Kyocera has made a name for itself making phones that can stand up to the elements. Its latest entry, the $150 kyocera hydro life available on pre-paid carrier Boost Mobile and Sprint, is no exception. The phone is designed to withstand water, dust and shock. But its subpar camera and cluttered interface make it forgettable, unless you absolutely need to buy a waterproof smartphone.
This squarish Android 4.2.2 phone is noticeably different from the softly rounded and sturdier-looking Edge and Elite, with its rugged textured back and Verizon's logo stamped in prominent place overshadowing Kyocera's own branding. The Kyocera's Micro USB port and headphone jack require you to lock it with a special cap to keep water out, but other than that, the device is ready for your next adventure.
A qHD IPS LCD display offers a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels with 245 ppi pixel density. The single front-facing camera is rated at 2 megapixels.
On the inside, the phone runs on a quad-core CPU with 1GB of RAM. That's plenty for most users, but there are times when you'll be frustrated by the lag in apps or the fact that it takes forever to finish a task. No contract phones usually run a mock up of Android, rather than the official version, which explains the inconsistent experience.
Calls sound clear, and the Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver technology allows you to hear conversations clearly in noisy environments with just a bit of tissue placed over your ear. Music sounded muddy and quiet on the Kyocera, and its low-resolution screen makes it difficult to enjoy videos.