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Kyocera Milano- not as sweet as the cookie it's named after, but not all bad.
on September 9, 2013
I wanted a phone with internet capability, but I wanted a slide out keyboard, a small physical size, and something fairly durable. I don't need the latest iGadget.
Picked up the Milano from Radio Shack.
First- Let me say that I am not a power user. I don't need tons of Apps.
It's a darn good thing, because after installing maybe a half-a-dozen very basic Apps this phone is out of memory. I moved everything I could to the SD card. I deleted anything I wasn't using, even pre-installed stuff. I have to stay on top of deleting the data from stuff like Google Maps and the email app. I also have to manually refuse Updates so that I can preserve memory. Well, I knew this phone had small memory, so I guess I got what I got.
Second- battery life. Seems to be up and down. I let it discharge to zero regularly and keep it charged whenever possible. If you are in an area with good signal it will run 8-10 hours without a charge if you are not using 3G. If you are using 3G it will last a couple hours. If you have bad signal strength it won't last the night even sitting in your pocket.
Third- Annoying freeze-up when unlocking the screen. Phone automatically locks the screen, when you swipe the unlock icon, the screen freezes. Phone will not respond to any button or swiping or anything until it is darn well ready to. This can last at best a few seconds, at worst a few minutes. Most annoying is when you need to use it RIGHT NOW, such as when you need to take a picture of the license plate of that guy who just did a hit-and-run, or to call 911.
Heck, it will freeze when trying to answer an incoming call. It's worse if you leave an App running when it goes into lock mode, such as you are trying to take a picture and the screen times out and locks. Or if you left an internet browser window open and stuck it in your pocket. But there's plenty of times nothing is running, and it won't unfreeze. This may be the most annoying thing about this phone.
Fourth- Signal strength. My wife has a different model Sprint phone. Hers will have four bars. My Milano will have two. Hers has a good 3G signal. My Milano won't connect. She calls me. I answer, and then I get "Signal Faded-Call Disconnected" without moving from my chair. Maybe the smaller size has a smaller antenna, but I can't see it being that much different.
Now, there are some good things about the phone. The slider mechanism is solid and rugged. It stayed tight after all my abuse. The screen has not broken, even outlived two screen protectors. I don't bother with a screen protector now, and it hasn't scratched. I've dropped it a few times and it has not broken, even when the battery has been flung out by landing on concrete. I dropped it in the toilet once (Luckily, clean water) and after popping the case open and rinsing the board in alcohol and drying it with a hair dryer, I put the battery in, it turned on and worked fine. The speaker volume and rings are still loud. The backlight is good. The screen, while small, is of good quality and resolution. The charging socket hasn't broken yet and the protector flap has kept it clean of pocket crud. The keys in the slide out keyboard mostly all work (the "Q" key is finicky, and the "A" key takes a bit more force) and the hotkey that adds ".com" in one keystroke is very handy.
Would I buy it again? Mmm, I dunno. For what it is, it does OK. If they could up the memory, solve the freezing problem and get the battery life better, I might.
Edited August 2014:
Six months ago the charging port started acting flukey. Sometimes it charged, sometimes not. I went through a lot of chargers trying to get it to stay charging. Then one day the entire charging port came out with the charger plug. Looked like a failure of the solder joint to the board, and why I had charging problems.
Wound up buying a used phone on a "Popular Internet Site" which had a broken screen and swapped my upper half onto the logic board and bottom half of the 'Bay phone. Called Sprint to change the ESN on the account, and viola I'm back in business.
Other than that, no battery issues or anything else other than the annoying freeze-ups.
I found that periodically to resolve the freeze-ups or poor 3G connectivity, I need to pop out the battery and totally reboot the phone clean. I think the low memory in the phone combined with software that isn't completely clearing out of memory on exiting takes up memory space and the phone runs worse and worse. Sometimes I have to pop out the battery daily sometimes not. But that's what helped.
Would I buy the phone again? Not buy, but take for free, sure. It's a lot stronger mechanically than the iDevices or Galaxies and I don't want a phone the size of a paperback book.