Powermat today announced that it has merged with PowerKiss. Powermat, based in the U.S., makes and markets wireless charging accessories. It backs the standard supported by the Power Matters Alliance. Before today, PowerKiss, which is based in Finland, backed a competing standard. Now that the two companies are one, they are together throwing their weight behind the PMA wireless charging standard. The PMA is mounting a challenge to competing standards Qi and the Alliance for Wireless Power. Earlier this year, the PMA won support from AT&T, BlackBerry, Google, HTC, Huawei, Kyocera, LG, Samsung, Starbucks, and ZTE. Further, AT&T mandated that its handset partners incorporate the PMA wireless charging standard into their devices by 2014. Verizon Wireless supports the Qi standard. The consumer electronics industry has yet to settle on a single standard.
Kyocera's new Hydro XTRM for U.S. Cellular sits at the high end of the Hydro lineup, with upgraded features like 4G and extra durability. You could also think of it as a "Torque Lite". Read on for our first impressions of this interesting new Android phone.
Kyocera's water-proof Hydro gains a better-equipped cousin in the Hydro Edge for Sprint and Boost. Packing better tech into a thinner profile, the Edge is a step up on paper, but how does it stack up in person? We take it for a quick spin in our hands-on report.
Kyocera today announced the Hydro Edge and Hydro XTRM, building on the success of the original Hydro. Like the original, the new models are affordable Android phones that are fully water-proof. The new models are slightly higher-end, however, both sporting a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 4-inch glass display, 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, and Android 4.1. Both models also feature the unique Smart Sonic Receiver tissue-conduction speaker technology found in the Torque. Both have 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of built-in storage, and a memory card slot.
- Hydro Edge: Coming to Sprint and Boost this summer, this CDMA model also sports HD Voice and a back-side-illuminated camera sensor. Its processor clocks in at 1 GHz.
- Hydro XTRM: On sale with U.S. Cellular starting today, this model steps up with 4G LTE, a 1.2 Ghz processor, a front camera, shock (drop) resistance to military standards, and a large 2,000 mAh battery.
Documents seen on the Federal Communications Commission web site reveal a Kyocera device that may be headed to Verizon Wireless. The Kyocera C6750 includes the LTE and CDMA bands unique to Verizon, in addition to GSM and WCDMA bands used for global roaming. Other specs called out by the FCC include NFC, Bluetooth, and dual-band Wi-Fi. These features are typically reserved for smartphones, though the FCC documents do not confirm what type of device the C6750 is. Kyocera has not offered a phone through Verizon Wireless since the K323, which was sold from late 2006 through mid 2007.
The Power Matters Alliance, a group pitching a wireless charging standard that competes with the Qi and the Alliance for Wireless Power standards, has recently won new support from handset makers and carriers. The group announced this week that HTC, Huawei, LG, and Samsung have all joined the PMA, which already includes members such as AT&T, BlackBerry, Google, Kyocera, PowerMat, Starbucks, and ZTE. Further, existing PMA member AT&T is asking its handset partners to integrate PMA-compatible wireless charging technology into their handsets by 2014. According to the PMA, there are already some 1,500 PMA-certified wireless charging stations at Starbucks coffee shops, airports, and other locations around the country. The Power Matters Alliance uses a wireless charging technology that is slightly different from those offered by Qi and A4WP. Each of the three standards allows devices to charge wirelessly when placed on a compatible charging pad. Verizon's handsets have incorporated Qi for years, which already has wide support from other carriers and handset makers. The electronics industry as a whole has yet to settle on one of the standards for all devices moving forward.
Cricket Wireless today announced the Kyocera Kona, a flip phone very similar to Kyocera's Coast for Boost. The Kona can be paired with any of Cricket's low-cost feature phone plans. The Kona runs on Cricket's 1X network and includes a 2.4-inch QVGA internal display, a 1.44-inch external display, a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and a standard stereo headphone jack. The Kona includes a large dialpad for placing calls and large fonts for easier viewing. The Kyocera Kona will be available online and at Cricket stores beginning April 21 for $59.99. Service plans start as low as $35 per month.
Boost Mobile today launched the Kyocera Coast, a basic clamshell-style phone with a 2-megapixel camera and external display. The phone sports Bluetooth and voice dialing, but without LTE, video capture, or even a memory card slot, "affordable" is its most important feature. It is available today for $30, no contract required. In Kyocera's lineup, the Coast is most similar to the older Luno offered by Virgin as the S2100. Compared to the Luno, the Coast has a better camera and larger displays.
U.S. Cellular today announced that it will carry the Kyocera DuraPro starting February 27th for $150 before $50 mail-in rebate. The DuraPro - already offered by Sprint as the DuraXT - is water, shock, dust, and vibration resistant.
