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Virgin Mobile's Jax offers just the basics

*Est. $18, no contract
Reviewed
November 2009
by ConsumerSearch
Kyocera Jax

Virgin Mobile's Jax offers just the basics

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Gets good reception
Cons
  • Flimsy build
  • Mediocre call quality
  • Very few features
Where to Buy
 

Small, no-frills handset for Virgin Mobile

The candy-bar Kyocera Jax for Virgin Mobile is an extremely basic budget cell phone. It has a 1.8-inch LCD screen, sporting a low resolution of only 160 pixels by 128 pixels. It doesn't have a camera, but it does have a music player, access to mobile web and to various social networking sites and voice dialing, though no reviewer critiques these features. Reviewers like the central toggle by which basic menus are navigated, though the Jax's small and plasticky keypad is criticized. The more expensive Kyocera X-tc for Virgin boasts a mid-range feature set including a QWERTY keyboard, the Jax is barebones by comparison.

The Jax is very small and light, measuring 4.3 inches by 1.7 inches by 0.5 inches, and weighing 2.5 ounces. While some reviewers appreciate its tiny size and light weight, others feel that the Jax is prone to slip out of pockets and get damaged or lost.

Jax's performance falls short

A no-contract phone for about $10 is bound to cut a few corners, as reviewers confirm. There is a consensus that the build quality of the Kyocera Jax isn't what it should be: The casing has a cheap feel, and there is some anecdotal evidence of defective parts. The battery cover is wobbly and can pop off if the phone is dropped. Reports about battery life vary greatly, but the manufacturer's estimate of about three hours talk time appears to be the average.

Call quality is also mediocre. Reviewers note significant distortion, especially at higher volumes, and the speakerphone isn't very good, either -- some say the Jax is only good as a phone for occasional use. However, most critics and users are surprised by the Jax's good reception.

We only found one full-scale professional review of the Kyocera Jax at CNET. There are a number of helpful user reviews at CNET, BestBuy.com and PhoneScoop.com. TechnoTalks.com has a very cursory look at the Jax alongside Kyocera's X-tc phone.

Where To Buy
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$25.00
 

Our Sources

1. CNET

Kent German says the Kyocera Jax is merely "ok," though he does praise its compact size and ease of use. However, he finds the build quality to be poor, the call quality variable and the display inadequate. German says there are better budget phones available for Virgin Mobile, but doesn't provide examples. About 10 users offer reviews.

Review: Kyocera Jax S1300 (Virgin Mobile), Kent German, May 20, 2009

2. TechnoTalks.com

This brief write-up from TechnoTalks.com describes the Kyocera X-tc and Jax, both available on Virgin Mobile. While not a comparative review -- there is no independent testing cited -- the features of the two phones are contrasted.

Review: Kyocera X-tc and Jax Phones Available via Virgin Mobile, Editors of TechnoTalks.com, March 20, 2009

3. BestBuy.com

BestBuy.com has less than 10 user reviews of the Kyocera Jax to date. All but one are favorable, though even those users who like the Jax point out that it is a budget phone, and some corners have been cut. Value is widely praised, while a number of owners point out that the phone is so small it's easy to lose.

Review: Virgin Mobile - Kyocera Jax No-Contract Mobile Phone - Black, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of Oct. 2009

4. PhoneScoop.com

A handful of user reviews are featured on PhoneScoop.com, though two are reposts of user reviews from BestBuy.com. Again, price and simplicity are commended. But complaints about the Jax's build and sound quality lower the average user score.

Review: Kyocera Melo S1300 / Jax, Contributors to PhoneScoop.com, As of Oct. 2009

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