Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

It's a well-known fact that the Japanese are still perverts. They invent all sorts of trash, not letting anyone in from the outside, and then quietly use it themselves. Today's copy is the best proof of that. At first glance, it is already clear that the CardPhone KY-01L goes against all fashionable foundations. A microscopic Android smartphone with an e-paper screen, no camera, no audio jack, and whatnot. Add to everything else the inability to use standard Google services out of the box, which further complicates the usual perception of a modern "smart" device. Reference anti-smartphone. I've said more than enough in just one sentence. Nevertheless, first things first.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

To be honest, no one expected such an "exclusive" from the Japanese. It would seem that such a high-tech country as Japan should put all sorts of space know-how on a commercial footing almost every day, but here such a regression. And yes, it was the Japanese Kyocera that was developing the CardPhone. Agree, you rather expect to see such a "miracle" on sites like AliExpress, but not in the range of Japan's largest mobile operator NTT Docomo, which received exclusive rights to sell the device.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

Officially, CardPhone was first shown at the presentation of the autumn-winter collection of new products by NTT Docomo in October last year. In the general list, the model is listed under the serial number KY-01L. The phone is only available in black. According to reports, Kyocera does not plan to sell it anywhere outside its home market. There is also no information about a possible release of a SIM-free version for local virtual MVNO operators. In order for it to understand third-party SIM cards, an official unlink from the Japanese network is required.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

Specifications

Simple. Everything is very simple here. As many might guess, CardPhone KY-01L has little in common with modern smartphones. In technical terms, it somewhat resembles current Japanese clamshells: Qualcomm 210 1.1GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of user memory, a small screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. This is where all the similarities end. The Japanese could not fit at least one camera into a case only 5.3 mm thick. Hidden inside the miniature brick is a 380 mAh lithium-ion battery. I can already see how the Chinese laugh on the sidelines with a smirk. Although everyone knows perfectly well how our cunning neighbors smartly know how to "wind up" the capacity of the batteries. It is enough just to attribute the extra number to the real values. The paint will endure everything.

According to the manufacturer, the phone can last up to 4 days in standby mode and up to 2.5 hours in talk mode. Up to 100% battery is charged in less than 2 hours. I will talk about the features of the pre-installed and missing software a little later.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

Specifications for Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L:

  • Operating system: OS Android 5.1
  • Standards support: 3G, LTE
  • Number of SIM cards: 1 nanoSIM
  • Processor: 1.1GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • ROM: 8 GB
  • Display: 2.8", 600x480p, E-ink, touchscreen, 16 grayscale
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • MicroUSB
  • Installed applications: dialer, sms, browser, calendar, calculator, notepad, clock
  • Splash proof (IPX2)
  • Battery: Li-Ion, 380 mAh
  • Dimensions: 91x55x5.3 mm
  • Weight: 47 g

Packages

In a mourning-colored cardboard box embossed on the facade in the form of a contour of the main body, a screen and two touch buttons, in addition to the device itself, the future owner will find only a needle for removing the SIM tray and brief instructions in Japanese. The classic equipment of almost any Japanese phone. Complete minimalism. For recharging, you can use any standard micro-USB cable.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

First impressions. Design

Kyocera CardPhone 2 is a device that claims to be the most microscopic smartphone in the world. I was not too lazy, climbed into the search engine with the corresponding request. It turned out that there is already a similar solution, somewhat similar to the CardPhone KY-01L. However, it exists only on the Internet. We are talking about Light Phone 2. This is a crowdfunding project, for the implementation of which everyone who wants to donate their money. I will not dwell on its description, I will only say that Light Phone 2 has a 500 mAh battery and, accordingly, a thicker and heavier body (7.5 mm with a weight of 80 g) does not support most of the functions that the Japanese counterpart has. The declared cost of the device is $300, which, in principle, is comparable to the price of the Japanese. The start of sales is scheduled for October this year, but the developer warns that delays are possible.

Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L review

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The smartphone weighs 47 grams. It can easily be hidden in a wallet or breast pocket. Manufacturers of accessories already offer a huge range of films and glasses for facade protection. I would recommend future owners to use such protection so that after some time they do not get a scratched display. Unfortunately, the front side around the perimeter is devoid of any protrusions that can protect the screen from contact, for example, with the same table. In addition, after a couple of days of working with the phone on the touch buttons and in places where the screen is often used, wear from the fingertips appears, which also does not paint the overall picture. The KY-01L is IPX2 splash-proof, and something tells me that if the phone suddenly falls to the ground even from a height of one meter, then it has every chance of surviving thanks to its lightweight design and low weight.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

Display

And now to the cons. The phone does not have a brightness level setting. In addition, there is no backlight, so using it at night is simply useless. For obvious reasons, this screen will not be able to watch the video. So all this greatly limits the scope of e-Ink technology. However, the readability of such a screen, which actually works in black and white contrast, is at a peak level. All texts, including small ones, are read without any problems, even with a small diagonal.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The screen resolution is 600x480p. There are 16 shades of gray, but they are not enough to make your favorite sunset or autumn forest after the rain at least approximately resemble what you are used to seeing on a regular smartphone. So, when uploading pictures so rich in color for further use as wallpapers, be prepared for the fact that reality will be "slightly" distorted.

