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printed October 21, 2017
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Review: Kyocera DuraXV for Verizon Wireless

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Screen

Like most flip phones, the XV has two screens: an outer display for notifications and an inner, main display. The outer screen is a monochrome job with just 102 by 90 pixels. It's just big enough to display the clock, battery and signal indicators, and date. If you have incoming calls, messages, or other alerts they are visible here. The screen works great indoors, but I had a little trouble reading the time with the small screen outside under the sun.

The main screen measures 2.4 inches across the diagonal and has 320 x 240 pixels. Pixels are easy to see with the naked eye and text/icons look a bit rough along the edges. It's a bright screen, though, and I was able to use it indoors and out without trouble.

Signal

The XV is limited to Verizon's 3G network. It doesn't support LTE high-speed data, but you don't need LTE for a feature phone like the XV. The XV can, however, roam on GSM networks if necessary, which could be helpful if you travel. The XV did a great job remaining in touch with Verizon's 3G network. It remained connected in areas with crummy coverage and had no trouble making calls even when the phone showed no bars of coverage. The XV didn't miss any calls and didn't drop any calls while I tested it. With naught but 3G, data speeds are nothing to get excited about. But you won't be streaming YouTube with the XV, as it's not that kind of phone.

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Sound

The DuraXV uses Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver technology, which forgoes normal earpiece speakers and uses tissue conduction to make calls audible through hats, helmets, and other headgear. I had no trouble hearing calls in any environment thanks to the Smart Sonic Receiver, including outdoors near a roaring snowblower. It worked perfectly through all sorts of headwear and was loud enough for most places you might take it. Quality of calls was average. I heard some noise here and there and voices sounded a bit robotic. I was told I sounded "scratchy" through the XV. The speakerphone is plenty loud, but it sounds like you're talking through a sock. I found voices were hard to discern from time to time with the muffled sound. You can use the speakerphone indoors with no trouble, but you're better off using the earpiece when outdoors, in the car, etc. Ringers and alerts are very, very loud, and the vibrate alert easily woke me from a sound sleep.

Battery

The XV delivers two or more days of battery life with ease. With no LTE, a small screen, and a humble processor, the XV doesn't have anything aboard to suck down the power. The 1,500 mAh battery is more than up to the task of handling calls, sending messages, taking photos, and doing some light browsing throughout the day. This is typical behavior for feature phones and is one of their many benefits compared to smartphones.

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Verizon Wireless
Kyocera
 

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