Hands-On With Kyocera’s Water-Resistant Hydro, Rise Smartphones

Kyocera announced two new Android Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones here at CTIA, including the water-resistant Hydro and QWERTY keyboard-equipped Rise. Both devices sport 3.5-inch 480 x 320 displays, and feature identical internal specs, including a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM and 2GB of onboard storage. Both handsets also feature microSD card slots with support for up to 32GB of storage. Outside, the phones come equipped with 3.2-megapixel rear-facing cameras.

We spent some hands-on time with both phones and found them to be responsive. Swiping between home screens was smooth and opening the phones’ camera apps took just two seconds. Kyocera also loaded both phones with its proprietary Eco Mode app. The app allows you to choose at what point your phone automatically turns off certain features based on its battery level. For instance, you can set the app to turn off the phone’s animated wallpaper and haptic feedback when your battery reaches 50 percent to save battery life.

But what sets these budget-friendly Android phones apart from the competition, and each other, are their special features. The water-resistant Hydro features a special chassis that can keep the phone’s internal components from meeting a watery grave for up to 30 minutes when submerged in up to 1-meter of water. Kyocera says the Hydro can also withstand being hit with a water jet shooting 12.5 liters of water per minute for up to three minutes.

That’s certainly enough to keep the Hydro dry, should it take an unexpected dip. The Rise, on the other hand, may not survive a thorough dousing, but its slideout QWERTY keyboard should more than make up for that in the eyes of fans of physical keyboards. Because it’s packing more junk in the trunk, the Rise is a bit thicker than the Hydro, 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches for the Rise versus 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.5 inches for the Hydro.

Kyocera hasn’t announced carrier partners or pricing for either device, but we expect both phones to run in the $50 to $80 price range.

AUTHOR BIO
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Daniel P. Howley on
Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE