Virgin's midtier Kyocera Event

The contract-free Kyocera Event was announced today for Virgin Mobile. Considered a midlevel smartphone, the Event features Android 4.0, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and a 1GHz processor -- all for $79.99.

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A look at the screen

The phone sports a 3.5-inch IPS capacitive touch screen that has a 480x320-pixel resolution. This isn't top-tier by any means, but during my time with it, text and app icons looked crisp. Below the display are three spaced-out hot keys that light up when in use, for back, home, and menu.

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Fishnet back plate

The Kyocera Event is a simple device with severely rounded corners and a textured back plate. It looks similar to the Kyocera Hydro in both size and shape, with neither handset feeling especially luxurious due to the glossy plastic design.

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A bit on the thick side

The Event is 4.53 inches tall and 2.41 inches wide. With a 0.46-inch profile, it is a little on the thick side, and it weighs 4.1 ounces. On the left sits a volume rocker, and up top are a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Micro-USB port for charging. The right edge hosts a sleep/power button.

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Power and capacity

Powering the handset is a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU. It will have 4GB of ROM, 512MB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable memory thanks to a microSD card slot.

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A 3.2MP shooter

The rear of the phone houses a 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash. The back plate is textured with a fishnet design, and if you pry it off, you can access the 1,500mAh removable li-ion battery.

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Contract-free Android 4.0

The Event ships natively with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. During my hands-on, the device came stocked with a few standard Google apps like Maps with Navigation, Chrome, Gmail, Messenger, Search, Talk, YouTube, access to Play Books, Magazines, Movies and TV, Music, and the Store portal.

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