I've had a few Kyoceras before and they were average - not so for the Kyocera Rise! I love this phone, and I really love Virgin Mobile's service. The main point with Virgin Mobile and this phone is that you get more than what you pay for. There are much better phones and services out there, but for an extremely competitive price, you get a phone and service that is above average in quality, and exceptional overall considering the outstandingly low price. If you're on a budget and are looking for a functional smartphone, definitely go for this one, or at least Virgin Mobile's service - the price is unbeatable. They offer 300 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited 3G web for only $35 + tax a month.
Postives: this phone has AMAZING battery life, in my opinion. For today, example - it has been off the charger for seven hours and I have used it moderately throughout those seven hours - I listened to music, texted for quite some time, called someone, posted to my blog, emailed someone, and was on Facebook, and I still have 80% of my charge. Last night I tried to drain the battery before charging it and eventually gave up and put it on the charger anyway. I'm really pleased with how I managed to lay out my home screens and it's a drastic improvement over the LG Optimus V I was using. The amount of bloatware Virgin Mobile piles on this phone is way less than what they used to put on, too - just one single app the use of which I have not ascertained yet. The physical keyboard is average - easier to use than a too-small software keyboard like my last phone and the buttons are easy on the fingers compared to the one I had before it.
Negatives: the aforementioned keyboard is missing a few characters, but closing the phone and putting them in with the software keyboard fixes that - the percent symbol and angle brackets (<>) are missing. While irritating to do, it's a problem that can be fixed. What can't be fixed is the absolutely horrible sound quality on the lower end of the scale - certain songs with loud bass sound horribly scratchy and I need to turn it way down or put in headphones. Also, setting up the homescreens is a little iffy.
Some useful things to know - again, any missing characters you need can be put in with the software keyboard. The buttons at the bottom - they come defaulted to Phone, Contacts, Messaging, etc., can be customized with multiple items on each button - for example, I grouped the Phone, Voicemail, Messaging, and Contacts into one, put Browser, Email, and Maps into another, my social media apps into a third, and all of my music apps into the fourth, leaving my homescreens open for widgets and shortcuts to apps that couldn't be grouped together. If the phone malfunctions - sometimes I can't get a connection, or my music doesn't show up - turning it off and back on almost always fixes it. Lastly, Android 4.0 introduces the option to take screenshots - simply hold Power and Volume Down simultaneously.
The few issues this phone has are forgivable, and when compared to the things it DOES do right, I'd definitely recommend this phone.
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