Sprint announced on Thursday that it will launch the Kyocera Milano next week for $49.99 with a new two-year contract. The Milano is a very basic Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) handset with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It comes equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera, 512MB of memory, a 2GB microSD card and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. It also has a 3-inch display with a relatively low 320 x 240-pixel resolution. The Milano will launch on September 9th in tandem with the Kyocera Brio, a basic feature phone that will be free with a new two-year contract. Read on for the full press release from Sprint.
Sprint and Kyocera Launch Two Family-Friendly Phones in Time for Back-to-School
Kyocera Milano brings QWERTY keypad and Sprint ID customization to heavy texters and first-time Android users; With a comfortable candy-bar form factor, Kyocera Brio offers Sprint customers a simple way to stay connected
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., and SAN DIEGO – Sept. 8, 2011 – Sprint (NYSE: S) and Kyocera Communications Inc. (KCI), provider of Kyocera and Sanyo-branded wireless phones in the Americas, today announced the launch of two devices in their lineup, Kyocera Milano and Kyocera Brio. Ideal for heavy texters and Android newbies, Kyocera Milano is an entry-level “QWERTY plus touchscreen” smartphone running Android™ 2.3, Gingerbread, and featuring Sprint ID. Kyocera Brio offers a simple way for users to stay connected with friends and family without all of the bells and whistles.
Both devices launch September 9 in all Sprint retail channels, including web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1). Kyocera Milano will be priced at $49.99 (excluding taxes) and Kyocera 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 card1.
“At Sprint, we strive to offer an ideal wireless device for every customer’s needs, including those who prefer simplicity without sacrificing style or substance,” said David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “The Kyocera Milano bridges the gap from feature phone to Android smartphone, making it ideal for those just starting to make the switch. Kyocera Brio focuses on a truly effortless wireless experience.”
With a distinctive rounded shape and soft-touch finish, Kyocera Milano has a low profile that makes it easy to hold and slide into a pocket. The phone’s slide-out QWERTY keyboard enables accurate tactile input for text messages and emails. Its touchscreen is augmented by Swype®, which provides a faster and easier way to enter text on any screen when used with the device’s virtual keyboard. One continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard is all it takes to enter words using Swype. The patented technology enables users to enter words faster and easier than other data input methods, at up to 40 words per minute.
“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, senior vice president and general manager of sales and marketing 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.”
Kyocera Milano’s ‘Eco Mode’ is a proprietary preloaded power-management application from Kyocera that helps users manage battery life on their devices. User can pre-set a point (based on percentage of battery charge remaining) at which their phones will go into low-power-consumption mode by automatically adjusting various phone functions like screen timeout and brightness. Additional key features on Kyocera Milano include:
Sprint ID, which helps users cut through the clutter of Android Market’s 250,000 apps, allowing them to select from a variety of ID packs that feature apps, ringers, wallpapers, widgets and more downloaded onto their device with a couple simple clicks. Available ID packs include E!, MTV Music ID, Green and NASCAR
3.2MP camera with camcorder
512MB onboard memory
2GB microSD™ memory card included (and supports up to 32GB)
Wi-Fi hotspot capability2, supporting up to five devices
Google™ Mobile Services
Full Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® support
Sprint Zone™ for one-stop access to account information, phone tips, news and more
Kyocera Milano requires activation on one of the Sprint Everything Data plans plus a required $10 Premium Data add-on charge for smartphones. Sprint’s Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited Web, texting and calling to and from any mobile in America while on the Sprint Network, starting at just $69.99 per month plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges) – a savings of $40 per month vs. Verizon’s comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and 2GB Web, or $10 per month vs. Verizon’s 450-minute plan with unlimited text and 2GB Web. The Mobile Hotspot option is available for an additional $29.99 per month and supports up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges).
Kyocera Brio, a simple handset whose candy-bar form factor includes a curved QWERTY keyboard and contoured keys, is ideal for the budget-conscious user who wants convenient messaging and a 1.3MP camera. With school just starting, teens and tweens will enjoy staying in touch with friends while mom and dad get peace of mind with Kyocera Brio’s low-cost, parental controls and Sprint Family Locator. Pricing plans available for Kyocera Brio include Talk plans starting at $39.99 per month (excluding taxes) and Everything Messaging plans that include voice services and unlimited messaging starting at $49.99 per month (excluding taxes). Additional features on Kyocera Brio include:
Email, text messaging and Web browsing
Ergonomically designed QWERTY keyboard for quick, easy typing
Sprint Mobile Email (SME) and Sprint Mobile Email Work (SMEW)
MicroSD card slot (supports up to 32GB)
In addition to tying for first place among wireless carriers, Sprint is the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last three years based on the results from the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index.