By the way, at an angle, the e-Ink display, unlike TFT, OLED or IGZO, does not distort the picture.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

In the display settings, you can only change the wallpaper and the time before entering sleep mode.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Above the screen are a speaker, a light indicator and a proximity sensor. The volume level is the same as on my current Huawei P20 Pro - more than enough. Surprisingly, in terms of sound quality, the interlocutor's voice turned out to be at a decent level, every word is clearly audible, without any unpleasant frequency dips. The proximity sensor works just like on a regular smartphone.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

Under the display, there are only two touch buttons with standard functionality: "Back" and "Home".

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

A miniature power button lives on the top end. By the way, I noticed that the phone turns on for a long time until it is fully ready - about 30 seconds.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

On the left side there is a telescopic SIM tray for one nanoSIM card. Japanese operator phones are traditionally produced with only one SIM card. There is no way to expand the memory using a flash drive. It's a pity. Although, on the other hand, why is it needed here if the phone is as limited in functionality as possible. There is no multimedia player, no camera that would generate gigabytes of relevant content. So in this regard, the phone will allow its owner to enjoy live communication with friends or make them read a long-stale book.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

At the bottom end there is a microphone and a connector for connecting a cable. In the right corner there is a hole for attaching a strap. CardPhone KY-01L can be worn around the neck or wrist without much harm to health. Those who do not care much about the appearance of their gadgets can even make a keychain out of it. A real exclusive will be released.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

On the right side there is a volume rocker and a speaker. Instead of the usual speaker, a tweeter buzzer is used here, similar to the one that is installed in ordinary cheap dialers. I immediately remember the melody from the movie "Boomer". As with a regular smartphone, a long press on the volume buttons switches the phone to silent mode.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

In the sound settings, you can add vibration to incoming calls and SMS, turn on silent mode, select a ringtone for calls, SMS or alarms. Unfortunately, the collection of ringtones is limited to only 5 options. You can't add your own.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

The back wall of the CardPhone KY-01L resembles a calculator. Nothing but the company logo. Matte surface absorbs all fingerprints, grease and dust. So get ready for constant rubbing or buy a case, since there are plenty of them.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Program part. Functionality

Now the most interesting thing is what CardPhone can do. Like any modern Japanese clamshell, KY-01L out of the box offers painfully meager functionality. The situation can be corrected only by software doping using the same ADB. After that, you can install a certain number of applications, because. for everything about everything, the user is allocated only 5 free gigabytes. The remaining 2 and a half are occupied by the operating system.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone review -01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L < /a> Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

As with all Japanese flip phones, except Freetel Musashi, the interface has only Japanese and English localization. Russify it with morelocal will not work.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

The operating system of the CardPhone KY-01L resembles the Chinese version of Android when there is not the slightest mention of Google services in the system, i.e. you will not even be able to connect your account in order to at least elementarily synchronize the phone book or Gmail mail.It's unlikely that you want to get directions on such a small screen, especially considering that the phone does not have a GPS module. Watching your favorite YouTube will also fail, electronic ink is not suitable for this. The usual Google Play app store is not here either. All this, of course, can be installed with proper knowledge and instructions, but what is really missing here is NFC. Agree, it would be convenient to pay with such a phone, as if you have an ordinary bank card in your hands.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Initially, all the capabilities of the phone are reduced to a few elementary functions:

  • calls
  • sms
  • phonebook (without Google sync)
  • calendar (without Google sync)
  • watch
  • calculator
  • Internet browser
  • notebook

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

If we talk about the phone in its original software state, then for all 4 days that I had it, in addition to calls, most often I used the browser. The presence of a touch screen in the CardPhone immediately puts it head and shoulders above any other Japanese clamshell, deprived of such a privilege. When working with an e-Ink screen, your eyes get noticeably less tired, or rather, they don’t get tired at all, unless you plan to hang out reading e-books for hours, especially on such a microscreen.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The phone can be used as a 3G/LTE modem. For this, classic Wi-Fi Tethering is provided. It is unlikely that such a body will ever be able to heat up to the state of a frying pan. There is a choice between 3G and 4G bands. There is no GSM support in the device. For mobile Internet to work, you must manually configure the APN access point with the corresponding data of your operator once.

Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone review Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

As a conclusion

Usually, at the end, it is customary to sum up everything you see and often try it on yourself. If you have read the review to the end, then the CardPhone KY-01L has clearly hooked you with something, whether it be the size, weight, appearance, autonomy, those two most commonly used functions or exclusivity against the background of everything around. With a probability of 99.9%, I dare to assume that for the majority this device is from the category "not needed and for free." There is nothing here that you have long been accustomed to. Poking around in the instructions, setting up some drivers there, installing ADB and in the end achieving nothing is clearly not about you. The most that you can remember CardPhone is the caustic comment you left under this article.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

What did Kyocera want to achieve by releasing this to the public? Obviously not in order to draw public attention to it. A small number of sold and the absence of new copies in free sale indicates that Kyocera and NTT Docomo were able to accurately determine the target audience for which such a sub-smartphone is designed. This gadget is primarily designed for the Japanese and those two people outside of Japan who wanted to taste the forbidden fruit. But what awaits them later - high or disappointment - question number fifteen.

According to the manufacturer, the phone can last up to 4 days in standby mode and up to 2.5 hours in talk mode. Up to 100% battery is charged in less than 2 hours. I will talk about the features of the pre-installed and missing software a little later.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

Specifications for Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L:

  • Operating system: OS Android 5.1
  • Standards support: 3G, LTE
  • Number of SIM cards: 1 nanoSIM
  • Processor: 1.1GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • ROM: 8 GB
  • Display: 2.8", 600x480p, E-ink, touchscreen, 16 grayscale
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • MicroUSB
  • Installed applications: dialer, sms, browser, calendar, calculator, notepad, clock
  • Splash proof (IPX2)
  • Battery: Li-Ion, 380 mAh
  • Dimensions: 91x55x5.3 mm
  • Weight: 47 g

Packages

In a mourning-colored cardboard box embossed on the facade in the form of a contour of the main body, a screen and two touch buttons, in addition to the device itself, the future owner will find only a needle for removing the SIM tray and brief instructions in Japanese. The classic equipment of almost any Japanese phone. Complete minimalism. For recharging, you can use any standard micro-USB cable.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

First impressions. Design

Kyocera CardPhone 2 is a device that claims to be the most microscopic smartphone in the world. I was not too lazy, climbed into the search engine with the corresponding request. It turned out that there is already a similar solution, somewhat similar to the CardPhone KY-01L. However, it exists only on the Internet. We are talking about Light Phone 2. This is a crowdfunding project, for the implementation of which everyone who wants to donate their money. I will not dwell on its description, I will only say that Light Phone 2 has a 500 mAh battery and, accordingly, a thicker and heavier body (7.5 mm with a weight of 80 g) does not support most of the functions that the Japanese counterpart has. The declared cost of the device is $300, which, in principle, is comparable to the price of the Japanese. The start of sales is scheduled for October this year, but the developer warns that delays are possible.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The most unusual thing after this appearance is the size of the phone. It can be easily hidden in the palm of your hand, but working with such a miniature screen is incredibly convenient, especially after 6-inch shovels. As for the electronic ink screen, as for a person who has never used such technologies, it was a discovery for me that the image on it does not change instantly, but with a delay of a fraction of a second. The picture is first inverted, and then changed to a new one. Unusual and at the same time unusual effect. The reaction of the screen to pressing is almost instantaneous, even though there is more than a budget stuffing here.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

When an outsider sees such a gadget for the first time, they may involuntarily have a feeling of fragility and potential unreliability. However, these feelings change dramatically when you take it in your hand. The frame is made of aluminum, the front and back walls are made of plastic for better antenna conductivity. The elements of the body fit very tightly to each other, nothing crunches, cracks or falls off. Once again, I was convinced that the Japanese assemble equipment for themselves with the highest quality.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The smartphone weighs 47 grams. It can easily be hidden in a wallet or breast pocket. Manufacturers of accessories already offer a huge range of films and glasses for facade protection. I would recommend future owners to use such protection so that after some time they do not get a scratched display. Unfortunately, the front side around the perimeter is devoid of any protrusions that can protect the screen from contact, for example, with the same table. In addition, after a couple of days of working with the phone on the touch buttons and in places where the screen is often used, wear from the fingertips appears, which also does not paint the overall picture. The KY-01L is IPX2 splash-proof, and something tells me that if the phone suddenly falls to the ground even from a height of one meter, then it has every chance of surviving thanks to its lightweight design and low weight.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

Display

And now to the cons. The phone does not have a brightness level setting. In addition, there is no backlight, so using it at night is simply useless. For obvious reasons, this screen will not be able to watch the video. So all this greatly limits the scope of e-Ink technology. However, the readability of such a screen, which actually works in black and white contrast, is at a peak level. All texts, including small ones, are read without any problems, even with a small diagonal.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The screen resolution is 600x480p. There are 16 shades of gray, but they are not enough to make your favorite sunset or autumn forest after the rain at least approximately resemble what you are used to seeing on a regular smartphone. So, when uploading pictures so rich in color for further use as wallpapers, be prepared for the fact that reality will be "slightly" distorted.

