Are you looking for a cheap cell phone that is stylish, durable, and trust worthy? There are many cell phones like this available, but which are worth it? The Kyocera Oystr from virgin mobile ranks amongst the top cell phones for less $20 USD.
The Kyocera Oystr is a pearl-esque white color, with black trim around the insides edges, and a black external antenna. It has two small grooves aligned vertically down the front of the phone; the center contains the circular VirginMobile logo stamp. Located on the back of the phone is the small speaker for the external speaker, directly below the lanyard hole. Located on the top of the phone is a black headphone jack, and along the left side is the rubber coated volume clicker control.
The Oystr is a clamshell [flip] style cellphone. The hinge is smooth and tight, making the phone sturdy when both open and closed. It feels solid, and mine shows no signs of becoming loose, even after much use.
The screen is bright, with brightness and contrast controls. While a good screen, it is not ideal for viewing photos. While a nice screen, it’s not the ‘best’. It is, however, very clear and easy to see, and more than adequate for this phone. The screen is surrounded by a shiny silver lining, which gives it a nice contrast with the complete black internal surface.
The buttons on this phone are exceptionally nice. They are a shiny, silver, metal buttons. They are widely spaced, yet this design adds to the appearance of the phone, rather than detract from it. When viewed the side, the buttons appear to be completely flat with the surface. However, when felt, the buttons have a nice rounding, making them easy to feel. They are very solid, and make a nice ‘click’ when pressed.
The backlight is equally as nice. A bright blue, it is the perfect color for viewing the keys. Not too bright, not too dull; when added to the silver buttons, they are very aesthetically pleasing, and make typing on the Oystr a pleasant experience. In addition to the blue, the talk button glows green, and the off button glows red.
Sound on the Oystr is good. It is not as clear as a landline, but it is still clear and consistent. You can tell that you are using a cell phone, but just slightly. Unless you are paying attention to that fact, you will not even notice. When I talked to people, they didn’t realize that I was on a cell phone. The microphone is strong, making your voice loud and clear, not muffled or ‘too quiet’ like many cell phones in this price range.
Every Virgin Mobile cell phone comes with the Virgin VXL, no matter how cheap the phone was. VXL is the Oystr’s WAP internet browser, allowing you to surf both Virgin Mobiles download site, or any other website you wish. It only costs $1 to use VXL for the entire day. The browser allowed me to browse many websites, though when I tried to log into certain accounts, such as my school or PayPal account, it came up with a message saying that it couldn’t for security reasons. Keep this in mind if you want a wireless browser to repeatedly check password protected accounts.
The Oystr comes with all the standards of a cell phone: calendar, alarm, tip calculator, voice memo, timer, stopwatch, calculator, clock, etc. It comes preloaded with two games: Snake and Race 21. While Snake is quite possibly the most boring game in the world, Race 21 is an addictive card game that I have enjoyed playing many times. Unfortunately, the Oystr is the only cell phone offered by Virgin Mobile that doesn’t offer additional game downloads from their site. You only get the two that come with it.
The Oystr comes preloaded with four wallpapers: a double-vision, neon-colored eagle; roses and skulls; a sherbert-like color swirl, and an ugly plaid/diamond image. I didn’t particularly like any of these; fortunately, there are many more available for download off the Virgin Mobile site. My cell phone currently has Betty Boop set as the background.
It comes preloaded with 4 screensavers: a conglomeration of shifty eyeballs; a hotdog that oozes blue goo with the word MMM! popping up randomly; butterflies flying into the sky [nice, and my current]; and finally, these odd worm things that have bugged eyes and gaping mouths. These are very odd screens savers, safe for the butterfly one, which may not appeal to the male population. While I have not checked personally, I imagine that there are more available from the Virgin Mobile site.
There are 4 ringtones preinstalled on the Oystr: augst, Euro ringer
The Oysr come with a vibrating mode, and seven ringer volumes, including ringer and vibrator. This phone can be loud, very good for outdoors. The loud volume does not distort the ringtone, a nice surprise I was not expecting.
This phone comes with SMS texting, and auto-text, which will fill in often used words automatically, which can make texting faster than usual. Each text can contain up to 250 characters, and comes with all the characters expected. It also comes with an assortment of face emotions that can be inserted into the message.
These are the basics of the Kyocera Oyster. Nice downloads, solid and durable, stylish, with many features, this phone is one of the better flip phones available in the $20 – $30 price range. For more information, visit virginmobile.com.