Alongside the Kyocera Hydro, the company has announced the the Rise, a QWERTY-packing smartphone squarely aimed at the budget concious amongst us. There aren't that many phones around that bring a QWERTY keyboard to the table these days. I, for one, can't remember the last time I saw someone using a QWERTY-packing Android phone that wasn't the ancient G1 that my friend gave up only weeks ago whence it finally came to rest. So, could Kyocera provide the next QWERTY hit that isn't a Droid from Motorola?
Just like the Hydro, what the Rise isn't is a powerhouse – far from it. It's a CDMA device that shares the exact same internals as the Hydro. Packing a Snapdragon SoC clocked at 1Ghz, 512MB RAM with a 3.5" display at 480×320. Connectivity is shared with the Hydro too, packing Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR and 802.11n Wi-F. Again, not fancy specs by many means, the IPS LCD present here, too, should brighten the overall spec sheet a little but, I'm sure it'll be hard to get past the low-res graphics you'll be seeing on this. The software build appears to be untouched Ice Cream Sandwich and, if it stays like this until launch it could provide buyers looking a for a no-frill, no-fuss phone with a keyboard in tow with a very promising offer, indeed. We haven't seen a keyboard like this tied to stock Android since the ancient G1 I mentioned earlier.
A powerhouse this is not but, a compelling phone for the teen-audience or for those who text a lot – like my friend and his G1 – but rarely venture on the web it could well be an excellent device. Thanks to my tablet there's only so much I do on my phone, including apps, games but mostly messaging a hell of a lot. Some people only ever use their phone for texting an IMing, as such I think Kyocera – and whatever carrier picks this up – could have a real winner on their hands in the low-end. Check out the video below from Engadget for how it sizes up.