UTStarcom Slice (Virgin Mobile) review: UTStarcom Slice (Virgin Mobile)

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Virgin Mobile Slice is a small and skinny candy bar handset that features a wireless Web browser and a speakerphone.

The Bad The Virgin Mobile Slice has a tiny lackluster screen and a membrane keypad that's too flush to the phone's surface.

The Bottom Line The Virgin Mobile Slice is a slim and lightweight phone, but its tiny, hard-to-press buttons, small screen, and lack of features make it less than perfect. However, its affordability still makes the Slice an attractive option for those who want a thin phone without a carrier contract.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.6 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0

The Virgin Mobile Slice (otherwise known as the UTStarcom PCS1400) is the latest phone to join the thin handset bandwagon. Looking very much like a clone of Cingular's Motorola Slvr L2, the Slice is a skinny candy bar handset with even slimmer features. It has no camera or Bluetooth but it does offer a Web browser and a speakerphone. Virgin Mobile claims that at a price of $49.99 the Slice is the thinnest phone in the U.S. without a contract, and while we can't confirm that, the price certainly makes the phone a steal.

The Virgin Mobile Slice looks a lot like a SLVR clone.

The design of the Slice is evident from its name; the sliver of a handset measures a slight 4.3x1.8x0.4 inches and weighs a mere 2.3 ounces. Available in basic black, the Slice feels almost too lightweight, and we could imagine losing it easily if we weren't careful. It feels fairly blocklike in the hand and not quite as contoured as the Slvr L2, but it was comfortable to hold next to the ear. The left spine is home to the volume rocker, while the headset jack is located on the right spine.

We are rather disappointed by the Slice's tiny 1.5-inch, 65,000-color screen. That said, the colors are bright and vibrant for a basic handset such as this, and we were glad we could adjust the screen's contrast as well as the backlight timer. However, you can't adjust the brightness or the font size.

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