Kyocera Marbl K127 (Virgin Mobile) review: Kyocera Marbl K127 (Virgin Mobile)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.6
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Kyocera Marbl is easy to use, offers decent call quality, and comes with satisfactory features.

The Bad The Kyocera Marbl lacks an external display, and its phone book and ringtone selection are rather small.

The Bottom Line The Kyocera Marbl is a decent phone for making calls, though we wish it had an external display.

Editors' Top Picks

Kyocera Marbl (K127)

Virgin Mobile never tries to be more than what it is, and that's a good thing. The company has carefully cultivated an image of a hip, cool carrier that produces cheap, basic cell phones for the youth market. Granted, not every phone from the carrier has been a winner, but Virgin Mobile still accomplishes what it sets out to do. The latest model, the Kyocera Marbl (K127), isn't quite as flashy as the Kyocera Cyclops but it's still a decent phones for making calls. And at $29, it's a steal.

Design
We've never been fans of flip pones without external displays, so we have to dock the Marbl from the start for the same reason. Yes, we get that an external display makes a phone more expensive, but we just don't like having to open a handset to see who's calling. Other than its lack of an external display, the Marbl does well with its design overall. The plain black form with the center stripe has an understated appeal that's broken only by the Virgin Mobile logo and a small speaker.


The Marbl won't take up too much space in your pocket.

Though Virgin Mobile has advertised the Marbl's thin profile, its measurements of 3.3 inches by 1.7 inches by 0.8 inch wouldn't get it far in the slim-phone Olympics. On the other hand, it is pretty light, at 2.96 ounces, and there's no external antenna to add more girth. Other external features on the phones are few. A headset jack and a volume rocker sit on the left spine, and a charger ports rests on the phone's bottom end. The construction is solid on the whole, and the Marbl opens and shuts with authority.

The Marbl's 1.5-inch display (128x128 pixels) is a tad small for the phone's overall size, and the 65,000-color display doesn't pop with vivid resolution. Yet the phone perfectly fine for most uses. Although the icons don't make a lot of sense, the menus are easy to use and aren't too laden with animation. You can change the backlighting time and the contrast, but the text size is small and nonadjustable.

Editors' Top Picks

 

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Where to Buy See All

Kyocera Marbl K127 (Virgin Mobile)

Part Number: VMK127KYKITMRN Released: Apr. 3, 2007
Low Price: $50.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Apr. 3, 2007
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X
  • Service Provider Virgin Mobile
  • Weight 3.3 oz
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.