Underneath the display are the navigational controls, which consist of two soft keys and a five-way toggle that doubles as shortcuts to your Virgin account, text messaging, recent calls, and Virgin XL, Virgin's Web portal. Below those keys are the Talk key, a dedicated speakerphone button, a Back button, and the End/Power button, followed by the number keypad. All the keys were tactile, rounded, raised above the surface, and really easy to press and dial by feel.
The Kyocera Oystr comes with an address book, and each contact can store up to six numbers, two e-mail addresses, two Web addresses, two street addresses, and a note and can be assigned a photo or one of four included polyphonic ring tones. Since you can't take photos with the phone, you'll have to use one of the included graphics as a replacement. You can also organize the contacts by caller groups and assign photos and ring tones to the groups. Other Oystr features include a speakerphone that can be turned on only after a call is made, text messaging, a vibrate mode, automatic redial, voice dialing, the wireless Web, voice recording, a scheduler, an alarm clock, a calculator, a tip calculator, a timer, and a stop watch.
The Oystr provides easy single-button access to your Virgin account to see how much money is available on your prepaid account. There's also Virgin XL, which is Virgin's entertainment and information Web portal that lets you personalize your cell phone. You can access exclusive content in terms of wallpaper, screensavers, ring tones, and voicemail greetings courtesy of media outlets such as MTV and Comedy Central. Included games are Brick Attack and Race 21, though you can also purchase more via Virgin XL.
We tested the Kyocera Oystr (CDMA 800/1900, AMPS 800) in the San Francisco area using the Virgin Mobile network. Calls sounded pretty good, though we did experience some interference occasionally. Callers heard us loud and clear for the most part as well. The speakerphone was surprisingly good although we had to speak loudly for the callers to hear us.
The Kyocera Oystr has a rated talk time of 3.6 hours and a standby time of 8 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the Kyocera Oystr has a digital SAR rating of 0.94 watts per kilogram.