Editors' note: As the Torino is almost identical to the Kyocera Loft, we'll focus on the Torino's differences for this review. For a full description of its design and features, please see our Kyocera Loft review.
Kyocera may have launched back into the smartphone arena with its Android-powered Zio earlier this year, but its Torino S2300 messaging handset perfectly exemplifies the manufacturer's image in North America. Though neither flashy nor high-powered, the Torino succeeds as a user-friendly handset for communication. It's just $29 without a contract for MetroPCS.
As we mentioned, the Torino is a near clone of Virgin Mobile's Kyocera Loft. You'll notice the same blocky shape (4.06 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide by 0.59 inch deep) and the tapered edges that give it a slim profile. Again, it's not the most attractive phone in the world, but it works.
The bright display also measures 2.2 inches and supports 262,000 colors. Yet, MetroPCS made some positive changes when translating the Torino to its lineup. The raised navigation array is cleaner thanks to slimmer keys and the QWERTY keyboard has welcome enhancements. Though it's the same size as on the Loft and has the same number of keys, the Torino's keyboard feels less cramped even if the individual buttons are slightly smaller. The backlit keys also had a more solid touch and it was easier to dial by feel. On the downside, we'd still enjoy more shortcut buttons.
In a final change, the panel beneath the keyboard now sports a burgundy color. We think it gives an otherwise ordinary phone a unique look. In contrast, other exterior controls are unchanged. There's a volume rocker and camera shutter on the left spine, a 2.5mm headset jack (boo) and Micro-USB charger port on the top end and a camera lens and small speaker around back.