The Good The Kyocera DuraXT has an indestructible design, a decent camera, push-to-talk direct connect, and solid call quality.
The Bad DuraXT is easy on the eyes, has a non-standard 2.5mm headset jack, and can store moisture under the screens.
The Bottom Line Although the clamshell design is not very good, the Kyocera DuraXT is sturdy as nails, with excellent call quality and a good camera to boot.
The durable Kyocera devices have nothing to worry about. How i learned from Kyocera DuraPlus , its phones can handle just about anything you throw at them. Better yet, maybe it would be best if you threw yourselfthemin some ways, because these things are built so tightly.
The Kyocera DuraXT Sprint is no exception. Dustproof, shockproof and waterproof, this folding functional phone is designed to withstand almost anything that doesn’t fit the apocalypse. It has a push-to-talk feature for direct communication, and is ideally suited for those working in harsh environments such as field operators and construction workers. Or if you’re leading a particularly stylish personal lifestyle, you can still use this sturdy device in any way you can.
DuraXT is currently priced at around $ 270, but if you sign a two-year contract with a carrier and send mail for a discount, the price goes down to a reasonable $ 70.
Given its purpose, the handset, of course, is not a small object. Packed in rubber with a thick plastic speaker grille that surrounds the external display, it looks like Optimus Prime will carry like its own phone. It stands 4 inches tall, 2.1 inches wide and 1.1 inches thick. The 5.3-ounce weight is heavy in the arm, and I felt particularly uncomfortable after spending a few minutes with DuraXT pressed between my cheeks to my shoulder during a call. Although it fits easily in a bag, on a backpack or in a toolbox, it hardly fits in the pocket of your jeans. The room was cramped and the device ran awkwardly, like I did a littletooglad to see someone.
A closer look at the tough Kyocera DuraXT (pictures)
At the bottom left of the DuraXT is a Micro-USB port that can be covered with thick plastic doors. Above is the Direct Connect button whistle, highlighted in yellow, and above the volume swing. At the top of the phone where the clamshell hinge is located, there is a speaker button and a call list button. The first also doubles as a keypad unlock if you hold it for a few seconds. On the right is a 2.5mm headset jack, which is also covered by attached plastic doors. While this is also good for a PTT headset, the jack is incompatible with the standard pair of headphones you probably have at home.
In the closed position on the front of the phone is a monochrome monochrome display with high contrast. It has a very low resolution, only 96×64 pixels, but if you press any of the buttons above, the screen will light up and let you know the time, battery life, reception, what features are turned on (such as GPS and Bluetooth) and if you get new message. Below is an LED indicator.
At the back of the device is a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash. The switch below allows you to unlock the back plate and remove it. There you will find a 1360mAh battery. Below that is a microSD card slot that can expand memory up to 32GB.
The main 2-inch screen of the QVGA phone has a resolution of 240×320 pixels. Surprisingly, given the low performance of the display, the photos and wallpapers taken looked bright and clear. On closer inspection, some of the drawings were slightly grainy, and the color gradients looked striped, since not many colors could be displayed, but overall the photos displayed well on the screen. The text in smaller font appeared at the edges, but the larger text appeared smoothly. Although the simple user interface is extremely easy to use, the design gives me the feeling that I came back in 2001.
The speaker is located at the top and the keyboard at the bottom. The first half includes two soft keys and a circular navigation control with a menu / OK button in the middle. To the left of the navigation control, a shortcut key for the camera and on the other side a back button. Below them are talking, speaker and end / power keys. Below this layout is your standard set of alphanumeric keys that are gracefully placed with ample space between each key. Although you can feel a slight bang on each key, they look even and lie blurred with the surface of the phone. However, they are still easy to click and typing is a breeze.
The Kyocera DuraXT is designed to meet military-level specifications, ie dust, shock and splash protection. It is resistant to salt fog and can work in extreme temperatures, high humidity and solar radiation. You can also immerse it in a meter of water for 30 minutes.
As this is not a smartphone, it does not have any applications installed. However, it does include some bare bones job management features such as T9 text messaging, calendar, alarm clock, stopwatch, calculator, world clock function, Bluetooth capabilities, and a phonebook that can store up to 600 contacts.
There is a My Account feature that reports your plan minutes and balance, and a My Things folder that tracks all purchased games, ringtones, and screensavers.
The phone also has a step-by-step GPS navigation that you need to sign in to by email to use for the first time. When you access it, you can either enter or search for a destination, enter it, or say it out loud. I recommend the former because if you decide to say your destination, he will call and activate Telenav, direct you to some automated robot and make you spend the next 10 minutes of your life crying “Second Street” because he just “didn’t” get this “.
In addition, the card is equipped with a Sprint family locator that allows you to clearly identify your children or other family members on the map. You can also search for your current location, check traffic, search for airports and local businesses, or select the contact you want to go to. Useful information, yes, but it all comes with a very glacial network speed.