Kyocera was showing off the Torque at Mobile World Congress. This ultra-rugged Android smartphone claims to have it all.
Sprint today announced that the Kyocera Torque will be available online and in Sprint stores beginning March 8. The device will cost $99.99 with a new two-year contract. The Torque is a rugged Android smartphone.
Virgin Mobile USA today announced the Kyocera Event, a compact Android smartphone that sells for $79.99. The Event features a 3.5-inch HVGA display, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash and video capture. The device runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and offers Virgin Mobile ID packs, an eco mode for energy savings, and Swype text input. The Event also includes Wi-Fi, GPS, and 3G, as well as 4GB of on-board storage and support for microSD cards up to 32GB. It is available in black beginning today, and will be available in red starting March 3.
PayLo today announced availability of the Kyocera Brio, a candybar feature phone that has a portrait QWERTY keyboard, 1.3-megapixel camera, Buetooth 2.0, and microSD support. The Brio costs $39.99 and does not require a contract. PayLo services start as low as $20 per month.
Sprint and Kyocera today announced the Torque, a new ruggedized Android smartphone that includes DirectConnect and LTE 4G. The Torque is rated at mil-spec 810G for protection from dust, shock, vibration, solar radiation, humidity, blowing rain, low pressure, salt fog, and extreme temperatures. It can also sit in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Other stand-out features include Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver audio technology, which transmits sounds via vibrations through things such as helmets or ear protection, for improved voice clarity when it might otherwise be impossible to hear. The Torque includes battery management software from Kyocera called Eco Mode and MaxiMZR, both of which help reduce the amount of energy needed by blocking background data connections. The Torque ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and includes a 4-inch WVGA LCD dispaly. It is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM. It has 4GB of built-in storage and also supports microSD cards up to 32GB. It has a 5-megapixel main camera and a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera. It includes NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS. It will be available beginning in March.
Jitterbug today annnounced the Jitterbug Touch, an entry-level smartphone that is meant to make it easy for first-time smartphone owners to adjust to their new device. The Jitterbug Touch is a sideways slider based on the Kyocera Milano chassis, which includes a 3-inch QVGA display, full QWERTY keyboard, 3.2-megapixel camera, 512MB of on-board storage, support for microSD cards, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Rather than run the standard Android user interface, the Jitterbug Touch uses GreatCall's custom user interface that has been dramatically simplified for first-time users. It offers a bevy of the services that make Jitterbug popular with members of the AARP, such as 5Star Urgent Response, Shake for Help, and MedCoach. The Jitterbug Touch does not require a contract. It costs $169 ($149 for a limited time), and is available directly from GreatCall.
Sprint today announced a new application for Android smartphones that enables push-to-talk functionality. The app, called Sprint Direct Connect Now, brings PTT calling features to devices such as the Kyocera Rise and LG Optimus Elite. Some of the capabilities the app offers include the ability to: interact with other Nextel Direct Connect and Sprint Direct Connect devices; connect with up to 21 participants in Group Connect; call alerts; use touch screen controls without the PTT button; interact with the native address book; and set up Direct Connect favorites. The application is available to the Kyocera Rise first, with availability for LG Optimus Elite and other devices to follow. The app is a free download from the Google Play Store, but requires users to subscribe to a Direct Connect plan in order to use the service.
Sprint today announced the availability of a new Sprint iD pack that is aimed at making smartphones easier to use for seniors. The Active Senior ID pack includes 20 applications and services that Sprint believes can help to improve the smartphone experience for older users. For example, it includes access to WebMD, the AARP, MedsTimer, and a fall detector, among other services. The Active Senior ID pack is available on select handsets, including the LG Viper, Optimus Elite, and Marquee; the Motorola Photon 4G; the Samsung Galaxy Victory, Conquer 4G, Epic 4G, Galaxy S II, and Transform; the Kyocera Rise; and the ZTE Fury. The Sprint iD pack is free.
Virgin Mobile USA today began selling the Kyocera Rise, an Android 4.0 sideways slider with a 3.5-inch display and 3.2-megapixel camera, for $99.99. The device can be paired with plans that start as low as $35 per month. The Rise is also sold by Sprint.
Sprint and Virgin Mobile USA today each announced plans to sell the Kyocera Rise in the coming weeks, an Android 4.0 smartphone with sliding QWERTY keyboard. Sprint is selling the Kyocera Rise starting August 19 for $19.99 on contract. It will be available via all Sprint's retail channels. Virgin Mobile USA will sell the Kyocera Rise starting August 31 for $99.99. The Rise has a 3.5-inch display, 3.2-megapixel camera, 1GHz processor, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.
