Kyocera Wireless is a company that focuses almost exclusively on CDMA phones for the Americas. That means CTIA is a hugely important show for them, and so they always use it as a platform to launch most of their lineup for the upcoming year.
Two years ago at CTIA, Kyocera announced the Slider SE47. Last year, it was the Koi KX2.
This year, the new flagship is the Slider Remix KX5, a stylish phone that combines the sliding design of the SE47 with the the features of the Koi, plus a few major upgrades to boot.
The Remix is a bit larger than the Slider, but the extra real estate is put to good use with the large display, and the remix is not as thick as some other sliders, keeping it pocket-friendly.
Going down the list of features for the Remix, it's pretty much everything you'd expect from a modern, mid-to-high-end phone. The display is a respectable 176 x 220 pixels and 262,000 colors, the camera is of the megapixel variety, with a flash and video capture, and a TransFlash memory card slot and MP3 player are also included.
We spent a little time with the Remix. For the most part, it's pretty impressive. The build quality is top-notch - it really feels solid and reliable. The screen is great, and the camera quality decent. The ergonomics are mostly good, with the glaring exception of the "up" key on the direction pad. In the prototype we tried, it's too close to the raised ridge under the logo, that's supposed to help you grip the top half when opening the phone. That makes it really tricky to press the "up" key without using a fingernail or mashing the center-select key by accident, so hopefully they'll fix that before release.
We managed to take a few sample photos with the Remix camera and save them to our TransFlash card. (As usual, we're showing you both an overview of the whole photo, scaled down to fit the page, and also a cropped area at 100% so you can inspect the level of detail for each photo.)
In our meeting this week with the fine folks from Amp'd, they showed us a version of the Remix that adds EV-DO high-speed data (since all Amp'd phones will have that technology). It's very similar the Remix KX5, but with a tweaked appearance that's even more stylish.