By the way, at an angle, the e-Ink display, unlike TFT, OLED or IGZO, does not distort the picture.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

In the display settings, you can only change the wallpaper and the time before entering sleep mode.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Above the screen are a speaker, a light indicator and a proximity sensor. The volume level is the same as on my current Huawei P20 Pro - more than enough. Surprisingly, in terms of sound quality, the interlocutor's voice turned out to be at a decent level, every word is clearly audible, without any unpleasant frequency dips. The proximity sensor works just like on a regular smartphone.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

At the bottom end there is a microphone and a connector for connecting a cable. In the right corner there is a hole for attaching a strap. CardPhone KY-01L can be worn around the neck or wrist without much harm to health. Those who do not care much about the appearance of their gadgets can even make a keychain out of it. A real exclusive will be released.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

On the right side there is a volume rocker and a speaker. Instead of the usual speaker, a tweeter buzzer is used here, similar to the one that is installed in ordinary cheap dialers. I immediately remember the melody from the movie "Boomer". As with a regular smartphone, a long press on the volume buttons switches the phone to silent mode.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

In the sound settings, you can add vibration to incoming calls and SMS, turn on silent mode, select a ringtone for calls, SMS or alarms. Unfortunately, the collection of ringtones is limited to only 5 options. You can't add your own.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

The back wall of the CardPhone KY-01L resembles a calculator. Nothing but the company logo. Matte surface absorbs all fingerprints, grease and dust. So get ready for constant rubbing or buy a case, since there are plenty of them.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Program part. Functionality

Now the most interesting thing is what CardPhone can do. Like any modern Japanese clamshell, KY-01L out of the box offers painfully meager functionality. The situation can be corrected only by software doping using the same ADB. After that, you can install a certain number of applications, because. for everything about everything, the user is allocated only 5 free gigabytes. The remaining 2 and a half are occupied by the operating system.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone review -01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L < /a> Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

As with all Japanese flip phones, except Freetel Musashi, the interface has only Japanese and English localization. Russify it with morelocal will not work.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

The operating system of the CardPhone KY-01L resembles the Chinese version of Android when there is not the slightest mention of Google services in the system, i.e. you will not even be able to connect your account in order to at least elementarily synchronize the phone book or Gmail mail.It's unlikely that you want to get directions on such a small screen, especially considering that the phone does not have a GPS module. Watching your favorite YouTube will also fail, electronic ink is not suitable for this. The usual Google Play app store is not here either. All this, of course, can be installed with proper knowledge and instructions, but what is really missing here is NFC. Agree, it would be convenient to pay with such a phone, as if you have an ordinary bank card in your hands.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Initially, all the capabilities of the phone are reduced to a few elementary functions:

  • calls
  • sms
  • phonebook (without Google sync)
  • calendar (without Google sync)
  • watch
  • calculator
  • Internet browser
  • notebook

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

If we talk about the phone in its original software state, then for all 4 days that I had it, in addition to calls, most often I used the browser. The presence of a touch screen in the CardPhone immediately puts it head and shoulders above any other Japanese clamshell, deprived of such a privilege. When working with an e-Ink screen, your eyes get noticeably less tired, or rather, they don’t get tired at all, unless you plan to hang out reading e-books for hours, especially on such a microscreen.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The phone can be used as a 3G/LTE modem. For this, classic Wi-Fi Tethering is provided. It is unlikely that such a body will ever be able to heat up to the state of a frying pan. There is a choice between 3G and 4G bands. There is no GSM support in the device. For mobile Internet to work, you must manually configure the APN access point with the corresponding data of your operator once.

Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone review Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

As a conclusion

Usually, at the end, it is customary to sum up everything you see and often try it on yourself. If you have read the review to the end, then the CardPhone KY-01L has clearly hooked you with something, whether it be the size, weight, appearance, autonomy, those two most commonly used functions or exclusivity against the background of everything around. With a probability of 99.9%, I dare to assume that for the majority this device is from the category "not needed and for free." There is nothing here that you have long been accustomed to. Poking around in the instructions, setting up some drivers there, installing ADB and in the end achieving nothing is clearly not about you. The most that you can remember CardPhone is the caustic comment you left under this article.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

What did Kyocera want to achieve by releasing this to the public? Obviously not in order to draw public attention to it. A small number of sold and the absence of new copies in free sale indicates that Kyocera and NTT Docomo were able to accurately determine the target audience for which such a sub-smartphone is designed. This gadget is primarily designed for the Japanese and those two people outside of Japan who wanted to taste the forbidden fruit. But what awaits them later - high or disappointment - question number fifteen.

Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

It's a well-known fact that the Japanese are still perverts. They invent all sorts of trash, not letting anyone in from the outside, and then quietly use it themselves. Today's copy is the best proof of that. At first glance, it is already clear that the CardPhone KY-01L goes against all fashionable foundations. A microscopic Android smartphone with an e-paper screen, no camera, no audio jack, and whatnot. Add to everything else the inability to use standard Google services out of the box, which further complicates the usual perception of a modern "smart" device. Reference anti-smartphone. I've said more than enough in just one sentence. Nevertheless, first things first.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

To be honest, no one expected such an "exclusive" from the Japanese. It would seem that such a high-tech country as Japan should put all sorts of space know-how on a commercial footing almost every day, but here such a regression. And yes, it was the Japanese Kyocera that was developing the CardPhone. Agree, you rather expect to see such a "miracle" on sites like AliExpress, but not in the range of Japan's largest mobile operator NTT Docomo, which received exclusive rights to sell the device.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

Officially, CardPhone was first shown at the presentation of the autumn-winter collection of new products by NTT Docomo in October last year. In the general list, the model is listed under the serial number KY-01L. The phone is only available in black. According to reports, Kyocera does not plan to sell it anywhere outside its home market. There is also no information about a possible release of a SIM-free version for local virtual MVNO operators. In order for it to understand third-party SIM cards, an official unlink from the Japanese network is required.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

Specifications

Simple. Everything is very simple here. As many might guess, CardPhone KY-01L has little in common with modern smartphones. In technical terms, it somewhat resembles current Japanese clamshells: Qualcomm 210 1.1GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of user memory, a small screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. This is where all the similarities end. The Japanese could not fit at least one camera into a case only 5.3 mm thick. Hidden inside the miniature brick is a 380 mAh lithium-ion battery. I can already see how the Chinese laugh on the sidelines with a smirk. Although everyone knows perfectly well how our cunning neighbors smartly know how to "wind up" the capacity of the batteries. It is enough just to attribute the extra number to the real values. The paint will endure everything.

According to the manufacturer, the phone can last up to 4 days in standby mode and up to 2.5 hours in talk mode. Up to 100% battery is charged in less than 2 hours. I will talk about the features of the pre-installed and missing software a little later.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

Specifications for Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L:

  • Operating system: OS Android 5.1
  • Standards support: 3G, LTE
  • Number of SIM cards: 1 nanoSIM
  • Processor: 1.1GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • ROM: 8 GB
  • Display: 2.8", 600x480p, E-ink, touchscreen, 16 grayscale
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • MicroUSB
  • Installed applications: dialer, sms, browser, calendar, calculator, notepad, clock
  • Splash proof (IPX2)
  • Battery: Li-Ion, 380 mAh
  • Dimensions: 91x55x5.3 mm
  • Weight: 47 g

Packages

In a mourning-colored cardboard box embossed on the facade in the form of a contour of the main body, a screen and two touch buttons, in addition to the device itself, the future owner will find only a needle for removing the SIM tray and brief instructions in Japanese. The classic equipment of almost any Japanese phone. Complete minimalism. For recharging, you can use any standard micro-USB cable.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

First impressions. Design

Kyocera CardPhone 2 is a device that claims to be the most microscopic smartphone in the world. I was not too lazy, climbed into the search engine with the corresponding request. It turned out that there is already a similar solution, somewhat similar to the CardPhone KY-01L. However, it exists only on the Internet. We are talking about Light Phone 2. This is a crowdfunding project, for the implementation of which everyone who wants to donate their money. I will not dwell on its description, I will only say that Light Phone 2 has a 500 mAh battery and, accordingly, a thicker and heavier body (7.5 mm with a weight of 80 g) does not support most of the functions that the Japanese counterpart has. The declared cost of the device is $300, which, in principle, is comparable to the price of the Japanese. The start of sales is scheduled for October this year, but the developer warns that delays are possible.

Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L review

The most unusual thing after this appearance is the size of the phone. It can be easily hidden in the palm of your hand, but working with such a miniature screen is incredibly convenient, especially after 6-inch shovels. As for the electronic ink screen, as for a person who has never used such technologies, it was a discovery for me that the image on it does not change instantly, but with a delay of a fraction of a second. The picture is first inverted, and then changed to a new one. Unusual and at the same time unusual effect. The reaction of the screen to pressing is almost instantaneous, even though there is more than a budget stuffing here.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

When an outsider sees such a gadget for the first time, they may involuntarily have a feeling of fragility and potential unreliability. However, these feelings change dramatically when you take it in your hand. The frame is made of aluminum, the front and back walls are made of plastic for better antenna conductivity. The elements of the case fit very tightly to each other, nothing crunches, cracks or falls off. Once again, I was convinced that the Japanese assemble equipment for themselves with the highest quality.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The smartphone weighs 47 grams. It can easily be hidden in a wallet or breast pocket. Manufacturers of accessories already offer a huge range of films and glasses for facade protection. I would recommend future owners to use such protection so that after some time they do not get a scratched display. Unfortunately, the front side around the perimeter is devoid of any protrusions that can protect the screen from contact, for example, with the same table. In addition, after a couple of days of working with the phone on the touch buttons and in places where the screen is often used, wear from the fingertips appears, which also does not paint the overall picture. The KY-01L is IPX2 splash-proof, and something tells me that if the phone suddenly falls to the ground from a height of at least one meter, then it has every chance of surviving thanks to its lightweight design and low weight.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

