Review: Kyocera DuraXT for Sprint
The DuraXT's diminutive 2-inch display left me wanting more. It packs in 240 x 320 pixels, which means that text, graphics and icons look good and sharp, for such a small screen. Brightness is also very good. The one problem is that the text and menus on the DuraXT are fairly small. This can be ameliorated somewhat by increasing the font size. The indicators at the top of the screen are small and hard to decipher without squinting a bit. The screen is readable outdoors, though. The external display is a monochrome affair that offers only alerts, the time, and basic indicators. It, too, is fairly bright, but it's not quite as easy to read outdoors.
The DuraXT does not use Sprint's legacy iDEN network. It uses Sprint's CDMA network for voice calls, mobile data, and PTT calls. The DuraXT performed slightly better than average on Sprint's network in the metro NYC region. It was quicker to connect to the network and typically showed one bar more than other Sprint devices. Voice calls and PTT calls were connected without delay. During my time testing the phone, the DuraXT didn't miss any calls, nor did it drop any. The DuraXT also maintained a strong connection to Sprint's data network, and speed were good for a device of this class.
With the volume set to about half way, normal voice calls sounded excellent on the DuraXT. Voices coming through the earpiece were warm and pleasant. Ramping the volume up all the way makes the DuraXT much easier to hear in loud environments, at the cost of clarity. The earpiece speaker breaks up and distorts a bit when cranked to the max setting. The speakerphone is impossibly loud, probably thanks to the new external speaker design. Voices coming through the speakerphone were prone to crackling a bit when the volume was maxed out, but were nice and clear when the volume was lowered. Clarity of the speakerphone was fantastic, though those with whom I spoke sometimes had a hard time understanding me through the speakerphone.
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For PTT calls, the quality is slightly less than that of normal voice calls, but it's still quite good. The volume through the earpiece and speakerphone are the same, and showed the same tendency to distort when set to the highest volume level. Ringers and alert tones are exceptionally loud. The vibrate alert is excellent.
I was impressed with the DuraXT's battery life. Sprint sent me two units, and both lasted three full days on a single charge. No matter how much I used them for voice and PTT calls, or just scouring through the user interface, the battery never seemed fazed. About the only task that put a dent in battery performance was using the navigation service. That seemed to take a toll on it. If you don't use navigation much, though, you can easily get away with charging every other night.
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