My Virgin Mobile Kyocera Rise ReviewGeneral

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  1. mcgraham89

    mcgraham89 Well-Known Member

    I just received my VM Kyocera Rise this afternoon, and thought I'd post my thoughts on it. I previously had the VM LG Optimus Elite, which I liked but for $99 the Rise was worth checking out.

    Here is my Summary:

    Size: The rise is a Tad smaller compared to the Elite in overall Length. Very Similar to a deck of cards.

    Weight: The Rise is a much heavier phone mostly due to the qwerty slide out keyboard. The phone itself feels pretty solid to me, but maybe a tad heavy for some peoples tastes. I personally prefer a little bit of weight in a phone.

    Housing: The outside is a silver metallic finish, and contrary to other reviews I've read on the net I find it to be a nice looking solid phone. It's far from flashy, but it's a clean appearance.

    Volume Buttons are on the left side like the Elite. The Usb port is on the left as opposed to the bottom like the elite. Headphone and power on buttons are opposite with the power on the top left, and the earphone jack on the right. There is a physical camera button on the lower right side.

    Qwerty Sliding Keyboard. The Qwerty keyboard Slides into position fairly well. Mine is a bit stiff, but probably will wear in after some use. The four row keypad feels a bit cheap and is a membrane type. The keyboard is backlit and the keys are nice and bright. I wish there was a little more space above the top row as my thumbs hit the bottom of the touch screen when texting. I also
    wish the spacebar was bigger as well, but Kyocera decided on including a "@" symbol to the left of the space bar. Overall, the phone feels good to hold in the hand when texting. The headphone jack feels a bit out of place at times due to the "bump out" in the house, but of course this is personal preference.

    Display: The Displays look fairly similar IMO. The Elite is brighter when set to full brightness, the text looks a bit crisper on the Rise.

    OS:Ice Cream Sandwich runs pretty smooth. The screen transitions seem to be a tad lagging, but nothing very noticeable.

    AnTuTu Benchmarks: Here are the Benchmarks results.

    Kyocera Rise: Overall Score: 3400
    CPU:1027, GPU:1549, RAM:339, I/O:485


    LG Optimus Elite:Overall Score: 3163
    CPU:1002, GPU:1367, RAM:308, I/O:486

    Phone Sound quality has been very good. I'd rate it a bit better than the Elite.

    Accessories Included: USB A/C Adapter/USB Cord. Preinstalled 2GB SD Card.

    First Impressions for this device are very good especially for an entry level ICS phone at this cheap $99 price point. I'll have to break it in a bit to see how it performs overall, but with a root exploit and custom recovery this phone could have great potential IMO.

    I have yet to get a good feel for the Battery Life, but this phone does have a "Eco Mode" option that sets the Sleep/Display Brightness/WallPaper,Auto Sync/Haptic Feedback/Auto Rotate and GPS/BlueTooth options.

    Feel free to ask any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

    SegamanXero likes this.
  2. raevin

    raevin Member

    I've noticed, with and without eco mode on, that battery life is amazing for general usage (i.e.: not watching a lot of videos and game playing). I use mine mostly for texting and e-mail checking. My phone's been off the charger for 9+ hours now and is only between 45%-50% battery left. It also charges extremely fast (I've went from 10% left to full in about 1-2 hours).

    Eco Mode is amazing though for does a lot of the performance increases for me (also disables WiFi and such).
    redgjm and mcgraham89 like this.
  3. Etorgg

    Etorgg New Member

    Hello fellow aspiring Kyocera Rise fans! I am a Virgin Mobile phone user (Entro, formerly Oyster, never owned a smart phone, but have been building desktop PCs for family/friends for 12 yrs), and am very insterested to learn something about the Kyocera Rise.

    I've been reading reviews/previews of they Rise for about a month. Many of the reviews say it has wifi hotspot capabilities...even Kyocera product page mentions it. However, Virgin Mobile's product page, showing the Rise for sale...does not mention anything about wifi hotspot capabilities...only that it has wifi connectivity.

    Does this phone have wifi hotspot capability? get me off of dialup internet connection for my home PC.

    Virgin Mobile's $35/mo plan is very close to what I'm paying for my home land-line + Netzero dialup.

