With Kyocera's Hydro View, you don't have to splash out to get your phone wet

This new waterproof budget phone takes to surfing, snowboarding or relaxing baths like a duck to water.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Kyocera is wading into the market for waterproof phones with the new damp-defying Hydro View, announced here at CES in Las Vegas.

Waterproof phones are useful for activities of varying degrees of extreme raditude, from surfing and snowboarding down to watching a movie in the bath. At $79, the Hydro View is a budget option if you don't want to risk a more expensive waterproof phones like the Sony Xperia Z5 on your adventure vacation.

Certified for IP57 levels of toughness, the Hydro View is protected against dust and water getting into the seals to the extent that it can be dunked in up to 1m of water (a little over 3 feet) for up to 30 minutes. So theoretically you can take it in the bath, or go paddling or surfing with it in the sea or snorkelling in the pool.

Scuba diving is out, but it's good for snowboarding and other extreme activities that see you exposed to the elements, whether you're grabbing a sick selfie or making an emergency call.

Kyocera promises a feature called Wet Touchscreen Operation will make it easy to use the 5-inch touchscreen without the water on the screen interfering with your taps and swipes. Unfortunately the resolution is just 960x540 pixels, giving you a rather soggy 220 pixels per inch. That's not even high-definition, which many phones of this size can offer. The result is that movies, games and videos won't have the eye-popping detail you'd get elsewhere, and you won't have as much detail as you'd want in murky conditions.

The software is Android 5.1 Lollipop, which is perfectly decent but is one generation behind the latest version of Google's software. At this price it's still respectable and gives you access to the Google Play store so you can download your choice of Android apps.

Waterproof Kyocera Hydro View won't rinse your wallet (pictures)

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Inside the Hydro View is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 1.1GHz processor backed by 1GB of RAM. Sealed tight into the waterproof chassis is a non-removable 2,160mAh battery, which should last you a few lengths, and 8GB of storage for apps, games, music and underwater selfies. For extra room, you can add a microSD card.

  • Energy-saving Eco Mode that automatically powers down non-critical functions
  • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and auto-focus
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calling
  • 1080p video at 30fps.
  • MagniFont -- Allows enlargement of select text on screen
  • MicroSD memory card slot for up to 64GB of added storage
  • Bluetooth 4.1