Kyocera Loft S2300 - black (Virgin Mobile) review: Kyocera Loft S2300 - black (Virgin Mobile)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.0
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 6.0

Average User Rating

0.5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Kyocera Loft offers a fair number of messaging options and a user-friendly interface. You also get Bluetooth and voice dialing.

The Bad The Kyocera Loft's phone book only offers caller ID for groups and call quality had some static. Its headset jack is 2.5mm, and its keyboard feels cramped.

The Bottom Line If you don't mind the keyboard and the occasional static during calls the Kyocera Loft is an accessible and functional messaging phone for Virgin Mobile.

Editors' Top Picks

With its Loft S2300, Kyocera once again offers Virgin Mobile customers a messaging-centric phone with a full keyboard. Sporting a simple, BlackBerry-like design, the Loft is a departure from the earlier Kyocera X-tc and Wild Card , but it manages to pack a decent number of messaging features in the minimalist body. Call quality is fine, but the cramped keyboard wasn't the most user-friendly. The Loft is $69 for Virgin Mobile's no-contract service.

Design
At 4.06 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide by 0.59 inches deep, the Kyocera Loft is so stocky that it's almost square. Make no mistake that this is a phone built for messaging; it doesn't try to hide its keyboard behind a sliding face or distract you with a curvaceous design. Honestly, it looks a bit out of place in Virgin's style-conscious lineup, but we wouldn't call it unattractive. The soft-touch material on the rear cover gives the phone a comfortable feel in the hand, and the lightweight build (3.49 ounces) won't slow you down.

The 2.2-inch TFT display supports 262,000 colors. Compared with previous phones from the carrier, it has a bright resolution with decent graphics. We also like the user-friendly menu interface. You can choose from grid or list formats; you can adjust the backlight time and brightness; and you can change the wallpaper, screensaver, greeting message, and color theme.

The navigation array is spacious and we appreciate the raised buttons. You'll find a four-way toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, Talk and End/power buttons, a speakerphone control and a Back key. We weren't so impressed with the keyboard, unfortunately. Though the keys are raised, they felt cramped and there are few shortcuts beyond a messaging control. We got used to it eventually, but we felt like we were plunking away slowly when typing messages or dialing numbers. Users with smaller hands may have a different experience, however.


The Loft's keyboard feels rather cramped.

Completing the phone's exterior are the camera lens and speaker on the rear face and the volume rocker and camera shutter on the left spine. The shutter is thin, but you can find it easily when you're on a call. On the top of the phone are a 2.5mm headset jack (we prefer 3.5mm) and a standard micro-USB charger port.

Editors' Top Picks

 

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Where to Buy See All

Kyocera Loft S2300 - black (Virgin Mobile)

Part Number: VMULOFT
Low Price: $29.89 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 3.5 oz
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X
  • Service Provider Virgin Mobile
  • Diagonal Size 2.2 in
  • Sensor Resolution 1.3 megapixels
About The Author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews and Download editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.