Alliacense today announced new patent litigation it is filing against 13 different companies, many of which make mobile products. Alliacense alleges that the companies involved are violating the patents held by MMP Portfolio, which is a patent-holding and licensing firm contributed to and run by a number of other organizations. The companies being sued include Acer, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Garmin, HTC, Huawei, Kyocera, LG Electronics, Nintendo, Novatel Wireless, Samsung Electronics, Sierra Wireless, and ZTE. Alliacense and MMP have filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to prevent the companies involved from importing the infringing products. It also filed action seeking damages for past infringement that includes triple unpaid royalties and interest, plus attorney's fees; and injunctions barring future products from entering the U.S. Alliacense and MMP Portfolio didn't specify the nature of the patents involved in the litigation.
Boost Mobile today announced that it will sell the Kyocera Hydro starting August 3 for $129.99. The Hydro, which was announced earlier this year, is a water-proof Android 4.0 smartphone that includes a 3.5-inch display, 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, and 1GHz processor. The Hydro will be available from Boost Mobile's web site and company-owned stores at first, but will reach select other retailers later in August.
Sprint today announced that with new roaming agreements and the use of CDMA 1xRTT technology, the availability of its new DirectConnect service has expanded such that it covers three times the square mileage that its iDEN network does. According to Sprint, the DirectConnect service now works on its 1xRTT 2.5G network in its PCS 1900MHz spectrum band, which has a broader footprint than Sprint's EVDO 3G network. Sprint explained that initial call set-up time will take a bit longer over 1xRTT than over EVDO (especially in areas where the user is roaming), but that the rest of the conversation will behave as quickly as it does over EVDO. Sprint didn't name its new roaming partners, but they are other U.S. carriers that operate CDMA-1xRTT networks. Moving forward, new Sprint DirectConnect devices will ship with this feature enabled. DirectConnect devices that are already for sale, such as the Kyocera DuraMax and DuraCore, will require a software update to use DirectConnect over 1xRTT. The update will be delivered over the air beginning the week of June 18. Sprint also reaffirmed that it has ceased retail sales of iDEN handsets and will discontinue all availability of iDEN handsets in the coming weeks.
Sprint today began offering the Kyocera DuraXT, a rugged clamshell that joins Sprint's line of tough-as-nails push-to-talk phones. The DuraXT uses Sprint's CDMA-based PTT service, called DirectConnect. It runs Qualcomm's BREW MP operating system and includes a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash. Other features include a media player, speakerphone, GPS-based navigation, Bluetooth, and support for memory cards up to 32GB. The DuraXT is available for $69.99 with a new contract.
Kyocera has a lot of experience with waterproof phones, both from its rugged walkie-talkie phones for Sprint, and its Japanese phones. Now the company is bringing that waterproof know-how to an affordable Android phone with the Hydro. We spent some time with it. Read on for our first impressions.
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. Read on for our first impressions.
Kyocera took the wraps off two new phones today, the Hydro and Rise. Both phones share a similar feature set, though the form factors differ significantly. Shared features include 3.5-inch 320 x 480 IPS LCD displays and 1GHz Qualcomm processors with 512MB of RAM and 2GB of internal storage. Other specs include EVDO Rev. A 3G and 1X Advanced; 3.2-megapixel cameras with LED flash and video capture; aGPS, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and Wi-Fi; a bevy of sensors, and 1500mAh batteries. Both phones run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Hydro: The Hydro is a small bar-style device that is water resistant. Kyocera brings plenty of water-resistant know-how to the Hydro, which can withstand water jets for up to three minutes and immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
- Rise: The Rise is a sideways slider with a QWERTY keyboard for messaging, but loses the water resistance enjoyed by the Hydro.
Kyocera is demonstrating a new speaker technology at CTIA that they call tissue conduction, using a special prototype phone. We spent some time with it. Read on for our impressions.
MetroPCS this week launched a new plan that offers unlimited voice minutes and messaging for $25 per month. The plan, which is going to be available until June 30, is for new customers only and is compatible with just three handsets: the Huawei Pinnacle, Kyocera Presto, and Samsung Freeform III. The plan includes voicemail, 3-way calling, and caller ID. Data packages cost extra.
Sprint today announced that the Kyocera DuraPlus rugged push-to-talk phone will go on sale starting March 11. It will cost $69.99 with a new contract. The DuraPlus uses Sprint's new CDMA-based Direct Connect service.
Sprint today announced the upcoming availability of the Kyocera DuraPlus, a candybar-style ruggedized push-to-talk phone. The DuraPlus meets military standard 810G for protection from dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, humidity, blowing rain, and water immersion. This Direct Connect-capable handset also boasts an LED flashlight with a dedicated power button, and Group Connect, TeamDC, Nextmail, and One-Touch Direct Connect. The DuraPlus does not have a camera, but supports Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, includes a 2.5mm headset jack, has a power-efficient display, and a flat bottom so that it can stand up when placed on a level surface. Pricing and exact availability will be announced closer to launch.
