Summer is upon us and that means beach trips, poolside parties, and a lot of outdoor fun. Unfortunately, smartphones and water don't mix well; estimates say that close to 100 million phones are destroyed each year by liquids. But what if there was a smartphone that was designed to be used in the elements? That's what Kyocera is trying to do with its latest line of Hydro phones.
The flagship device, the Kyocera Hydro EDGE, is currently available at T-Mobile and MetroPCS for $150. Kyocera touts it as "water tested, life approved," and it definitely lives up to its marketing claims. The Hydro EDGE is IPX5 and IPX7 certified for being resistant to sprayed water, and it can be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes.
Performance was decent with the Hydro EDGE; it scored 1,318 in Geekbench 3, which is below the phone category average of 1,577, and it took 11 minutes and 23 seconds to transcode a 204MB 1080p video to 480p using VidTrim. Those results are on par with the similarly priced HTC One Mini and Motorola Moto G, both of which have a Snapdragon 400 CPU.
The Hydro EDGE runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which was smooth and responsive during our testing. It comes preloaded with Google's suite of apps, plus a few Boost Mobile and Kyocera branded applications that we typically call bloatware. These include Boost Zone (for managing your Boost account) and MagniFont, which enlarges text throughout the system for older users.