Display

And now to the cons. The phone does not have a brightness level setting. In addition, there is no backlight, so using it at night is simply useless. For obvious reasons, this screen will not be able to watch the video. So all this greatly limits the scope of e-Ink technology. However, the readability of such a screen, which actually works in black and white contrast, is at a peak level. All texts, including small ones, are read without any problems, even with a small diagonal.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

The screen resolution is 600x480p. There are 16 shades of gray, but they are not enough to make your favorite sunset or autumn forest after the rain at least approximately resemble what you are used to seeing on a regular smartphone. So, when uploading pictures so rich in color for further use as wallpapers, be prepared for the fact that reality will be "slightly" distorted.

By the way, at an angle, the e-Ink display, unlike TFT, OLED or IGZO, does not distort the picture.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

In the display settings, you can only change the wallpaper and the time before entering sleep mode.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Above the screen are a speaker, a light indicator and a proximity sensor. The volume level is the same as on my current Huawei P20 Pro - more than enough. Surprisingly, in terms of sound quality, the interlocutor's voice turned out to be at a decent level, every word is clearly audible, without any unpleasant frequency dips. The proximity sensor works just like on a regular smartphone.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

Under the display, there are only two touch buttons with standard functionality: "Back" and "Home".

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

A miniature power button lives on the top end. By the way, I noticed that the phone turns on for a long time until it is fully ready - about 30 seconds.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

On the left side there is a telescopic SIM tray for one nanoSIM card. Japanese operator phones are traditionally produced with only one SIM card. There is no way to expand the memory using a flash drive. It's a pity. Although, on the other hand, why is it needed here if the phone is as limited in functionality as possible. There is no multimedia player, no camera that would generate gigabytes of relevant content. So in this regard, the phone will allow its owner to enjoy live communication with friends or make them read a long-stale book.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

At the bottom end there is a microphone and a connector for connecting a cable. In the right corner there is a hole for attaching a strap. CardPhone KY-01L can be worn around the neck or wrist without much harm to health. Those who do not care much about the appearance of their gadgets can even make a keychain out of it. A real exclusive will be released.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

On the right side there is a volume rocker and a speaker. Instead of the usual speaker, a tweeter buzzer is used here, similar to the one that is installed in ordinary cheap dialers. I immediately remember the melody from the movie "Boomer". As with a regular smartphone, a long press on the volume buttons switches the phone to silent mode.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

In the sound settings, you can add vibration to incoming calls and SMS, turn on silent mode, select a ringtone for calls, SMS or alarms. Unfortunately, the collection of ringtones is limited to only 5 options. You can't add your own.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

The back wall of the CardPhone KY-01L resembles a calculator. Nothing but the company logo. Matte surface absorbs all fingerprints, grease and dust. So get ready for constant rubbing or buy a case, since there are plenty of them.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Program part. Functionality

Now the most interesting thing is what CardPhone can do. Like any modern Japanese clamshell, KY-01L out of the box offers painfully meager functionality. The situation can be corrected only by software doping using the same ADB. After that, you can install a certain number of applications, because. for everything about everything, the user is allocated only 5 free gigabytes. The remaining 2 and a half are occupied by the operating system.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone review -01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L < /a> Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

As with all Japanese flip phones, except Freetel Musashi, the interface has only Japanese and English localization. Russify it with morelocal will not work.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L

The operating system of the CardPhone KY-01L resembles the Chinese version of Android when there is not the slightest mention of Google services in the system, i.e. you will not even be able to connect your account in order to at least elementarily synchronize the phone book or Gmail mail.It's unlikely that you want to get directions on such a small screen, especially considering that the phone does not have a GPS module. Watching your favorite YouTube will also fail, electronic ink is not suitable for this. The usual Google Play app store is not here either. All this, of course, can be installed with proper knowledge and instructions, but what is really missing here is NFC. Agree, it would be convenient to pay with such a phone, as if you have an ordinary bank card in your hands.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

Initially, all the capabilities of the phone are reduced to a few elementary functions:

  • calls
  • sms
  • phonebook (without Google sync)
  • calendar (without Google sync)
  • watch
  • calculator
  • Internet browser
  • notebook

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY smartphone -01L Review of smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

As a conclusion

Usually, at the end, it is customary to sum up everything you see and often try it on yourself. If you have read the review to the end, then the CardPhone KY-01L has clearly hooked you with something, whether it be the size, weight, appearance, autonomy, those two most commonly used functions or exclusivity against the background of everything around. With a probability of 99.9%, I dare to assume that for the majority this device is from the category "not needed and for free." There is nothing here that you have long been accustomed to. Poking around in the instructions, setting up some drivers there, installing ADB and in the end achieving nothing is clearly not about you. The most that you can remember CardPhone is the caustic comment you left under this article.

