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U.S. Cellular's tough Kyocera Hydro XTRM (pictures)

Though it's not a full-blown rugged handset, the Kyocera Hydro XTRM from U.S. Cellular can survive more drops than the average smartphone.

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Lynn_La2.jpg
Lynn La
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
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1 of 7 Lynn La/CNET

Say hello to the Hydro XTRM

Available today online for $29.99 after users send in a mail-in rebate and sign a two-year agreement with U.S. Cellular, the Kyocera Hydro XTRM is a waterproof and shockproof 4G LTE handset that was announced at CTIA 2013.

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2 of 7 Lynn La/CNET

What happens on the 27th drop?

Given that the phone belongs to Kyocera's line of waterproof Hydro handsets, the XTRM can be underwater at a meter's depth, for up to 30 minutes. However, it's also shockproof, and it can be reportedly dropped 26 times from a height of 4 feet.

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3 of 7 Lynn La/CNET

No in-ear speaker here

This phone also features Smart Sonic Receiver technology. In lieu of an in-ear speaker above the display, the device uses its ceramic transducer inside to transmit audio via the hard tissue inside your ear. This, in effect, boosts audio clarity and quality.

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4 of 7 Lynn La/CNET

A hefty profile

The device measures 4.88 inches tall, 2.52 inches wide, and 0.42 inches thick. It weighs 4.9 ounces, and the heftiness was apparent when I held it in my hand. However, after a quick while, I stopped noticing its heaviness.

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5 of 7 Lynn La/CNET

Underneath the hood

Powering the device is a dual-core Snapdragon 1.2GHz processor, and a 2,000mAh battery, which has a reported talk time of 12.4 hours.

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6 of 7 Lynn La/CNET

Camera features for the photog

Users will also get a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, along with a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting and vanity shots.

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7 of 7 Lynn La/CNET

Solid mid-range features

The handset sports a 4-inch IPS WVGA display with a 800x480-pixel resolution. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and includes 1GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM, and a storage capacity expandable to 32GB.

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