Digital Technology Licensing today said that Sprint Nextel, Kyocera, Sanyo, and Palm have all settled a patent infringement lawsuit over a cell phone patent owned by Digital Technology. The patent in question refers to how cell phones talk to base stations, as well as some Bluetooth functionality. All four companies have agreed to license the technology from Digital Technology for undisclosed sums. Digital Technology Licensing originally filed the lawsuit in 2007.
Cricket Wireless today announced that its phones and services can now be ordered from Amazon.com. Cricket said that the Samsung Vitality and the ZTE Score Android phones will be available first, both of which are compatible with its Muve Music plans. The Huawei Pillar feature phone can also be ordered from Amazon starting today. Cricket will eventually sell most of its devices through Amazon.com, and the ZTE Chorus, Kyocera Domino, and the Samsung Chrono will be available in the coming weeks. Cricket's new availability through Amazon gives it nationwide reach.
TeleNav and Sprint today announced a new version of its mapping and navigation application for the Android platform. The revised app includes a new dashboard that provides real-time information on the user's location and local traffic and commute times. The application also comes with three different home screen widgets, customizable car icons, and cockpit view. Other features include: up to three different route recommendations based on traffic conditions; quick access to favorite/recent destinations; local search, reviews, and gas prices; voice search and voice guidance for turn-by-turn directions. The application is free to download and use from Sprint as long as the customer is subscribed to a data plan, though some of the more advanced features require monthly fees. It works on devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread such as the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, HTC EVO 3D, Kyocera Milano, and Samsung Replenish.
MetroPCS recently began selling the Kyocera Presto, a simple, bar-style feature phone that has a basic feature set. This BREW-based device has a 1.8-inch display and comes with a camera, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, speakerphone, and a number of entry-level application, such as text/picture messaging, vibrate, and a WAP 2.0 web browser. It is a tri-band 800/1700/1900MHz CDMA-1xRTT device, lacking 3G support. It costs $29.00 before a $20 mail-in rebate. It is offered without a contract.
Sprint today announced that it will launch its next-generation, IP-based push-to-talk service, which runs on its CDMA network, starting on October 2. The new Sprint Direct Connect service is available in an area that is already larger than its iDEN-based walkie-talkie service. By early 2012, Sprint says the new DirectConnect service footprint will equal that of its entire CDMA network. The first generation of devices to include this new service (Kyocera DuraMax and DuraCore, and an unnamed Motorola) offer most of the same push-to-talk features that are available on today's iDEN handsets, such as DirectConnect, GroupConnect, Call Alert, NextMail, and others. They can also take advantage of Sprint's CDMA 3G network. The Kyocera DuraMax will be available Oct. 2 for $69.99 after rebate with a new two-year agreement. The Kyocera DuraCore is expected to be available by the end of the year. Sprint said the Motorola device will run Android, and will also be available towards the end of the year. Sprint also noted that it will begin to offer international PTT roaming in select countries starting in 2012.
Both the DuraCore and DuraMax are rugged phones for Sprint. Rather than support Sprint's iDEN network for PTT functions, however, they rely on the new CDMA-based alternative.
The Milano is the newest Android smartphone from Kyocera. It features a sideways sliding keyboard and a compact form factor, but it is more QMD than smartphone.
This candybar feature phone from Kyocera has a portrait QWERTY keyboard, 1.3-megapixel camera, Buetooth 2.0, microSD support, email, messaging, and Family Locator. But how does it feel?
Sprint and Kyocera today announced the Milano (pictured) and Brio phones, both of which go on sale September 9.
- Milano: This sideways slider is an entry-level Android device that runs 2.3 Gingerbread and includes Sprint iD. The Milano has a 3-inch QVGA display, full QWERTY keyboard and Swype predictive software. In features a 3.2-megapixel camera, 512MB of on-board storage, support for microSD cards, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, GPS, and Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five devices. The Milano also packs Kyocera's Eco Mode, which is a power-management application that helps users manage battery life. The Milano will cost $49.99 after rebates with a new two-year agreement.
- Brio: This candybar feature phone from Kyocera has a portrait QWERTY keyboard, 1.3-megapixel camera, Buetooth 2.0, microSD support, email, messaging, and Family Locator. The Brio is free after rebates with a new two-year agreement.
WiLan, a Canadian patent-licensing firm, today announced that it has initiated legal proceedings against a number of technology companies over patent infringement. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, names Apple, Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HTC America, Kyocera International, Kyocera Communications, Novatel Wireless, and Sierra Wireless America as the defendants. According to WiLan each of the companies is infringing upon two patents, one pertains to CDMA and HSPA, and the other pertains to LTE and Wi-Fi. Patent litigation has become an oft-used tool to generate income.