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Review: Kyocera Zio

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The Sanyo Zio is probably the best phone available from Cricket. It would even be a fine Android handset if it were September 2009, but it's September 2010, and Android 2.2 handsets abound. The hardware is of middling quality. The screen looks great, however, and the the Zio is easy to hold and use.

The Zio's biggest problem is being ham-strung by Android 1.6. This operating system is over a year old, and has been left behind by new versions of Android. On top of that, Sanyo and Cricket have done nothing to customize the Zio in order to make up for some of the OS deficits. Instead, users are stuck with an out-of-date software experience and no special features to speak of.

Still, the Zio has some redeeming qualities. It offers a solid Gmail experience, good music playback, and an average camera. The Wi-Fi performance was good, and it has the venerable Android browser on board for the mobile web.

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Calling performance wasn't bad, and battery life was actually pretty good.

Would I recommend this phone? For Cricket customers, there's not much else to recommend. Compared to most everything else in Cricket's line-up, the Zio is a sure-fire champ. For the cost-conscious, it's a decent budget buy.

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