Review of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L smartphone

What did Kyocera want to achieve by releasing this to the public? Obviously not in order to draw public attention to it. A small number of sold and the absence of new copies in free sale indicates that Kyocera and NTT Docomo were able to accurately determine the target audience for which such a sub-smartphone is designed. This gadget is primarily designed for the Japanese and those two people outside of Japan who wanted to taste the forbidden fruit. But what awaits them later - high or disappointment - question number fifteen.

Review of the smartphone Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L

It's a well-known fact that the Japanese are still perverts. They invent all sorts of trash, not letting anyone in from the outside, and then quietly use it themselves. Today's copy is the best proof of that. At first glance, it is already clear that the CardPhone KY-01L goes against all fashionable foundations. A microscopic Android smartphone with an e-paper screen, no camera, no audio jack, and whatnot. Add to everything else the inability to use standard Google services out of the box, which further complicates the usual perception of a modern "smart" device. Reference anti-smartphone. I've said more than enough in just one sentence. Nevertheless, first things first.

To be honest, no one expected such an "exclusive" from the Japanese. It would seem that such a high-tech country as Japan should put all sorts of space know-how on a commercial footing almost every day, but here such a regression. And yes, it was the Japanese Kyocera that was developing the CardPhone. Agree, you rather expect to see such a "miracle" on sites like AliExpress, but not in the range of Japan's largest mobile operator NTT Docomo, which received exclusive rights to sell the device.

According to the manufacturer, the phone can last up to 4 days in standby mode and up to 2.5 hours in talk mode. Up to 100% battery is charged in less than 2 hours. I will talk about the features of the pre-installed and missing software a little later.

Specifications of Kyocera CardPhone KY-01L:

  • Operating system: OS Android 5.1
  • Standards support: 3G, LTE
  • Number of SIM cards: 1 nanoSIM
  • Processor: 1.1GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • ROM: 8 GB
  • Display: 2.8", 600x480p, E-ink, touchscreen, 16 grayscale
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • MicroUSB
  • Installed applications: dialer, sms, browser, calendar, calculator, notepad, clock
  • Splash proof (IPX2)
  • Battery: Li-Ion, 380 mAh
  • Dimensions: 91x55x5.3 mm
  • Weight: 47 g

Packages

In a mourning-colored cardboard box embossed on the facade in the form of a contour of the main body, a screen and two touch buttons, in addition to the device itself, the future owner will find only a needle for removing the SIM tray and brief instructions in Japanese. The classic equipment of almost any Japanese phone. Complete minimalism. For recharging, you can use any standard micro-USB cable.

First impressions. Design

Kyocera CardPhone 2 is a device that claims to be the most microscopic smartphone in the world. I was not too lazy, climbed into the search engine with the corresponding request. It turned out that there is already a similar solution, somewhat similar to the CardPhone KY-01L. However, it exists only on the Internet. We are talking about Light Phone 2. This is a crowdfunding project, for the implementation of which everyone who wants to donate their money. I will not dwell on its description, I will only say that Light Phone 2 has a 500 mAh battery and, accordingly, a thicker and heavier body (7.5 mm with a weight of 80 g) does not support most of the functions that the Japanese counterpart has. The declared cost of the device is $300, which, in principle, is comparable to the price of the Japanese. The start of sales is scheduled for October this year, but the developer warns that delays are possible.

The most unusual thing after this appearance is the size of the phone. It can be easily hidden in the palm of your hand, but working with such a miniature screen is incredibly convenient, especially after 6-inch shovels. As for the electronic ink screen, as for a person who has never used such technologies, it was a discovery for me that the image on it does not change instantly, but with a delay of a fraction of a second. The picture is first inverted, and then changed to a new one. Unusual and at the same time unusual effect. The reaction of the screen to pressing is almost instantaneous, even though there is more than a budget stuffing here.

When an outsider sees such a gadget for the first time, they may involuntarily have a feeling of fragility and potential unreliability. However, these feelings change dramatically when you take it in your hand. The frame is made of aluminum, the front and back walls are made of plastic for better antenna conductivity. The elements of the case fit very tightly to each other, nothing crunches, cracks or falls off. Once again, I was convinced that the Japanese assemble equipment for themselves with the highest quality.

The smartphone weighs 47 grams. It can easily be hidden in a wallet or breast pocket. Manufacturers of accessories already offer a huge range of films and glasses for facade protection. I would recommend future owners to use such protection so that after some time they do not get a scratched display. Unfortunately, the front side around the perimeter is devoid of any protrusions that can protect the screen from contact, for example, with the same table. In addition, after a couple of days of working with the phone on the touch buttons and in places where the screen is often used, wear from the fingertips appears, which also does not paint the overall picture. The KY-01L is IPX2 splash-proof, and something tells me that if the phone suddenly falls to the ground from a height of at least one meter, then it has every chance of surviving thanks to its lightweight design and low weight.

Display

And now to the cons. The phone does not have a brightness level setting. In addition, there is no backlight, so using it at night is simply useless. For obvious reasons, this screen will not be able to watch the video. So all this greatly limits the scope of e-Ink technology. However, the readability of such a screen, which actually works in black and white contrast, is at a peak level. All texts, including small ones, are read without any problems, even with a small diagonal.

The screen resolution is 600x480p. There are 16 shades of gray, but they are not enough to make your favorite sunset or autumn forest after the rain at least approximately resemble what you are used to seeing on a regular smartphone. So, when uploading pictures so rich in color for further use as wallpapers, be prepared for the fact that reality will be "slightly" distorted.

By the way, at an angle, the e-Ink display, unlike TFT, OLED or IGZO, does not distort the picture.

In the display settings, you can only change the wallpaper and the time before entering sleep mode.

Above the screen are a speaker, a light indicator and a proximity sensor. The volume level is the same as on my current Huawei P20 Pro - more than enough. Surprisingly, in terms of sound quality, the interlocutor's voice turned out to be at a decent level, every word is clearly audible, without any unpleasant frequency dips. The proximity sensor works just like on a regular smartphone.

Under the display, there are only two touch buttons with standard functionality: "Back" and "Home".

A miniature power button lives on the top end. By the way, I noticed that the phone turns on for a long time until it is fully ready - about 30 seconds.

On the left side there is a telescopic SIM tray for one nanoSIM card. Japanese operator phones are traditionally produced with only one SIM card. There is no way to expand the memory using a flash drive. It's a pity. Although, on the other hand, why is it needed here if the phone is as limited in functionality as possible. There is no multimedia player, no camera that would generate gigabytes of relevant content. So in this regard, the phone will allow its owner to enjoy live communication with friends or make them read a long-stale book.

At the bottom end there is a microphone and a connector for connecting a cable. In the right corner there is a hole for attaching a strap. CardPhone KY-01L can be worn around the neck or wrist without much harm to health. Those who do not care much about the appearance of their gadgets can even make a keychain out of it. A real exclusive will be released.

On the right side there is a volume rocker and a speaker. Instead of the usual speaker, a tweeter buzzer is used here, similar to the one that is installed in ordinary cheap dialers. I immediately remember the melody from the movie "Boomer". As with a regular smartphone, a long press on the volume buttons switches the phone to silent mode.

In the sound settings, you can add vibration to incoming calls and SMS, turn on silent mode, select a ringtone for calls, SMS or alarms. Unfortunately, the collection of ringtones is limited to only 5 options. You can't add your own.

The back wall of the CardPhone KY-01L resembles a calculator. Nothing but the company logo. Matte surface absorbs all fingerprints, grease and dust. So get ready for constant rubbing or buy a case, since there are plenty of them.

Initially, all the capabilities of the phone are reduced to a few elementary functions:

  • calls
  • sms
  • phonebook (without Google sync)
  • calendar (without Google sync)
  • watch
  • calculator
  • Internet browser
  • notebook

If we talk about the phone in its original software state, then for all 4 days that I had it, in addition to calls, most often I used the browser. The presence of a touch screen in the CardPhone immediately puts it head and shoulders above any other Japanese clamshell, deprived of such a privilege. When working with an e-Ink screen, your eyes get noticeably less tired, or rather, they don’t get tired at all, unless you plan to hang out reading e-books for hours, especially on such a microscreen.

The phone can be used as a 3G/LTE modem. For this, classic Wi-Fi Tethering is provided. It is unlikely that such a body will ever be able to heat up to the state of a frying pan. There is a choice between 3G and 4G bands. There is no GSM support in the device. For mobile Internet to work, you must manually configure the APN access point with the corresponding data of your operator once.

As a conclusion

Usually, at the end, it is customary to sum up everything you see and often try it on yourself. If you have read the review to the end, then the CardPhone KY-01L has clearly hooked you with something, whether it be the size, weight, appearance, autonomy, those two most commonly used functions or exclusivity against the background of everything around. With a probability of 99.9%, I dare to assume that for the majority this device is from the category "not needed and for free." There is nothing here that you have long been accustomed to. Poking around in the instructions, setting up some drivers there, installing ADB and in the end achieving nothing is clearly not about you. The most that you can remember CardPhone is the caustic comment you left under this article.

What did Kyocera want to achieve by releasing this to the public? Obviously not in order to draw public attention to it. A small number of sold and the absence of new copies in free sale indicates that Kyocera and NTT Docomo were able to accurately determine the target audience for which such a sub-smartphone is designed. This gadget is primarily designed for the Japanese and those two people outside of Japan who wanted to taste the forbidden fruit. But what awaits them later - high or disappointment - question number fifteen.