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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Cricket's Kyocera Hydro Plus

Small and compact

Waterproof ports up top

Keeping everything sealed

Splashing in the sink

A low-resolution display

Remember Android 4.0?

Perfect for music lovers

With its 3.5-inch screen, Android 4.0 OS, and 3.2-megapixel camera, the water-resistant Kyocera Hydro Plus for Cricket Wireless is a prepaid handset that's competitively priced at $139.99.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Measuring 4.53 inches tall, 2.44 inches wide, and 0.5 inch thick, the Hydro Plus is an ultra-pocketable device that's easy to maneuver with one hand.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the left is a volume rocker, and the top edge houses a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Micro-USB port for charging. To the right, you'll find a small sleep/power button.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The back is textured with a ribbed rubber coating that lends an extra sense of durability (though the handset is not a rugged phone). The back plate is secured by a small toggle lock to ensure that water does not seep in.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera reports that you can submerge the Hydro Plus in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. I stuck it under running water several times, and finally dropped the handset into a tall vase after making sure all the ports were appropriately sealed. Through all these trials, the phone survived.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The 3.5-inch HVGA IPS screen has a 480x320-pixel resolution. The display has a narrow viewing angle, especially when seen in direct sunlight, and it appeared washed out when slightly tilted at any angle.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Hydro Plus runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a really dated OS version even for entry-level devices. You'll still get your standard lineup of Google apps, however, such as Chrome, Gmail, and Plus.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

As a Cricket Wireless handset, the phone features Muve Music, a music subscription service tied to your carrier plan. Users can play and download to play offline thousands of artists and songs.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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