Kyocera Hydro hands-on: Don't call it rugged

During CTIA 2012, Kyocera announced its newest Ice Cream Sandwich device, the waterproof Kyocera Hydro.

The Kyocera Hydro Lynn La/CNET

NEW ORLEANS -- Kyocera isn't a stranger to making water-resistant phones. Since 2008, the manufacturer has released 16 devices, all of which can withstand a good splash or two. Today, the manufacturer announced its newest addition to the lineup: The Kyocera Hydro.

Unlike the Kyocera DuraPlus , which is aimed for an enterprise demographic, the Hydro is made to please a wider audience.

The Hydro is a sleek handset that can not only withstand being sprayed with water, but it can also be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. It's powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, has a 3.5-inch LCD touch screen, and a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with an LED flash.

John Chier, Kyocera's director of corporate communications, told CNET that the Hydro should not be considered a "rugged" handset, despite being waterproof.

"It's very comparable to other devices on the market," he said. "We've taken our experience with water-resistant technology and brought it into a nice, trim, and sleek device."

In addition to that, those who think Android Gingerbread or Honeycomb are both dried out can rejoice. This device runs on the latest Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Other small goodies that may please the average consumer include Bluetooth, Swype, and GPS usability. It's also equipped with 3G-technology and an Eco Mode feature, which lets users customize battery usage to save energy.

At a quick glance, the device looks like it can pass as a regular phone. It's a little thick at half an inch, but considering it locks out water, its build is comparably thin to other handsets boasting the same feature.

I'm pleased that the handset feels light in the hand. It's made out of ballistic nylon textured plastic, though I'm not a real fan of its pimpled backing.

Although slated for a summer release, there's no word yet from Kyocera about Hydro's carrier or pricing.

Along with the Hydro, Kyocera also announced its texting-friendly device, the Kyocera Rise , which is equipped with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

Catch all the latest news from CTIA 2012.

Read the full CNET Review

Kyocera Hydro (Boost Mobile)

The Bottom Line: With Android 4.0, solid call quality, and waterproof capabilities, the Kyocera Hydro is a great prepaid device. / Read full review

About the author

Lynn La is CNET's associate editor for cell phone and smartphone news and reviews. Prior to coming to CNET, she wrote for the Sacramento Bee and was a staff editor at Macworld. In addition to covering technology, she has reported on health, science, and politics.

 

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