The device is also loaded with the WAP 2.0 web browser, which is a very basic browser, reminiscent of what we saw on our phones 10 years ago. When you use the navigation key to navigate through web pages, the browser first opens on the Sprint web portal, where you can read the most popular headlines of the day, check the weather, or search for media files to download.
You can also check your email if it’s Yahoo, AOL (do people still have one?) Or Hotmail. Gmail shortcut is not enabled. And you can check out your social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace (forget what I said earlier about AOL, do people still have MySpace pages?)
Camera and video
In addition to a flash and a self-timer, the 3.2-megapixel camera has a 12X digital zoom, five picture modes (normal, beach/snow, scenery, mirror image, and night/dark), three meters for brightness, sharpness, and contrast, and five white-balance options. There’s also a package of “fun tools” that include color overlays like aqua blue, sepia, and B&W, and a multiple-shot mode.
After taking some pictures, some editing options appear. You can add text captions, access metadata images, and resize images up to 2 megapixels (1200 x 1600 pixels). When you zoom out of a photo (the lowest figure is 240×320 pixels), you get more “special effects”, including fun frames and stamps, to overlay your photos, crop and rotate.
As for the camcorder, you are first asked to choose between two lengthy videos, a video mail (50 seconds) and a long video (depending on the amount of memory). With the exception of the sharpness meter, all the settings in camera mode are saved. The only editing option is to add text captions.
Although the camera has poor performance, the quality of the photo was still decent. In street shots the colors were true to life and the edges were clearly defined. Due to lack of attention, bright whites washed away and it was difficult to distinguish dark shades, but the objects were mostly in focus. Shooting in the room was a little worse, however, the photos appeared more granular.
The video quality was less impressive. The audio continued to pick up a low but constant hum or hum, which was especially noticeable (and annoying) on recordings made outside. The images were highly pixelated and grainy, and the moving subjects were blurred and out of focus. The colors were also muted.
I tested a dual-band (CDMA 800, 1900) Kyocera DuraXT in San Francisco using Sprint services. The quality of the calls and the signal were very strong. My friends sounded clear and easy to understand. There were no extraneous noises or buzzing, no calls coming in, no sound coming out and out. The speaker was also great and loud. The voices sounded only sharply as the volume came to an end. My friends also said that they could hear me perfectly. One even commented that it sounded like I was talking from a landline.
Sample call quality of the Kyocera DuraXTListen now:
The phone includes a Direct Connect Sprint feature that allows users to quickly connect to other Direct Connect subscribers via push-to-talk. It runs on Sprint and Nextel network platforms. Customers using Group Connect can instantly talk to up to 20 subscribers or up to 200 people using its TeamDCsm feature. You can also set up alerts, texts, and notifications to let you send audio or text alerts to other people so they can know that you are trying to access them through Direct Connect.
The walkie-talkie function worked pretty decent. Setting it up between DuraXT models was easy, and it didn’t take long before I was able to push the Push to Talk button and communicate directly with another person. The voices sounded loud and clear, even when I went outside our CNET offices. I especially liked the chirping that informed you that your call had been successfully sent.
As a durable phone, DuraXT can surely take a beating. I plunged it into a fish and into a fountain, threw it on the floor and against the walls, and stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes. It always came out fully functional and integral, without visible scratches and dents. However, one thing I noticed is that after it was submerged, moisture gathered under the internal display. I didn’t notice it when I was inside, but it was noticeable when I was outside. I could really see a small amount of water and steam droplets, and it clouded my view of the display. Even though the device kept popping, it may not be as tight as it should be.
Sprint 3G network (1xEV-DO rA) is slow as a treacle on this phone. The carrier reports that the average download speed for DuraXT is between “400 and 700 Kbps with a maximum speed of up to 2 Mbps”. It took an average of 10, 12 and 11 seconds to download CNET, New York Times and ESPN mobile sites, respectively. Please note that these sites do not resemble anything like a regular smartphone. Many images and codes are captured leaving a skeleton of key site headers.
The processor is also sluggish. Opening menu items, using GPA navigation, returning to the homepage, and even pressing the back button took so long that sometimes I thought the phone froze or didn’t register my commands. The camera is so far behind that I have to keep the device completely still for a few seconds after pressing the shutter to prevent motion blur; and two, I have to sit behind the wheel every time I want to save a photo or record a video.
The phone ran for nine hours during our battery tests. Anecdotally, the phone has a long battery life. I spent most of the day browsing the Internet, talking on the phone, and using the walkie-talkie function without clogging up the battery. The handset can also last a couple of days without charging. When connected to a network, the charging time took less than an hour. According to FCC radiation tests, the phone has a digital VAT rate of 0.328 W / kg
Although I’m not a builder, I still dig Kyocera DuraXT. I like how it offers more features for everyday use than DuraPlus . With DuraXT, Kyocera traded a useful Plus Flashlight for a low-grade but decent camera. Users also get a microSD card slot, and the clamshell design of the device is less bulky than the platform’s rubber-brick Plus assembly. Most importantly, call quality is still the highest, and as for the physical strength of DuraXT, I would expect nothing less from Kyocera.