    Thank you.
  4. mcgraham89

    mcgraham89 Well-Known Member


    I don't see a specific tethering app on the Factory Firmware or in the Settings menu with Ice Cream Sandwich. I believe this is because VM wants you to pay for tethering service. I personally don't use tethering, because I have Broadband and a router but there are several apps in the Market Place that allow you to Tether your Phone with having to have it rooted. FoxFi is one of them that comes to mind.

    There were people in the Elite forum, that initially used a Virgin Mobile App that was included on that phone for tethering, but they began to receive a data error 67 once they used it unless they specifically paid for tethering I believe. I don't believe people have gotten it with 3rd party apps, but as I mentioned I don't use tethering.
  5. pastorerik

    pastorerik New Member

    Thanks for your informative review. Does this phone have GPS/Navigation. The VM Website does not say that it does. This will likely make or break me getting one to replace my Samsung Intercept. Thanks in advance.
  6. mcgraham89

    mcgraham89 Well-Known Member

    Yes, this phone does have GPS and comes pre installed with Google Navigation App. So far, I've been very happy with this phone.
  7. pastorerik

    pastorerik New Member

    Thank you for the info. I wonder why they didn't list it on the features list. I am glad I found someone who actually has one in hand so I would know for sure. Have you used the GPS?
  8. raevin

    raevin Member

    I've used the GPS and haven't had much of any issues with it. It's been pretty accurate and the like within about 5-10 miles (most cities around me are pretty small).
  9. mcgraham89

    mcgraham89 Well-Known Member

    I've also used the GPS, and its worked well fine for me as well.
  10. toronado455

    toronado455 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your review. I'm considering this phone as a replacement for my LG Optimus V (currently running CM7, but the screen touchscreen has been having problems and isn't working properly). Would the Kyocera Rise be an upgrade over that phone in terms of Android performance and voice/call quality?
  11. mcgraham89

    mcgraham89 Well-Known Member

    I've actually moved on to the HTC EVO V, but I did enjoy the phone while I had it but decided to upgrade to 4G. There are also more reviews over at the VM website for this model. Hopefully someone else will read this, and be able to comment. Good luck.
  12. toronado455

    toronado455 Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Not only 3G, but ICS on such a low res screen might not be so great?

    Does anyone know if the screen is plastic or glass? I'm thinking plastic at this price point.

    Some of the reviews on the Virgin site say the phone is shutting itself off randomly.
  13. DannySihapanya

    DannySihapanya Well-Known Member

    My rise does the same thing. But it freezes and i have to restart it. Shame....
    toronado455 likes this.
  14. Gwelker

    Gwelker New Member

    I just got mine last night and charged it over night. It didnt hold a charge for more than 5 minutes after it just said it had 100% battery life it turned off. Any ideas?
  15. Gwelker

    Gwelker New Member

    Is this the problem i read about with randomly shutting off? Can i fix?
  16. DannySihapanya

    DannySihapanya Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add that the sound quality on this is terrible. I reather listen to music on my optimus V then this.
  17. slutyman

    slutyman Well-Known Member

    how much memory does this phone have??
  18. dmfw

    dmfw Member

    According to the "Settings->Storage" info, 0.98GB ram and the rest in the SD card.
  19. dmfw

    dmfw Member

    I have used the Rise for 17 days. My Thoughts:

    I like the physical keyboard.

    The battery drain is variable but I know that I loose 12-15% overnight, eg. no use.

    The screen is OK, a bit washed out in the Sun.

    The unit did freeze once, and I have to remove the battery for 1 hour to get it to restart.

    WIFI is OK, but I sometimes have to turn WIFI off/on to get it to reconnect to my WIFI.

    Every app I installed on the phone works without issue.

    One complaint, when I use the speakerphone, the screen goes black and I have a hard time getting the phone to reshow the phone's dialing screen.

    All in all, for $100 it is a ok phone.
  20. fotonut

    fotonut New Member

    Can anyone recommend the shortest course of study for learning how to use this phone? The user has never used a smart phone before and is an intermediate level Windows user as far a computer experience goes. Would like to learn how to handle messages, how to use GPS, navigate browser plus download an easy to use app for managing a large library of MP3s in the /Music directory of a large chip that has replaced the factory default 2G that came with this device. I was able to upgrade the chip for them and copy their MP3s via a data cable. Also would like suggestion on most popular apps that work on this device. Primarily interested in locating businesses when walking around, checking schedules of public transport, etc. THANKS!
  21. backwrd

    backwrd Member

    try downloading an app called mixzing you can adjust the sound through this app
  22. backwrd

    backwrd Member

    If you are on speaker phone and screen goes black there is a heat sensor by the red or green light at the top of your phone if you put your finger there for a second and remove it it should come back on or just press the power button hope that helps
  23. backwrd

    backwrd Member

    if anyone has any idea how to make use of a hot spot with the rise on virgin mobile or how to install apps not available on carrier but available in google play
  24. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast Well-Known Member

