the brightness, or turn on all the radios, or set auto-sync to happen once per hour) and you lose green leaves. Losing leaves simply represents battery life you’re losing, to help you conserve juice. It’s much like the eco-guide display in certain hybrid cars.
Google Maps and its associated navigation features are the only apps on board for helping you get from A to B. Google Maps continues to be an excellent piece of software. Using it with the Rise's GPS radio worked out well for the most part. The GPS locked down my location within about 10 seconds, and was accurate to within about 50 feet. It could have been a little faster and a little more accurate, but it was good enough for most driving directions.