Sprint teams with Kyocera for two new back-to-school, low-cost phones: the $50 Kyocera Milano with Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" and the Kyocera Brio feature phone.
Sprint Sept. 9
launched two such devices, the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"-based
Kyocera Milano smartphone, which costs $49.99 on contract and the Kyocera Brio,
which is free with a two-year data deal.
Sprint is offering a decidedly different approach to its
low-cost phones. The Milano, which Sprint envisions as a handset that
bridges the gap from feature phone to Android, pairs a slide-out QWERTY keypad
with a 3-inch QVGA thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD (240 x 320 pixel) display.
Thanks to the
QWERTY keyboard and touch-screen, Milano does weigh a chunky 5.6 ounces, but
slides into a pocket easily enough. While the QWERTY keyboard makes it easy for
users to text, the touch-screen is also equipped with Swype gesture-input
ideal for those making the leap to Android but not wanting to give up their
QWERTY keyboards," said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and
general manager of sales and marketing at Kyocera.
comes with a modest 3.2-megapixel camera and supports Microsoft Exchange
ActiveSync, as well as Google Mobile applications.
hours of talk time, the handset also has a 1,490mAh battery. This can be
stretched a bit, thanks to Eco Mode, Kyocera's proprietary power management
application for extending battery life. Users just preset a point at
which their phones will go into low-power-consumption mode by adjusting various
phone functions like screen timeout and brightness.
also possesses 512MB/512MB of memory, with a 2GB microSD card included,
expandable to 32GB.
While the phone
is heavily subsidized (from $200 to $50), the Milano requires a Sprint
Everything Data plan, which starts at $69.99 a month, plus a $10
smartphone data charge. The Mobile Hotspot option is available for $29.99 per
month and supports up to five WiFi devices.
with a QWERTY keyboard, the Kyocera Brio is a feature phone with a 2.2-inch
QVGA TFT (320 x 240 pixel) display, limited Web browsing capabilities and a
Its main functions
include voice calls, email and text messaging, supported by an 870mAh battery
(4.7 hours of talk time). The phone, which weighs only 3.7 ounces, has a
MicroSD card slot that supports memory cards up to 32GB. With this modicum of
functionality and features, the Brio is targeted at children.
school just starting, teens and tweens will enjoy staying in touch with friends
while mom and dad get peace of mind with Kyocera Brio's low-cost, parental controls
and Sprint Family Locator," Sprint said in a statement.
priced at $220, the Brio is free but requires a voice plan starting at $39.99 a
month, or a voice and messaging bundle that starts at $49.99 a month.
devices come one day after AT&T unveiled its Huawei Impulse 4G Android 2.2
"Froyo" smartphone. The phone, which will go on sale Sept.
18 for $29.99 with a two-year contract, is powered by an 800MHz chip and has a
3.8-inch WVGA touch-screen, a 5-megapixel shutter and high-definition video