Avid texters and messaging enthusiasts looking for an affordable QWERTY slider will be happy to hear that the Kyocera Rise will be arriving at Sprint and Virgin Mobile for $19.99 and $99.99, respectively. Sprint's variant will be released on August 19th with a two-year contract while Virgin Mobile's contract-free model will arrive on the 31st. When we first looked at the Rise — which includes a 3.5 inch 480 x 320 display and Android 4.0 running on a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor — we found it to be a reasonable option for smartphone newcomers.
The full $99.99 price tag on Virgin Mobile is less than half that of the keyboard-less HTC One V and Motorola Triumph, each running identical processors, though real-world performance is unlikely to be the same. On Sprint the similarly priced ZTE Fury offers a better camera at 5 megapixels (versus the Rise's 3.2 megapixel shooter), but lacks a physical keyboard and comes with Android 2.3. While Virgin Mobile customers may be attracted by the $49.99 Venture and its portrait keyboard, Sprint customers have few options besides the $49.99 BlackBerry Curve for affordable messaging phones.