Overland Park, Kan. - Sprint and Kyocera Communications announced the launch of two devices in their lineup, the Kyocera Milano and Kyocera Brio.
Designed for heavy texters and "Android newbies," the Milano features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Swype technology, Android 3.2 (Gingerbread), 3.2-megapixel camera/camcorders, 512MB onboard memory, included 2GB MicroSD card, Wi-Fi hotspot capability supporting up to five devices, and Google Mobile Services.
It also has an Eco Mode -- a proprietary preloaded power-management application from Kyocera that helps users manage battery life on their devices, the companies said. Users can select a battery-level point when they want their phones to enter a low-power-consumption mode. Phone functions, such as screen timeout and brightness, will be automatically adjusted.
The Milano requires activation on one of the Sprint Everything Data plans plus a required $10 Premium Data add-on charge for smartphones, Sprint said.
"The touchscreen experience on smartphones is extremely popular, especially when optimized with an app like Swype, but many smartphone users are still looking for the familiar tactile experience of a full QWERTY keyboard," said Eric Anderson, sales and marketing senior VP and general manager at KCI. "Kyocera Milano delivers an easy-to-use, customizable Android experience with multiple keyboard options in a compact package for less than $50. It's ideal for those making the leap to Android but not wanting to give up their QWERTY keyboards."
The Brio has a candy-bar form factor with a curved QWERTY keyboard. Features include a 1.3-megapixel camera; email, text messaging and web browsing; Sprint Mobile Email and Sprint Mobile Email Work; a MicroSD card slot that supports up to 32GB; and Bluetooth 2.0.
Pricing plans for the Brio include Talk plans starting at $39.99 per month and Everything Messaging plans with voice services and unlimited messaging starting at $49.99 per month, Sprint said.
Both devices launch Sept. 9 in all Sprint retail channels. The Milano will be priced at $49.99 (excluding taxes) and the Brio will be available for free (excluding taxes), both with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $50 mail-in rebate via reward card.