    I did the same thing about a month ago. In my case, I got tired of typing on the screen. I had become better at it than I used to be, but it still drove me crazy at times. The phone had a tendency to hit B when I was trying to space. It upset me enough that I whipped it against the wall. I got the Rise at Radio Shack for $80.

    Oh well, I had been pondering the Rise anyway. I just should've sold the Elite first. Even funnier--I still type on the screen quite a bit on the Rise, although I certainly use the slider as well. Anyway, here are my observations.

    $25 plan. Unfortunately, I lost my $25 grandfathered plan (the Elite was one of the last ones you could upgrade to & still have it). Oh well, $35 is still a lot cheaper than the $80 I had been paying, & I'll gladly pay $10 a month for a physical keyboard. (The LG Optimus Slider was ruled out due to its 3.2" screen.)

    Random Shut-off. Yes, mine does this every now & then. Also, while most apps run fine on it, Opera Mini, my main browser of choice, crashes quite a bit.

    Speed. I'm not a power user, in fact I have no games on my phone at all, not even Angry Birds or Solitaire. But in the things I do with it, it seems fine.

    Camera. Don't care. I only use real cameras, as in DSLRs or "mirrorless."

    Ice Cream Sandwich/Buttons. The first growing pain I had with it was the inability to remove the Google search bar; I always replace it with the power widget (I switch Wi-Fi & GPS off-on a lot & change brightness often as well). I later learned you can do this by stopping it under settings...apps, but meanwhile I had installed Holo Launcher HD (as I had with my Elite) and had at it. The main thing I LIKE about ICS so far is the "recent apps" button & how you can "swipe to close" apps. It reminds me of webOS a bit (which I used for a very short while sometime back). I now no longer need Advanced Task Killer. I also like how it's easier to unlock the screen.

    I also like that it has a menu key, unlike many other ICS phones. I find I don't accidentally hit the capacitive buttons by accident as I did with the Elite many times.

    I don't like the new onscreen keyboard, it doesn't show enough suggested words vs the Gingerbread keyboard. I installed the Gingerbread keyboard in its place & like it much better than ICS's.

    Slider keyboard. It's not as good as my Blackberry used to be, but it works well just the same. It's a JOY to have arrow keys & to be able to precisely select text (shift-arrow keys) as I use copy-paste very often. Again, I've found myself actually still using the touchscreen for typing--again, I don't like the new ICS keyboard, it seems too small & it only shows about 3 suggested words vs 5-6 for the Gingerbread one. But when I have troubles typing on the screen, I have this to fall back on.

    GPS. Finally, a phone that has as good of a GPS as my old Optimus V did. I leave GPS off until I need it & want the phone to quickly "get a lock," as in within 5-10 seconds, upon turning it on. The V almost always was able to do this. The Triumph I owned for awhile--its GPS was AWFUL. It always took at least 5 minutes, one time it took nearly 30 (!!). The Elite's was better, but not as fast as the V's, taking at least 30 seconds & often 2-3 minutes.

    The Rise--almost instant. I turn on GPS via the widget, open Maps, press current location--within 5-odd seconds, even if I'm 20 miles away from where I last used it, it's obtained a lock. Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. That, my friends, is how you make GPS work on a phone.

    As for Maps--I don't notice much difference, other than I think the voice is less irritating.

    Talk Quality. In terms of how well people can hear me--all except the Triumph, which was terrible, had been fine, & the Rise is as well.

    Battery Life. I haven't analyzed the battery life hard-core, but it seems about the same as the V & Elite. The Triumph was God-awful.

    All in all, I like it, & don't miss the Elite anymore. It would be nice to see a 4" slider, but I'd used the Elite long enough to have been used to its size (vs the Triumph, which was too buggy to tolerate, luckily I sold it vs breaking it, ha ha).
  25. sneaky_1

    sneaky_1 Well-Known Member

    I agree, it is a pretty good phone for the price. Especially if you got it for $30 on sale.

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