Kyocera Rise Review
Kyocera is not usually the first name you think of when smartphones come to mind, but they have an admirable track record of keeping costs low while offering solid if not top-tier products. Formerly Sanyo, Kyocera has had their share of innovative designs and they have held their own in the entry-level market. The Rise embraces this philosophy, bringing Android 4.0 and a sliding QWERTY keyboard at a low price. Packaged with the Rise you’ll find a microUSB cable, AC adapter and a 2GB microSD card.
Unlike the peanut-shaped Milano, Kyocera has taken a more traditional approach to the Rise. The top and bottom are curved and finished with soft touch plastic, making the device very comfortable and reassuring to hold in landscape mode. It’s a good design choice, as you’ll likely be sliding out the keyboard while doing most anything on the Rise. Around back the silver battery door houses the 3.2 megapixel camera and LED flash. The back is curved to naturally fit the contours of your hand, making the Rise quite comfortable to hold.
You can compare the Kyocera Rise with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The keyboard is almost very good, with adequate key spacing and feedback. The space bar is a bit too small and stiff for our liking, though we will admit that it feels like it will break in with continued use. They keyboard slides open and closed with a very reassuring and heavy spring assist, but it does wobble a bit while closed. It is not as good as we saw on the Milano, but at the same time we’re not worried about long-term stability.
Otherwise the design is fairly non-descript, with a 3.5” HVGA IPS display sitting above four capacitive keys (the Rise adds a menu button to the three tradition Android 4.0 keys.) The display is again a weak spot on the phone, even though the resolution has been bumped from the Milano. At just 165ppi images are grainy and text is far from sharp, and while viewing angles are good the display washes out in bright light.