Kyocera is known for releasing entry-level smartphones powered by the Google’s Android Operating System. In the past, Kyocera has manufactured some unique handsets such as the Kyocera Echo, which was the world’s first dual-touchscreen smartphone. Feature phone users does not easily upgrade to the smartphones because of two main reason — high cost and no hardware keyboard. To solve this problem, Kyocera announced the entry-level Kyocera Rise smartphone at the International CTIA Wireless 2012.
This handset is specially targeted at the the users with feature phones, who are planning to upgrade to an entry-level smartphone without losing the tactile keyboard or burning a hole in their pocket. Kyocera Rise runs on the newer Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS. This device might not get the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update in the future.
Kyocera Rise is already available for Sprint subscribers on contract. However, Virgin Mobile subscribers can get this device at a very affordable price and without any service agreement. This handset packs a 3.5 inch IPS HVGA touchscreen display with 800 x 480 pixels resplotion, 1 GHz MSM8655 Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a four row slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
On the back of the device, you will find a 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash. Sadly, there is no front-facing camera for video calls. Apart from that, you will get the usual MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card bundled, GPS, 3.5 mm headset jack, Google Play Store, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Stereo Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 9 hours of talk-time and a 1500 mAh battery.
Kyocera Rise comes with the unique “Eco Mode” software to better monitor and conserve battery power. You can also access more than 600,000 apps and games from the Google Play Store. This handset is currently available for Virgin Mobile subscribers at an affordable price of just $99.99 without any contract. To get this handset, head over to this page.