Kyocera Domino S1310 review:

Kyocera Domino S1310

The dial pad is workable, but the Domino's navigation array is cramped.

The tools inside are typical. There's a calendar, a voice recorder, an alarm clock, a calculator and a tip calculator, a timer, and a stopwatch. Texting and Bluetooth 2.0 are also available; a browser, an e-mail application, a backup app, and mobile IM come courtesy of MetroPCS' preloaded bundle of branded apps. These programs will let you access Web-stored data in a pinch, but keep in mind that the small screen size may make you squint.

When we tried out the browser, it took about 15 seconds to load a very poorly rendered version of CNET's mobile site on the Metro Web app. Navigating to the page you want is slightly easier using the Google search bar on the default MetroPCS splash page or any of the links, though the pipsqueak screen still makes reading results a long scroll down.

We tested the dual-band (CDMA 850/1900) Kyocera Domino in San Francisco. Call quality was fairly good overall. The volume was fine, but we could have raised it as well. Voices sounded natural and clear, though we did hear interruptions on the line that sounded like bumps in the road, making voices fluctuate up and down. The calls were also dotted with some mild feedback that never interrupted the conversation.

On their end, callers said we sounded loud, but not altogether clear. Our voice quality was a little distorted, they said. The distortion disappeared when we pulled the phone away from our lips, but at the expense of volume. We were clear enough for normal conversation, however, and our friends didn't notice any feedback or interruptions.

Kyocera Domino call quality sample Listen now:

Speakerphone was pretty good on our end. It was loud and voices were relatively clear, considering they flowed out from the phone's external speaker on the back. On their end, callers said we sounded clearer over the speakerphone, but quieter. They had to listen a bit harder to hear our reduced volume.

The Domino has a rated battery life of of 3.3 hours of talk time and a rated standby time of 8.3 days. Our tests revealed a talk time of 4 hours and 12 minutes. It has a digital SAR of 1.2 watts per kilogram, according to FCC radiation tests.

The Domino's price is right. It costs $19 with an instant discount and $29 at full retail. Since it's a prepaid phone, there's no two-year contract. That's unfortunately not enough to overcome the phone's drawbacks. It's bad enough that the screen is so small and its resolution is so low. What adds insult to injury is that Kyocera has done little to improve the quality of its components, instead giving us almost the same underpowered handset it did with the Jax. Call quality and speakerphone may be the best things about the Domino apart from its portability, but they aren't enough for us to recommend it, not when there are better phones in MetroPCS' lineup that don't cost much more.

What you'll pay

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