Aug 15 AT 12:56 PM Taylor Wimberly 11 Comments

Kyocera raises the bar on sub $100 Android phones


After reviewing the best unlocked Android phones for every budget last week, we found that choices were slim when you dipped below $100. You can pretty much expect an outdated version of Android, slow processor, and tiny display when you are looking for a budget smartphone.

Today Sprint announced the Kyocera Rise, which is clearly targeted at first time smartphone buyers and tweens. Sprint will begin selling the device this Sunday for $19.99 on contract, and Virgin Mobile will offer the device starting August 31st for $99 without a contract.

Specs include Android 4.0, 3.5 inch display, 1 GHz Snapdragon S2 processor, sliding QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 MP camera, and a microSD slot. That might not sound too impressive to anyone with a high-end device, but we think it’s a great offering for the low price.

Virgin Mobile offers some pretty attractive pre-paid plans, with “unlimited data” starting at only $35 per month. Unfortunately, Virgin operates on Sprint’s CDMA network and they do not support unlocked devices.

If Kyocera offered an unlocked GSM version of the Rise, it would surely become our top pick for an Android phone under $100.

Source: Sprint

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • spazby

    Pretty good device for under $100 unlocked

    • Mix

      Totally, not to shabby looking of a phone for $100.

  • uknowme

    I wonder if this is any better than the Evo Shift? The girlfriend has it and I’m wondering if this is any snappier since it’s vanilla ICS?

    • Yazo

      With out HTC since bloatware it will be twice as fast.

    • CTown

      This phone has the same CPU of the G2 plus ICS’s ability to use the GPU to accelarate the UI. So, it should feel faster!

      Also, since JB doesn’t really break drivers, there is no reason why anyone shouldn’t be able to run JB on this thing, which is much smoother than any preceding Android version.

    • mncxdas88

      Samsung users have to look at!You will need!

      A great item! 3X Clear Screen Protector Shield Film for Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III! Very useful! Price: US $ 2.30!

      I’ve been using! This is smaller that the actual full width of the phone. I believe the manufacturer did this purposely, because the sides of the GSIII taper off. Meaning if you have a screen protector that isn’t sticky enough on the sides the ends will start coming loose quickly (an extra 2mm would be nice though. This is big enough to protect the display of the phone though. I have been using it for over a week, and its great. I ordered 2 pack, and will reorder from this same seller if I ever need more screen protectors for my GSIII.

  • icbolsh

    Love it…will they make an unlocked GSM version? I would buy 3. I travel internationally a lot and this would be perfect for my young kids. As their pocket travel buddy for communication and entertainment. Just get a second battery for it and they’re ready for a long flight anywhere. when on the ground in another country, slap three sim cards in and I can keep in touch with them…even see their location via Google Latitude.

  • Tojen

    If nothing else, this would make a cheap pmp player for the kiddos at almost half the price of an ipod.

  • Max.Steel

    Great phone for people who aren’t too bothered with the top of the line stuff but still want a smartphone.

  • Stephen Curran

    Will this phone work on “Boost” prepaid? I am presently looking at a “Kyocera Hydro” that works on ” Boost”

  • Joshua Reach

    Just bought this phone the other day on Virgin Mobile. I have to say, for the price (I got it for $50 at BestBuy) it’s pretty decent. I have a separate phone for work that I use most of the time, so I didn’t need anything fancy for my personal phone. Having Android 4.0 is nice, and everything runs really smooth. Seems to be a solid device, and you can’t beat that price for what you get.